Life seems to have an annoying habit of throwing curveballs. From one day to the next, it can be anyone’s guess what happens. But when life feels upended, a little retail therapy can help you find some modicum of control while making cleaning up and staying organizes a little easier at the same time. Good thing you don’t need to look any further than Amazon — but with so many choices, where do you start? This list of incredibly helpful things under $35 is an excellent jumping-off point.
Start by saving yourself some money and being kinder to the environment by making easy swaps for single-use products like reusable paper towels or beeswax food wraps. Then, tackle some of those pesky hassles that sneak up on you with things like a cut-resistant glove that keeps your hands safe while chopping veggies and a gadget that lets you make pasta in the microwave.
No matter if you're looking to cut back on expenses, get organized, or pamper yourself more often, these affordable items will help make life just a little easier.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
1. These reusable paper towels that save you money
These reusable bamboo paper towels can save you a good deal of money over the long run (and seriously cut into your use of disposable products). One roll is roughly equivalent to a three to six months stock of standard paper towels, and each of the 20 reusable towels in the roll can be hand washed and reused anywhere from 80 to 100 times. These paper towels are sturdy even when they’re wet, and they become more absorbent with washing, making them ideal for tackling spills, and house cleaning.
2. These magnetic measuring spoons that won't get lost
These measuring spoons nestle together for neat and easy storage, and because they’re magnetic, your chances of losing one (or three) are greatly reduced. The rounded side of the spoon is ideal for liquids while the oval side easily fits into spice jars. These spoons lay flat on counters so the contents won’t spill, the markings won’t fade or rub off. They're even dishwasher safe.
3. An extra-long surge protector more than 2,000 reviewers love
With three outlets, an anti-tangle braided cord, and three length options (including 8 and 15 feet options), this surge protector is a serious upgrade on your standard extension cord. Users can even choose from three different color combos, and the reviewers on Amazon? More than 2,000 customers have chimed in to give it a 4.8-star overall rating. "Really like the thick power cable and the fact that it's nice and flush to the outlet when plugged in. Really good design," one customer wrote.
4. These cut-resistant gloves so you can chop with confidence
These cut-resistant gloves offer protection from even the sharpest blades, so you can easily work without the fear of cutting yourself. Made of food-safe polyethylene and spandex, they are four times stronger than leather and ideal for working in the kitchen, garden, or garage. These gloves are ultra-thin so they won’t interfere with food prep and are machine washable. Plus, they're even available in four sizes.
5. This set of magnetic phone mounts for your car
This magnetic car mount fits onto car vents for hands-free viewing, and it’s as easy as securing your phone to a magnet to use. Just attach an included metal plate to your phone case, and the four strong magnets on each mount keep your phone secure. Best of all, this car mount is pretty much universal. At less than $5 each, it's a steal.
6. A nightlight with a sensor that doesn't monopolize your outlets
7. These reusable beeswax food wraps that replace the plastic wrap
These handmade and reusable beeswax food wraps are an easy to use alternative to standard plastic wrap and are made with a blend of organic cotton, beeswax, and jojoba oil. Each wrap can last for up to a year, and each order comes with a small, medium, and large size to suit all types of containers and foods.
8. A multipurpose kitchen tool that works for everything from mashed potatoes to ground beef
So much more than a meat chopper, this gizmo also works to mash potatoes and avocado, and can even work as a spatula. Four blades and an ergonomic handle gets kitchen tasks done quickly and easily, and clean up is almost effortless because it’s dishwasher safe.
9. A laptop or desktop privacy screen available in tons of screen sizes
Add a little privacy to your laptop browsing whether you're out of the house or at home with this privacy screen that makes your display visible only to you. With a glossy side and a matte side, users can choose whichever is best for them, and this screen also protects your eyes by filtering out 65% of blue light. Each order comes with a privacy screen, two attachment options (attachment strips or slide mount tabs), and a microfiber cleaning cloth. There are a range of sizes for both laptops and desktops.
