Jun 25, 2023

These cheap things are so useful & clever, I'd buy them even if they cost 5x more

Mega-bargains you'll reach for every day.

I used to think that if a product came with a low price tag, it couldn’t really be worth very much. I was wrong, though; take these super clever and useful items, for example — they’d be bargains even if they cost much more. (But they don’t.)

What could be more fun than making a purchase that truly solves a problem, is delightful, or both... and then have it ring up as a bargain at the same time? Seriously, these products make it seem like Christmas every day — see if you don’t agree.

If you use your car as a second office, on-the-go dining room, or catchall storage facility, this trash can is a must have. Waterproof and leakproof, it has an adjustable strap that secures around your headrest or center console. The trash bin has mesh side pockets for tissues or hand sanitizer, and comes with 20 liners to make garbage removal easy.

Made from highly flexible yet durable plastic, these drain snakes are exactly what you need to break up a clog without having to call a plumber — and without having to use harsh liquid ingredients, either. The teeth along the sides snag hair, food, and grease clumps, so you can pull them up and out. The six-pack is an incredibly cost-efficient buy.

Finally, you can fit your oversized water bottle into your car’s cupholder — with the help of this expander. It accommodates the most popular water bottle brands and can be installed so that it doesn’t block any adjacent cupholders. This one makes a great gift for that person in your life who’s serious about hydration (and maybe that person is you).

Ideal for keeping everything from extension cords to fitness bungees neatly coiled, these storage straps are the organization aid you’ve been missing. Made from a heavy-duty, weatherproof material, they’re finished with an industrial-strength grommet that’s durable and perfect for hanging. This set contains a variety of sizes to conquer your garage, workroom, or office.

Stop looking down at your computer screen and straining your neck — this laptop stand raises your computer to the right height for comfortable viewing. Crafted from sturdy aluminum alloy, the elevated design also keeps your computer ventilated and running smoothly while you work. Boasting a near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating after 32,000 reviews, it comes in shades like black, rose gold, and ice blue.

Get baby-soft feet without an expensive trip to the salon with this callus remover gel. Simply apply it to calluses and rough heels, and let the formula sink in for five to 10 minutes to soften the skin. Follow up with a foot scrubber and a rinse, and your feet will be in great shape. Reviewers have raved that it “gets rid of pesky calluses” and “works amazingly.”

Twist off even the most tightly sealed jar lids quickly and easily with this under-cabinet opener. Just insert the top of the jar into the V-shaped opening, and the rust-resistant zinc teeth will grasp the lid as you turn — easy as that. It takes less effort than rubber grips, and with the low-profile installation, no one will ever even know it’s there.

With this book light, you can keep reading late into the night or on a red eye plane flight without disturbing other passengers. The best part, though, is that it has five brightness levels and three color temperatures: daylight, cool white, and warm white. It charges via USB and delivers up to 80 hours of use on just one charge.

This pumice cleaner gets your toilet — or your tile, grout, or tub — sparkling clean, all without the use of potentially harsh liquid cleaners. It’s particularly effective at removing lime scale and other stubborn mineral stains, and can also be used on other tough-to-budge grime scenes like your grill grates and tools. The convenient handle provides extra leverage.

Oversized phone and computer plugs can make it difficult to utilize all the outlets on your power strip, but this surge protector has sockets that pivot to the side for easy access from any direction. Plus, with its low-profile design, this device mounts to the wall instead of sitting on the floor, so your cords aren’t a trip-and-fall hazard. It’s also available in an option with USB charging ports.

The biggest grind of cooking meals is all the prep work that goes into readying the ingredients. This food chopper cuts down on prep time with its stainless steel blades that chop, puree, and emulsify a wide variety of ingredients. You can even produce dressings and salsas right in the 3-cup bowl — all without having to buy an expensive full-size food processor.

Ensure that your area rug doesn’t turn into a trip-and-fall hazard with these grippers that tack the corners down to the floors, so everything stays in place. Perfect for use on carpet as well as on hard surfaces, the grippers also keep your rug from sliding around and looking like a chaotic mess. The grippers work both indoors and outdoors.

