Skip To Content

    30 Affordable Things That Basically Pay For Themselves After The First Use

    What could you do with all the money you save in the long run from these purchases?

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A mini portable washing machine if your rental didn't bless you with an in-unit washer. Okay, so maybe this will pay for itself after the first six months of use, but just think of how much money you'll save on laundromat costs.

    White mini portable washing machine
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Using these type washer\spin-dryer machines requires more effort, but here is why you will want to purchase one immediately: If you have been using machines that require inserting COINS:

    One Wash = $1.50

    One Dry = $1.50

    Let's say you do four loads a week:

    One Wash x 4 = $6

    One Dry x 4 = $6

    $12 x 52 weeks = $624

    $624 - $145.99 (KUPPET 26lb machine) = $478.01 Savings

    This is why you will buy this KUPPET." —Sweeps Guy

    Get it from Amazon for $163.99 (available in two colors).

    2. A jewelry cleaning stick that'll make your diamonds shine bright like, well, a diamond without forcing you to drop serious cash to have a professional clean it.

    A reviewer showing a foggy, dull green ring at first, then the ring looking clear and brighter after
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This little pen brush is incredible! I wasn't sure if it would work well on my emerald engagement ring since it's mostly advertised for diamonds, but I thought I'd give it a try. I have been wearing the ring since getting engaged in October, and even though I had it cleaned at the jeweler's in April, it just didn't seem as bright as it was when it was new and I thought it would just always be a little cloudy. But after cleaning it once with the Dazzle Stik I was blown away by the difference — it looks as bright and sparkly as when I first got it! I'm so glad I didn't buy an ultrasonic cleaner since this is so much less expensive and easier and gentler — it took me less than a minute to clean and I can do it whenever I want! And it's honestly better than when the jeweler cleaned it. So thrilled!" —KFray

    Get it from Amazon for $9.25.

    3. Bottle cleaning tablets because without them, you're left with basically two other options: you can keep drinking out of a gross, muck-filled water bottle or you can toss your Hydroflask and spend another $45 for a new one. Cleaning tablets it is!

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I seriously can't believe how well these little tablets work. I had the most disgusting HydroFlask coffee mug, and I tried everything — Bottle brush, different kinds of soap, vinegar, EVERYTHING — and there was still a seemingly impenetrable layer of black sludge inside. It grossed me out so much that I bought ANOTHER HydroFlask to replace it. Now eventually they both got black inside, so I tried these little magic tablets. I let a tablet sit in each of my mugs for an hour or two, and the black sludge rinsed out COMPLETELY, without even scrubbing. They look brand new. What a magical product. No weird smell or taste afterward, either. I liked it so much I used it on another HydroFlask I use primarily to hold my Bloody Mary mix in the fridge. I couldn't put anything else in it because it would always taste like spicy tomato juice. Bottle Bright to the rescue! No residual smell or taste anymore. AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $8+ (available as packs of 12 and 36 tablets).

    4. Cleaning gel that'll reaaally get in between those laptop keys to pick up any dirt, dust, hair or crumbs that lurk beneath the surface and render your devices unfunctional in the long run.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I was skeptical at first. I was afraid my keyboard would be all gummed up with yellow slime! The opposite happened: it cleaned it as good as new. Got all those dog hairs between the keys! No smell lingering on the keyboard or my hands. No sign I even used it except a clean keyboard. It's also kind of fun to play with. Squeeze it between your fingers! My next task for it will be those dust return air vents on our heating system and use it on my dusty window blinds. This stuff works and I highly recommend!" —Billy

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99.

    5. A pack of twisty cable savers so you can prevent your charging cables from peeling and breaking, and prevent yourself from shelling out the cash to replace them.

    A computer charger showing the twisty cable saver around the wire
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I'm not sure what I do, but I'm hard on my charging cables, and I get two to three months' use before they start to split from the cable and the plastic and I have to replace them. I've used Apple, Belkin, Anker, and Amazon Basics, which are great but I still go through them. I came across these and tried them out and they're awesome. I've been using the same cable for six months now, which is the longest I've used one for. It's still going strong. These are a great little solution that cost a lot less than replacing lightning charging cables." —sophiehehe

    Get it from Amazon for $4.98 (available in two color sets).

