41 cheap things that work really well 

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by Christina X. Wood
Originally Published: 

Guess what? Just because something's "cheap" doesn't mean it doesn't work well. Believe it or not, most of the affordable products on Amazon work extremely well. A good broom with rubber bristles, for example, isn't too pricy — but does exactly what it needs to do. The same is true with this restaurant-grade can opener. It's sleek, easy to use, and under $25. There are way more items where those came from, though, and they're right here on this list of cheap things on Amazon that work really well.

I've included things like the best can holder you'll ever own, an office tool that'll hold your computer at a comfortable angle, a magnetic screen door that keeps the bugs out, and the cheapest cast iron pan imaginable. These are products that'll earn their keep by improving your daily activities, whether that's cooking, eating, driving, or getting dressed. And again, these items are just as affordable as they are impressive. In other words, you can add a few to your cart with zero buyer's remorse because you and your wallet will be happier in the long run.

What are you waiting for? Keep scrolling to discover some products that you won't want to miss.

1. The cheap solution for windshield repairs

You don't have to drop hundreds of dollars just because a tiny stone flew out of a truck and hit your windshield, leaving a nick. Save that money for more substantial damage. This kit will help repair those small nicks and stop them from spreading and growing into full-on breaks. It fills each ding with resin, strengthens the glass, and makes that breakage nearly invisible. It comes with everything you need to fix five or six small chips (including instructions).

2. This portable vacuum cleaner that's made for your car

If you keep this handy vacuum in your car, you can remove beach sand, dirt, and snack crumbles as they happen (rather than waiting until they've adhered to your carpets and seats). It's small, powerful, and can handle wet or dry messes. It also comes with attachments that get into all of your car's tiny crevices. Plus, it plugs right into the lighter so you don't need to do anything except turn on the car to get it started.

3. A big sunshade to keep the inside of your vehicle cool

Whenever you park your car in the sun, you are basically frying the interior. Thankfully, this universal sun shade completely covers the windshield and blocks UV rays from coming in. It's durable, so you don't have to worry about it getting torn when it's in your car between uses. Plus, it's easy to close into it's small storage bag so you can tuck it into a seat pocket.

4. These platforms that wirelessly charge your tech

This wireless charging stand is a great place to keep your phone when you're sleeping or working at your desk. It holds it at an angle, so you can glance at incoming alerts while it charges. The platform also has a large charging area, and all you have to do is set your phone on top of it. The stand also comes with a flat charging pad, which is a great place to set your smart watch or AirPods down so they can power up. Never fiddle around with wires again; this is so much easier.

5. The tablet stand that makes it easier than ever to Zoom

Tablets are useful for movies and video calls, but there's one flaw: They're awkwardly large to hold in your hands. This is easily solved, though, with a stand like this one. Set your tablet on top, and you can read from it, watch your favorite shows, and even take Zoom calls. Add a keyboard and transform it into a tiny computer, or adjust the height and angle to suit your needs. This stand makes your tablet as useful as you imagined it would be.

6. This insulated sleeve that keeps your drink cold for hours

Love your can holder collection? Well, find a storage box for it, because this Yeti Rambler is the can holder you're going to use most of the time. It's double-wall vacuum sealed, so it can keep your drink cold for hours. (It fits most 12-ounce cans or bottles, by the way.) It also comes in a wide range of colors. It also has a "load-and-lock" gasket that ensures a tight fit, and it's dishwasher safe.

7. The kitchen blade sharpener with an easy-to-grip handle

If you don't have a blade sharpener in your kitchen — and want your utensils to remain sharp — give this handheld device a try. It's so easy to use: Just grip the handle and careful run your any blade through one of the slots. There are three slots total; one repairs nicks or serious dullness, another puts a fine edge on the blade for precision work, and the the third polishes it. It's available in three colors: blue, grey, and green.

8. These stretchy lids that'll replace your plastic wrap

Instead of moving leftovers into storage containers for the fridge, you can cover your half-empty food bowls with these stretchy covers after dinner each night. They can expand over everything from the half-full cat-food can to a drink bottle — and they require almost no space to store. One pack comes with 16 of them, and you can buy them in blue or transparent shades.