Need to keep tabs on a few important items? This wireless key finder has your back. The color-coded remote comes with four corresponding tags that you can attach to keys, your TV remote control, and other have-to-haves. The transmitter has a 131-foot range, and works even through walls and dense couch cushions.

You don’t have to pay a ton of money for plastic storage bins that take up lots of space — opt for these vacuum storage bags instead. With your regular vacuum or the included hand pump, they shrink the contents of each bag by 80%, giving you back precious closet space. Heavy-duty and puncture-resistant, these bags are reinforced with airtight seals to protect your items from moisture and pests.

This weekly pill organizer has a twist: Inside the large main box are removable daily pods that you can take with you on the go. That means you can conveniently bring along your meds for the day, without sticking them in a sandwich bag, or worse — keeping them loose in a pocket. Each pod has separate compartments for morning and night.

Make an eco-friendly move that’s also good for your wallet by replacing your paper towels with these Swedish dishcloths. They’re ultra-absorbent for soaking up spills, but they’re also perfect for washing dishes, or scrubbing anything from pots and pans to the bathtub. Once your tasks are completed, just wash them in the machine and reuse.

If there’s a breeze coming in your door, that means there’s money flowing right out the other way in the form of increased energy bills. Put an end to that inconvenience with this draft stopper that seals the gap between the door and your floor. It can be trimmed to size and adheres easily to the door with the sticky backing. It’s also great for blocking out noise and ambient light.

The design geniuses at Joseph Joseph have done it again with this unitool that gives you everything you need to whip up the perfect meal. This one utensil combines a slotted spoon, solid spoon, spatula, turner, and cutting tool into one small package. And reviewers love it; the tool has earned a 4.6-star overall rating after 7,000 reviews. It’s made from tough nylon and is dishwasher-safe and heat-resistant to 480 degrees Fahrenheit.

Breeze through even the toughest set-in dirt in just minutes with this drill attachment set. Great for scrubbing everything from a grimy bathtub to your grill grates, the large brush heads make cleaning fast and easy. You’ll get three brushes for taking on a variety of surfaces, as well as an extended-reach attachment that helps you get into tight spaces.

The annoying bacteria that cause bad breath don’t only collect on your teeth, they can cover your tongue, too — and that isn’t as easy to get clean. These tongue scrapers are made from surgical-grade stainless steel and glide right over the surface to remove that layer of film, leaving your mouth feeling fresh.

Don’t you deserve to step out of the shower and onto a cloud? That’s exactly the kind of soft landing this memory foam bath mat gives you — a little bit of self care that will make your bathroom feel so luxurious. It’s covered with velvety soft microfiber in your choice of a rainbow of colors, and can be cleaned easily right in your washer and dryer.

Make putting away the laundry the closest thing to fun it’ll ever be with this folding board. In just four moves, it neatly folds all kinds of garments, from T-shirts to dresses. You’ll get uniform stacks that are easier to fit in your drawer, as opposed to messy piles of haphazardly folded clothes. Even the kids will suddenly be asking to help with the laundry.

Made from stainless steel, these measuring spoons will always be easy to find in your utensil drawer since they’re magnetic and stick together. Plus, that nesting storage design means they won’t get loose and jam up your drawer when you close it. Each spoon has two sides — one for liquid measures and one for dry — and the set comes with a leveler for extra precision.

Store this gel mask in the refrigerator or even the freezer, then take it out when you need to relieve headaches or help reduce facial redness and puffiness. Don’t want cold therapy? Microwave it briefly for some gentle heat that’ll feel amazing on sinuses and dry eyes. The mask is soft and flexible, with a stretchy elastic strap for a comfortable fit.

Whether you’re chopping onions, using a mandoline, or filleting fish, these cut-resistant gloves will help keep your hands protected from sharp kitchen blades. They’re food-safe and machine-washable, and come in a range of sizes, so you can get a comfortable fit that doesn’t limit dexterity. Woodworkers will also love them — they’re protective but don’t limit motion.

When you’re busy pursuing your hydration goals, it’s easy for your water bottle to get funky and smelly. Just drop one of these tablets into a full bottle of warm water and let it stand for 15 to 30 minutes. Then rinse it all out, and you’re ready to go — so much easier than taking a scrub brush to the interior. These tablets are eco-friendly and suitable for use on materials from stainless steel to plastic.

