I’m not averse to the occasional splurge on something that really moves me. But when it comes to everyday items like wallets, water bottles, small appliances, and lighting I like to find a bargain that does what I need while leaving my savings intact. And thanks to Amazon, inexpensive alternatives to what might once have been huge indulgences are easy to find. Witness these 50 cool things under $30 that seriously seem expensive AF. They do the job of a much more expensive item at a fraction of the price.
You could drop hundreds on a new doorbell, for example, or you could spend five minutes and less than $20 installing this clever wireless one. And if you hate ironing but need to look presentable, dry cleaning costs can be their own budget line item. But this inexpensive handheld steamer refreshes and get the wrinkles out of clothes with nothing but water and a nearby outlet. And I’m sure most people assume that taking power into the wilderness — or into a power outage — is expensive, but this clever solar charger will not only turn sunlight into phone power, it’s also a flashlight.
There are so many ways to get what you want without spending so much money. Read on and find what you need.
1. This ID holder that’s also a minimalist wallet
If you have to carry an ID, put it in a holder that makes your life more convenient. This heavy-duty card holder mounts your access card securely in a clear frame that you can display while the holder is clipped to your belt, backpack, lanyard, or wherever you like. It also holds a few credit cards in a spring-loaded section behind the ID so you always have what you need within easy reach.
2. The sandwich maker with a cult following
At first glance, this machine that assembles and cooks a breakfast sandwich might seem frivolous or too good to be true. But there are well over 15,000 people who say it has transformed their mornings, become their favorite kitchen tool, and that it creates — with almost no effort or cleanup — a perfect and delicious egg, ham, and muffin sandwich every time in just a few minutes.
3. A water bottle that’s also a speaker & personal assistant
This water bottle is all you need to carry. It keeps 20 ounces of a beverage hot or cold for hours, connects to your phone to play music from the rechargeable speaker that screws into the base, has a wide mouth that’s easy to fill, and sports a pop-up straw lid with a loop that makes it easy to sip and carry. It even glows every hour to remind you to stay hydrated.
4. The water fountain that encourages your pet to drink water
Choose the fountain style your pet prefers — flower waterfall, flower bubble, or gentle fountain — and make sipping filtered water something that’s fun for your pet to do. This water bowl holds 84 ounces of water, filters it through a charcoal and ion exchange resin filter, and sits on the included silicone pad in case the pets enjoy playing with the water so much that they leave a slippery mess.
5. This alarm so you don’t leave the fridge door open
Standing in front of the fridge or freezer with the door open is such a huge waste of energy. Even worse, walking away and leaving the door open can destroy a fridge full of groceries. Install this simple alarm and trust it to beep gently after the door has been open for a minute and then more and more loudly and urgently the longer the door stays open.
6. The portable camping stove that burns what you have
This lightweight camping stove is easy to tote along when you are backpacking and it burns whatever fuel you have at hand — wood, pinecones, solid fuel, pellets — so it keeps going long after you’ve exhausted your packed-in fuel supply. It comes with a tiny bellows and a long-reach lighter to get your fire going, and it’s designed to draw air in from the bottom to keep the flame alive while you prep your food on top.
7. A vacuum-insulated beer can or bottle holder
This vacuum-insulated beer cooler keeps your bottle or can of beer cold for hours. If you are drinking from a can, use only the bottom section. If your beverage is in a standard beer bottle, add the top part. There is a bottle opener in the lid and it protects bottles from breaking.
8. This portable projector screen for outdoor movie watching
Attach this lightweight screen to anything — the side of your house, a wall, the playground equipment — with the included rope and hooks. Then point a projector at it and you can watch a movie anywhere. It folds up small for storage and is light enough to carry to an event in your backpack.
9. The smart notebook you can reuse forever
If you like to write lists with a pen and paper but never have those lists with you when you need them, this little notebook will fix that. Write your list then use the Rocketbook app to send it to the cloud service you prefer and erase your paper list. You can reuse these 48 pages forever just by wiping them clean with the included microfiber cloth.
10. This worldwide travel adapter that’s small & portable
The power plugs for the entire world are in this one adapter so you won’t find yourself in a hotel in Budapest or a hostel in Sydney unable to charge your laptop, phone, or other gadgets. Just pop out the plug for the country you are in, plug it in, and plug your USB or A/C chargers into the adapter.
