When you've got bills, student loans, rent or a mortgage, and the responsibility of feeding yourself on a daily basis, saving money — even an extra $50 a month — is much easier said than done. Still, some purchases are better at preserving your paycheck than others. It may seem counter-intuitive to spend money in the name of frugality, but obsessed reviewers swear by these products that saved them a ton of money in the long-run.
When it comes to budgeting in a way that doesn't feel stressful, experts suggest starting small and trimming less important costs first. They also suggest getting inventive: "There are a million creative ways to save money while keeping your lifestyle and budget in check," Keri Danielski, consumer finance expert at Intuit Turbo and Mint, told Bustle. This could include finding new, efficient ways to prepare your own meals and drinks, cutting subscriptions and services that you very rarely use, or giving your old clothes and furniture a face-lift.
These genius Amazon products help you save money over time, and when you implement them into your daily routine, said savings could add up to $50 a month — or more. Best of all, since these items replace their less-efficient predecessors, you don't have to give anything up; you can have your cake and save it, too.
1. This appliance that cooks meals up to 70% faster
If you're anything like me, a good chunk of your monthly budget goes to food. That said, preparing meals at home can save you a ton of money, and the Instant Pot is the ultimate appliance for those with minimal time because it cooks food up to 70 percent faster. This six-in-one unit can slow-cook soups, stews, and one-pot dishes while you're at work, but it can also make an entire roast in under an hour with its microprocessor technology. It even has built-in timers, multiple temperature settings, and can saute, steam, and warm, as well.
2. A streaming stick that's so versatile, you can cancel your cable
The Fire TV stick simply plugs into the back of your set to turn it into a smart television. From there, you can use the included remote (or the Alexa-enabled voice button) to access your favorite streaming and entertainment services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Sling, YouTube, and Reddit. According to reviewers, you won't even miss your cable: "I'm happy to be streaming instead of paying a high cable bill."
3. This large-capacity water filter that replaces plastic bottles
Plastic water bottles may be convenient, but the cost definitely adds up — and so does the waste. Since the PUR ultimate water dispenser filters out 99 percent of contaminants, has an 18-cup capacity, and effortlessly dispenses with a pull of the lever, reviewers say it's so convenient, they don't even miss bottled water. They also say it "doesn't take up much space in the fridge" and provides "clean, crisp-tasting water."
4. And a best-selling reusable water bottle to go with it
Once you switch to a water purifier, you'll need something that transports and stores your clean water. The Takeya insulated bottle has thousands of rave reviews because it keeps water cold for 12 hours, has a brilliant screw-on mouth cap that prevents any and all leaks, and is easy to carry around thanks to its built-in handle and sweat-proof exterior. It even comes in fie sizes and 10 colors. "I bought this to save money and to stop constantly buying water bottles," one reviewer wrote. "NO Regrets!
5. This moldable putty glue so you can fix, mount, and reinforce just about anything
Because it starts off as an easy-to-mold putty and dries into a waterproof, shock-resistant silicone, Sugru allows you to fix broken things, mount utensils and decorations, reinforce shoes and charging cords, and insulate heat-conducting items. It comes in various color options and sets in just 24 hours. Most importantly, it has saved reviewers hundreds of dollars because it effectively repaired Macbook chargers, steering wheels, refrigerator shelves, dishwashers, arm chair parts, children's toys, and more.
6. These upside-down bottle holders to get every last drop
While a few tablespoons might not sound like a lot, imagine if you could get several more uses out of your condiments, cooking oils, shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, moisturizers, and makeup. Because they're sturdy, versatile, and designed to work with almost any bottle, these bottle emptiers are great for all those things and more. Just store nearly-empty bottles upside-down to get every last drop; then wash them in the dishwasher and move on to the next one.
7. An affordable full-body gym so you can cancel your membership
Your average gym subscription starts at around $50 a month, but home gyms aren't cheap either — until now. Despite the fact that the Weider Ultimate Body Works home gym system costs less than $150, reviewers have given it a 4.4-star rating and say it's "well-made," "took 30 minutes to put together," and helps them do "over 25 exercise options," all from the comfort of their own home.
8. A cold brew maker for easy, delicious, cheap coffee
Limiting your pre-made coffee purchases is likely the most popular money-budgeting tip — but most people won't do it unless their DIY coffee tastes just as good. Luckily, with the Takeya Cold Brew maker, reviewers went from "spending $90 to $100 on coffee a month to under $10" because the coffee tastes "just like Starbucks." Using a fine-mesh filter and a BPA-free pitcher that fits effortlessly on your refrigerator door, this top-rated tool makes four servings of bold, delicious, non-bitter iced coffee overnight.
