Having lived in both a dorm and an apartment, I can honestly say that a staple of both is a water filtration pitcher. In the dorms, the water quality wasn't an issue, but it was nice to have some really cold filtered water stored in the refrigerator as opposed to having the lukewarm tap water every time. In my current apartment, however, the water quality is a whole other issue; the tap water from our kitchen sink is murky way too often for my liking.
Unfortunately, when it comes time for new dorm/apartment shopping, purchasing these systems can be a pain in the butt when it comes to cost. (I was lucky enough to get mine for next year for only $10, on clearance at Kroger.) Luckily, Target has a great deal this week in its weekly ad!
When you buy a Brita Grand Pitcher ($31.49) or a 6-pack of Brita filters (also $31.49), you'll receive a $5 Target gift card. That's like getting it for $26.49. But it gets even better, because AllYou.com has a coupon for $4 off any Brita pitcher system! That makes this purchase $22.49. And if you use a reusable bag, Target will knock off 5 cents (I know, I know), making the total cost before tax $22.45.
ETA: Walgreen's also has a sale this week for Brita pitchers, albeit a smaller size pitcher. Theirs are on sale for $14.00; combined with the AllYou.com coupon listed above, the price gets knocked down to $10.00!