I wasn’t popular in high school. And I’m not likely to find popularity based on the shoes I wear, the cat-eye I sculpt, or my ability to throw a football. But here’s something I can do: Follow a trend that will save me money and make my life easier. Someone else might be thrilled to find a sale on a $300 designer bag. Me? I’m chasing kitchen gear, home storage, and gadgets that change my everyday life without breaking the bank. Are we simpatico? Skip the high-priced designer sale, and check out dozens of the cheapest, most clever products skyrocketing in popularity on Amazon.
You may not know it but you can make a significant upgrade to the usefulness of your kitchen sink by simply screwing in a gooseneck aerator. Or, if you are deep into the labeling ritual that often accompanies the beginning of a school or camp season, you will want this adorable retro DYMO in your arsenal. And you might think you already have every kitchen gadget you need, but do you have joy and excitement or do you have burnt fingers? I’ve rounded up 50 of these super useful and clever things. Read on and discover what you need.
1. A water bottle satchel for hands-free hydration
There is no need to carry an entire backpack just so you have a place to put your water bottle. This inexpensive, neoprene bottle carrier keeps your water cool, your bottle protected, and lets you go hands free. Just sling the adjustable strap over your shoulder or across your body. It comes in 20 great colors and patterns.
2. The case for your entire sunglasses collection
Keep your sunglasses organized and clean in this stackable two-drawer chest with divided drawers that’s perfect for storing eyeglasses, sunglasses, or readers. Each of the two drawers is divided into three sections and, as your collection grows, you can stack drawers on top of each other. It is also great for medications, cosmetics, crafts, or office supplies for the same reason.
3. These bag cinchers that are so easy to use
Hate those plastic bag ties that are nearly impossible to get back onto your bread or frozen food bag without cursing? Throw them away and use these easy cinchers instead. Once you master the simultaneous bag spin and cincher pinch, you will be able to return a closed bag to the freezer or cupboard in seconds. There are three of them in bright colors and you can keep using them forever.
4. A mesh bag to organize everything in the shower
Designed to hang over a shower curtain rod, this sectioned bag holds everything you use in there (from your bath sponge to your shampoo and razor) in organized pockets. The big pockets at the bottom will hold large shampoo bottles and the six smaller ones keep everything else in order. It’s made from a tear-resistant and quick-drying mesh.
5. This slick electric lighter that fits in a pen pocket
Not only is this electric lighter high-tech slick — with a retractable head that houses the plasma light — but it’s slim and designed to go with you, in any pocket, and will never run out of butane because it’s USB-rechargeable. Four blue dots on the side tell you when it needs a charge, it lights in wind or rain, and it gets over 13,000 five-star reviews.
6. A clever system so you never lose anything
Stick one of these key fobs to your keys, the cat, the baby, your spouse, or the TV remote, and you will never spend an hour running around the house wondering, “Where are my...?” Instead, you will pick up this remote, recall what color you stuck to the thing that’s currently lost, push the matching button, and follow the sound of the beep till you find it.
7. The two tools you need most as one accessory
You probably use your Lightning charging cable at least as often as you use your keys, right? And a bottle opener? Same. This accessory is both of those essential tools cleverly built into one key-sized accessory that’s designed to go on your keychain so you will never be without either of those things.
8. A water dispenser so your dog can drink from a bottle
Some dogs take to drinking from a bottle like a duck to water. For the rest of the canine population, there is this water bottle with an attachment that creates a lapping area at the mouth of the bottle so they can drink as if from a bowl. The bottle holds 20 ounces and comes with a wrist strap and a clip to attach it to your belt or bag.
9. This lap stand for watching movies on a tablet
If you love to watch movies, play games, surf the web, or read while chilling on the couch or in bed, this pillow stand will make that so much more comfortable. Three notches let you adjust the screen to different angles and hold your phones, tablet, or book securely so your hands are free. It’s made of a lightweight foam and comes in three pretty colors.
10. A clever stick-on wallet for your phone
Stick this clever wallet and pocket to the back of your phone and stash your essentials so you are never without a credit card, a bit of cash, a spare key, or your earbuds — as long as you have you have your phone. Just put a credit card in the slot and your cash or key in the stretchy, fabric pocket.
11. This pocket protector for carrying all your favorite pens
With a leather look and a clear plastic lining, these pocket protectors will let you carry everything from pens and mechanical pencils to markers, a small flashlight or a lighter without damaging your clothes.