    6. These reusable makeup cleaning cloths that last several months at a time and will make you say goodbye to pre-moistened makeup wipes FOREVA!!! All you need to do is wet them with water and wipe your makeup (and stress of re-buying wipes) away.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I'm not kidding when I say that this is the best make up remover I've ever owned. As you can see from the picture, I wear quite a lot of makeup. I use primer, medium coverage foundation, high coverage concealer, powder, the works and setting spray. I've used these for a few years now and I have no regrets. I would say they last about five to six months (with washing) before they become worn out. When they do, I like using them to clean my eye shadow brushes in between applications." —Zoey

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99.

    7. The one and only Fanola purple shampoo to remove brassiness from your hair because no one's tryna spend $60+ at the salon for toner every six weeks.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Thank goodness I found this stuff!!! I'm pretty religious in getting my hair done every 10–12 weeks, mainly because my hair always goes warm and it drives me crazy. I'm not sure if there were new products used this last time I went to the salon but my hair turned brassy within four weeks instead of the usual 10. Instead of taking the 40-mile drive to the salon and paying all that money again, I got this shampoo. I used it like shampoo the first night, leaving it in for two minutes. The second night, I used it like a mask, leaving it on for five minutes. Seriously where has this shampoo been all my colored hair life?!" —S. Elison

    Get it from Amazon for $11.19+ (available in three sizes).

    8. Charcoal shoe deodorizers because instead of calling your favorite pair of sneakers quits because of a little (okay, a lot) of funk, you can just pop one of these guys in and say hello to a cleaner smelling shoe.

    The gray charcoal packets inside several pairs of shoes
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I have a pair of black leather flats that stank so badly my husband would yell at me if I took them off anywhere near him. But I love the shoes!!! So I had to find something to make the stench go away without leaving me with an allergic reaction. Mini Moso was the answer. I honestly couldn’t believe it. A few days after placing them in my prized off shoes I took a whiff from about a foot away. Nothing. I got closer. Nothing. I stuck my nose practically in the shoe. Ok, maybe that’s pushing things, but I’ve got to tell you that 95% of the broken-in leather grossness was gone. So happy!!!" —Erin

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95.

    9. A bottle of wood polish and conditioner that'll restore your cabinets, floors, tables, and more to their once-glorious sheen.

    A reviewer's brown cabinet looking dull at first, then looking brighter and cleaner after
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "OMG! This is the most AMAZING product! We inherited some antique furniture from the 30's that had been in storage forever... it was dry and dirty and not much to look at. I used this product on it and the oak wood literally came alive showing the beautiful grain and texture of the wood. I have since used it on my oak kitchen cabinets and they look AMAZING! I will never use anything else other than this product on my wood surfaces! No greasy feel... fantastic smell!" —Tiffany Sadowski

    Get it from Amazon for $14.98.

    10. This compact $20 cold brew maker you'll never want to part with because it's a helluva lot better than spending $6 a day to get your iced coffee fix.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Just like everyone else, I wanted the cost savings and convenience of iced coffee at home. I followed the instructions (def used 15 tablespoons as suggested). Then added the filtered water from our fridge. Mine sat a little over 14 hours and it was perfect! I didn't have coarse ground coffee in the house so I used my regular Folgers med/dark and it was perfect! I was worried the grinds would seep into the pitcher through the filter net but surprisingly it didn't! I removed the filter part and it was super easy to clean. I added ice, a little bit more water to the concentrate and then some flavored creamer! And wow! Perfect for summer days! Looking forward to using this with my protein smoothies to make vanilla latte shakes." —LLA

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in two sizes and three colors).

    11. A Bluapple produce saver that absorbs the ethylene gas produced by fruits and veggies, thus allowing you to enjoy your produce for weeks after they normally would've gone bad.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I love awesome little items like the Bluapple that serve a useful purpose and make life a little easier. I put a Bluapple in each of my bottom fridge drawers where I keep my fruits and veggies and I have definitely noticed a difference. My fruits and veggies remain fresh and last longer before going bad. This saves me money and although I compost any fruits or veggies that go bad, I prefer not to have perfectly good fruit go bad before we had a chance to eat it. I am going to buy more to place throughout the fridge since we are buying and eating more fruits and veggies this summer. I also appreciate how the contents inside can be fed to a houseplant as fertilizer every three months when adding a fresh refill." —Mariposa

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

    12. These collapsible silicone straws you can use literally anywhere at any time. You can: a) quit buying plastic straws over and over again, and b) help save the sea turtles because you're no longer using plastic straws!!!! 🐢

    The colorful straws being used in smoothies, milk, and iced tea
    Amazon

    Promising review: "These straws are made of high quality silicone, and are made to replace all of your paper and plastic straws. I love carrying these straws with me when I go out. I love how this comes with 12 straws, and four carrying cases, so that I always have a clean straw with me. This set also comes with cleaning brushes so it is really easy to keep these clean. If you are looking for a way to be green and help the environment, replacing all of your straws with reusable silicone ones like these are a great start!" —Amy S.