11. A wireless doorbell that’s super simple to install
All you have to do is plug the chiming part of this wireless doorbell into an outlet inside your home and stick (or screw) the bell outside the door for a functioning doorbell that offers you lot of options for chimes. It’s very easy, requires no wiring, and the bell draws so little power that its batteries will last years.
12. This motion-triggered light for your door lock
If you struggle to get the door open at night because it’s too dark to see the lock, this simple fix is all you need. Position this motion-triggered light on the front door and it will come on when you approach, illuminating the lock so you can get your key in. It only comes on for that one purpose so the batteries last for ages.
13. The indoor grill for fast burgers & panini
Grilling a burger, chicken breast, or panini sandwich is so easy in this small grill that you will be whipping up everything from sandwiches to salads with it every day. It’s much smaller than the outdoor version and is super easy to clean because you can put the grill plates and drip tray in the dishwasher.
14. This clever container that keeps produce fresh for longer
This produce container extends the life of your food so you can shop less often, throw away fewer groceries, and have food on hand when you want it. It features a drip tray in the bottom that keeps moisture away from your produce and an air vent in the lid to create the perfect atmosphere for produce so that it stays fresh longer.
15. This light switch cover with a built-in light
Want a little light in the kids room or bathroom? Just replace the light switch cover with one of these SwitchLights and you will have a light that takes up no space and requires no wiring. The night light comes on when it’s dark, and there is also little ambient light so it won’t disturb anyone else. They are a great safety feature and an easy night light.
16. A decorative clock that tells you the time in words
This word clock is so cool that you won’t believe it’s not more expensive. Just plug it in and set the time, and it tells you what time it is at any moment in a complete sentence. Set it on your desk or a shelf and it provides functional decoration.
17. The bed that mounts to the window where kitty wants it
Your kitty will love watching the birds and squirrels — or just snoozing in the sun — if you offer this bed that attaches directly to the window. Just stick the powerful suction cups to the glass in a spot your cat can easily access and it will become her favorite spot. The perch is made from a breathable Oxford cloth to keep kitty from overheating, but you can add a cuddly cat bed when it’s cold.
18. These self-watering plant pots so you can relax
These high-quality self-watering plant pots will take care of your plants when you go away, and when you are home, they make plant care easier. An inner pot holds your plant’s roots above the water, cocoa bark pulls water to the roots as they need it, and a water indicator lets you know when it’s time to water again. The 5-inch pots come in five colors.
19. These intruder alarms for doors or windows
Afraid the kids will leave the house when you aren’t looking or that someone will come in through a window? Stick these alarms to the frame of doors and windows, and a loud alarm will go off anytime someone opens that door or window. Arm them with the flip of a switch and turn them off just as easily to open them yourself.
20. This cup holder that goes between the seat & console
Need extra cup holders? This unit with two cup holders — and a phone storage space — installs easily just by sliding the solid piece bottom between your seat and the center console. The leather-like fabric and stitching look just like a car’s interior and it adds additional storage or updates older cars that lack cup holders.
21. This magnetic knife block that mounts to the wall
Get your knives out of drawers and off the counters by mounting this magnetic knife rack to the wall. Powerful magnets are embedded in the attractive wooden block so all you have to do is stick your knives to it and they are within easy reach and become creative kitchen-appropriate art on your walls.
22. A solar-powered Qi charger & flashlight
This is the power bank you want to take with you hiking or into your next power outage because it powers itself with sunlight and then wirelessly charges your devices. All you do is set your phone or gadget on it and any Qi-compatible device will charge right up from the stored sunlight. (You can also plug it in to fill the battery.) It’s rugged and also has a powerful built-in flashlight.
23. A fabric steamer so clothes look like you just ironed
If ironing is something you avoid whenever possible, you need this handheld fabric steamer in your closet. Even if you find the shirt you need in a rumpled pile, you can look presentable in minutes simply by filling this with water, waiting for it to heat up, and waving it over the shirt while it hangs from a hanger. It’s simple, works well, and get over 36,000 five-star reviews.
24. This pocket warmer that will also charge your phone
Drop this power bank into your pocket because when it gets cold outside; you can turn it on and let it warm your hands or the inside of your coat. Or if your phone’s battery is slipping into the danger zone, you can plug it into this massive battery and charge it right up. It’s also great for heat therapy on sore muscles, and it gets over 10,500 five-star reviews.