9. The magnetized meat thermometer you can keep on your fridge

If you find cooking steak or chicken to be a challenge, add this waterproof meat thermometer to your kitchen. It's digital and displays the temperature on a bright screen so you can easily read it while cooking. This device is also small enough to stash in a drawer, but it comes with a built-in magnet that lets you store it on your fridge. There are two in one pack, so you can keep one by the grill.

10. The quiet bug zapper that silently eliminates pests

Just as you're falling asleep, you hear the whine of a mosquito. Now, you have to get up and find it or you'll be bug food all night. Or, if you're prepared, you could just turn on the bug zapper in this clever lantern. Bugs are drawn to it instead of to you. Then, they're silently zapped. It has a white light, too, so it doubles as a battery-powered lantern. Get rid of bugs? Light up the tent? This is the perfect camping light.

11. This mini bag sealer for your half-empty bags of chips

Having an open bag of Cheetos in the cabinet can result in stale snacks and spilled crumbs. Thankfully, this little heated sealer can help you re-close the bag without rolling it up. All you need is one short moment of strength. Simply use it like a stapler to press and reseal your package. Now, you have a closed bag of Cheetos — or whatever it is that you're eating.

12. The one-button can opener that rotates by itself

This little can opener is easier to use than others on the market, because you just have to push one button in order for it to work. (Seriously, it'll rotate by itself on top of your can when it's properly in place.) It'll even lift the lid up, saving you from accidental can-lid cuts. The handy kitchen device runs on two AA batteries and stashes easily in a drawer.

13. A steamer basket that expands to fit nearly any pot

Whether you’re in the mood for dumplings, veggies or anything in-between, this steamer basket can help get you fed. The perforated base expands to fit pots of nearly any size, while the folding legs are tipped with silicone so that they won’t scratch non-stick cookware. One reviewer even wrote that “the plastic center handle is great — it doesn't get super hot like the metal handle on other steamers.”

14. These stoppers that keep wine fresh for up to 7 days

You can stop worrying about how much drink you're about to waste after opening a bottle. Just cork it with one of these vacuum stoppers, pump it a few times to pull the air out of the bottle, and keep it fresh for up to a full week of sipping. You can even use the dial on the top to mark the date so you can remember how long it's been stored.

15. This oil sprayer for salads, grills, cookie sheets, and more

I'm picky about the oil I use on my food (and how much goes on) — and these bottles let me use the oil I prefer while spraying cookie sheets, grilled goods, or even salads. In fact, keep a nice olive oil in one for salad and and vegetable oil in the other for cooking. Thanks to the measurement markers and stainless steel tops, they're easy to fill and spray.

16. This laptop stand that holds your computer at a comfortable angle

When you set your laptop on a table and spend an entire workday typing and looked at the low screen, it can become uncomfortable. Thankfully, this lightweight, foldable laptop stand elevates that screen so you can see it without hunching over. When folded, it's small and light enough to be packed into your bag — but when it's in use, it's sturdy and durable (thanks to its aluminum makeup). All you need is an external mouse and keyboard, and you productivity will soar while your neck recovers.

17. The rubber patches that protect your walls from doorknob damage

If you have a doorknob that constantly slams into the drywall and leaves a broken piece, don't fret. Just stick one of these clear, rubber disks to the spot where door hits. It'll help protect the wall, stop the slamming noise, and bounce the door gently back. You can also use them for drawers or cabinet doors that hit a wall, or even toilet seats that make a loud noise. Leave them clear or paint them to match your wall.

18. A waterproof nose hair trimmer made with stainless steel

Put down the scissors; there are some places you probably shouldn't be digging around with a sharp object — and your nose is one of them. Instead, if you're trying to eliminate nose hair, give this waterproof trimmer a try. It's affordable, easy to use, and painless. Plus, it's made with heavy-duty stainless steel and can even help trim your eyebrows in a pinch (if that's what you're looking for).

19. This exfoliating pumice stone made with lava

Hang one of these pumice stones in the shower and scrub your feet with it once a week or so. It'll help you smooth out unwanted rough patches with ease. This pumice stone is made with lava, and it's meant to be used while wet (and with soap). One pack comes with two, so you can give one to your partner.