10. These compostable trash bags for your food scraps
Make composting easier with these biodegradable trash bags that are nontoxic, easy to use, and made with 100% plant materials. One reviewer on Amazon raved: "These work great for what they're supposed to do. I put them in my kitchen compost bin until they're full and then have my son run it outside to the big pile. They are in the kitchen bin for days, sometimes almost a week, and I've never had a problem with tearing or ripping."
11. A set of cable clips to keep cords neat & tidy
12. A sturdy paw washers for your pup
Save your car, floors, carpet, and furniture with this paw washer for your dog. The Paw Plunger removes dirt, mud, and allergens in minutes using just water, so your dog doesn’t track it all over the house. The convenient carry handle also gives you a bit of control if your pup decides not to cooperate, and while the flexible rubber top allows for easy paw insertion, it also minimizes spills. It's also available in three sizes and four colors.
13. A cheap kitchen gadget that keeps your fingers from getting burned
This clever kitchen gadget keeps your hands safe from hot oven racks and trays. Ideal for pushing and pulling oven racks or cookie sheets in or out of a hot oven, this silicone tool is also a great little helper for removing bread from hot toasters. Plus, it is heat resistant up to 645 degrees Fahrenheit, the handle stays cool while in use, and it’s compact for easy storage.
14. A steamer for veggies that works in 4 minutes or less
This veggie steamer cooks in just minutes in the microwave, so there's no more fussing with pots of boiling water and colanders. Simply add water and veggies (fresh or frozen) to the steamer, cover, and microwave. It is heat resistant for safe handling and dishwasher safe.
15. These cooling socks to soothe achy feet
With removable cold packs that can be chilled, these cold therapy socks reduce inflammation and swelling to provide instant relief from tired and achy feet. Each pair of cold therapy socks comes with two full-length gel packs and two half-size gel packs. These socks are machine washable, although the manufacturer recommends hands washing for the best longevity. Choose between two sizes.
16. This gadget that cooks pasta in the microwave
Save yourself time, frustration, and space while you cook spaghetti to al dente perfection with the Fasta Pasta microwave cooker. With its patented reservoir design, the Fasta Pasta measures, cooks, and drains in one convenient dish. What's more, cleanup is super easy because the Fasta Pasta cooker is dishwasher safe. One customer on Amazon wrote: "This even cooks potatoes and veggies, draining is easy -- once your pasta is done, put the lid on and drain. Only have to wash the one container. Not too heavy if you can't lift those heavy pots of boiling water to drain."
17. A kitchen helper to easily get rid of food scraps
Up your efficiency when prepping with this scrap trap and scraper set that's made of durable plastic. The scrap bowl fits under counters and over drawers and cabinet doors to serve as a catch-all for kitchen scraps. The scrap trap can hold up to two quarts, and a slot in the front holds the scraper for easy storage when not in use.
18. These reusable produce bags that cut back on plastic waste
Reduce your carbon footprint with these reusable produce bags which fold up compactly enough to be thrown into a handbag. Unfurl it, they measure 12 by 14 inches each, so they are roomy enough to hold larger produce items like carrots, corn, and bananas. The mesh style lets you clearly see the contents, and the bags can be hand washed and reused. It has hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon, and one user wrote: “I LOVE these produce bags! I was getting so frustrated every time I went to the grocery store coming home with more and more plastic! Now I can get [one] onion without feeling wasteful! They are generously sized and even have pull tabs to keep the bags shut! I think they are fabulous!”
19. These stylish cord organizers to prevent tangles
Keep your cords neat and prevent tangling (and frustration) with these sleek leather cord organizers. Ideal for headphones, USB cables, and more, these rustic cord keepers are durable and look even better with age. Each order comes with five cord organizers, and there are several color and style options to choose from.
20. These easy-release silicone ice cube trays
Made of food-grade silicone, these ice cube trays are flexible for easy ice removal so no more diffcult twisting and cracking. Each tray makes 14 cubes of ice, and the removable lids prevent spills and absorption of freezer odors. Each order comes with four ice cube trays that are dishwasher safe, and users can choose between green and blue.