12. A highly-rated & clever bag dispenser for the leash
That moment of humiliation when the dog is very publicly doing number two and you don’t have a bag will never happen again if you attach this small bag dispenser to the dog’s leash and keep it stocked. There’s an adjustable strap designed to fit any leash, a hook that will carry a used bag until you can find a trash bin, and it accepts any of Earth’s refill bags. It’s a consistent favorite with nearly 35,000 five-star reviews.
13. These replacement tips for your Apple pencil
When you started out sketching with your Apple pencil it was more accurate and responsive than it is now, am I right? Don’t curse the pencil, replace the tip. This four-pack of replacement tips will bring your favorite stylus back to like-new condition. Over 11,000 people give these five stars.
14. An effective balm for everything that itches
This remedy balm is here to treat everything from athlete’s foot to acne with antifungal ingredients and soothing oils. Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, eucalyptus helps to prevent infection, and lavender oil helps reduce inflammation.
15. This clip-on strainer that’s so much easier than a colander
Straining the water out of a big pot of pasta can be a challenge with the wrong equipment. This snap-on strainer makes it super simple. It clips to the side of the pot so all you have to do is turn the pot sideways into the sink and let the water out. It comes in five colors and gets almost 3,000 five-star reviews; some shoppers say it’s also great for removing grease from a pan.
16. A kit for making your own soy candles
A single soy candle can easily cost $20 so why not invest in this kit and make your own? It has everything you need to get started, including a stainless pitcher, 20 pre-waxed wicks so your candles burn clean, a pound of soy wax flakes, two candle tins, and instructions. There are even boxes so you can make a gift from your creation.
17. The perfect solution to a junk drawer full of batteries
Bring order to your batteries and enjoy doing it by moving them out of the junk drawer and into this organizer case that has a space for every battery you own. It will hold 78 AAs, 64 AAAs, eight 9Vs, 10 Cs, eight Ds, and 12 flats so that you can easily find the one you need when you need it. There is also a battery tester so you can recycle the ones that don’t work and only store — and use — the good ones.
18. This clever safe that looks like a dictionary
Whatever you are trying to hide from the kids, nosy visitors, or thieves will be safe in this dictionary. Even if someone does want to look up a word and reach for it, there is a metal box inside you can lock with the three-digit passcode of your choice.
19. A small skillet for fast meals anywhere there’s power
If you are hitting the road in your RV, the kitchen is under construction, or you want to heat up food at work rather than spending a fortune on local take-out places, this little non-stick grill needs only an outlet to make a meal. It’s small — just 7 inches wide — and it heats up fast. All the electronics are in the handle, which snaps off, so it’s easy to clean, too.
20. This keyboard tray for a healthier work space
If you are working from home and have been setting a laptop down on a table to do it, you are probably well into neck, back, and hand pain by now. Put a keyboard on this adjustable keyboard tray and sit up to alleviate much of that. It has three height adjustments and a mouse tray that you can install on the right or left.
21. An adjustable measuring spoon that’s so easy to use
Instead of fumbling with a ring of various sized measuring spoons — all with hard-to-read unit measures — scoop your sugar or baking soda with this adjustable measuring spoon and slide to the amount you need. Everything you don’t need, will fall off the spoon and you can keep on going to the next item using the same spoon.
22. A convex rear-view mirror so you won’t have a blind spot
These two mirrors are the simple, fast, and easy solution to your blind spots. Simply stick them to the outside of your rear-view mirrors and the 2-inch, convex surface shows you the parts of that view that your own mirror is blind to. They are adjustable once installed, take seconds to stick to the mirror, and get almost 9,000 five-star reviews.
23. A shoe display so you can find the pair you want
Wouldn’t it be great if your closet was like a shoe store with one shoe of every pair on display so you can browse? This ten pack of shoe slots is how you get there. Put one shoe on top where you can see it and the other underneath. The angle adjusts for everything from flats to stilettos and you can fit 10 pairs in a space that once held only five.
24. A garlic press & garlic peeler so you can process garlic easily
The annoyance of peeling, chopping, and getting the smell of garlic off your hands are probably all factors that keep you from using more garlic. This kit solves all of that. Pop a clove into the peeler tube and roll it against the counter till it ejects garlic without the peel and then drop the clove into the stainless steel press and squeeze minced garlic directly into your pan. You never have to touch the garlic so your hands stay clean.
