40 cheap things that should be expensive because they work so well

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ByClaire Epting
Originally Published: 

Isn't it great when you discover something that doesn't cost much, but works like a charm? Whenever I find a cheap product that's also effective, I pretty much feel like I've I won the lottery, and as it turns out, finding these life-changing items isn't as hard as you'd think. In fact, Amazon has a ton of affordable products that work so well, they should be expensive.

Some of the things you'll find here are so ingenious and budget-friendly, you'll wonder why you didn't buy them sooner. For instance, there's a veggie spiralizer tool that turns zucchini and other vegetables into fresh noodles with a few just a few twists of your wrist, and it's a lot cheaper in the long run than buying the pre-packaged version at the store. And there are lots of products that harness the power of natural ingredients, like air-purifying sachets made with activated bamboo charcoal that effectively get rid of any unwanted odors, and a mosquito repellent balm that uses cedarwood oil to keep bugs at bay, so you can enjoy an evening outdoors even more.

Now, I know what you're thinking — if a product is inexpensive, how can I be sure that it actually lives up to its promise? Thanks to the thousands of rave reviews from satisfied customers, you can be sure that these cheap, useful Amazon products are the real deal.


These flameless candles that run on batteries

These battery-powered candles look just like traditional wick candles, but they don't melt over time. In fact, they have a 50,000-hour lamp life — try finding a wax candle that has that. Flameless and smokeless, these candles release a flickering light that's safe around pets and kids. Plus, the faux glass shell won't shatter if dropped.

  • Available colors: 2


A portable garment steamer for wrinkle-free clothes anywhere you go

Maybe you're attending a destination wedding or have a work meeting in an hour — wherever and whenever you need to get wrinkles out of your clothes, this portable garment steamer does the trick. Heating up in just 90 seconds, the powerful unit produces 10 minutes of consistent steam, and the compact size allows you to bring it anywhere.


This spray that de-fogs your glasses

If your glasses keep fogging up, this anti-fog spray is for you. It works on all types of eyeglasses, sunglasses, and goggles, preventing condensation from forming on the surface. Just rub it onto your lenses and let it air dry. Made with an all-natural, hypoallergenic formula, the spray won't irritate skin or eyes.


These reusable straws that extend to fit your glass

Reusable straws are good for the environment, and it doesn't cost much to carry a pack with you on-the-go. These straws come with their own storage case that hooks onto your keychain, and each one extends to fit the size of your glass, then collapses when you're finished using it.

  • Available colors: 5


These wireless chargers that quickly power your devices

Juice up your smart devices with this wireless charging set. It comes with a standard charging pad as well as charging stand that allows you to power up while using FaceTime on your phone. There are three charging modes that accomodate iPhones, Galaxys, and Pixels, and they work with cases on — and for Airpods, too.


This mini device that seals up your snack bag

A traditional bag clip doesn't completely keep air out, which can lead to staleness (or even ants). This amazing little tool uses heat to seal your snack bags closed after opening. The battery-powered device creates an airtight seal in just seconds. Then, you can easily open your bag again and snack on chips, nuts, and cookies that are still fresh.


A foldable sunshade that keeps your car interior cool

Protect your car from UV rays and overheating by placing this sunshade under your front windshield. The reflective silver surface repels 99.87% of UV rays, while the dark interior regulates the temperature inside. After using, you can easily fold it back down in seconds and store it in the convenient storage pouch.


This electric can opener that's super easy to use

Why wrestle with a conventional can opener when you can effortlessly open your can with the push of a button? This electric device fastens onto the top of your can, automatically slicing it open in seconds. Just pop in a pair of AA batteries, and your can opener will start doing the hard work for you.


A water-resistant LED lantern you can camp with — rain or shine

When you're out camping in the wilderness, you should never be without a light source. This dimmable LED lantern has four different lighting modes to suit your outdoor needs: daylight, warm white, flashing, and full brightness. The hook on the top allows you to hang the lantern anywhere, and the battery-powered unit is completely water-resistant, so you can even use it if it rains.


These air-freshening bags filled with bamboo charcoal

Who knew that bamboo charcoal was the secret to getting your car, closet, and bedroom smelling fresh? These charcoal-filled pouches actively absorb odors created by smoke, gym shoes, cat litter boxes, and more. Each packet can be reused for up to two years, after which you can add the biodegradable contents to your garden soil.


A flexible duster that gets under appliances

Here's a microfiber duster with a long, flexible head that can reach into the tight spaces beneath your appliances and furniture, so whether it's under the fridge, behind the washing machine, or next to the oven, this cleaning tool will pick up dust and dirt particles in one fell swoop. When it's time for a refresh, the cover is removable and machine-washable.


