49 clever things on Amazon that give you a real bang for your buck

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by Christina X. Wood
Originally Published: 

Look, I've made tons of Amazon purchases that I fully expected to be silly, frivolous, and useless — but they turned out to be anything but those things (to be honest, they're pretty useful). Take, for instance, the $9 kitchen tool I use daily and the lemon-scented putty that helps me clean the tiny spaces inside my car vents. It's these items — the clever things on Amazon that give you a real bang for your buck — that keep me shopping and hoping. This list has a ton of 'em so you can experience the joys of finding your new favorite products, too.

That's right: Here are 49 of the most awesome discoveries that could become your daily necessities. They're seriously useful, but they are also fun — and some of them can even help you create a delicious meal within minutes (because who doesn't like a warm breakfast sandwich on demand?). This isn't just my opinion, either. These items are often adored by hoards of online shoppers who are just as obsessed with unearthing the next amazing items as I am, and all of the positive reviews prove it.

Want to bet you'll find your new go-to products here? Start shopping and find out.

1. A dispenser of screen wipes to keep electronics clean

Looking at a touch screen that's covered in fingerprints (or a TV covered in dust) usually makes everything blurry. Keep this these screen-cleaning wipes handy, and getting rid of that mess will be easy (and quick). These are gentle, and they shouldn't damage the screen's surface. They're also anti-static and leave no residue. One pack comes withe 30 wipes.

2. This gooey dust cleaner that smells like lemons

All those frustrating-to-clean crevices in your keyboard, car, phone, and devices are super easy to clean out with this lemon-scented gel. In fact, it's fun to do. Squish some goo into all those tiny spaces and it'll grab the debris — and when you pull it out again, your gear will be clean and the goo will be a little dirtier. You can reuse it until it changes color. (Trust me, you will.)

3. A draining soap dish that keeps your counters dry

Set one of these sleek little soap dishes next to every sink you have, and you'll have bar soap with none of the extra soap slime that's annoying to clean up. They have a channel that routs the excess water and soap back into the sink. There are also three different colors, so you can spruce up every faucet.

4. These webcam covers for some extra privacy

Do you remember to turn your webcam off or close the conference window after every video call? Peel and stick one of these covers over the lens so you don't have to worry about forgetting. When your Zoom meeting is done, slide the cover closed to guarantee your privacy.

5. This range extender that fixes a weak Wi-Fi signal

It's so easy to fix the choppy internet in the rooms that are too far from your router and give excellent signal to every part of the house. Plug this range extender in where you want a better signal, connect it to your Wi-Fi, and it'll boost the signal. It's easy to set install and doesn't use up the entire outlet.

6. This universal charger for any gadget that needs power

Did you lose the charger to your laptop, tablet, phone, or a different piece of tech? You don't have to pay a premium for a hard-to-find replacement charger, because this universal charger will save the day. It'll have the charging gear you need up and running in no time, because it comes with eight tips to fit a wide range of electronics (along with an adjustable voltage dial).

7. This set of smart plugs to automate your home

Smart plugs are the brilliant solutions to so many problems. With this four-pack, you can connect a bunch of devices to your phone — or Amazon Alexa, Echo, or Google Home assistant — so you never have to get up to turn things on. You can set schedules so the lights come on and the coffee starts brewing in the morning, or you can use your voice to turn lights on and off or create your own futuristic scenarios.

8. The smart dimmer switch with a fade feature

Not only does this smart light switch connect to your Google Home, Amazon Echo, and phone to give you hands-free control of the overhead lights, but it also has a slick fade feature so you can have the lights slowly fade to black instead of turning off abruptly.

9. A set of clip-on lenses to level up your phone's camera

These two clip-on lenses will take your phone camera into new territory, allowing you to snap close-up shots or wide-angle panoramic photos. Once you have installed the mount, just screw one of the lenses on and start taking pictures. Switching lenses is a matter of unscrewing one and screwing on the other.