25. The shovel you can fit in your backpack
This folding shovel is lightweight and small enough to fit into your backpack or keep on your ATV, but when you unfold it, it’s a serious, heavy-duty shovel that will dig you out of anything. Serrated edges cut through difficult ground, and the shovel head can also be locked into a pickaxe position to tear through rocky situations.
26. A sleep mask with headphones & a microphone
Napping when your environment is bright and noisy can be a challenge but this sleep mask will get you there. Strap it on, block out the light with the comfy eye cover, connect your phone via Bluetooth, and play some relaxing tunes or a good book. If your phone rings, you can take that call from your nap zone because there is a built-in microphone. It’s a delight for sleeping and must-have for light-triggered headaches.
27. This complete set of camping cookware
This camping cookware kit has everything you need to eat well in the woods, and it all fits into a handy carrying bag. There are two stainless steel cups, two pots that fit neatly together, a kettle, and folding cutlery. The cookware features insulated handles that won’t burn you and the included carabiner makes it all easy to carry.
28. A small air purifier so you can breathe clean air
Set this air purifier down on your desk or bedside table and clean up the air that goes into your lungs, nose, and eyes. It cleans a small area — about six square meters — by removing air pollutants that are 0.3 microns or larger, which includes most common irritants, such as pet dander, smoke, and pollen. It’s also aesthetically pleasing and can serve as a night light.
29. This lightbulb that lets you control the color
This LED color lightbulb lets you create custom lighting effects in your home super easily. Just screw in the lightbulb, connect it to your phone, and pick from 16 million colors. A sunrise feature lets you set your lighting to wake you up slowly, and a sunset feature gets everyone ready to sleep. Reviewers love it, giving it nearly 17,000 five-star reviews.
30. A mug warmer so your coffee never gets cold
Tired of a cold cup of coffee? Set your coffee down on this mug warmer and it will maintain its temperature until the last sip. Or if you already let your cup get cold, it will warm it up again. An indicator light lets you know when your beverage is hot again and nearly 24,000 people give it five stars.
31. The hinged wrench that gets into tight spots
Keep this hinged adjustable wrench in your toolkit for when you find yourself struggling with a nut or bolt that’s in an awkward or tight corner. The head adjusts to multiple angles so you can get in there and get the leverage you need. The wrench’s grip also adjusts to whatever diameter is required.
32. This toilet roll holder that also holds your phone
Upgrade your bathroom for the digital age with this clever holder that looks modern and makes it simple to change the toilet roll but also holds your phone safely while you go. A lip on the shelf lets you stand the phone on end without dropping it, and the brushed stainless steel is so easy to clean.
33. A charging station that handles all your gear
This tidy charging station gets rid of so many annoying wires and charges all your gear in one compact space. It charges three phones or tablets standing up to save space, has a dedicated spot for your AirPods and Apple Watch, and comes with four — two Lightning, one micro USB, and one USB-C — short cables that fit it perfectly.
34. The tabletop fireplace you can use indoors or out
Fill this charming fire pit with fuel, light it, and enjoy a fire in the living room, on your patio, or wherever you like to hang out. It warms the room a little, doesn’t gives off smoke so it’s safe to use indoors, and runs for about an hour before needing a refill. It comes with small, white rocks to create a rustic look or leave those out for a cleaner vibe.
35. A shaving mirror for the shower that won’t fog up
Powerful suction cups hold this mirror to the shower wall, a built-in hook holds your razor, and an anti-fog coating on the mirror’s surface prevents it from fogging up so you can — quickly and easily — install a mirror that facilitates better shaving or primping while you shower. Reviewers give it almost 13,000 five-star reviews.
36. This adjustable hanging rod for a custom closet
Whether you want to increase the hanging space in your closet, create a closet where you don’t have one, or simply lower the height of your hanging bar, this clever system will accommodate. The height of the bar is adjustable in 1-inch increments, the width of the bar adjusts from 18 to 30 inches, and it simply loops over a hanging rod or hook.
37. The simple & inexpensive cold brew coffee maker
It is so easy to make your own cold-brewed coffee at home that there is no reason to bust your budget going to coffee shops too often. Just fill the fine-mesh inner sleeve of this brewer with grounds, add water to fill the BPA-free Tritan pitcher with water, and put it in the fridge overnight. After 12 to 24 hours, remove the grounds and you’ll have cold-brew on demand for two weeks — or until it’s gone.
