44 Things Under $30 That Are Oddly Good At Solving Problems14 min read
If you often find yourself stuck with a jar that won’t budge or a curling iron that threatens to scorch your countertop, I’m happy to report that many of those minor inconveniences can be eliminated by a few products that are oddly good at solving problems. I’m talking about clever, easy-to-use items that won’t cost you an arm and a leg (because let’s be real, who doesn’t want to be smart with their spending and save some cash during these wildly uncertain times?)
One product I highly recommend you add to your must-have list is this ironing blanket. Yes, an ironing blanket. If you’re living in cramped quarters and can’t quite fit a full-size ironing board into your space, this is the next best thing. It’s designed with magnetic corners that cling to the top of your washing machine and dryer, instantly turning the surface into a makeshift ironing board. And when you’re all done, you can fold it up to a compact size and tuck it away. Genius.
This rechargeable hand warmer will also give you plenty of bang for your buck. Keep it in your pocket for those chilly days that require an extra level of TLC for your digits. It even has a built-in USB charging port, so you can use it to charge your phone on the go. Loving these? Read on for more items that make life so much 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. A Flexible Wooden Table For Your Arm Chair Or Sofa
No coffee table? No problem. This wooden arm chair tray has a flexible design that allows it to quickly wrap around the arm rest. The result is an instant tray that’s perfect for holding your glass of wine, remote, and smart phone. It’s available in six finishes, like gray, black, and natural bamboo.
2. These Reusable Paper Towels That Are Good For The Planet & Your Pocketbook
These organically-sourced bamboo paper towels are highly absorbent, durable, and can be machine-washed up to 100 times — which will help you save some serious cash. This reviewer agrees: “As an environmentalist and resident cheapskate, I really love having a paper towel that I can use over, and over, and over, and over …. you get the point.”
3. These Toilet Seat Lifters That Do The Dirty Work For You
Apply these toilet seat lifters underneath the seat, and you’ll never have to come into direct contact with germs when you lift the seat again. The set comes with four lifters in different colors, and they’re simple to apply with the adhesive backing.
4. An Adjustable Jar Opener With An Ergonomic Design
This jar opener is designed with four size options that can be adjusted for various bottle and jars, from nail polish to hot sauce to jam. The BPA-free gadget has an ergonomic handle, and reviewers write that’s “easy to use” and “like magic.”
5. A Drying Rack That Rolls Up When Not In Use
Working with limited room in your kitchen? Maximize your counter space by placing dishes on this roll-up drying rack that you can spread out over your kitchen sink. Use it to dry plates, cups, and utensils, or use it while you’re rinsing fruits and vegetables. Once you’re all done, roll it up, and tuck it away.
6. These Moisturizing Spa Gloves That Are Touch Screen-Sensitive (Plus A Pair Of Socks)
These moisturizing gloves and socks are so good, you’ll forget the spa is even a thing. They’re infused with soothing and nourishing ingredients like jojoba oil, vitamin E, and grape seed oil to help repair cracked heels and cuticles. Bonus: The gloves are touch screen-compatible, so you can text and browse the web while enjoying an evening of self care.
7. These Hooks That Keep Your Glasses In Place
Are your glasses always sliding down your nose? These silicone hooks can be placed on the arms of your glasses to keep them securely on your face, so you don’t have to push them up. Each purchase includes 20 pairs of hooks, plus a five-pair sampler pack that can be used for adults and children’s glasses, so you’re almost guaranteed to get a perfect fit.
8. This Mesh Car Pocket That’s Perfect For Storing Your Purse
Keep your purse close by when you’re in the car with this handbag holder. The mesh pocket has hooks that can be affixed to the two front headrests, so you can place your purse above the center console where it won’t tip over. It takes less than a minute to install, and can also be used for storing umbrellas, gloves, and other small items.
9. These Bamboo Tongs With Anti-Slip Ridges
These bamboo toaster tongs are great for grabbing food from the toaster oven, but they’re also great for plating a beautiful meal. They’re designed with anti-slip ridges that make it easy to grip food, and they’re durable and easy to clean. Plus, bamboo is eco-friendly. What’s not to love?