10. This collection of stainless straws with silicone tips

Replace all the plastic straws in your life with this set of eight reusable stainless steel straws that come with silicone tips (which feel better against your teeth than steel). The pack even comes with two brushes for getting it all clean. There are four bendy straws and four straight ones, as well as a carrying case — so there's a straw here for every cup you use.

11. A sandwich maker that's easier than fast food

Over 10,000 people consider this sandwich maker a five-star kitchen appliance that does more than they ever expected. The sandwiches that come from it are customizable; all you do is assemble ingredients into the cooker — raw eggs, bread, cheese, and toppings — and close the lid. It alerts you when breakfast is ready.

12. This desk lamp that's also a wireless charger

Chances are high that everywhere you need a lamp, you also need a phone charger. This genius desk lamp is both of those at once, and each element is excellent. The light has five lighting modes and five brightness levels with adjustable arm and base axis. The phone charger is wireless, so you can just set a compatible phone down and it does the rest.

13. This wireless keyboard that works with multiple devices

Whether you want to put your laptop up on a stand for better ergonomics, add a keyboard to a tablet to make it more functional, or add a keyboard to your phone for faster surfing, this full-size keyboard will do it. In fact, it will do all of that, because it can switch among three devices and connects through via Bluetooth.

14. This narrow storage cart that organizes clutter fast

If you want to declutter without getting rid of everything you love, you might need this storage cart. It's less than nine inches wide — so you can sneak it into the unused space between the fridge and stove, toilet and bath, or washer and dryer. It holds plenty, though, and the shelves have small drainage holes to keep bathroom or kitchen goods neat.

15. This kit that brings order to your toothbrushes

Mount this covered toothbrush rack and the included toothpaste dispenser to the wall, and you'll be able to move clutter off the counter. They'll mount easily using suction — and once you put the toothpaste in the dispenser, no one will leave a sticky toothpaste mess in the sink again.

16. These goggles so you don't cry while cutting onions

These goggles have foam padding around the eyes — so if you wear them when cooking, no onion fumes can get in and make you cry. Silly? Not according to the hundreds of reviewers who love them. They are also great protection from wind and outdoor elements, whether you're taking a bike ride or working in the garden.

17. A magnetic cable manager unit for your desk

This magnetic puck is an elegant solution to your cable management problems. Simply stick the metal end of your chargers to it, and they'll stay right there where you can easily find them. The puck is weighted, so it'll stay put — and it's covered in a silk fabric of your color choice to help it look nice in your space.

18. This customizable reading light that you can wear

Instead of keeping your bed partner awake when you read into the night, don this neck light and move the beam exactly where you want it on your page (thanks to the gooseneck arms). Each side has its own controls, and you can pick from three colors along with three brightness levels for each one.

19. The anti-theft laptop backpack with so many features

This stylish laptop backpack is loaded with features that will keep your everyday gear organized, dry, and protected. From the side pockets large enough to hold an umbrella and water bottle to the padded laptop sleeve, soft shoulder straps, hidden lock, and integrated charging system, you'll be constantly surprised — especially at this price. It comes in six colors.

20. This clever tool that keeps you dry while washing dishes

Instead of spending the evening with a wet shirt because you washed a few pans, install this splash guard in front of the sink to keep the water away from your clothes. It suctions onto your counter and deflects splashes, so you can install it just to do the washing (or leave it up permanently).

21. This slim spatula that gets the last serving out of jars

This long, elegant spatula reaches into jars and crevices to get the last bit of food out. It's heat-resistant up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and it's even flexible and mounted on a long 11-inch handle so you can reach deep into pans or jars to finally get the last remnants from the bottom of each. There are five color options to choose from.

22. These liners so you never have to clean the oven

These oven liners will save you so much time that's usually spent on post-cooking cleanup. Put one on the rack under that messy lasagna and it'll catch all the spillover so it doesn't burn next time you cook. Line your cookie sheets so you don't have to wash them after you bake. They clean up easily, too.