This handy shaving stencil for trimming your facial hair

This shaving stencil has multiple edges and angles to help you get your ideal shave without a ton of effort. One end includes a built-in comb for your beard, mustache, and hair, and it's completely transparent, so you can have full visibility while getting those edges clean. In short, this tool will save a trip to the barber.


This all-natural mosquito repellent that keeps bugs away

When it comes to keeping mosquitos off, you might be tempted to use harsh sprays, but there's a better way: This all-natural balm is made with cedarwood, lemongrass, and peppermint oils to repel bugs while being gentle on skin. The beeswax base is also moisturizing and won't irritate sensitive arms and legs.


A roll-up dish rack that saves counter space

If you have a small kitchen, you know how important counter space is. That's why this roll-up drying rack is such a brilliant idea. The silicone rack folds out over your sink, giving you a platform to dry silverware, dishes, and even freshly washed produce, while the slatted design allows water to drip directly into the sink.


These natural pumice stones that exfoliate your feet

Gently remove calluses from your feet with this set of two natural pumice stones that exfoliate skin without causing irritation Just soak your feet in warm water, and lightly rub the stone over your heels, forefeet, or any other rough spots. These stones also work great on dry, cracked elbows.


A versatile cast iron skillet with rave reviews

A well-seasoned cast iron skillet will quickly become a favorite in your kitchen arsenal since it adds extra flavor to food and heats up evenly for consistent results. You can use the heavy-duty pan to sear, broil, bake, or fry a variety of different foods. Not to mention, it's great over a campfire. This skillet has over 20,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, so you know it's a worthy investment.

  • Available sizes: 3.5 inches, 6.5 inches, 8 inches, 9 inches, 10 inches, 10.25 inches, 12 inches, 13.25 inches, 15 inches


A clever kitchen tool that turns your veggies into noodles

Turning your zucchini, carrots, and squash into noodles has never been easier. This handheld vegetable spiral tool is equipped with four different blades that vary in thickness. Place the vegetable in the easy-to-grip holder and rotate clockwise, and you're on your way to a plate of colorful veggie noodles.


These motion-sensor lights you can stick anywhere

These motion-sensor lights add extra visibility wherever you need it. The adhesive pads on the back allow you to place the lights on your stairs, in your closet, or over your stove without any installation. These battery-operated LED lights detect movement from 10 feet away and automatically shut off after 15 seconds.


A high-pressure showerhead that's water-efficient

Elevate your shower experience with this high-pressure showerhead that easily connects to any standard shower arm. The low-maintenance shower attachment includes a water filter that purifies water as it comes out, and the uniquely designed nozzles create a powerful stream while reducing the overall amount of water you use per shower.

  • Available colors: 6, including chrome, gold, and matte black


This compact charger that powers your device on the go

Never find yourself stuck with a dead phone battery again. This slim portable charger is small enough to fit inside your pocket or bag, and on a single charge can take your smartphone's battery from zilch to fully powered. The highly rated charger even comes with a carrying pouch, so you won't lose it while traveling.


A shampoo dispenser that mounts to your shower wall

This space-saving dispenser has three separate compartments for shampoo, conditioner, and soap, and it attaches to cornered and flat surfaces using waterproof silicone adhesive and double-sided tape. Made from durable plastic, this dispenser won't rust like a metal shower caddy, and you can easily remove it from the wall when it's time to refill.


These expandable drawer dividers made from bamboo

Organize your drawers with these bamboo dividers that expand from 12.25 to 17.25 inches, so they'll fit into any space you put them in. The natural, eco-friendly material looks sleek and modern, and each end has an anti-skid rubber pad that secures the divider to your drawer. They're great for sorting kitchen utensils, clothes, and office supplies.


A cordless vacuum for spot-cleaning your car

Over time, your vehicle can accumulate a lot of dirt, sand, and dust. This cordless hand vacuum keeps your interior clean in between car wash trips. The powerful battery runs for up to 20 minutes on a single charge, allowing you to suck up debris from small crevices and seat covers (or hard-to-reach spots in the home).


This insulated tumbler that comes in a bunch of fun colors

Whether you're drinking coffee or wine, this vacuum-insulated tumbler will keep your beverage at your desired temperature. The stainless steel interior keeps liquid hot or cold for hours, and the leakproof lid has a cutout for drinking. Sip your wine in style in an array of fun colors, including rose gold, deep ocean, and aquamarine.

  • Available colors: 32


A minimalist essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy

Bring the relaxing effects of aromatherapy into your home with this essential oil diffuser. The streamlined unit has two mist levels and a dimmable light with 16 different color options. Add a combination of your favorite essential oils and enjoy the soothing mist for up to 18 hours on a single tank fill.