10. These Cut-Resistant Gloves That Keep Your Fingers Safe
Reviewers can’t stop singing the praises of these cut-resistant gloves, describing them as “very protective” and a “must-have.” Helpful when while slicing, chopping, and grating, they’re durable, but still lightweight, so you won’t lose any dexterity. They come in four sizes, so you can get a snug but comfortable fit.
11. These Sheets That Let You Dry Clean At Home
Here’s a clever life hack: Save cash on dry cleaning and use these Woolite at-home dry cleaner cloths instead. These little miracle workers get rid of odors, stains, and wrinkle, and each of the six wipes is effective on five garments, which means you can clean up to 30 pieces of clothing at home.
12. A Heat-Resistant Mat & Sleeve For Your Hair Styling Tools
This silicone mat is the perfect place to store your hair styling tools since it’s heat-resistant up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit and will keep your hot tools from damaging any surfaces. And since it doubles as a pouch, you can pack away flat irons and curling irons without having to wait for them to cool down. Choose from 11 colors.
13. This Discreet Magnetic Key Rack That Attaches To The Light Switch
If a clutter-free, organized home is a top priority for you, let me recommend this totally discreet magnetic key rack that fits onto any light switch cover. Installation is as easy as removing the existing screws in the cover and swapping them for these magnetic discs — no drilling required. Each magnet can hold up to 3 pounds.
14. This Genius Blanket That Transforms Surfaces Into Ironing Boards
Let’s face it, ironing boards are clunky, and no matter how compact they are, they tend to always get in the way. That’s why this ironing blanket is so genius. Made from heat-resistant fabric, it has magnets at every corner, so you can secure it to the top of your washing machine or dryer before removing wrinkles from your clothes. When you’re all done, simply fold it up, and tuck it away.
15. A Splatter Guard That Will Protect Surfaces While You Cook
Cooking is all good and well until your counter and stove is covered in grease and sauce. Luckily, this splatter guard helps prevent messes, while also protecting you from pops of hot oil. And have no worries about it compromising the cooking process: Steam will still be able to escape freely and you can access the pan with ease.
16. The Power Strip Charging Station With USB Ports
This power strip comes highly recommended, with nearly 4,000 reviews and a stellar 4.8-star rating. The charging station features six AC outlets (which are generously spaced so you can power larger plugs), three USB charging ports, and a 5-foot extension cord. Plus, the device helps protect against surges and short circuiting. “Love the style and convenience of this power strip,” wrote one fan, “The cords don’t get tangled like a regular strip and it has enough room for everything to plug in without trouble.”
17. These Super Cute Self-Watering Spikes
These adorable little birdies are actually self-watering spikes that eliminate the guessing game when it comes to remembering if you watered your plants. Simply fill each one with water, and the terra cotta spikes at the bottom will slowly hydrate the soil, without drenching it. Each filled tube will last anywhere from three to seven days — perfect for short trips away from home.
18. A Bench Scraper & Pastry Slicer For Easy Food Transfer
Tiny but mighty, this stainless steel scraper will make cooking a little less hectic. The scraper allows you to scoop and transfer food after chopping, and you can use the edge to slice and divvy up pastry dough. Available in four colors, it’s designed with a ribbed handle that’s easy to grab.
19. The Hot Brush That Blow Dries & Styles At The Same Time
If you find it nearly impossible to dry and style your hair at the same time, this hot brush is a lifesaver. Boasting more than 9,000 reviews and a 4.4-star rating, it adds volume and body to your hair as it dries, and you only have to use one hand. Plus, ceramic and ionic technology guard against breakage and add shine, so you’ll feel like you just had a salon blowout.
20. These Can Lids That Preserve The Freshness Of Beverages
If you’re like me and can’t quite finish a whole can of your preferred beverage in one sitting, stock up on these can lids. Slip them on to a wide variety of cans (soda, beer, juice, and more) to preserve carbonation and freshness, and when you’re ready for a sip, simply uncap the top and pour.
