This was by no means a large expense - the blender I chose cost under £7 - but it was worth every penny. After spending a while researching different types of blenders and mixers online, I settled on a stick blender because of its versatility. At home I had had the luxury of having both a food mixer for the likes of cake batter and breadcrumbs and an upright blender for soups and smoothies, but I used it primarily for the latter. A stick blender would be easy to store in a small student kitchen, be inexpensive, and be much more versatile than Nutribullet-esque products which are generally designed for single-serve.
It often requires less washing up than using a traditional blender
More than four years later, I still use my blender regularly, and I'm pretty sure my housemates do too. Over the years, and my ever-evolving diet, I've used it for soups, smoothies, pasta sauces and houmous. As a stick blender it does mean that it takes longer to do and slightly more effort than using a free-standing blender, but it can still reach the same consistency, and, unlike other blenders, which have a maximum capacity whilst also requiring a certain lower limit of ingredients to actually read the choppers in the blender, it is perfect for both large and tiny quantities of food. It's incredibly easy to clean, and dishwasher-safe (or, at least, I've put it in there and it's never broken), though sometimes stringy bits of spinach do get stuck in the central rod and can be difficult to remove. What's more, it often requires less washing up than using a traditional blender, as only the stick needs to be washed if you do the blending in the container you will be eating from or storing the food in (for example, if I am blending soup, I can either blend it in the bowl I am about to eat from, or blend it in a big mixing bowl in which I will store the soup in the fridge).
Sadly, inflation does exist, and the price of my Cookworks blender has now gone up to £9.99 at Argos, but this is still a bargain for what it is. A stick blender is easy to use, will last year, and provide endless opportunities to create culinary delights and really experiment in the kitchen.