The ongoing search for products that make life easier and are budget-friendly can sometimes feel like a neverending money pit. Items that may help us save time and improve our finances, in the long run, can require a big investment upfront. But for every high price smart appliance and costly tech upgrade, there are plenty of inexpensive products that can just as easily become your new favorite gadget.
By making daily tasks easier and less time-consuming, we are free to do more of the things that bring us joy, whether that’s visiting a loved one, exploring a new hobby, or working on passion projects.
Of course, an item being affordable doesn’t offer any real savings of time or money if it doesn’t improve your life. That’s why we rounded up a list of the best products under $25 that are both cost-effective and useful, whether you’re looking to save time at home, on your commute, or while socializing.
Ready to jump in? Take a look at our list of the best products under $25.
1. Mini Bag Sealer
If you find that you always have more open bags than you do chip clips, get ready to meet your new favorite kitchen accessory. This mini bag sealer is powered by two AA batteries and takes only five seconds to heat up. Not only is this an easy way to keep your food fresher longer, the sealer even has a hidden blade that makes opening bags easy as well. It’s a full circle product.
2. Lock Laces
BEST FOR SAVING TIME
We can’t remember the last time we had to stop what we were doing to tie our shoelaces and that is because of the wonderful world of no-tie shoelaces. There are styles for dress shoes, work boots, casual shoes and sneakers. What do all these no-tie laces have in common? Users adjust them once, lock them in place and enjoy never having to bend down and tie their laces again.
3. Core Organic Plant-Based Energy Bar
Never have time to eat breakfast? Always find yourself reaching for something unhealthy to snack on between meals? Do yourself and your body a favor and try the Core Organic Plant-Based Energy Bars. Low in sugar and high in protein and fiber, the nutrition bars are packed with prebiotics and probiotics, which is good news for your gut. SPY tried a sample of the bars and we liked that they were also great pre and post-workout and were plant-based.
4. Lebogner Auto Steering Wheel Desk
BEST FOR COMMUTERS
Eating and working in your car isn’t easy, but the Lebogner Auto Steering Wheel Desk can make cramped conditions less messy and uncomfortable. The desk fits snugly over most steering wheels and instantly provides a stable, flat surface when parked. Please don’t use your laptop while driving.
5. Smart Planner Pro
The Smart Planner Pro is a convenient central location for organizing your work and social calendar, setting intentions and goals, and keeping yourself accountable. SPY received a sample of the bestselling planner and we liked seeing our day and week laid out with time stamps. We also liked that there were small areas to write down our goals without the space feeling overwhelming. For those of you looking to get a bit more organized, this is one of the best products under $25 you can buy right now.
6. Bentgo Prep 3-Compartment Meal-Prep Containers
From improving health to saving monthly, meal prep has a lot of benefits. It’s also a lot of work. Make it easier for yourself with the Bentgo Prep 3-Compartment Meal-Prep Containers. The set of 10 containers come with matching lids and are microwaveable, freezer, and dishwasher safe. Great for meal prep and sending guests home with leftovers, the containers can also be stacked together for easy storage, which means no more bracing for an avalanche each time you open your container drawer.
7. Synergee Core Sliders
BEST WORKOUT GEAR
The pandemic has shown a lot of people that they can get a great workout without leaving home. Sliders are one of the most affordable pieces of gym equipment, they take up virtually no space, and they can be used at any skill level. A quick YouTube or Instagram search will result in hundreds of workout ideas for every muscle and sliders can be used on just about any type of flooring.
8. Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner Kit
Cleaning stainless steel appliances with a non-stainless steel cleaning product is a waste of time that will leave your appliances with smudges and fingerprints still visible. SPY received a sample of the Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner and we liked that our appliances looked brand new in seconds and that the solvent-free cleaner came with a microfiber towel that properly wiped and buffed stainless steel surfaces (paper towels are no friend to stainless steel).
9. Volcanic Store Magnetic Dry Erase Calendar
BEST FOR FAMILY ORGANIZING
A dry erase calendar for your fridge may sound like a pretty basic product to include on our list but being able to see our monthly schedule all in one place has been a game-changer. Great for keeping the whole house organized, the Volcanic Store calendar is large enough to see from across the room and has a notes section that makes a great spot for a grocery list. Want another hack? We recommend buying two so you can keep track of the current month and the next month at once.
10. Saltverk Birch Smoked Sea Salt
BEST FOR CHEFS
When you’re trying to cook in a hurry, skipping steps that involve combining spices and creating sauces can leave you with a bland meal. Add flavor in seconds with one of the salts from Saltverk. SPY received a sample of the Icelandic salts and we loved that a small pinch of flavors like Birch Smoked Sea Salt and Lava Sea Salt instantly added depth to our once bland, now delicious meats, veggies, and fish.
11. Lention USB C to HDMI 2.0 Cable Adapter
You can squint at your laptop screen when streaming movies or doing a Zoom workout class or you can easily connect your computer to your TV screen using the Lention 6FT USB C to HDMI 2.0 Cable Adapter. We recommend the second option.
12. Partake Classic Pancake and Waffle Mix
If you’re a fan of brunch or brinner (breakfast for dinner) but don’t have time to whip up a batch of pancakes from scratch, it’s time to stock your pantry with the Classic Pancake and Waffle mix from Partake. Vegan and gluten-free and made without common allergens, Partake requires users to add water and … that’s it. No eggs, no oil, no problem. SPY received a sample of the new pancake and waffle mix and we liked that some mornings call for a classic mix and others for Partake’s Confetti Pancake and Waffle Mix.
13. Protec Humidifier Tank Cleaner
BEST CLEANING HACK
Humidifiers are great to use in dry climates or when you’re suffering from a cold. Unfortunately, they are a pain to clean. Delay the inevitable build-up of calcium and gunk in your humidifier with the Protec Tank Cleaner — just make sure the opening on your humidifier is big enough for the little fish cleaner.
14. Air Fryer Liners
BEST FOR AIR FRYER FANS
Air Fryers also make our list of ‘Great Gadgets That Are Annoying to Clean.’ They turn our boring potatoes into crispy fries, they perfectly reheat our pizza slices and they make it easy to roast chicken to the recommended temperature. Enjoy your air fryer with significantly less clean-up by using pre-cut liners. Available in several sizes to fit most air fryers, the liners don’t eliminate mess, but they definitely help to reduce your time spent standing in front of the sink.
15. HomeNote Misting Cooling System
BETS FOR WARM CLIMATES
If you like spending time outdoors but can’t stand the heat during warm months, the HomeNote Misting Cooling System is for you. The PU tube connects directly to your outdoor faucet and creates a gentle, refreshing mist. Easy to install (we secured ours to a balcony overhang in about 10 minutes), the HomeNote can be placed along roofs, fences, outdoor umbrellas and more.