25. An outlet extender that’s like command central
Turn that one outlet in the bathroom or living space into command central using this extender with six standard outlets, two USB and two USB C ports, plus a shelf on top for your phone, toothbrush, or Echo. There are channels for the cords at the back of the shelf and the whole thing is so easy to install — just plug it in and screw one screw right into your existing outlet cover.
26. A shower caddy so you can cart your stuff to the bath
With long handles and plenty of room to carry shampoos, razors, sponges, and whatever else you need, this shower tote is perfect for carting your personal care items to the gym or to the bathroom you share with your family or roommates. Drainage from the bottom and air holes in the side keep the contents dry and free of mildew.
27. These bamboo charcoal bags that get rid of bad smells
When there is a bad smell in the bathroom, fridge, car, or gym bag, the solution is so easy: Hang or drop one of these four bamboo charcoal air purifying bags in there. Bamboo charcoal absorbs odors without spraying anything or emitting a smell. When they start to fail, set them in bright sunlight to reactivate them and keep right on using them. Each of these bags holds 200 milligrams of charcoal.
28. A cute & organized solution to your messy vanity
Keep your toothbrushes, toothpaste, and drinking glass all tidy and clean by setting this retro-looking organizer down on the counter. A clear cup stores over the toothbrushes to keep them all clean, it fits electric brush heads, and it all looks decorative. It comes in 11 color options.
29. The jump rope with all the benefits & none of the tripping
Jumping rope is a terrific workout — unless you keep tripping on the rope, whipping yourself in the head, and knocking over lamps. This jump rope fixes that by replacing the rope with two weighted balls — each one weights about 8 ounces — so you can jump rope without flinging rope around. It makes this highly aerobic activity immediately attainable and something you can do in the living room.
30. This sanitizer for your phone, mask & electronics
Drop your phone — or any small item like keys, masks, and wallets — into this contained UV-C light bath to kill the germs and other invisible microbes that collect on it over the course of the day. It’s quick — an indicator light tells you when it’s done — and effective — it kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria. This is a great way to reduce your exposure to germs without damaging delicate screens or electronics.
31. A pocket microscope so you can identify that bug
When something is too small to see — like the details on your plant’s leaves or a bug — you don’t have to bring samples back to your lab (or even have a lab). Pull out this small microscope and view whatever it is at 60 to 120 times magnification, lit by a bright LED, right where it is. Almost 20,000 people love it and give it five stars.
32. This faucet aerator for a more useful sink
Instead of a fixed, steady stream of water, your sink could quickly and easily have a moveable one. Just screw this gooseneck aerator into your faucet and direct the stream where you want it — it moves 360 degrees — then turn the dial to shift from a steady stream to an aerated shower. It transforms a kitchen or bathroom sink into something much more useful.
33. A beautiful stand for your brush & razor
Set your shaving brush and razor in this weighted stand so they both air dry and are clean and ready for their next use. They will also look decorative on the sink instead of cluttering up the bathroom. There is a rubber-like sole under the base so it stays put, and the non-slip metal on the stand is easy to handle with wet hands.
34. This pair of lights for your toilet bowls
Install these two lights into the bowls of your toilets so you can find your way at night without stumbling. Choose from eight colors to match your décor or set the light to cycle through the colors for a midnight disco vibe. It won’t light at all unless the room is dark. And you can also set it so it won’t come on unless it senses motion, too.
35. The classic DYMO labeler for retro labeling projects
These DYMO labels will take you back to the early days of labeling. Instead of printing to stickers, you emboss the letter into a plastic label, which not only looks old-school and cool but is also much more durable and able to survive in wet or humid conditions. Reviewers give this little labeler over 12,000 five-star reviews.
36. These stackable containers to organize the pantry
These clear 59-ounce containers are perfect for storing cereal, flour, rice, and other pantry staples securely from insect invasions and humidity. Each has a silicone gasket that locks everything out, a snap lid that’s easy to seal, and enough room for over a quart of dry goods. And they look so good, you could bring them out to serve crackers, chips, and other snacks directly from them.
37. This simple soap dish that does a great job
These soap holders aren’t flashy or decorative but they are effective and easy to deal with. Set one anywhere — even inside a decorative dish that’s not as effective — you want a bar of soap and it will keep that bar dry, the counter under it clean, and you will hardly notice it’s there. It washes easily, too.