21. These silicone lids that stretch to fit
Ideal for small bowls, glasses, soda cans, and jars, these silicone lids can replace your plastic wrap. Each lid measures 2.6 inches across, but they can be stretched to accommodate wide-mouth containers measuring up to 3.5 inches. And while the lids are round, they can fit a variety of container shapes without warping or tearing. These lids are freezer and dishwasher safe, too, and each order comes with 12 lids.
22. A reusable K-Cups so you can use any coffee you want
23. A compact vacuum cleaner for your desk & more
Crumbs on your desk? This desktop vacuum cleaner is compact and lightweight which makes it ideal for cleaning small spaces, keyboards, and other gadgets. Brushes on the bottom help to loosen debris, and the unit will run about two hours on one charge. Users can choose between orange and white.
24. A car organizer that fits between the seats
Designed to fit in between car seat gaps, these gap filler organizers are ideal for storing phones, cash, pens, and other small objects you don’t want to lose in between the seats. Just slide it between the seats and you're ready to go, this set of two leather organizers is durable, waterproof, and wipes clean.
25. A set of all-natural exfoliating sponges
These all-natural loofah sponges boost circulation and exfoliate your skin without chafing or irritation. Generously sized for long-term use, these loofah sponges can be sanitized in the dishwasher when needed, too. With over 600 ratings on Amazon and an average 4.5 stars, these loofahs are a customer favorite. “They lather very, very well, and you get a gentle exfoliation. Follow the instructions and soak them in water for 15 mins before use. I really like the fact that they are natural and biodegradable,” one user raved.
26. A kitchen splatter guard that keeps mess to a minimum
Keep greasy messes to a minimum with this splatter guard by Frywall. Featured on Shark Tank, this splatter guard stops oil mists and spillovers, but still allows unfettered access to the contents of the pan. Made with food-grade silicone, this splatter guard can withstand cooking temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and is dishwasher safe.
27. A water bottle with fruit infuser for delicious hydration
Make it just a little easier to stay hydrated with this water bottle with a built-in fruit (or herb, or veggie) infuser. The BPA-free bottle opens and closes easily with just one click, and the design offers a smooth flow of water. The wide-mouth opening allows for easy cleaning and the addition of ice cubes. Choose from 15 colors.
28. A silicone brush that cleans everything from the kitchen to your legs
This multipurpose brush fits comfortably in your hand to clean just about everything and everyone. Use the Bump It Off scrubber to remove lint and stains from fabric, scrub veggies, groom your dog, or exfoliate your own skin, the list is almost endless. Made with 100% silicone, this brush is eco-friendly and dishwasher safe (top rack only). Choose from five colors.
29. A handy food scale that's super accurate
This food scale takes the guessing game out of following recipes. Capable of measuring in ounces, pounds, and even milliliters of water, this scale can weigh a maximum of 11 pounds. Equipped with a tare function for accurate measurements, this scale also has a clear backlit LCD display that stays for 30 seconds. With thousands of five-star reviews, this one is a clear customer favorite, and users have some interesting uses for it, as one user wrote: ”Bought this scale to weigh my litter of puppies. It's fantastic so far. I just put a plate on it, tare the plate, and then set a puppy on it. Works like a charm."
30. A pair of gloves with built-in flashlights
If you’re working in a dark spot, riding your bike, or could just use a little extra light, the bright LED lights set in the head of the index finger of these flashlight gloves will provide a focused light source. The lightweight, flexible fabric offers a snug fit so it won’t impede the task at hand, and one size fits most.
31. A magnetic flashlight that can pick up the keys & tools you dropped
This flashlight turns into a telescoping tool (with a flexible neck) that offers an assist for getting into those tight spaces when you drop your keys, tools, and other magnetic items you drop. The head of the flashlight is magnetized, and it can extend out to 22 inches for maximum reach. Capable of holding up to two pounds, this tool is ideal for retrieving small objects like nuts, bolts, screws, and even jewelry.
