A cross-post from my other blog. If you don't get one as a holiday gift, you can certainly afford to buy one yourself. Or buy both. Or give one to a bewildered friend (who will be grateful later). While you're at it, check out the e-cookbook my son and I produced for Miss Em. You can get it on Amazon too!
Far be it from me to promote shopping for something you don't need. I don't need a slow cooker or rice cooker. But many need one or the other or both. In fact, a colleague recently asked me to pick her up one at the thrift store. I told her that thrift stores sell those appliances for basically the same price they cost new.
So, no, I am not going to link to the famous on-line retailer. Instead, you will have to go to Target. There they have a 3 quart slow cooker for $10 and a 6 cup rice cooker for the same. Note that the slow cooker is smallish (mine is 4 or 5 quarts) and the rice cooker is a medium size. Still, you can cook at least half a pound of dried beans in that slow cooker. And make enough rice for a few meals.
For $20, you can get both! That leaves enough money to buy some provisions, for which your recipient--starving student or regular person--would, no doubt, be grateful.