Just because your child is in a cardboard-box-sized dorm room doesn't mean they can’t hold their own in the kitchen.
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Credit: Photo: Henrik Sorensen

As a child and later as a young adult, there’s nothing worse than the sinking feeling of running smack into a “Back To School” promotion in a store or seeing your first commercial pop up on television during summer break. And every year that dreaded moment of realization seems to come sooner and sooner.

Yes, it’s the officially the first week of summer, and here we are already – Bed, Bath and Beyond is gearing up for college students to make the maddening return to campus starting in August.

I used to think that parents and families must be elated when these promotions and commercials finally roll around every year – it means that the house will soon be quiet again, and normal routines are back in swing.

But I don’t think there’s ever a time that parents dread more than moving their child back to campus – it’s disgustingly hot, things are heavy, and there’s people everywhere. Plus, maybe you’re a tad sad that your loved one is heading away from home again.

Here’s something you should be looking forward to: Bed, Bath and Beyond is making this all easier on you by offering a few services to help get your child back to campus as seamlessly as possible.

Starting July 1, Bed, Bath and Beyond offers families a list of what items are allowed and blacklisted by each college’s dormitories. Can’t quite fit that portable backyard grill in your truck? Trying to squeeze that enormous selection of votive candles in a suitcase? Make sure the items you are packing are good to go, and save yourself from the agony of having to repack them if they are not.

Not sure what to bring? Each retail location also has a cheat-sheet of everything your child might need in his/her new digs.

But the best perk by far which every family should take advantage of is the “Pack & Hold” service – students are able to create a registry of items in any retail location and then magically pick up these items at another Bed, Bath and Beyond anywhere in the U.S.

Did I mention it’s free, too?

As a incoming college freshman, I can’t tell you how amazing it felt to waltz around the store and put together a laundry list of small necessities and must-have items that I could simply pick up at a later date – making my move from the Northeast to Florida that much easier. It’s like having a fairy grandmother pack up all the things you don’t want to have to pack and delivering it to your new home, free.

With this tip in mind, here is our list of kitchen items that we know will change your student’s life when it comes to cooking at college – and save yourself from the stress of having to pack them up, too.

1) The Ultimate Meal Prep Set

Credit: Courtesy of Bed, Bath and Beyond.

This 26-piece Rubbermaid container set is the best way to maximize leftovers and encourage your student to prep some quick meals rather than blow cash on sad campus snacks. Extra bonus: these lids are compatible with all of the set’s containers, so don’t stress if you lose one…or two.

2) Feed The Addiction

Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor

There’s no point in denying it – your child will get hooked on caffeine almost immediately after leaving home, if they aren’t already. And instead of yelling at them for spending absurd amounts of money on triple shot espressos at 4 a.m., get this for them instead. It’s a win-win, really.

3) Bye, Starbucks 

Credit: Courtesy of Bed, Bath and Beyond.

While we know that you definitely don’t need an entire machine to make iced coffee, spoil them with this gadget. It’ll make them feel special enough to skip the Starbucks, Dunkin, Gloria Jean’s, you-name-it national coffee chain on campus.

4) A Clean Alternative to Dorm Kitchens  

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You do remember the absolutely hair-raising disgusting “kitchen” at your dormitory, yes? But this portable induction cooktop is a safe way for any student to cook meals without even having to worry about whatever that stain is on the stove that another 50 first-timers are using, too.

5) En Vogue  

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The water bottle has become a 21st century beacon of self-expression for all intellectuals on campuses across America. Give your student this sturdy yet portable CamelBak water bottle at the beginning of the year and watch them explore their identities all over that thing (if you’re a cool Mom, tell them that RedBubble is a great place to look for stickers and decals).

6) Those Veggies Will Be Had  

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There’s no real space for preparing fresh vegetables in college kitchens, but this nonstick microwave steamer from Sistema kills two birds with one stone – you can store your fresh veggies in this container until you’re ready to steam them, with a push of a button. Easy pea-sy.

7) For The Low-Maintenance Lover  

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Yes, 10 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time to boil pasta in a pot. But for your student, it might mean all the world when exams or meetings are looming. This microwave pasta cooker lets them cram all their cooking time into a few seconds of waiting for the microwave to do the trick.

8) Grab-n-Go Breakfast 

Credit: Courtesy of Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Dry cereal in a sweaty palm on the way to a class you are late for isn’t exactly a daily breakfast that your student will love. This bottle-blender combo is small enough to be tucked away in a corner and can whip up fresh smoothies in no time, and a great way to get that first meal in every day.  


For more of the items that can be packaged and shipped to any college town thanks to Bed, Bath and Beyond, click here – and you'll even score an additional 20 percent with this coupon