38. The dental flosser with an ergonomic handle
If flossing with straight dental floss is the bane of your existence, these flossers on a handle — so you don’t have to jam your hands in your mouth — might be the thing to heal your gums. Snap the disposable heads into the handle reaches into your mouth. Now flossing is easy and a thing you can do anytime and anywhere. Reviewers love these, say they are cheaper and better than competitive products, and give them almost 4,000 four-star reviews. And the kit comes with 100 refills.
39. This joyful stick that safely handles the oven rack
Obviously, you will need to have this cheerful little expression of glee in the kitchen. But be sure to keep it near the toaster oven because it does have a purpose: It grabs the hot oven rack and pulls it out so you can get your snack without getting burned. It protects you while making you laugh, which is a lot for $6.
40. This barrier so the dogs stay in the back seat
Snap this mesh barrier between the two front seats and thwart your fur baby’s attempts to ride shotgun while giving yourself a storage spot for your purse or other in-car sundries. It clips easily to the headrests and seat, stretches to fit your car, and removes as easily as it goes in.
41. These clear shelves that organize anything
These clear acrylic shelves let you display a book selection within reach in a child’s room, organize toiletries in the bathroom, hold and display your collections, or even serve as a wall-mounted spice rack. They are super easy to install with the included mounting hardware and are even weather-proof.
42. A pocket organizer for your everyday stuff
This pocket organizer will keep everything you carry daily organized and ready to slip into a cargo pocket or bag. Internal loops keep your pocket knife, pens, lighter, and other must-haves in order. The bag also fits a small phone and an exterior pocket keeps cash or other items with easy grabbing distance.
43. The complete flatware set for your lunch kit
Drop this complete set of utensils — including a couple of straws, chopsticks, and cleaning brushes for the straws — into your lunch kit and you will never be without the tool you need to consume today’s menu — whether it’s a smoothie, salad, or ramen. It comes in 12 colors and stores into a case that keeps it all silent in your bag.
44. A charging center for every gadget in the house
This charging station will corral and charge four phone or tablets at once, whatever their charging cable requirements. There are four USB ports on the side, five clear partitions, a rubber mat for each gadget to rest on, and five short cables — two lightning, two micro USB, and one USB-C — that fit the charger perfectly.
45. A VR headset so you can travel without leaving the house
Bored with your own four walls? Install your smart phone into this VR headset, download an app, and go. You can explore space, fly over real places anywhere in the world, or disappear into a fictional reality. Just strap it on, make sure your body is safe, and have fun. A padded face mask makes extended wear comfortable, it fits just about any phone, and works with any phone with a gyro sensor.
46. This cup holder that snaps on anywhere
Want to sip while working, gaming, or studying but don’t trust yourself not to spill? This simple but effective cup holder clips to any any table up to 1.5 inches thick and holds any cup — even those with a handle — right where you want it with no danger that you will knock it over onto your work surface.
47. A towel that keeps you cool when it’s hot outside
When you are headed out into the heat, make sure you pack along this chilling towel. It’s a simple idea that uses evaporative cooling to protect you from overheating. Just soak it in water, wring it out, and drape it around your neck; as the water evaporates, you stay cool. Keep wetting it all day to reduce your core body temperature and survive the heat.
48. A lubricant & balm to prevent chaffing
Before you head out for a hike or run, slather a bit of this balm on your inner thighs, arms, or anywhere on your body that is prone to chafing and save yourself the after-run misery. It’s made from completely plant-derived emollients, lets your skin breathe, and has no fragrance.
49. The double-wall aluminum mug with a built-in carabiner
When you are backpacking, climbing, or kayaking you might want to sip some coffee, tea, or an adult beverage, and you’ll want this insulated mug for sipping. It will be conveniently clipped to your pack or boat because the handle is a working carabiner. That it looks cool and super outdoorsy is just gravy.
50. A cushy mouse pad & wrist rest for your tech rig
Set these gel-filled wrist rests in front of your keyboard and mouse and stop all those hard edges from damaging your delicate wrists. They are made from memory foam covered in a soft, breathable fabric. A non-skid rubber base keeps them from slipping around. Reviewers love them, give them almost 26,000 five-star rating, and say they are the right height, soft, and alleviate pain and fatigue.
This article was originally published on