38. These completely wireless earbuds for music anywhere
These Bluetooth earbuds are so small and light, they wear comfortably and are nearly invisible. They will survive a rainstorm, pair automatically when you take them out of the case, and come in six colors. When they need a charge — after 30 hours if you put them in the charging case — just set the case down on any Qi wireless pad (or plug them in) to charge them up.
39. A running hat with a pocket
This running hat solves all the practical hassles of going for a run. It is moisture-wicking so it keeps your head dry while shading you from the sun. It also has a nifty zippered pocket on the side so you can stash a key, some cash, or a credit card while reflective piping along the side makes you more visible at night. It comes in two colors.
40. A vertical mouse so your hands stop hurting
Switching to this vertical mouse just might be the very thing your hurting hands need. By holding the mouse in a more ergonomic handshake position, your wrist doesn’t pronate. It’s also just an excellent mouse with a 2.4G wireless connection for quick response and accuracy. Almost 23,000 people give it five stars.
41. The tracker that finds that thing you misplaced
Attach this Tile tracker to your keys, wallet, water bottle, or whatever you tend to lose, and use your phone to find it. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth, so it can show you precisely where your lost item is with the help of the Tile app. If you still can’t locate it — maybe it’s hiding under the car seat or couch cushions — tell it to set off the alarm so you can hear where it is. If you have the Tile and lose your phone, it will call your phone with the push of a button.
42. A light sanitizing box that kills the germs on your EDC
You wash your hands when you get home but what about your phone, keys, sunglasses, wallet, and everything else that went out into the world with you? Drop those into this UV light sanitizing box, hit a button, and let UV-C light kill 99% of the germs and bacteria on them in just 10 minutes.
43. This in-car phone mount kit that’s slick & small
Peel and stick the silver ball portion of this in-car phone mount anywhere on your dash — it doesn’t need a vent or a flat area — and then stick the concave magnet to your phone or case. Then, whenever you get in your car, just stick your phone to the silver ball, and it will hold your phone steady while you move it to any angle or position you want. It’s slick and looks cute in the car.
44. An electric wine opener for quick, easy access to your next glass
This electric wine opener makes it so easy and drama-free to get a bottle of wine open. First, use the foil cutter that attaches to the bottom to quickly and cleanly remove the foil. Then, push the opener onto the bottle, press a button, and wait till your little wine robot secures and removes the cork with no struggle. Push another button to expel the cork from the opener. It runs on four AAA batteries and will open hundreds of bottles with them.
45. This cute machine that makes mini donuts in minutes
When the need for donuts strikes, pull out this cute little donut maker, pour in some batter — recipes are included — and close the lid. In just a few minutes, you’ll have seven perfect mini donuts. No need to flip them, since it cooks top and bottom at the same time, and the nonstick surface means there’s no struggle getting them out.
46. A sound machine so you can control your environment
If you are working in a noisy environment, having trouble sleeping, or getting distracted while you study or work, this little sound machine is the solution. Plug it in (or run it on batteries) and choose one of the eight sounds — including surf, rain, stream, crickets, thunder, and forest — by pushing a button, and let the sounds calm and focus your mind and block out the noise around you.
47. This shower head holder for more comfortable bathing
Don’t like where the handheld showerhead is? Maybe you want a child to be able to reach it or it’s in an inconvenient place for washing the dog. All you need is this shower head holder that suctions to the wall of the shower, and you place it exactly where you need it. Suction the holder on where you want the shower head to go and snap the shower into it.
48. A desktop vacuum cleaner that’s also a wireless charger
This little tabletop vacuum cleaner makes cleaning up after your lunchtime sandwich, pencil sharpening marathon, or dinner spills super easy. Just run it over the aftermath, and it sucks the debris into its easy-to-empty belly. And when it’s not cleaning your desk, it’s a wireless charger that you can set your phone down on to keep it charged.
49. This flat charger with two USB ports
Turn one outlet into two USB ports with this slender wall charger. It creates a low profile against the wall and directs the wires down so you can fit the plug behind furniture. It stays out of the way of the other outlet on your wall outlet and comes in white, red, or black.
50. A small safe for personal or precious items
This small safe lets you keep you cash, jewelry, or other personal or expensive stashes safe from roommates, kids, or burglars by locking it away in a portable case you can take with you or hide at home. It opens with the two included keys, secures to something immovable with the included shackle, and has a padded foam interior.