21. A 3-Pack Of Storage Cases That Keep Your Masks Clean
Because masks will still be a thing for a little while longer, I highly suggest you invest in these face mask storage cases. Made from non-toxic silicone, they keep your mask protected, and they’re lightweight, and easy to travel with. The pack includes three holders (in pink, blue, and clear colors) and each one features a snap closure at the front.
22. A Warming Plate That Keeps Food Hot For Longer
This food warmer comes in handy when you’re preparing a large meal for a holiday or dinner party and need everything to stay hot. Made from durable stainless steel, it plugs right into the wall and has an adjustable temperature dial and stay-cool handles. It’s safe to use with all kinds of dishes and cookware, including glass, ceramic, and metal.
23. These Heat-Resistant Gloves That Protect Your Hands While You While Style Your Hair
These heat-resistant gloves are affordable and downright genius. They’re crafted from soft cotton fabric with tiny thermostable silicone bumps that help protect your hands while you’re using hot styling tools. And reviewers love it: “My brush hairdryer gets gets very hot on the high setting and this glove works great, no more burnt fingers.”
24. The Slingback Shoe Straps That Help Prevent Chafing
Love slingback shoes but hate the chafing and irritation they leave on your ankles and heels? Apply these slingback strap grips and be amazed at the soothing relief they afford. The slim leather strips are backed with adhesive that secures to straps to cushion your heels and prevent rubbing while walking. If the strips are too long, you can trim to fit.
25. An Egg Cup & Cracker That Removes Eggshells With Ease
This egg topper set with two egg cups is a dream come true for anyone who enjoys a good boiled egg in the morning. The holder keeps the egg steady while the topper works its way around the shell to cut it. Then, you can eat directly from the cup with one of the included spoons.
26. This Holder That Makes Slicing Onions A Breeze
Get the perfect grip on onions, tomatoes, and potatoes with this stainless steel holder. It has 10 prongs that sink deep into produce to hold it steady, and an ergonomic handle that makes slicing an easy process while helping to prevent any knife accidents.
27. The Rechargeable Hand Warmer You Won’t Leave Home Without
When the temperatures dip, make sure you have one of these rechargeable hand warmers at the ready. It heats up instantly and can be adjusted to three different temperature levels, ranging from 95 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmer uses a rechargeable battery and can also double as a power bank to power up your phone or tablet.
28. These Dishcloths That Are Almost Endlessly Reusable
Ditch your smelly kitchen rags and upgrade your post-dinner cleanup routine with these odor-free dishcloths. The highly absorbent cloths can hold up to 15 times their weight in water, and each one replaces the use of 15 paper towel rolls, which means they’re an economical and sustainable buy. Plus, they clean easily in the dishwasher or washing machine.
29. The Key Finders That Pair With Your Smartphone
Tired of misplacing your keys and constantly running late after trying to find them? Make it a worry of the past with these key finders. Each one pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth, and when you lose your keys, you can ring them from your phone. It works on the reverse too — you can press the button on the finder to ring your phone anytime that gets lost.
30. The Stain Remover Pens You Can Keep In Your Bag
If you’re prone to spills and can’t keep your whites sparkling white, keep one of these stain remover pens in your purse or glove compartment. (You won’t regret it.) The non-bleach formula can remove makeup, chocolate, and sauce spots (including ketchup), and is safe to use on most fabrics. Plus, the convenient pen applicator makes it a breeze to use.
31. A Genuine Leather Wallet With RFID Blocking
This leather wallet is super slim, so it won’t take up a lot of space in your purse. Plus, it’s designed with RFID-blocking technology that helps keep your private information secure from digital theft. Available in colors like wine red, sky blue, and gray, it features seven card slots, an ID holder, a cash compartment, and a zippered pocket for coins.
32. The Organizer Hangers For Cramped Closets
These organizer hanger can hold up to eight hangers’ worth of clothes each, giving you back a lot more space on your closet rod and dresser drawers. The set comes with two, and they’re perfect for smaller items, like scarves, ties, tank tops, and camisoles.
