Mar 03, 2024

Weird things that actually save you money

Proof that little changes can add up to huge savings.

If you’re working to cut costs, Amazon is a goldmine for weird things that actually save you money. These budget-friendly items include solutions that will keep food from going to waste, reusable personal care items that prevent the need for re-purchasing, helpful solutions for DIY home repairs, and even tiny spatulas that let you get every drop out of that annoying jar. With everything less than $40, your purchase will pay for itself in no time and start saving you money in the long run.

Running the dryer can drive up your electricity bill and can also shorten the lifespan of your delicate clothing. Save money and increase the longevity of your clothing by air drying clothing on this over-the-door rack. It features three breathable mesh tiers to accommodate numerous items at once. Its space-saving design folds flat when not in use.

It’s no secret that Starbucks runs are pricey — this coffee maker lets you make cold brew at home for much less. Simply add your favorite grounds, pour in cold water, chill overnight, and enjoy — it takes minutes to prep, but your beverage will stay fresh for up to three weeks. The exterior of the coffee maker is made from temperature-resistant borosilicate glass with a fine mesh filter to trap sediment. The leakproof lid makes for mess-free pouring.

Use these small spatulas to get every drop out of bottles, jars, and other containers. Made from silicone, the double-ended spatulas (one side is a spoon, while the other is a scraper) are flexible yet sturdy. And they come in two lengths for different containers. “They are of very nice quality, very sturdy, and work perfectly for my lotion bottles and foundation bottles,” wrote one reviewer.

A best-seller on Amazon, these unique tube squeezers are handy and easy to use — slide your toothpaste in one, then use the handle to roll the tube through to get all of the product out. The stainless steel squeezers are compatible with any plastic tube under 2.5 inches in width and because the set includes two, you can use one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen.

This silicone repair glue is moldable to stick to various surfaces, letting you repair a wide variety of items instead of replacing them. Amazon reviewers use it for projects both inside and outside of the home since it’s waterproof and heat- and cold-resistant. “I’ve used it to level a wobbly table, keep things in place on my desk, and mend the battery compartment on an old Halloween decoration. But the most impressive thing to me was when I was able to fix the heels on my shoes,” wrote one reviewer.

Stretch these reusable silicone lids over bowls, pots, cups, and other containers to keep the contents inside fresh for longer. They create an airtight, leakproof seal, eliminating the need for aluminum foil and plastic wrap. The set comes with seven lids in different sizes (which can stretch to fit vessels from 4 to 12 inches in diameter). And the lids are safe to use in the freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher. They’re BPA- lead-, phthalate-, and plastic-free.

Spray this stain remover on dry and fresh stains on clothing, carpet, upholstery, and more, then watch as they disappear. The biodegradable, water-based formula is free from chlorine, formaldehyde, and sulfates, plus perfumes and dyes. The product boasts a 4.4-star overall rating after over 43,000 reviews. One commenter wrote, “I have bought SO many ‘stain removers’ [...] and there is NOTHING like this stuff!! EVERY SINGLE TIME I use this stuff my mind is blown.”

Accidentally leaving your fridge or freezer open is a costly mistake you can avoid with this door alarm. It’s easy to install on any appliance and will alert you in different increments when the door is left open. There are four modes ranging from quiet to loud, based on your needs. One shopper wrote, “Easy to install. Small enough you barely notice it.”

No need to hire an expensive crew to thoroughly clean your home or go through disposable sponges trying to scrub your grout clean; utilize this cordless spin scrubber to clean tubs, shower walls, window sills, siding, and more. The handle extends in length from 25 to 45 inches for reach, and the three included brush heads serve different functions. The device charges fast (and can be hung on the wall while it does so) and it can run for up to 90 continuous minutes.

Single-use plastic K-cups are both expensive and not great for the environment — try these reusable K-cups instead. They can be filled with any ground coffee you like — for up to 80% cost savings, per the manufacturer — and reused over and over again. The K-cups will fit most Keurig machines and even some other coffee maker brands as well.

Getting cocktails out adds up fast; make your own drinks at home with this complete shaker set. All of the 14 pieces in the set are made from rust-free stainless steel with a brushed finish and they’re all dishwasher safe as well. Included are a Boston shaker, double jigger, bar spoon, Hawthorne strainer, bottle opener, muddler, 5 pourers, and velvet storage bag.

Stop your cords from fraying, tangling, and knotting — ultimately prolonging their lifespan — with these budget-friendly yet effective silicone cable savers. They can be used on any electronic cable, but reviewers find them particularly beneficial when wrapped around phone, tablet, and laptop cords.

With 111,000-plus five-star reviews on Amazon, this reusable pet hair remover requires no sticky sheets and works wonders on lint, fur, and hair. “This thing is magic. Collects even the most stubborn short hair (pit mix),” explained one fan. Just roll it back and forth on surfaces to trap fur in the built-in receptacle and press the release button to dump it straight into the trash.

