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Need a TV?

The one thing I’m not buying for my kid’s dorm room is a television, because I’m a giant meanie (obviously). If I was, though—or if I needed a smallish set for a spare room or something—I’d be jumping on this deal: Best Buy currently has this Sharp 32″ 1080p HDTV available for just $150 shipped! It has an average 4.6 star rating with over 1,700 reviews, too. (For comparison: The same set at Amazon is going to run you at least $230.)

Only somewhat related: Remember when a 32″ TV was considered gigantic? And also when it weighed, like, 100 pounds? This is now considered a small set, and it weighs about 10 pounds. Technology, man. Crazy.

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Do you remember my dorm list?

Back when I answered the question of what to buy for dorm-bound college freshmen, I mentioned this Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik Lightweight Vacuum as a great choice because it’s tiny, gets decent reviews, and regularly dips below $15. Well, today’s the day if you’ve had your eye on it—it’s part of a Dirt Devil trio in the Amazon Gold Box, and you can snag it today for just $14. And if you don’t have a dorm to send it off to, well, it’s a handy spare, to have around, too. (Not gonna lie; I have a stick vac in my kitchen for quick clean-up.)

Now, just to be absolutely clear, when I told my husband I was buying it for our soon-to-be-freshman, he had a good laugh over the notion that I believed she would ever vacuum anything. And he’s probably right to be skeptical. But for $14, I’ll sleep better at night knowing that at least when she drops cookies all over the floor, she’ll have a way to clean up the crumbs.

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Happy knives (yeah, that’s a thing)

Listen, if you’re a gourmet chef, absolutely invest in super-high-quality knives, because 1) you’ll need them and 2) you can justify them. I do a lot of cooking and I’m not quite to that point, myself, but the truth is that with a good knife sharpener you can do okay with whatever you have.

At some point, in a fit of aggravation with my knives, I bought the same Pure Komachi set that’s available on Sellout.Woot today for $20 (plus $5 shipping). Here’s what I can tell you about them:
1) They are surprisingly good. According to my Amazon history, I bought my set in October of 2010. I still use them every day and have no complaints.
2) They make my kitchen counter happy. I mean, look at them. Multicolor knives! Festive!
3) This set (without the bonus steak knives) currently costs $63 at Amazon while it’s just $20 with the steak knives at Woot, but take a look at the Amazon reviews—4.5 stars with over 200 reviews.
4) The knife block—or should I just call it a plastic dome?—is huge. Huge. We don’t use it; we use our old wooden block because I didn’t want to give up that much counter space. Be aware that it’s gargantuan.

I sharpen mine with this $6 knife sharpener and that’s all the maintenance I do. (Well, that, and I don’t put them in the dishwasher.)

I don’t always personally own products and deals I recommend here, but in this case, consider this a real testimonial. No, this isn’t a professional set, but for the average home cook, it’s quite a deal on a decent bunch of knives.

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It’s Beauty Box time!

It’s here! it’s here! Go check out Target’s latest beauty box offering (my link is being flaky; search on beauty box if that doesn’t take you directly to it) to get $17 worth of products for just $5 with free shipping! It’s probably worth it for the sunscreen, alone.

These sell out quickly, so hop on it if you want one.

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I love/hate it when that happens

One of the things I got for my husband for Christmas was a set of silicone barbecue gloves, and I was pleased with myself for nabbing a Lightning Deal and getting them for quite a bit less than the regular price. Well. I guess I should’ve waited, because right now Amazon has these Grill Armor Heat Resistant BBQ Silicone Gloves available for $16, which is typical, but—crazy!—entering coupon code 35OS7FHB at checkout drops the price to just $5.

That’s a little more than I paid.

But that’s fine… now we have a second pair coming, and I can keep these ones in the kitchen, because I am really good at burning myself on the oven, even with regular mitts on. For five bucks, and seeing as how they average 4.5 stars with over 300 reviews, it’s a no-brainer. Also, these are dishwasher safe, which tickles me.