9. These silicone bags that you can wash and reuse
Unlike disposable plastic bags, these silicone ones from Lemason are reusable, durable, eco-friendly, BPA-free, and dishwasher-safe. This set comes with four large bags and three medium ones, all of which are designed with measurement markings on the outside and leak-resistant closures. "No more wasting money on bags just to throw them out," one reviewer wrote.
10. A tube wringer so you can stop wasting toothpaste, hair dye, and paint
"I had no idea how much of the unused product [was] left when we [were] throwing out tubes and containers," one reviewer wrote. The Gill Manufacturing tube wringer uses sturdy, textured stainless steel wheels to squeeze out every last bit of toothpaste, hair dye, or facial serum. It's also great for non-beauty products, like adhesives, paint, caulk, and glue.
11. The "best budget planner" reviewers have ever used
If you're struggling to get a hold on your finances, reviewers call the Clever Fox the "best budget planner" they have ever used. This undated notebook helps you track monthly saving goals, note bill and payment reminders, record your daily spending habits, and create plans for increased savings. "I have struggled with budgeting my entire adult life," one reviewer wrote, but "Clever Fox provides me with plenty of motivation to keep going from day to day and beyond."
12. A vacuum food sealer to minimize spoilage
By removing the oxygen from your meat, produce, and snack foods, you'll slow down the rate of spoilage and therefore seriously cut down on food waste. The White Dolphin food sealer is the most cost-efficient option on Amazon, but reviewers still say it's "easy to use" and "great quality." This machine comes with ten bags and has a sleek design that stores more easily than other option.
13. This kit with everything you need for DIY gel manicures
At my salon, a single gel manicure costs more than the entirety of this set, but with the Vishine gel nail starter kit, you never have to go back. It comes with everything you need to get a long-lasting gel manicure at home, including the UV lamp, six gel colors, a base coat, a top coat, and various nail tools. "I’ve had this kit for three weeks now and absolutely love it," one reviewer wrote. "The polish has stayed on great and lasts [...] You definitely get what you paid for and more!"
14. An air fryer so you can satisfy your cravings at home
When the cravings hit, microwaved fries, wings, mozzarella sticks, or chicken tenders likely won't do the trick — but the OMORC air fryer has reviewers raving, "Everything comes out just like it was deep fried." Even though this countertop appliance is cleaner, safer, and uses way less oil, it crisps up the outside while keeping the center moist and juicy. It works great for frozen or homemade junk food, but it's also awesome for vegetables, meat, and even baked goods.
15. These food storage containers that regulate oxygen and carbon dioxide
By filtering out carbon dioxide and regulating the flow of oxygen, these special Rubbermaid storage containers keep your produce or leftovers fresher for much longer. The set comes with three different-sized containers, all fitted with a crisping tray and a filtering lid. One reviewer wrote, "The savings from discarded produce will pay for these containers quickly."
16. These LED bulbs that use up to 80% less energy
Replace all your most-used light fixtures with these Philips 800-lumen bulbs, and watch as your energy bills drop. Thanks to their frosted LED design, they use up to 80 percent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs. In addition to saving money, reviewers also love them because they "burn bright and [stay] cool to the touch."
17. This vacuum pump so you can keep expensive wine fresh
Good wine isn't cheap, so if you take your time getting through a bottle, the AKSESROYAL wine saver vacuum ensures that not a drop is wasted. This pump removes the air from the bottle and seals it with one of the four included stoppers, so the wine is kept at optimal freshness for up to 15 days. "I hate wasting so much wine because I have to pour it down the drain after three days," one reviewer wrote, "but this thing actually makes my wine last until the bottle is empty!"
18. A "life-changing" cloth that replaces your make-up remover, wipes, and
Between the disposable wipes, drying facial cleansers, and resulting moisturizers, removing your makeup is a pricey activity. Reviewers call the Makeup Eraser "life-changing" because it wipes away all traces of makeup (waterproof or otherwise) using just water. The special fabric clings onto impurities and gently exfoliates — and since it's just water, it won't strip your skin of essential hydration, either. It's also entirely washable and reusable.
19. This silicone jar spatula so you can maximize every scoop
Make an extra muffin, pancake, or brownie with all that wasted bowl batter — but also get every last scoop of pricey almond butter, jam, mayo, or sauce. With the OXO Good Grips jar spatula, the money-saving possibilities are endless. This must-have utensil is made from heat-resistant silicone and it's safe on non-stick cookware and bakeware.