23. A coffee table that clips onto the arm of your chair

Where do you put your coffee, phone, or cocktail when you're putting your feet up and relaxing? This clip-on coffee table is better than the coffee table that's way over there, because it's right at hand and leaves the coffee table free for your feet. It fits a wide range of arm shapes and sizes and comes in black or white.

24. A vertical mouse so your hands won't hurt while working

When you use a vertical mouse, your wrist does not have to turn 90 degrees while your hand works — and apparently, this can help prevent nerve damage. Instead of making that twist, your hand stays in a neutral, handshake position. This wireless, ergonomic vertical mouse has a removable palm wrest, scroll wheel, and customizable thumb buttons.

25. This electric can opener that fits in a drawer

Forget those huge countertop can openers; this small battery-powered one sits atop the can, spins around to cut through the edge of the can, and magnetically holds onto the lid so you don't have to dig around in the can to retrieve it. It's so much easier than a manual one that over 10,000 people have given it five stars.

26. This seat gap filler that catches fallen items in your car

That gap between your car seat and the center console is a black hole where small objects disappear and can never be retrieved — well, not without huge effort. These two storage containers slide into that space and stop things from falling in, all while creating a handy storage spot for your phone, cash, sunglasses, or other small items.

27. A bag sealer so your chips don't get stale

The bag your food came in is labeled and has your chips or crackers in it already, so it's the best choice for storage is usually resealing it. That's where these easy-to-use, battery-powered mini bag sealers come in. They each have a built in hook so you can hang them anywhere, ready to heat the bag opening and seal it closed again just the way it came from the factory.

28. A battery backup that's also a dual hand warmer

When your hands get cold, snap the two pieces of this power bank apart and slide one into each glove or pocket to warm your hands. When charged, this pair will warm your hands all day, but it can also charge your phone when you need it.

29. These space-saving storage bags for clothes & blankets

When storage space is short, put your clothes and blankets in these vacuum storage bags. Then, you'll find you have a lot more room because you can squeeze all the air out, creating a smaller pack. There are 10 bags included with this pack, which has gotten over 5,000 positive reviews.

30. A folding cell phone stand you can take with you

If you carry your work setup in a backpack, bringing a phone stand might seem impractical (even though a phone on a stand is pretty useful). But this clever phone stand folds up small enough to fit in any bag. It also has an adjustable angle and height, so it's versatile enough to use with a tablet or phone. You can even position the screen for any viewing purpose.

31. This steamer so you never have to iron again

Once you fire up this handheld steamer, it'll become clear how antiquated and time consuming ironing is. Fill it with tap water, plug it in, turn it on; in a few seconds, wave it over your clothes while they're on a hanger to make the wrinkles magically fall out.

32. This bagel cutter that'll make the perfect slices

Cutting a bagel evenly is a challenge without the right utensils. This bread slicer, though, never fails. It cuts a straight line through the middle of the bagel or bun while keeping your hand away from the blade. The kitchen tool has a 4.8-star rating, which many reviewers writing that it's "easy to use" and "easy to clean."

33. The waterproof gloves that work with your touchscreen

When you go for a run, walk, or ride in cold weather, cover your hands with these waterproof gloves and you'll enjoy not freezing your digits off. Even if you take your phone out to snap a photo or send a message, your hands will stay warm because these work with touchscreens and have grippy palms for a better grip while you type.

34. These ergonomic peelers with ceramic blades

If you're always looking for a vegetable peeler, why not own more than one? Not only is this pair extra-sleek, but the ceramic blade are super sharp and have every intention of staying that way. Use them to peel potatoes, shave chocolates, slice onions super thin, and much more.

35. A wireless phone charger that's also a stand

Instead of fumbling around and plugging in cables every night, set your phone on this wireless charging stand. Not only does it charge quickly, but it also turns your phone into a display so you can see the time and date from bed. You can even flip it sideways and watch videos while it charges.

