About 2 years ago when I was in first year PhD, I thought to myself that for many recrystallizations I wanted a temperature in between room and fridge. Crystals usually grow better when solutions are cooled more slowly and I knew of expensive devices to achieve this, but I also remembered seeing a product on sale at Aldi which cooled wine. After speaking to my lab manager and describing the product and its low price, he agreed that if it came up for sale again he would buy it for our lab. Sure enough, in December 2011 (the start of summer), Aldi offered an 8 bottle wine cooler for just AU$80. I told the lab manager and the product was purchased! I had to modify it by removing some shelves and creating a flat surface on others, but ever since then it has done exactly what I predicted it would do: grow crystals! It has temperature control to between 8 and 18 °C but most of the time we leave it on 8 °C. It also has an anti-vibration feature which is meant to protect wine but is also exactly what is needed for great crystals. In the image above, I am using it to get more crystals out of the mother liquor from a previous recrystallization and in this case I placed a seed crystal which has grown into a bushel. It runs on 70 W and when completely empty I have been able to fit a 2 L erlenmeyer flask which yielded 100 g of crystals.
If you have an Aldi near you you might want to keep an eye on their catalogue for a similar product, especially near summer as this makes lab work so much easier at a low price.