Reach for this massage stick to speed up muscle recovery after a workout, or to release muscle tension after hours seated at your desk or in your car on a road trip. The seven trigger-point zones target knots and help stimulate myofascial release. It’s lightweight and much more compact than a foam roller, so you can even throw it in your suitcase or store it in the back pocket of your car seat.

If you deal with back or joint strain, try this knee pillow for relief while sleeping. Made from soft but dense memory foam, it keeps your knees, hips, and spine in proper alignment, and may help relieve pressure on your sciatic nerve. Side sleepers will love this pillow, and it comes with a washable cover and a travel bag.

With 18 different sounds including ocean, brown noise, and rain, this white noise machine is sure to have a selection that’s just perfect for lulling yourself to sleep. It’s battery-powered and small enough to throw in your carry-on for use while traveling. Leave it on all night or use one of three timer settings.

Why get a plain old spoon rest for your stove when you can get one that also incorporates a lid holder? (Talk about genius.) Made from stainless steel, this two-in-one holder keeps your stove and countertops free of sauce and drippings while you cook. The spoon rest area is large enough to accommodate a wide variety of utensils, and the other side props the lid up vertically, so it doesn’t take up a bunch of space.

These colanders collapse to just 2 inches high to take up minimal space in your kitchen cabinets, then pop up for use when you’re ready to strain. They’re made from BPA-free silicone that’s heat-resistant to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can drain that piping-hot pot of pasta with no problem. You’ll get an 8.5-inch and 9-inch colander for big and small jobs alike.

Get dust and grime out of the hard-to-clean spaces of your keyboard, smartphone, and other electronic devices with this laptop cleaner. A retractable brush on one end sweeps away dust and crumbs from small spaces without scratching, while the soft pad on the reverse end gently removes fingerprints and smudges from screens.

Stop jamming your clothes in your closet to the point that they get all wrinkled — get these hangers instead. They can be used two ways: Drop them down to cascade your clothes and free up more space on the rod, or use them horizontally to space out garments, which prevents wrinkles and makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. Each hanger can hold up to five pieces of clothing.

Single-serve coffee makers are so convenient, but storing all those K-cups can be a chaotic mess. These racks attach directly to your coffee maker to hold your single-serve pods, keeping them neat and organized. The adhesive backing makes them easy to install, and each one can store up to five K-cups.

Bid farewell to shower curtain hooks that get caught on each other when you pull the curtain open — these shower curtain rings have roller balls that glide smoothly, so you don’t have to deal with any more traffic jams. Plus, the latches at the top provide a secure fit, so your curtain won’t become unhooked. Made from nickel-plated stainless steel, they’re rust-resistant for long-lasting use.

Get extra space for cooking utensils — and easy access to them, too — with these under-cabinet hangers. Each rack has six hooks that are perfect for spoons, spatulas, oven mitts, and more. Plus, they rotate 360 degrees, making it easy to grab whatever you need, when you need it. Installation is easy with the adhesive backing.

You have to have a toilet brush and a plunger, so why not have a little fun with them? This set has decorative cacti for handles, so you can channel some Palm Springs vibes in your bathroom. Made from sturdy rubber, they come with a two-compartment holder for convenient storage. One reviewer wrote, “These are so cute! I am impressed with how sturdy they are.”

When your cookware cabinet is such a mess that you don’t even feel like making dinner, it’s time to get this pan organizer. Sturdy enough to even accommodate cast iron, it has space for storing up to five pans. The best part: You’ll never have to unstack a pile to reach the skillet on the bottom again. The rack can be used freestanding, or you can mount it to the wall.

One side of these pillowcases is made with Japanese cooling fibers that are designed so that even the hottest sleepers stay cool at night. The other side of the pillowcase is made with breathable cotton — perfect for all-weather sleeping. They’re machine-washable and finished with zippers for easy on and off.

With this set of seven scrubbing brushes, you’ll be outfitted for any cleaning task in the kitchen. Along with two dish brushes, you’ll get tools for scouring stainless steel, cleaning grout lines, tackling narrow nooks and crannies, and scrubbing the curves of your sink (yep, there’s a flexible brush for that). Put these to work, and every inch of your kitchen will be sparkling in no time.