    Get a pack of 12 from Amazon for $7.99.

    13. A waterproof phone pouch so you can have your phone by your side no matter where your aquatic adventures take you — and not stress about the replacement phone you'll need if you drop your device in water.

    amazon.com, Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    I bought this case for a trip to San Diego when I knew I was going to go kayaking and wanted photos without the risk of getting my phone wet in case I got splashed by giant waves or fell in the water (yeet). I liked that this case came with a lanyard so I could wear my phone around my neck while kayaking, and it promised that you could still use your phone as you normally would even though it’s in a plastic case. When it arrived, I tested it the case by putting paper towels inside the case (not my phone!!) and submerging it in water. The paper towels came out completely dry! So the case performed exceptionally well during my trip. I got clear photos and videos with the case on and my phone was dry as a bone. I literally tell all my friends to get this case!

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99 (available in 15 colors/designs).

    14. This 'lil makeup spatty to make getting the very last bit of makeup as easy as spending $50 for another bottle of foundation at Sephora.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "This is such a great tool! I use the small one to get the remaining makeup (especially foundation) out of the bottles. It ain't pretty but it works — just take a look at what came out of these jars! [above]" —Ashley Ruiz

    Get it from Amazon for $4.94.

    15. A blister balm stick so you won't have to go running to the nearest CVS for bandages because your new sneakers pinched your feet in all the wrong places.

    A model using the deodorant-like balm to apply to their feet
    Amazon

    Promising reviews: "I thought this stuff was a bunch of BS, I was like pssh what a waste of $8 ON AMAZON FOR THIS LITTLE THING. Well, I put it on today on spots where my flats rub off the skin. My feet survived an entire day, INTACT! Highly recommend. This product made wearing shoes that rub on your ankles/backs of your feet doable!!!!" —Jamie

    "All, I am proud to post that I had just completed the 2018 Boston Marathon in torrential rain and hurricane winds. It’s like when you walk from your car to your house door and you are soaked from head to toe. One of the absolute worst conditions for a marathon. A friend recommended Body and Foot Glide...I coated my entire foot, between the toes and all. NO BLISTERS after 26.2 miles in the pouring rain. Sneakers soaked at the start. I cannot rave more about this product. Incredible value to save you a lot of pain. Highly recommended for bad weather, breaking in new shoes, etc." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $8.

    16. Silicone baking liners that really hold up to your wildest muffin or cupcake creations and peel off easily so you can use 'em over and over and over again.

    A reviewer showing muffins removed from the silicone cups
    amazon.com

    Promising reviews: "I've only made one batch of muffins with them so far, but I love this product already! The muffins came out really easily and didn't leave much on the silicone. The liners hold their shape; so they could probably even be used without a muffin pan. And my 20-month-old enjoys playing with them while I'm not baking!" —Brian G.

    "I bought these to make pumpkin chocolate chip baked oatmeal cups in.....they are fantastic! I can put the ingredients in, bake them and pop them right out! I bought a set of 12....then discovered I needed more than 12, so I bought another set (different brand/ from a different place) and I found that the ones from Amazon were much more sturdy and thicker than the ones bought elsewhere." —Amazon Customer

    Get a set of 12 from Amazon for $7.99+ (also available as a set of 24).

    17. Makeup brush shampoo because your favorite brushes and sponges really don't deserve to be tossed in the trash and replaced just because of some stubborn makeup that won't come out when you wash 'em with handsoap.

    A reviewer showing makeup brushes with powder and blush on it at first, then the brushes looking cleaner after
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I absolutely LOVE this brush shampoo! I purchased two bottles. I was a little skeptical of how well it would clean my brushes since I had never tried it before, but after using this I am very pleased with the outcome. It has a faint 'shampoo scent' but nothing too overpowering, and suds like you wouldn't believe. They got all the way down to the base of the brush and gave it a really good cleaning. One of my brushes is made from boar hair (Estée Lauder powder brush) and I was worried it was going to frizz out and ruin the shape but it actually improved it after I had previously used baby shampoo. It's very soft and not at all coarse feeling. I also used this shampoo on my Beauty Blender, and it did a great job getting all the foundation out. All in all, I'd rate this product a 10/10!" —Katastrophe

    Get it from Amazon for $6.94.