20. The portable charger that's basically the size of a credit card

This power bank is so tiny that it can fit into a wallet (like, it's basically the size of a credit card). However, it can also be stuck onto your phone with the included pocket, which is really convenient. It even comes with an attached lighting wire to charge your device without any extra cords.

21. These clear wall hooks that blend into your decor

Do you have a shower wall, brick surface, or any other challenging place that you'd like to hang something? If so, add these strong adhesive hooks to your decor. They can be used to hang everything from the hair dryer to pieces of art and even plants. All you do is peel the backs off, clean the wall, and place them where you want them. They hold up to 13 pounds each, and Amazon customers love them so much they're ordering them over and over again.

22. A food chopper that'll make cooking so much easier

This tiny food chopper will dice 3 cups of your go-to snack so you can add the ingredients to the meal your cooking. Garlic? Chopped. Herbs from the garden? Chopped. A few minced onions? Chopped. You can throw together enough pesto for dinner, turn those almonds into butter, and make fast work of small baking tasks. It uses stainless steel blades to get the job done — and all parts are safe for the dishwasher.

23. The spiralizer that creates delicious veggie noodles

Turning a couple of zucchinis into noodles is simple and fun with the help of this handheld spiralizer. Put a vegetable in it, top it with the hand protector, and turn. Fresh spirals will emerge from the bottom — a delicious alternative to regular pasta. Plus, each order comes with four interchangeable blades that let you choose how thick your spirals come out.

24. These sleek salt and pepper grinders made with stainless steel

In my opinion, there is a world of difference between ground pepper and pepper that comes out of a pepper mill. The same is true of salt. I mean, why would you shake pre-ground spices onto your food when these beautiful grinders will create freshly ground salt and pepper right onto your plate? Just fill them with coarse salt and whole peppercorns, flip them over, and turn the grinder lid. Since they're topped with stainless steel, they look gorgeous on the table, too. And you get two — one for salt, one for pepper — for $20.

25. A salad dressing shaker for homemade toppings

If you're buying pre-made salad dressing, you're probably spending way too much money every week. This shaker lets you make your own fresh salad dressing with the ingredients that are already in your fridge. Measure them with the built-in markers, put the lid on, and shake. Then, dispense it right from the spout. When it's empty, do it all again. Fortune saved.

26. The beach blanket to keep in your car

It stores in a tiny bag, it opens up huge, and it's nearly indestructible. Tuck this extra-large polyester blanket into your car and you will always have a place to sit. It even comes with anchors to hold it down, and it's both sand-proof and waterproof to prevent messes and keep you dry. It'll come in handy for impromptu beach stops, camping, and more.

27. This magnetic screen door that closes by itself

A screen door is a summer essential, right? You want to open the doors and let in some air without letting every mosquito and fly in with it. Traditional screen doors are a hassle, though, because there's a door in the way every time you want to go in or out. However, this magnetic mesh curtain opens down the middle and closes by itself. Just walk through it and it'll close behind you with magnets. It's easy to install and uninstall, too.

28. The clip-on reading light with a soothing amber glow

A clip-on reading light is a great way to keep reading after your bed mate turns the lights out. This amber-colored clip-on light is the perfect option, because it only lights up the pages in front of you with a subtle warm glow that's brightness-adjustable. It has no blue light spectrum to keep you awake, either, so your reading won't contribute to your sleeplessness. It's also lightweight and has a flexible gooseneck that you can adjust.

29. The waterproof speaker that you can hang in the shower

Want to listen to a podcast or some music while you shower, kayak, soak in the tub, or hang out at the beach? According to reviewers, this little speaker is the right tool for the job. It's waterproof, portable, surprisingly durable — and has a long battery life (six hours of playtime). Stick it to your shower with the suction cup or hang it from your backpack with the included carabiner, and it will go and go. The sound is great, especially considering it's small size.

30. This personal blender that you can drink straight from

If you don't have the kitchen space for a big blender or if you travel frequently, this personal blender is perfect. It's small, portable, and simple to use. And, when your beverage is blended, you can drink right from the attached blending jar. It even has a sipping lid so you can carry it away. It's small enough to stash in a cupboard or take with you on a road trip, and it comes in six colors.

