Your child can sort out who will bring the coffee maker, mini-fridge and microwave (or combined fridge/microwave). If you're it and don't want to pack it all, big-box retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond can have orders ready at the store closest to your child's college. Balance that convenience with the fact that other parents and children are going to be descending on the store at the same time -- loads of shared fun.
$43: Brita 6-cup water pitcher w/filter ($23); plastic glasses ($20) -- bedbathandbeyond.com
$155: Dorm cooking bundle (includes plates, mugs, food storage boxes, utensils, can opener -- dormsmart.com
$35: Mr. Coffee 12-cup programmable coffeemaker -- bestbuy.com
$100: Kenmore 2.4-cu.-ft. compact refrigerator -- sears.com
$89: Magic Chef 0.9-cu.-ft. countertop microwave -- amazon.com
The tally: $2,833.50