33. The No-Show Socks That Keeps Feet Cool
If you prefer a sleek, discreet look, opt for these no-show socks. Covering just your toes and heels, they offer a barefoot feel and are made with a breathable, silky cool fabric that offers optimal comfort. They’re seen here in beige, but you can also snag them in black.
34. A Mini Fan You’ll Want To Have On Deck During The Warmer Months
Take it from me, you’ll want to keep this mini fan handy during the warmer months. The rechargeable device is lightweight, compact, and most importantly, will help keep you cool when it’s scorching hot out — no matter where you go. It has two airflow speeds, and will give you two to five hours of use before you need to recharge.
35. The Monitor Stand That Doubles As A Desk Organizer
This monitor stand riser gives you the perfect viewing angle for your screen while also helping to keep your desk organized. It has two pull-out drawers that can be used to store everything from documents and files to pens and sticky notes. The stand can hold up to 33 pounds and has non-skid feet that keeps it in place.
36. A Microwave Egg Cooker That Prepares Eggs In Less Than A Minute
When you’re running low on time and need a quick, delicious breakfast, this microwavable egg cooker is a great bet. It has a curved bottom that centers the yolk, a wide opening for whisking, and a removable base for easy plate transfers to a slice of toast, so you can enjoy a breakfast sandwich. The cooker is BPA-free and dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
37. This Super Clever Way To Wash & Dry Your Sneakers
Keep your kicks in pristine condition with this dryer and washer bag. You can securely fasten it to the door of your machine to prevent tumbling noises and damage to the interior of the washer or dryer. You can use the bags to safely wash your delicates, too.
38. The Magnetic Bottle Opener You Can Mount To The Fridge Or Wall
This magnetic bottle opener can be stored on your fridge or mounted to your wall (yup, it even includes the necessary hardware), so you can open up sparkling water and beer without searching for an opener in your drawers. Minimal and sleek, the opener is dishwasher-safe, rust-resistant, and available in stainless steel and black.
39. A Travel Mug With An Unbelievable 85,000 Reviews
When a product can garner over 85,000 reviews and maintain an overall 4.7-star overall rating, it immediately grabs my attention. Such is the case with this set of two stainless steel travel mugs. The mugs keep beverages hot or cold for hours. and the auto-seal lid means you don’t have to stress about leaks. The set is available in multiple colors and sizes, so you can find one you love drinking from.
40. These Rechargeable Light Bulbs That You’ll Want On Hand For Power Outages
These rechargeable light bulbs act as ordinary light bulbs when they’re screwed into light fixtures, but if the power happens to go out, they’ll still have enough juice to keep going for another three to four hours. They also come with hooks, so you can use the light bulbs in the backyard for some outdoor lighting.
41. A Portable Door Lock For An Added Level Of Security
This portable lock can be installed in seconds to provide additional safety at home or while you’re traveling. It’s designed to fit most doors that swing inward and doesn’t require the use of tools for installation — simply insert the claws into the strike plate, close the door, and it will hold position.
42. This Gadget That Makes It Easier To Carry Multiple Grocery Bags
Why make multiple trips to the car when you can use this bag carrying gadget to speed up the process? Attach your bags to the notches on each side to distribute weight, making them easier to handle. The lightweight device can withstand up to 33 pounds and will help relieve tired hands.
43. A Wax That Helps Keep Your Glasses In Place
Wearing glasses and sunnies is all good until they unexpectedly begin to slip down your face. Luckily, Nerdwax will help them stay put. Just apply it to key parts of your glasses to create a layer of grip that prevents sliding. The formula comes in a slim tube that fits in your pocket and can be reapplied on the fly.
44. These Reusable Food Wraps That Are Eco-Friendly
If you’re trying to cut back on your plastic use, these reusable food wraps are a great way to start. Made with two layers of beeswax, the flexible wraps can cover bread, produce, meat, snacks, and containers, to seal in freshness. They rinse easily with a little soap and water, and they’re reusable for up to one year. Each pack comes with five.