31. The gadget that shapes meat into kabobs

The trick to cooking a delicious kabob is making sure that it’s shaped evenly, otherwise you’ll find pockets of undercooked meat throughout. This gadget not only ensures that your kabobs are uniform, but if you insert a skewer through the top it’ll mould your ground beef around it for you. And unlike some niche kitchen gadgets, many reviewers raved about how this one “really works.”

32. These glasses that help you sleep

You stare at a computer screen all day and flip through your phone at night. The blue light emitted from those screens can affect your sleeping patterns. Don these blue-light filtering glasses and block it out. It's not a screen-free meditation retreat, but it's only $14. These are non-polarized and come in four different frame shades, including leopard, black, pink, and clear.

33. This non-stick aluminum tray that defrosts your meats fast

This defrosting tray gently speeds up the defrosting process without cooking your meat in the meantime. It's made from high-quality aluminum with a non-stick exterior — and it doesn't require electricity, batteries, or any other power source. The platform gives you a clean place to put the meat while it defrosts, with a drip tray underneath so you don't have to clean the kitchen surfaces or the sink afterwards.

34. This filter that turns any water into alkaline water

Alkaline water usually has a higher pH level than tap water — and thanks to this filter, you can drink it whenever you want to. The filter goes right in your water bottle and transforms whatever water you put in there — tap, filtered, sparkling, and more — into alkaline water with a 9.5 pH level. It can fit into pretty much all bottles and is good for three months of use before needing a replacement.

35. The air-purifying bags made with activated bamboo charcoal

That air "freshener" in your car? That's probably just perfume. These charcoal air purifiers, though, are the real deal. The activated charcoal inside them captures and contains various elements in the air that cause unwanted odors and moisture. With one purchase, you'll get eight bags in two sizes; hang them in your closet, car, trash area, and over the litter box with the included hooks. You can even put them inside your shoes.

36. An oven liner that makes it easy to clean cooking messes

Just cut this liner to fit your oven and place it below the cooking surface so it can catch messes as your food bakes. All the drips will land on top of it (instead of the oven floor). This thing is easy to clean and non-stick, so you can take it out and run it through the dishwasher before using it again. Plus, can handle heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

37. This broom with an extra-long handle and rubber bristles

Yes, this broom does all the things a standard broom will do: sweep dust and debris into a pile so you can remove it. But since the bristles are rubber, it'll also grab pet hair off of carpets and hold onto it so you can wash or vacuum it off. It works as a squeegee, too, for sweeping water out of the driveway or garage. The telescoping handle also makes it an easy fit for whoever wants to use it.

38. A streamer that gets the wrinkles out of clothes without ironing

If you like to wear linen, cotton, or any fabric that tends to wrinkle, you have likely spent hours, days, or even months of your life ironing those garments. You can never get that time back. But you can go forward without wasting another minute on that. Keep this genius steamer in your closet and fill it with water whenever you want to use it. Spot a wrinkle? Hit the power button, wait 90 seconds, and zap it. You can eliminate wrinkles while the garment is displayed on a hanger. It can handle delicate fabrics, heavy canvas, and everything in between.

39. These motion-detecting lights you can display throughout your house

Stick these lights anywhere that feels a little dim. They light up when they sense you coming and shut off 20 seconds after. They're perfect for a dark stairway or a long hallway when you're getting a glass of water at night. They also make a great nightlight for the bathroom. Stick one under a cabinet so you can your coffee maker on dark mornings, or stick them in your clothes closet or cabinet. Once you get started, you'll find a million places that need a bit more shine.

40. A durable cast iron skillet for less than $15

This inexpensive Lodge skillet is a must-have in the kitchen, and it's less than $15. I use mine for everything from pan pizza to baked casseroles and frying eggs. It's already pre-seasoned with vegetable oil — but with a little care, it'll get better and better with age and use. It works beautifully on everything from ovens to stoves and grills. Plus, it comes in tons of different sizes.

41. The dish-drying rack that rolls up to save space

When you set your dishes to dry on this roll-up mat made with stainless steel and silicone, the water drips right into the sink. And when you're done using it, the mat can be rolled up to save space. This is brilliant solution if your kitchen is small, but it's also handy to have when you need extra drying space or for washing fruits and vegetables. And since it's heat-proof, it's also a terrific trivet for hot pans. Keep one in a drawer and you'll use it often.

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