    18. A satin pillowcase that won't be too harsh on your strands — you can wake up with smoother, frizz-free hair at a fraction of the cost of a deep conditioning treatment at a salon.

    A model putting their head on a pillow with the leopard print satin pillowcase over it
    Kitsch

    Promising review: "I love my satin Pillowcase. It’s made such a difference with my hair. Especially on my dry shampoo days. I wake up with a good hair day! You have to believe me and buy one for yourself! Amazing!!" —Alison

    Get it from Kitsch for $19 (find other colors on their page).

    19. An suction shower hook for your razor so you can stop buying a new razor every couple of weeks when you misplace it or it rusts prematurely.

    Round suction cup hooks stuck to a wall and holding up a razor and loofah
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Love these! I put one in our bathroom and the guest bathroom too! They hold my razor perfectly and I don’t have to worry about rusting or the razor being wet! Super durable and high quality!" —Jas

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $10.99 (available in two styles).

    20. This water flosser to thoroughly clean all those hard-to-reach nooks so you can do your best to avoid tooth decay (and avoid high dentist bills for treating cavities down the road).

    Water flosser in hand. The flosser has a handle with a narrow tip and a wire connecting it to a water reservoir
    Amazon

    Promising review: "So...this is amazing. This is my first review ever on Amazon after ordering numerous things. I had periodontal pockets from not flossing and I also experienced some bone loss. I literally hated flossing and would find myself avoiding to floss even though I needed it very much. My gums were red, swollen, and inflamed because I was in the early stages of periodontal disease. I started using this flosser and instantly knew I liked this way of flossing much better! After using it consecutively each night for only five days my gums were noticeably cleaner and felt much better. After two weeks of using the this flossing system my gums have done a complete 180 and my mouth and gums are starting to heal properly!" —Ebony

    Get it from Amazon for $65.98+ (available in seven colors and two styles).

    21. Blue light-blocking glasses that reviewers say prevent headaches and reduce eye strain from looking at screens for a fraction of the cost of eyedrops and headache medication you'd end up using for years.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I love these glasses, they are super cute. I work at a computer every day for at least eight hours plus take online classes and over the past few months have been getting really bad headaches and so I wanted to try these out and see if they helped. I can honestly say that they have! I have fewer headaches and my eyes aren't super tired anymore. Also, I picked this particular brand because they were designed to block blue light and they send you a test kit with the glasses, as opposed to just being cute, and the price is perfect." —Gabrielle

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99 (available in 16 colors/designs).

    22. A leather cord keeper to keep your important wires and cables tangle-free. It'll prevent you from having to shell out cash to replace your earbuds when you tug at a knot a little too hard and wind up snapping the wire.

    Small leather flaps clasped together by a button and keeping a USB cord from getting tangled
    DarrellStanding / Etsy

    Promising review: "These are great, they're exactly as pictured and do exactly what I need them to do — keep my cords together and keep everything neat!" —Shawna

    Get it from DarrellStanding on Etsy for $2.73+ (available in 12 colors and sets of one, three, five, 10, and 20).

    23. The ~incomprable~ Aztec Secret Indian healing clay mask because (speaking from personal experience) it improved my skin for $12 in a way that $120+ face masks couldn't!!! You know what else makes my skin glow? Saving money.

    A reviewer with the light green clay mask on their face
    amazon.com

    I use to break out once or twice a month, but I typically get huge cystic acne flare-ups that leave dark marks. I've mixed this mask with apple cider vinegar, which makes for a really smooth consistency. Twenty minutes on my face, and my skin feels super smooth and totally clean! I used the mask twice a week for a few months and some of my huge dark marks faded. It also helped dry out the cystic breakouts before they could cause too much trouble.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.79+ (available in two sizes).

    24. A transformative shoe cleaning solution because, honestly, you DON'T need another pair of sneakers just because you got a little dirt on your first pair.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Best DIY shoe cleaner on the market. I was introduced to this product a few years back at the Costa Mesa Open Air Flea Market in Orange County, SoCal and the product is magically amazing; cleaning my athletic shoes to almost good as new. I bought two bottles and they lasted me about five years. Recently, I used this on my genuine suede boots and they look as good as the day I bought them. You just have to wet (with warm water) the enclosed brush and apply a small amount of Pink Miracle onto the brush and apply vigorously to the surface of the shoe. After a few scrubs, wipe the area with a clean towel. You will be able to notice the difference immediately." —SgtSonic

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97+ (available in two sizes).

