It’s no secret; college kids are the toughest demographic to shop for.
First, forget about electronics. Chances are, they’ve already got the latest gadgets… and frankly, you can’t afford the ones they really want. Clothing? Ha. Try keeping on top of the trends… like, are they still wearing skinny jeans, or have boyfriend jeans made a comeback? And I suppose you *could* get them a gift card, but really – isn’t that just what everyone does?
Do college kids really need another Starbucks gift card?
This year, get them something super thoughtful that will make their life easier. From my friends at Hamilton Beach Canada, I’ve found five small appliances that are dorm-friendly, suitable for the domestically-challenged, and of course, won’t break the bank!
Stay or Go Blender. College kids like smoothies. They don’t always like to pay $5.95 at their local juice and smoothie bar. The Stay or Go Blender is powerful enough to handle all of their blending needs whether at home or on the go. Combining the practicality of a full-size blender with the convenience of a single-serve, the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Blender fits the busy lifestyle of college kids. With four containers included, this blender is the perfect size for every job. The 32 oz. jar is large enough to serve a study group, and two 16 oz. travel cups with drinking lids are just the right size for smoothies on the go.
All of the included containers are made of shatterproof Tritan that is crystal clear, lightweight, dishwasher safe, and BPA-free. Add ingredients while blending using the removable filler cap on the 32 oz. jar, and use the pulse button for greater control.
Once this multi-tasking blender is in your college kid’s kitchen, it will quickly become their go-to appliance for preparing many different things. MSRP: $39.99
2-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker. Quite possibly my favourite coffee maker on the planet; it’s perfect for college kids everywhere. Brew a pot for all-nighters during exam week, or pop in a K-Cup coffee pod for single serve java goodness. With a FlexBrew Coffeemaker in their dorm room, they’ll enjoy maximum brewing flexibility.
And just how much caffeine will they serve up? Brew up to 14 oz. of coffee with a single-serve pack, or brew 12 cups with the coffee pot. And of course, the coffeemaker has a programmable timer with 2 hour automatic shutoff, so they’ll never be late for class waiting on that perfect cup.
Of course, pre-packaged coffee isn’t for everyone or every palate. The 2-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker caters to coffee aficionados by featuring a single-serve permanent filter brew basket that holds a variety of fresh-tasting ground coffee. (Brands such as Folgers, Maxwell House and Starbucks are recommended.) MSRP: $104.99
Countertop Oven with Convection & Rotisserie. No room for an oven? No problem. Small enough to fit on small kitchen counters, but large enough to prepare for any meal, the Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven with Convection & Rotisserie boasts full-size oven performance in compact, energy-efficient form.
And for college kids? Perfecto. Designed with practicality in mind, the oven is portable and convenient.
It’s packed with versatile cooking options that range from crisping cookies to broiling salmon to roasting an entire 5 lb. chicken, roast or pork. And, the wide interior and adjustable cooking racks provide double the space for cooking multiple foods at once. (Party apps, anyone?) MSRP: 149.99
Pizza Maker. NEWSFLASH! College kids love pizza. In fact, if there’s one thing I vividly remember from my own school days, it’s the litter of empty pizza boxes heaped by the trash cans. But why waste money on pricey takeout, when they can create their own homemade pizza – or warm up cost-effective frozen pizzas – with this pizza maker?
It cooks up to 40% faster and is up to 52% more energy efficient than a regular kitchen oven. And with no pre-heating required, an adjustable heart control and 30-minute cooking timer, they’ll wonder how they ever made do without it.
(Psst! It also cooks appetizers, croissants and cinnamon buns!) MSRP: $79.99
Ice Shaver. Every college kid wants to be the life of the party, and this may just be their golden ticket to the popular crowd. Frozen margaritas, anyone?
Hamilton Beach Ice Shavers make delightful snow cones and adults-only slushies—and they’re great for tropical and mixed drinks as well. Add syrup, fruit juices, pop, ready-to-use cocktail mixes or alcohol to the two ice molds or use ice cubes from the freezer. It’s that simple.
When gifting the Ice Shaver, don’t forget to attach recipe cards for drunken sno cones! My fave? Bananas Foster: Mix equal parts vanilla simple syrup, peach puree, whiskey and banana liquor; spoon over shaved ice. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon. MSRP: $47.99
And there you have it: five easy, practical and oh-so-thoughtful presents for the college kids on your holiday shopping list. Be a hero this Christmas and give the gift of Good Thinking!