5 Overlooked Back-to-College Necessities


When we gathered up our top back-to-school deals, we were sure to include the best back-to-school clothes, back-to-school laptops, and the like. But we also remembered a few other things college kids will definitely need in the coming year: an alarm clock. Caffeine. A fridge. Caffeine. Online courses so cheap they're free. And of course, caffeine.

  1. 2 Boxes of Gevalia Breakfast Blend Dark Roast Ground Coffee
    Store: Gevalia
    Price: $6.99 via coupon code "TRYGEV44" with free shipping
    Lowest By: $7

    Is It Worth It?: Our collegiate saga begins as Goofus and Gallant (apologies to Highlights magazine) unpack their things for a new school year. Goofus, as usual, has been partying all night (so many frat houses to check out). So Gallant does the noble thing and puts on a pot of joe, courtesy of this Editors' Choice deal. It boils down to buying one bag of coffee and getting a second for free via coupon code "TRYGEV44". This offer ties our mention from a week ago as the best promo we've seen on Gevalia coffee so far this year. You can shop for ground coffee, whole-bean coffee, or K-Cups ... or if you're Goofus, you can simply hope your roomie will continue to buy the coffee for the rest of the semester.

  2. Febreze Fabric Refresher with Gain Original Scent 27-oz. 2-Pack
    Store: Amazon
    Price: $6.44 at checkout with free shipping
    Lowest By: $9

    Is It Worth It?: After a few weeks in the dorm, Gallant notices that Goofus isn't too fond of doing laundry, and some of those piles by his bed smell a bit raunchy. Not to worry, though: Gallant just scored another Editor's Choice deal! At $3.22 per bottle and tied with last week's mention, it's Febreze to the rescue. Be sure to "Clip this coupon" to save $3 off this 2-pack. And sign up for Subscribe & Save to knock the price to $6.44.

  3. Multi-Function 1080p HD Spy Camera Alarm Clock
    Store: FutureTrend01 via eBay
    Price: $45.49 with free shipping
    Lowest By: $5

    Is It Worth It?: Uh oh. Goofus has been raiding Gallant's secret stash of Junior Mints, and Gallant needs to put a stop to it. Good thing he just bought this spy clock, which features a resolution of 1920x1080 at 24 fps, remote control, an actual alarm clock with snooze button, temperature function, and a microSD slot. Gallant is really, really tempted to have the clock go off on Goofus at 3 am while he's visiting Mumsy for the weekend in Kennebunkport. But that wouldn't be very gallant, would it?

  4. Igloo 3.2-Cubic Foot 2-Door Refrigerator
    Store: Walmart
    Price: $128 with in-store pickup
    Lowest By: $61

    Is It Worth It?: Realizing he's been a jerk, Goofus calls a truce and brings something groovy back to the dorm room Walmart: a Stainless Steel fridge that features a separate freezer compartment, reversible door with can holder and tall bottle holder, slide-out shelves, and vegetable drawer. It's enough to make Gallant hastily reverse his short-sheeting-the-bed move, though he doesn't know that Goofus has all the primo shelf space reserved for tall boys. Ugh.

    Then again, Gallant could just go buy his own smaller fridge. Also from Walmart, the Igloo 1.7-cu.-ft. Refrigerator and Freezer is also Stainless Steel and is priced at $69 with free shipping. That's tied with our mention from last week and the lowest total price we could find by $40. It features a reversible door, tall bottle holder, and slide-out shelves

  5. Udemy Online Courses
    Store: Udemy
    Price: Free
    Lowest By: Up to $99

    Is It Worth It?: Oh the horror! Mumsy's ponzi scheme has been discovered by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and suddenly Gallant's trust fund has been drained to nothing. But good ol' Goofus offers him a tall boy, and tells him about this Editors' Choice deal: eight great online courses at Udemy, all free. Courses run the gamut from HTML5 APIs for JavaScript to Learning Responsive Web Design. It's the beginning of a beautiful partnership, as Goofus and Gallant create a dancing hamster web startup in their dorm room, sell it to a Silicon Valley VC for for millions, and finally bail Mumsy out of Club Fed. And all because of dealnews! Don't you just lovvvvvvve happy endings?

DealNews Contributing Writer

Lou Carlozo is a DealNews contributing writer. He covers personal finance for Reuters Wealth. Prior to that he was the Managing Editor of WalletPop.com, and a veteran columnist at the Chicago Tribune.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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