    25. And, this tube of Shoe Goo to seal off any holes or cracks in the lining of your shoes so you can keep wearing them for as long as possible before you 110% can't avoid replacing them.

    A reviewer squeezing a tube of black shoe goo onto the side of boots
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Wow! My partner wore two huge holes all the way through his shoes and I decided to try this out. I did two coats just to be safe, but after it fully dried, it completely filled in the holes! He says it feels like nothing is even there and the holes haven't reopened despite several weeks of daily use since then. This stuff is basically like rubber cement, it's quite durable! I only used maybe 1/3 of the tube so I still have plenty leftover, too. As a tip, it's recommended to put a little Vaseline in the cap before storage, so it won't be glued shut next time you try to open it again." —Isaac

    Get it from Amazon for $9.47+ (available in two versions and two packs).

    26. A cast-iron Le Creuset Dutch oven you'll certainly be using for a long, long time instead of having to replace a cheap one every year.

    Blue Le Creuset Dutch oven on kitchen counter
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I can't say enough about these... just love them. They are pricey, but in my opinion, everything I have gotten from Le Creuset has been worth it. They are pieces that you hand down to your grandchildren. They are made well, cook well, and look beautiful. And, as a bonus, you don't need to have tons of pans, pots, and cookware if you're using these. Just a few essentials are all you need due to the quality." —Olga Loinfeisk

    Get it from Amazon for $374.95 (available in 10 colors and the option to include a skillet).

    27. This silicone toe cap to protect your little piggies from blisters and corns, and even to shield ingrown or lost toenails while they heal. Better to pay up a little cash now than to spend big bucks when it becomes a bigger problem.

    A reviewer showing the nude toe cap over their big toe
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This is an unbelievable product! I work 12-hour shifts in the hospital and need protection for the corn on my left great toe. I purchased the size large and it fit well. Underneath my socks and athletic shoes, I completely forgot I was wearing it — bonus! The silicone is very soft and flexible and cleans easily. The product is priced well for the quality and quantity (six) that is provided. Each toe cap is packaged individually in the bag so the order can be shared with others if desired. I would absolutely recommend this since it has held up quite well for the 17 hours I often have it on (from the time I wake up until I am back from my shift). Cleans and dries easily and has maintained its shape." —LJ

    Get a set of six from Amazon for $10.99 (available in two sizes and two colors).

    28. This fiber lash mascara that gives you all of the length and volume without the cost of eyelash extensions. Plus, with the time you save from not having to maintain your extensions every two weeks, you can finally work on your plan to take over the world. >:)

    A reviewer showing barely-there lashes on one eye and longer slightly curled lashes on the other eye
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I had people asking me all day long why I decided to get extensions. I think that sentence alone speaks for itself. Yes, it's a little pricier than I'd normally pay for mascara but boy was it worth it. So easy to use, so easy to clean, and gives that drama that any girl wants. Well, on her eyes at least." —Aly

    Get it from Amazon for $14.90.

    29. These sticky stakes that work wonders for trapping annoying insects that have overstayed their welcome in your darling houseplants. Definitely cheaper (and less painful!) than tossing the plant you paid for, and much less annoying that simply living with the infestation.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Holy cow these suckers work! I'm so grossed out by the result, but at the same time, I have a sick sense of satisfaction. I used these in my house plants that are breeding fungus gnats like crazy. I used them in conjunction with beneficial nematodes, and they definitely cut down on the number of gnats in our house. Unfortunately, I added a new house plant, plus repotted one that had outgrown its prior home, and we are wrapped up in them again. I'm buying another package of sticky traps as soon as I finish this review!" —Megan

    Get a pack of seven from Amazon for $5.09+ (also available as a pack of 12).

    30. And a pair of aerating wineglasses because they'll actually make your cheap wine taste like a glass of the slightly pricier stuff.

    Aerating wine glass cup with a mini cup with holes inside
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "We tested them by comparing the wine before and after using the glass and there WAS a difference in the quality of the taste. Most items are mostly hype but this one seems to be real. Besides, it's cute to watch it flow." —KHofferMD

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $50.

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    What's your favorite product?

    Tell us about your favorite product
    Your review may be featured in a BuzzFeed.com post.
    *
    *
    *
    Minimum 25 characters, 1500 characters left
    *
    Upload up to 4 photos you took of the product and/or how you use it. (We love before & after photos!)
    View our photo guidelines with tips that increase your chance of getting featured.
    Max 10 MB. Accepted file types: .jpg, .jpeg, .png.

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form