Five years ago, I lived in Thompson, CT (northeast corner, about 30 miles from where you're looking at). I paid $625 a month and my place was more than twice as better as to what you described (1BR, living room, bathroom, fully functioning kitchen but no washer/dryer). Don't know what the going rate now is. I went to school at UConn so I sort of know the area you're in. If you want to remain in that area, look for places in rural/working class towns. My place in Thompson was in a multi-family home, which is common in the area. And I prefer reaching out to realiters that do apartments. For some reason, I just don't trust craigslist.
Yeah that is a much cheaper area, being further from Hartford. I almost got transferred to Putnam which would have meant a definite move and much cheaper rent.