32. A baggy rack that's like an extra set of hands
Take the mess and the frustration out of packing lunches and transferring foods into baggies for storage with this baggy rack. This rack holds plastic bags upright to make filling them super easy. Plastic clips keep them securely in place, and the baggy rack can also be used to air dry bags for later reuse. Get two with each pack.
33. A beard grooming kit with all the essentials
This surprisingly affordable beard kit is packed with everything you need to keep a beard in tip-top shape, including oil, beard balm, a beard brush, a beard comb, and scissors. All of this is packaged in a bamboo gift box. With hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon, customers are fans of this quality choice. “It’s obvious the contents are made of high-quality materials. My fiancé has used it several times, and he loves it. Using the beard balm, his beard seems fuller and softer, and it doesn’t irritate his skin like some other products have in the past,” one fan wrote.
34. An electric cooker for 7 perfect eggs at a time
Save time and spare yourself the extra dishes with this seven egg capacity electric poacher. Simply fill the measuring cup with enough water for your desired doneness, press the start button, and get ready for perfectly poached eggs in minutes. This egg poacher is dishwasher safe, so clean up is a breeze. Choose from 8 colors.
35. A microwave tray that makes cooking bacon easier
This microwavable bacon tray with a drip tray cooks with minimum mess. Simply arrange bacon strips on the rack, cover loosely with a paper towel, and cook it in the microwave. Hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon, attest that it's more than a gimmick. "I hated cooking bacon on the stove because there is always some splatter [...]So I started my search and came across this wonderful microwave bacon cooker. It is as simple as hanging your bacon on this rack and covering it up with some paper towels. [...]We absolutely love this product, and the price was great too compared to other microwave cookers," one customer wrote.
36. A silicone dish sponge that keeps germs at bay
If you're tired of your kitchen sponge's weird smells, try these silicone scrubbing sponges. Made with food-grade silicone, these sponges work with your favorite dish soap, and are dishwasher safe. What’s more, each pack contains four sponges in two shapes so you can find the one that best fits your needs.
37. An essential oil roll-on to reduce headaches
Created by migraine sufferers, this essential oil roll-on was formulated peppermint, spearmint, lavender, and coconut oils to provide quick relief. Just apply it directly to the temples and nape. And the reviewers? With a 4.3-star overall rating, plenty of customers on Amazon say it really works.
38. A clever solution for itchy bug bites
The Bug Bite Thing is a helpful suction tool that is designed to extract the itch-causing saliva small insects leave behind when they bite or sting. While extracting the irritant brings welcome relief from itching, it also helps keep the stinging and swelling to a minimum. This tool can be washed for unlimited reuse, and as a bonus, this suction tool can also help remove splinters.
39. An easy-to-use folding board that keeps your laundry from wrinkling
Fold items in less than five seconds, and cut down on wrinkles with this clothes folder. Made of durable plastic, this laundry helper folds items into a uniform stack, and when not in use, it stays flat for easy storage. This works for towels, shirts, and both long- and short-sleeve items.
40. An eyeglass cleaner that's good enough for NASA
With carbon fiber tech that’s used in space by NASA, this eyeglass cleaner works without harsh chemicals to remove dirt, residue, and smudges. This glass cleaner works for both eyeglasses and sunglasses, it won’t damage special coatings, and it’s compact enough to take it on the go. You can even choose from more than a dozen colors.
41. These all-natural soap nuts that clean without chemicals
When these soap nuts come into contact with water, they release a natural foam called saponin to clean. This package of soap nuts (just over two pounds) can get you through approximately 100 washes. Because these nuts are free of chemicals, they can even be used as all-purpose cleaner, when you hand-wash laundry, as dish soap, or even shampoo.
42. A beard apron that catches the trimmings
43. A stuffed burger press that'll wow at the grill
Stuffing a burger can be tricky, you either need a lot of experience (and patience) or a nifty gadget to get it done right. This four-in-one burger press by Cuisinart get your burgers from press to table in no time. Use it to make stuffed or plain burgers in a variety of sizes, and when you’re done, toss it in the dishwasher for a quick and easy cleanup.