36. This beautiful cocktail set so you can make fancy drinks

Each of the twelve stainless steel pieces in this set — including tongs, an ice hammer, a strainer, a wine opener, and more — fit like a puzzle into their own slots within the gorgeous wooden holder that's included. Whether you're a professional bartender or someone just getting into mixology, this set is a great addition to your bar cart.

37. A laptop cooler so your machine never slows

This cooling pad uses three fans to actively circulate cool air beneath your laptop to prevent overheating, which can affect tech performance. It's powered via USB, with an extra port for charging other devices. It can be used flat or propped on its back legs for laptop viewing at an angle, if desired.

38. The genius solution for foggy glasses

If wearing a mask causes your glasses to fog up, spray the lenses with this clear, streak-free anti-fog spray. It even works on lenses with anti-reflective coating and lasts a long time. Just spray your eyeglasses, sunglasses, and goggles and then wipe it away. Reapply as needed.

39. A waterproof case that'll help protect your phone

Whenever you're headed into what might turn into a wet situation (like the beach or lake), put your phone and valuables in one of these waterproof bags. You can still take photos, send texts, and talk on the phone with your phone inside it — but the water will be locked out. They fit smart phones up to 7 inches and lock closed for security.

40. This simple accessory that turns your car into an office

If you ever find yourself trying to work in your vehicle, this car desk turns the steering wheel into a quick, impromptu surface to make that easier. Just hook it in, set your laptop or papers down, and work. It has a smooth surface and a pencil slot. When you have to start driving again, it slides easily between or under your seat.

41. This memory foam pillow with a loft that's adjustable

The shape of this memory foam pillow is designed to hold your head at the right angle for a straight spine while supporting your neck — whether you're a back, stomach, or side sleeper. The shape allows room for your shoulders if you sleep on your side while an adjustable, high-density core lets your customize the firmness for your needs.

42. A portable washing machine for doing laundry at home

The laundry mat isn't the only way to wash your clothes. This little washer uses a hand crank to spin a small load in just a few minutes, so it uses no power. It also takes up very little space, weighs only 6 pounds, and is gentle on delicates.

43. A teapot that dispenses tea from the bottom

Set this bottom dispensing teapot on top of your tea cup and let gravity pour your tea. The clear pot lets you watch flower teas bloom, the large capacity allows for a big pot or a small one, and every purchase provides clean water to people who need it.

44. A smart home camera so you can see what's happening

Set this smart camera down in your home and you can pan around the room with it from your phone to check in on everything when you aren't there. It has terrific image quality with live high-definition streaming, and it saves motion-activated clips to the cloud for 14 days.

45. A mesh bag for putting shoes in the washer or suitcase

You can put delicate fabrics or shoes into these sturdy mesh laundry bags to help protect zippers, delicate fabrics, or sneakers as they spin around in the washer. And in world full of mesh laundry bags, these ones have gotten five stars from almost 6,000 people.

46. A stretchy resistance band with seven rings

You can fit in a strength workout anywhere you are by using this resistance band with seven rings to hold onto, and each one offers a different level of resistance. These come in two weight equivalency levels: medium and strong.

47. A charging stand for all your gadgets

With moveable barriers to organize your gadgets, six USB plugs, and an assortment of charging cables, this charging stand will handle everything you've got that needs a charge in one small and tidy space.

48. This LED strip light that turns your TV into a display

This snap-apart, stick-on strip light is designed to go on the back of your TV in order to create ambient lighting and a better viewing experience. It plugs into your TV, and a remote lets you set the 16 colors and brightness levels — so after it's set up, it'll come on when you turn on the TV.

49. A trash can you can put pretty much anywhere

Put a small trash can where you frequently need to throw things away, and your home will stay tidier with less effort. This one is the perfect size at 2.4 gallons — and not only does it stand, but it also mounts either by hooking over a cabinet or to the wall with the included adhesive. Plus, the lid opens in two ways.

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