20. A robe-blanket hybrid so you can save on your heating bill
If you're the type of person who's always cold, a large chunk of your budget likely goes to keeping your space warm and cozy. Rather than cranking up the heat, the PAVILIA fleece wearable blanket keeps the chill out while you're eating, watching TV, or answering work e-mails. This lightweight microfiber blanket has two sleeves and a front pocket, so it's as convenient as it is comfortable.
21. This personal blender, because store-bought smoothies are expensive
"A Jamba Juice is expensive and I have to get in a car to get there," one reviewer wrote, but the Hamilton Beach personal blender "makes it all easier." Using its stainless steel blades and 175-watt motor, this appliances blends fruit and mixes shakes straight in the to-go cup, so you can just blend, grab, and go.
22. The last pack of batteries you'll ever buy
Never again buy another pack of batteries; this genius set from AmazonBasics can be recharged and reused up to 1,000 times each. It's available in AA or AAA to power your remotes, controllers, and headphones, and it even comes with a USB-powered charger. "I'm going into my 6th year using my first batch of these batteries," wrote one reviewer, "so long term storage and re-use have definitely saved me money."
23. These mineral-based detergent balls that wash 1,500 loads each
Replace all your detergents, stain-removers, bleaches, and odor removers — for literally years. These BERON eco-friendy washer balls contain non-toxic, natural minerals that alter the pH of the water, which effectively breaks down stains, odors, and impurities. Each one can be reused for up to 1,500 cycles, and reviewers absolutely love them because they're not only effective, but gentle on the most sensitive skin. "I have been using these things for two years now, and have saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars in laundry detergent, all of which went down the drain into our creeks and rivers," one reviewer raved.
24. A showerhead that boosts pressure while saving water and energy
The High Sierra high-efficiency showerhead has won awards due to its pressure-maximizing design. Even though it uses only 1.5 gallons per minute to save loads of money in both water and energy costs, reviewers say they're "blown away [by the] water pressure." They also say it's extremely well-made thanks to its solid metal construction and clog-free design. Get it in chrome, nickel, bronze, or brass, all of which are "super easy to install."
25. This easy-to-use trimmer so you can space out your hair cuts
If you get haircuts as often as experts suggest, you're likely spending hundreds of dollars a year. For $3, the Tinkle hair cutter makes it easy to trim split ends and clean up your style, at home and without any skills necessary. The dual-sided blades cut hair as you comb it, and reviewers say, "I still have not been to a barbershop since I bought it [a year ago], and still highly endorse it."
26. This single roll of paper towels that lasts 6 months or more
Because these Kitchen + Home bamboo paper towels are machine-washable and reusable up to 120 times each, they replace 60 conventional rolls and last up to six months — all for $10. The eco-friendly bamboo fabric is stronger, more absorbent, and extremely quick-drying, so buyers even use them in place of Swiffer pads and wash cloths. "Money and environment saver in the long run for sure," one buyer wrote.
27. A menstrual cup that replaces tampons, pads, and potentially Advil
Because it can be reused for years, the Lena menstrual cup saves buyers hundreds of dollars in pads and tampons. It's also made from easy-to-clean, medical-grade silicone, and because it won't leach bleaches or harmful chemicals, reviewer say they "even noticed that [they] had significantly less cramping" during and after their periods. I've been using one for three years now, and I'm never, ever going back.
28. These cheap erasers that tackle virtually any stain or scuff
Even though they cost less than half the price of similar erasers, these magic cleaning pads work just as well when it comes to removing dirt, grime, stains, and build-up from virtually any surface. Use them to renew scuffed shoes, save old furniture from the curb, remove crayon marks from walls, get rid of rust stains and mineral build-up, and even replace your cleaning supplies in the kitchen and bathroom. "With this product, I was able to clean an entire house with one sponge," one reviewer wrote. "This has seriously saved me so much money and time and headache."
29. Two brilliant timers that automate your power-usage
"I got this so my dog wouldn’t sit in the dark during the winter months while waiting for me to get home," one reviewer wrote. "I don’t have to waste energy by leaving a light on all day." Automate your appliances, lights, televisions, decorations, or temperature-control units with these BN-LINK mechanical timers. They cover only one outlet and allow you to program your electronics and set timers for your energy-usage. It works on an easy-to-use pin system, can be programmed for up to 24 hours, and features an accessible off-switch for when you want around-the-clock usage.
30. A carbonating machine so you can make your own soda
The Drinkmate soda maker adds carbonation to all your favorite beverages. Just pour juice, water, coffee, or wine into the included bottle, attach the fizz-infuser, and insert it into the machine. In several seconds and with just a few additional steps, you'll have a bubbly, homemade drink that'll save you serious money on store-bought soda. This unit requires an additional CO2 cylinder, but still costs way less than competing brands — and reviewers "feel this is a better product," anyway.