  • Available colors: 3


A beanie that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker

Stay warm while getting your music fix with this beanie that doubles as a pair of Bluetooth headphones. The internal speakers pair up with your smartphone, so you can leave the earbuds at home, and there's even a built-in microphone for hands-free calls. When it's time to wash the beanie, you can easily remove the speakers from the sides of the hat.


A handheld massager for major muscle relief

This powerful handheld massager comes with three types of massage heads, so you can get just the muscle relief you need. The strong motor delivers a deep tissue massage to your back, neck, shoulders, and feet with little effort on your part, and with multiple speed settings, you'll be able to customize your experience.


These marshmallow skewers with easy-to-grip handles

Roasting marshmallows is a fun (and delicious) activity, but the ritual deserves more than just wire hangers. These marshmallow skewers are constructed with wooden handles that won't overheat, and the 32-inch-long sticks keep you at a safe distance from your campfire. Each skewer is also color-coded, so you won't get your sticks mixed up.


A genius survival tool that filters water as you drink

This innovative water filter is shaped like a straw, and it purifies as you drink when you're out in the wilderness. It removes virtually all bacteria and parasites from river and lake water, so you can even take sips directly from the source. Each LifeStraw can filter up to 792 gallons of water before needing to be replaced.


A gardening kit for growing your own avocados

This gardening kit is so easy to use, it doesn't matter whether or not you've got a green thumb. Place the seed in the plastic boat and let it soak in water — after three to six weeks, you'll see your seed sprout roots. When the tree grows large enough, transport it to fresh soil and you're on your way to home-grown avocados.


A foam roller that massages your feet

Here's an easy way to relieve foot pain after you've been standing all day. This compact roller provides a deep massage to the bottoms of your feet using raised acupressure-like points. The ergonomically designed tool is made from high-density foam and is designed to fit the natural curves of feet.


These stainless steel rods that keep your beer ice cold

While nothing beats an ice cold beer on a hot day, it can be tough to keep it chilled over time. These ingenious beer chillers can be inserted straight into bottles and have secure lids that keep beverages fresh and cold. Made from of stainless steel, these rods can be frozen ahead of time for your next barbecue or tailgate.


An LED light rope that transforms into a lantern

This USB-powered LED light rope can be hung just about anywhere using the included universal ties and magnets. You can even bunch it up inside its carrying pouch to create an instant lantern. It's ideal for camping and night hikes, where you might not have access to reliable light.


A high-tech jump rope that connects to your smartphone

Kick your workout up a notch with this smart jump rope that connects to your phone via Bluetooth. The rope keeps track of your progress — including your time and jump count — and transfers that data to a phone app. Unlock new challenges and rewards for an exercise routine that always feels fresh.


A massive pack of cedar moth repellents for your closet

This assorted pack of moth repellents includes sachets, rings, and balls made from premium cedar wood. While the aroma is quite pleasant to the human nose, it will keep moths out of your closet and drawers without the use of harsh chemicals. The set also comes with four lavender sachets that fit inside purses and hats.


A set of silicone ice trays in different shapes

Why settle for boring ice in your cocktails when you can make spheres, giant cubes, and hexagons? This set of three silicone ice trays create large pieces of ice that melt slowly, so your drink doesn't get watered down as fast. They also double as baking molds, so you can get creative with how you use them.


A flameless candle lighter with a rechargeable battery

Check out this remarkable electric lighter that uses flameless arc technology to light your candle or campfire with the press of a button. The lighter can be used up to 30 times on a single charge, after which you can easily power the battery back up using the included USB cable. You can even use this lighter in windy conditions without fear of any flames going out.


A hand-powered coffee mill for fresh grounds in the morning

This ceramic grinder uses a hand crank to produce fresh coffee grounds with just a few easy motions. The burr size can be adjusted to create perfectly uniform coarse or fine grounds for everything from French press to espresso. Compact and portable, this unit can be easily disassembled for cleaning.


This adjustable phone stand that rotates

Prop your phone up at any angle with this adjustable phone stand. Compatible with smartphones and e-readers up to 10 inches, this device can be rotated 270 degrees to make viewing your screen more comfortable. Use it for FaceTiming, gaming, and watching shows on your phone.

  • Available colors: 9


A salad spinner that prevents soggy lettuce

This helpful kitchen tool makes washing your salad greens convenient and mess-free. Just place your vegetables into the slotted plastic bowl, add water, and fit the lid on top. Turn the handle to thoroughly wash the bowl's contents, and pour out the water using the included strainer. Then spin once again to dry lettuce for a perfectly crisp salad.

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