With a near-perfect 4.7-star overall rating after 42,000-plus reviews, these reusable mop pads are beloved for their ability to effectively pick up dirt, debris, and hair. They’re made from extra-thick microfiber with a looped design, and they can be used wet or dry. When dirty, toss them in the washing machine — no need to waste money on buying new ones each time you clean. This pick is compatible with the Swiffer WetJet mop and other 10- to 12-inch mops.

This 8-piece set comes with everything you need to start bringing your lunch with you to avoid paying for takeout. Included are an ice pack, three dishwasher-safe glass containers with BPA-free locking lids, and an insulated lunch bag with dual compartments to accommodate plenty of items. Carry the bag using either the small handle or the long shoulder strap. Choose from a few different colors in the listing.

This bag sealer can reseal plastic food bags to prevent the contents from getting stale. It heats up in less than a minute (just plug it into an outlet for power) and takes seconds to completely seal your bag. “Works perfectly to keep chip bags sealed so they don’t go bad if you’re not eating them right away,” wrote one fan.

Grab this continuous mist spray bottle to whip up your own household cleaners for major cost savings. It’s easy to refill and reuse and it delivers an ultra-fine continuous mist to evenly cover large areas. It can even be used upside down.

Skip buying fabric softeners and dryer sheets and instead spend $8 on these reusable wool dryer balls to reduce wrinkles, shorten dry times, minimize static cling, and make your laundry soft and fluffy. The dryer balls can be reused for up to five years and are free from fragrances. They also make your clothing dry faster. “Compared to dryer sheets, wool dryer balls offer superior effectiveness and value for money,” writes one fan.

This water bottle features triple insulation to keep drinks hot for up to 12 hours or cold for up to 24. It’s made from sturdy stainless steel and comes with three different leakproof lids. The water bottle holds up to 32 ounces of your favorite beverages (though there are other sizes available in the listing) so you’ll never need to purchase wasteful and costly plastic water bottles again. Several colors are also available in the listing.

Ditch single-use paper notebooks for this smart alternative. Write notes, to-do lists, doodles, and more on the 36 pages and once filled, digitize your content (using the free Rocketbook app) before erasing it all and starting over again. From there, your writing can be shared to various cloud services as needed or organized within the brand’s app.

Never forget to turn off your electronics again with this two-pack of smart plugs. They fit in a standard outlet and setup is straightforward using the free Kasa app. The plug can be controlled with your voice via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, or you can turn it on/off or use a timer or schedule in the app. Monitor your energy usage via the app and trim your consumption to lower utility bills.

Step aside, paper towels — these reusable dishcloths are just as absorbent, safe for practically any surface (including marble, tile, and even wood), and can be reused for up to a year. Made from a combination of cellulose and cotton, each dishcloth replaces up to 15 rolls of paper towels. They become soft when wet, though they’re gritty enough for scrubbing when dry. Just stick them in the washing machine between uses.

Each piece in this set of four self-watering globes has enough capacity to keep your plants watered for up to two weeks — keeping them alive so they won’t need replacing. “I travel a lot and these are must haves to [ensure] my many plants get the water they need,” wrote one fan. Practicality aside, the globes are handblown from glass with translucent blue, red, navy, and turquoise swirled into unique patterns.

This six pack of LED lights will automatically turn on when movement is detected within a 10-foot range so you don’t have to waste electricity flipping on the overhead lighting. Each of the six lights will run for up to 100 hours on three AA batteries and they can easily be installed using the included screws or adhesive tape.

Avoid pricey plumber calls by using this drain protector to catch hair, debris, and other objects before they clog your drain. It’ll work in nearly any bathtub or shower drain (there are adapters to ensure a secure fit) and it’s easy to pull it out for cleaning. The drain protector has a stainless steel construction that won’t get rusty.

Toss this pair of produce savers into your crisper, fruit bowl, pantry, or wherever else you store your fruits and veggies to extend their life span two to three times, saving you cash in the long run. Each produce saver contains an ethylene absorption packet to slow down the process of decay. “I was skeptical, but my produce, especially lettuce, last twice as long,” wrote one reviewer.

Pet owners: Stop putting a strain on your vacuum. This unique broom has a natural rubber head that attracts fur like a magnet to easily remove it from carpets, hardwood, rugs, tile, and other surfaces. The handle extends from 18 to 40 inches in length and it has a 4.1-star overall rating after 115,000-plus reviews.

Repair your wooden furniture instead of replacing it with the help of this marker and crayon kit — just draw over imperfections with the markers or fill in scratches or gouges with the crayons for immediate results. There are six shades of each included (maple, oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, and black) and they can be layered for a perfect match.

Cleaning your dryer vent is a quick and simple DIY project; all you need is this cleaning kit and any type of power drill. To use, attach the brush head to the drill, then move it slowly in and out for a thorough clean. Use the flexible rods to extend the brush up to 40 feet.