31. These shelf liners that prolong the life of your produce
Line your refrigerator drawers and shelves with these Dualplex sheets to extend the life of your produce. Because they're made from ventilating foam, they allow air to fully circulate around the drawer, which prolongs spoilage and keeps your food fresher for longer. This set comes in a pack of four 12-by-15 sheets, but they can easily be trimmed to size — plus they're washable and reusable, too.
32. A door guard that keeps heat or air conditioning in
According to reviewers, the MAGZO door guard "prevents the cool outside air from entering your home, so it lowers your heat bill," and it also prevents "air-conditioned air from escaping your home." The glass beads and polyester filling help to insulate windows and doors, and the burlap exterior comes in multiple colors for a stylish, discreet appearance. It's also easy to install and comes in various sizes to fit virtually any fixture.
33. This storage container that keeps fresh herbs alive for weeks
Reviewers report that herbs and vegetables stay fresh for weeks longer thanks to the NOVART premium herb keeper. The glass interior minimizes spoilage and provides a steady source of fresh water, so you can cook with the freshest ingredients and stop wasting money on produce that goes bad before you can use it.
34. A weird but brilliant tool for effortless at-home pedicures
If your at-home pedicures usually result in nail polish all over your feet, the Stedi Pedi is entirely changing the game. This odd but brilliant board slips under your couch cushion, mattress, or chair pad to give you a steady, elevated stand for your foot. It also features a battery-operated LED light so you can see what you're doing, a pull-out tray to prevent drips, and a compartment to hold your polish.
35. These dual-compartment containers to encourage meal-prep
Experts say that those who meal-prep save an average of $30 a week on lunches alone, which adds up to $120 a month — and that's just for one meal a day. RENPHO meal-prep containers encourage the habit with their dual-compartment designs, color-coded locking lids, and shatter-resistant glass that's safe in the oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher. "Exactly was I was looking for to be able to bring my lunch without to be carrying [two] or more different containers," one reviewer wrote.
36. A foundation that always matches your skin tone
Between all the different seasons, I've wasted so much money trying to find foundations that match my ever-changing skin-tone. LDREAMAM color-changing foundation, on the other hand, "works like a charm" and "takes the stress out of buying makeup." This tinted moisturizer starts off white and blends in with your skin tone for even, moderate-coverage, no matter your complexion. It's been a life-saver during the summer months when I need something lightweight and versatile enough for my darkening skin.
37. This spray that waterproofs your shoes, bags, and furniture
How much money would you save if all your shoes, bags, furniture, and car interiors were resistant to stains and water damage? Apple Brand rain and stain repellent creates an invisible protective layer over your favorite clothing and accessories, so you won't have to worry about replacement costs. It's safe on real leather and suede, and reviewers say it really helps to protect their most important purchases: "My daughter wanted a pair of tall gray UGGS with bows for Christmas. I wouldn't even think of investing that much money without buying a can of this."
38. A whitening pen that saves you money on pricier alternatives
Reviewers have been skipping the pricey teeth-whitening appointments in lieu of the AuraGlow whitening pen, and they say, "This is my favorite of all products and professionals that have tried to bring the white back to my smile." The easy-to-apply applicator is filled with a gentle Carbamide Peroxide gel that breaks down stains without harming enamel. Currently, this pick has a 4.3-star rating and over 2,500 reviews.
39. Save $5 a day by making breakfast at home — in 5 minutes
"I cannot believe I didn’t pick this up sooner," one reviewer wrote. "I use to go to Starbucks every morning to pick up their $5 breakfast sandwiches but now I make my very own at home." The Hamilton Beach dual sandwich maker cooks all your ingredients — eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, muffins, cheese, you name it — simultaneously. Two sandwiches are ready in under five minutes, and the trays are all removable and dishwasher-safe for quick clean-up.
40. This fuzz-shaver that revives all your old clothing and upholstery
Reviewers have used this automatic lint remover to revive their old sweaters, leggings, sheets, towels, and even couch cushions, all of which are said to look "like new again." Using a stainless steel blade and a protective safety head, this tool removes pilling, lint, and fuzz without harming the fabric — and it's entirely rechargeable, so you don't have to worry about the cost of batteries.
41. A portable air conditioner so you can keep cool anywhere
Those without air conditioning in their dorms or apartments are loving this KUUOTE personal air cooler — but those with air conditioning still use this unit to minimize their energy bill during the hot months. It's essentially a portable fan that fits on your desktop or bedside table, but the ice-water tank and humidifier features keep you cooler and much more comfortable. It even has a color-changing mood light and built-in timers.
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