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Laser printer? There’s a Deal of the Day for that!

Color laser printers are crazy expensive, and if you can afford one, feel free to adopt me. Color inkjet printers are very affordable, but the ink is expensive (and dries up if you don’t use it often enough). But for most of us, most of the time, a black-and-white laser printer is a perfect home solution—one toner cartridge lasts a loooong time, and most document printing is fine in just black and white.

If you agree, and you’re in the market for a printer, get on over to the Best Buy Deal of the Day page right now, because they’ve got a highly-rated Canon laser printer/scanner/copier about halfway down that’ll cost you just $89.99 delivered. (For comparison—and more reviews, if you like—here it is at Amazon for $150.)

This deal will only last one day, so hop on it if you’re interested.

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Plug in everything

I’ve been stalking surge protectors for a while, as I want to make sure I send my kiddo off next year with at least a couple, and then the year after that my other kid will need a couple, and I’m going to need a moment to collect myself, actually, hang on. (Mah baybeeeeeeeees….)

Anyway, right now Amazon has this Belkin flat-plug 6-outlet surge protector strip marked down to just $7—its lowest price ever. We have several of these, already (I paid around $12 for them, I think), and I especially like the flat plug so that you can put them behind furniture.

I bought two. One for each teen. But they seemed a little confused when they came downstairs this morning and I told them they’re grounded for wanting to leave me.

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Valentine’s Day is coming

Tired of giving V-Day gifts that die (flowers), get eaten (chocolate), or just take up space (most everything else)? I’ve got a great idea for you, particularly if you enjoy games—right now Amazon has Alderac Entertainment Group’s Love Letter game regular set for just $7.99 or you can snag the slightly better-looking boxed edition for $8.96. This is a ridiculously high-rated quick-playing game of risk, deduction, and luck, and it would be a lovely Valentine’s Day gift for that special nerd in your life.

Better still: You can play an entire game in just 15 minutes. If you’re buying it for your kid, that gets you off the hook pretty quickly. If you’re buying it for a love interest, well, that leaves you plenty of time for… other things.

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The hold-it-all backpack

For years and years, I was a fan of buying backpacks only from Lands’ End or LL Bean, on account of their unconditional guarantee. Their bags are great, don’t get me wrong, but as the kids grew and needed to carry more stuff, they just weren’t quite… right.

Now both of my kids carry High Sierra Fat Boys, and have for years. They hold… just about everything. They’re relatively ergonomic (even when loaded up), have tons of compartments, and have held up well. So when I spotted this Lightning Deal on one for just $12.97 I knew I had to let you know—that’s crazy cheap for this bag. (I think I got ours for around $20-$25 on sale, but the normal retail on the patterned ones tends to be around $35-$45.)

This one may not be your favorite color/pattern, but chances are good some of the other options will cycle through the Lightning Deals later today or tomorrow, too. Worth keeping an eye on, if you’re in the market for a big-kid pack. Ours will be going to college with the kids, and are worth way more than twelve bucks!

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While we’re getting organized

Since discussing various dorm accoutrements the other day, I’ve been stepping up my “stay organized in a small space” shopping in earnest. (Hey, I only have less than 7 months left before she leaves.)

Found this morning: This Overdoor Basket Organizer at Amazon for under $21 (looks like it’s been a couple of bucks cheaper once, but still a great deal). On the one hand, a soft organizer will take up less room when she’s packing, but on the other, a sturdy one like this looks like it’ll handle more stuff and more weight. Given that my girl will be headed into a two-rooms-one-bathroom situation, this might be perfect for keeping all those hair products and lotions and stuff off the bathroom counter. Or she could even hang this under her lofted bed to organize school supplies and such. Either way.

At the rate I’m going, she’s not even going to need a dorm room. I’ll be able to construct her a little storage facility in the parking lot. (I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. Maybe don’t tell me.)

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