Slip these food savers on cut onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, lemons, and more to create an airtight seal — this prevents the food from browning and drying out, keeping it fresh for longer. The set includes five huggers in various sizes made from food-safe, BPA-free silicone that’s dishwasher safe. This pick comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Use this three-pack of magnetic vent covers to control airflow, directing heat or air conditioning to specific rooms or areas in your home as needed — it’s a cheaper option than adjusting the temperature on the thermostat. They’re thick with strong magnets to stay in place and they can be cut to size for a precise fit. Two other sizes are available in the listing.

Use this organizer case to keep tabs on all of your batteries — it has 93 total slots for various kinds — so that you don’t accidentally buy more of the ones you already have. It even comes with a removable battery tester to check if your batteries are still good. The case is made from sturdy plastic with a transparent lid for easy viewing and can be placed in a drawer or cabinet or mounted on the wall.

If your couch seats are sagging but you don’t want to replace it, try out this under-couch support board. To use, simply unfold the support, slip it under your cushions, and instantly feel the difference in firmness. It’s made from thick MDF with a slip-resistant backing that won’t move once in place. A longer version is also available in the listing depending on the dimensions of your couch.

With three built-in trapping techniques (including a UV light, fan, and sticky board), this insect trap will eliminate fruit flies, gnats, and mosquitos inside your home. It’s much more stylish than other options on the market — especially compared to the long sticky traps that hang from the ceiling — and most importantly, it performs as described. “It works like a champ! It has done exactly what I bought it for which was to capture the little fruit flies and gnats in the house that are just horrible this year for some reason,” wrote one fan.

For less than $15, this fabric shaver will bring fabrics in your home back to their former glory; it features a 2-inch shaving head and three settings to get rid of fuzz, pilling, and lint. It’s ideal for sofas, clothes, curtains, and more. The device is compact in size and powered by two AA batteries (so there’s no power cord), allowing you to carry it throughout your home — you can even travel with it.


Grab these BPA-free acrylic bins to organize fruits and veggies, snacks, condiments, cans, and more — there’s a better chance that your food won’t spoil if you can easily see everything you have. The set comes with six bins in two different sizes — they even stack to maximize every inch of your fridge. Handles on the sides allow you to effortlessly access the contents.

The key to saving money at the grocery store is to make a shopping list ahead of time — and stick to it once there; this grocery list notepad makes it easy. Each of the 50 pages has sections for you to track what foods you need in different categories, including produce, frozen foods, meat and seafood, beverages, and more. The pages are perforated so you can easily tear them off to carry with you. This pick has optional magnets should you want to stick it on your fridge.

Once you make the switch to this reusable food bag, you’ll likely never want to go back to its single-use plastic counterpart. Made from BPA-free silicone, the bag has a half-gallon capacity with a leakproof seal. It’s safe for use in the microwave and oven (up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit), plus it’s dishwasher safe for effortless cleaning.

After frying up bacon, pour the excess fat into this stainless steel container for future use. It has a built-in mesh strainer to separate out particles and the container itself can hold up to 5 cups’ worth of grease. Amazon reviewers have found tons of uses for the leftover grease: “I set it in the fridge and use contents when needed for seasoning green beans or making a dressing for wilted salads, etc.,” wrote one fan.

Strategically place these water detectors in your home to prevent a small leak from turning into a major issue. No wiring is required (just batteries) — place the devices in areas that you’re concerned about (like under a sink or appliance), then the device will sound if any water is detected. The alarms feature a waterproof design for extended use in high-moisture areas.

This draft stopper is a cheap yet efficient solution to prevent heat (or cold, depending on the time of year) from escaping from your home, running up your energy bill. It can be placed on either interior or exterior doors because it’s waterproof and it fits gaps up to 1 inch in size. It’s easy to install; trim the strip to the exact length of your door, then peel off the backing to adhere it.

This herb keeper will keep your greens like asparagus, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, kale, and more fresh for longer. It’s made from glass with a stainless steel core and it has air vents that allow your herbs to breathe to maximize longevity. The keeper is 12 inches tall to accommodate a large amount at once — it’s intended to be placed in your fridge.

If you need to hem clothes or other fabric items in your home but don’t know how (or want) to sew, grab this iron-on adhesive for less than $3. It lets you create a clean hem in seconds; just stick on the tape and iron the hem together. The hem will be permanent, so you don’t have to worry about it coming apart, even when you wash the item.

This extendable duster allows you to clean ceiling fans, window blinds, appliances, and other high-up spots in your home without the use of a ladder or having to hire a professional cleaning squad — the handle extends in reach from 27 to 47 inches. The large microfiber head traps dust, dirt, and allergens with ease. And it can be removed and cleaned in the washing machine to refresh it before your next cleaning session.

These storage containers come with snapping lids that’ll create an airtight seal to keep the contents inside from getting stale prematurely. The set includes four stackable containers in two sizes. The larger ones are roomy enough for a bag of flour or sugar, while the smaller containers are ideal for snacks, rice, coffee, and more. The containers can safely be used in the freezer, microwave, or dishwasher for convenience.