18 Cheap but Incredibly Useful Items Everyone Should Own

Everyday items don’t need to be expensive to be useful. Items like cable organizers, silicone baking mats, and reusable straws reduce waste and clutter for a low price. Here are 18 cheap but incredibly useful items everyone should own.

Cable Organizers

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Cable organizers keep cables neatly managed and untangled, improving the aesthetics and functionality of work and living spaces. They are also helpful for storing cables in drawers and preventing damage from bending and twisting.

Reusable Shopping Bags

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Switching to reusable shopping bags reduces the demand for single-use plastic bags, which contributes to marine pollution. Reusable bags are also made to hold more weight than plastic bags and have comfortable handles. These bags aren’t just for groceries; they can be used for a variety of shopping needs and as tote bags.

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

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These cleaning cloths are ideal for cleaning glasses, screens, and surfaces without leaving scratches or lint. Merry Maids notes that these cloths are often made with “a blend of polyester and polyamide or nylon,” which makes the cloth porous and “offers more fiber surfaces with which to clean.”

Silicone Baking Mats

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These baking mats are made from food-grade silicone and fiberglass. Because of their non-stick qualities, they eliminate the need for cooking sprays, butter, or parchment paper. They are also easy to wash with soap and hot water and can be placed in the dishwasher.

Collapsible Water Bottles

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Collapsible water bottles are great space savers, easily collapsing for compact storage in bags when traveling or on trips to the gym. They are reusable and available in food-grade silicone, free of the BPA found in plastic water bottles.

LED Night Lights

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LED night lights use less electricity than traditional bulbs, helping to keep energy bills down. Some models can also turn on and off automatically based on ambient light, which offers convenience over traditional night lights.

Sticky Notes

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Sticky notes are great for reminders, to-do lists, or leaving messages for family and coworkers. Scientific American also reports that writing by hand leads to higher electrical activity than typing across “a wide range of interconnected brain regions responsible for movement, vision, sensory processing, and memory.”

Digital Kitchen Timers

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Digital kitchen timers help keep track of cooking times and have uses beyond timing, including study sessions and work tasks that require time management. They are small enough to carry around the kitchen and usually feature a straightforward interface.

Shoe Organizers

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Shoe organizers can hang over a door or stand inside a closet or hallway, saving floor space while keeping shoes organized. They also make it easier to find pairs of shoes and keep floors cleaner and free from mud.

Reusable Straws

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Stainless steel, metal, or silicone reusable straws reduce the waste and environmental pollution associated with plastic versions. They can also be washed in the dishwasher, and many come with their own cleaning brush, making them easy to maintain.

Magnetic Key Holders

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Magnetic key holders can be placed near a home’s front door for easy access and hold small tools. Electricity – Magnetism explains that the magnet in these holders enables them to be attached to any metal surface while securing keys.

Spill-proof Cup Lids

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Spill-proof cup lids are ideal for protecting drinks from spilling and keeping insects out when drinking outdoors. They are also designed to fit a range of cup sizes and are reusable and easy to clean.

Lint Rollers

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Lint rollers are great for pet owners and for removing lint and dust from clothing and furniture. Their compact size makes them easy to keep in a bag or car for on-the-go use and they are usually refillable.

Clip-on Reading Lights

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Clip-on reading rights provide focused illumination without disturbing others, making them perfect for reading in bed. Their compact size makes them portable and easy to attach to books, e-readers, and desks.

Plant Watering Globes

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Plant watering globes are useful tools for keeping plant soil moist. As the stem of the globe is pressed into the soil, water trickles out, and the air is sucked out, creating a vacuum that prevents more water from escaping. When the pot’s soil dries, air escapes the bulb, allowing some water to escape and keeping the plant’s ground constantly moist.

Tea Infusers

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Tea infusers have been popular for brewing loose-leaf teas since the early 19th century. They release more flavor than traditional tea bags, and Twinings notes they come in several options, including eggs and ‘bucket style.’

Pocket Notebooks

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A pocket notebook is perfect for jotting down thoughts, reminders, and instructions on the go or at work. Their compact size makes them ideal for pockets or purses, and they can also be used for sketching, list-making, or as a diary.

Sewing Kits

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A basic understanding of clothes alterations and sewing helps extend the lifetime of garments and avoid costly repairs from a tailor. Keeping a sewing kit small enough to carry when traveling and containing essentials for quick fixes can be a lifesaver for unexpected clothing mishaps.

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