Best Buys Under $20

Andres Max Salmeron
18 min readJul 22, 2020

Common Trends:

  1. Tea Kettle
  2. Reading Glasses
  3. Phone Tripods/Stands
  4. Insulated Bottles and Mugs
  5. Rollers & Back scratchers
  6. Fans (with & without water spritz)
  7. Long charging cables

Via @Caissie’s Twitter Thread

Joseph Joseph Blade Brush & Cutlery Cleaner, about $5.50. Cleans knives safely and really gets between the tines of forks. — DSandyToes6

brush and cutlery cleaner

1000 googly eyes for $6. I hide them on things no more than 15 sets at a time and then my husband has to find them. It’s a great quarantine game! – JennyKnucks

This bad boy [– an anti-stress microwavable comfort wrap]! I’m 52, helps with the vapors Hot face and soon-to-be Mama’s. I gave mine to neighbor baby mama! – leeleewantsfun

This little perfume bottle from Daiso for $1.50 that I use for my sanitizer to look Fancy lol – Aintezbncheez

A jar of spicy chili crisp, specifically this brand which I can typically find at Wegmans for like $4. It’s so good on EVERYTHING but I really like it on toast with some yogurt, and on an egg sandwich. – plitter

Lodge cast iron skillet. If we had to pick one pan to use for everything, it’d be that.– TheRebeccaMetz

Costco 3 pack of reading glasses for $18.99. I have a pair for upstairs, downstairs, and in the car. Not stylish but it’s nice to be able to read something when I need to without looking all over for a single pair of glasses. – Random_1212

Pink paint for my (also very affordable) screen door. Makes me smile every time I see it.–tiffandthebug

These [placemats] are ONLY $1 + whatever sales tax in whatever state & SUPER useful if you are OCD like me & wipe down every single grocery item you buy or bring in the mail from outside & don’t know how to disinfect a wood desk. So cheap & saves me cleaning! – POFAdvocate

This magnetic spice rack also – EWachsberg

Honestly, this little mason jar changed my life. Organizes all of my makeup and looks so neat! Can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner. – gooblythe

I got these flat headphones, so I can listen to podcasts at night when in bed without waking my husband… it’s crazy how well it works! Added bonus: You can wear with an eye mask to look extra special!– JessBCaldwell

This pack of LED blackout stickers, $5. Too many bright LEDs on too many gadgets. They have “dimming” ones, too, but I like the blackout.–spdustin

These tiny zipper seal bags are great not only for sorting pills into, but also great for collecting small items when traveling (seashells, infield dirt, pebbles, etc.).–kleavitt

This thing. For one at ALDI last year. Takes the core out and slices it while getting rid of the rind. — KonieczkiMath

This small mixing bowl. I loved it so much I bought one for home & one for my camping trailer. Silly how happy a little bowl can make you during a pandemic. — es_seattle

The Ninja chopper. Saves me from having fingers that smell like garlic and onion.– E_ONeill1024

Wiffle ball set! If you’re lucky enough to have a yard I highly recommend it. – hivehusband

This Japanese nail set from Lee Valley. Good for setting popped-up nails, but it has a thousand other uses. I’ve been carrying it to use for pushing buttons, pulling open doors, and getting items off shelves that are just a few inches out of my reach. (approx 4.5" long) HaroldJ_NEPA

A DIY wall clock. I only used the dial to make it my own. I stare at it all the time. ParksThriller

These [scissors]. Life is too short for bad scissors.– DavinWood

Oh, and that Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s. Good on so many things. – torporiffic

Giant folding stool. I can’t reach ANYTHING in my house without it. – Amyisverybusy

I had always wanted a salt cellar and buying this and using it while cooking makes me irrationally happy. – jewelscali510

I have this too with fancy Maldon sea salt in [the salt cellar] and I love it! – aurakskennedy

It’s $22 but these are off-the-charts great. Incomprehensibly fantastic. They take off every speck of makeup with just water and then you just throw them in the wash and they’re clean as can be – zandywithaz

Oatmeal bath from Aveeno. Super random but my itchy skin loves it. kiwiwolfie

You visit my house, you get one of these [pan scrapers] thejoelstein

This is a lifesaver during quarantine. I mount it on a mini tripod and use my iPad as my primary camera / device for Zoom meetings. Yoassi Tripod Mount for iPad, 360° Rotatable Tiltable Anti-Wobble iPad Tripod Mount Adapte. — kleavitt

A cell phone charger with a really long cord! joepaul03

100 pack of parchment paper sheets, cut perfectly to sheet pan size. Cooking all the time during the pandemic and I use one daily for veggies, meat, you name it. katieinbold

It’s a pop up tent, changing station/ bathroom area. I call it my peetee. Take it tent camping with me during covid19 to avoid common campground bathrooms. sparrty4

Okay, it was $25 BUT…the ChomChom Roller. The amount of pet hair (that you might not have even known was there) is insane. It’s so disgustingly satisfying I swear. krystle

Kringle [pastry?]. I can spot you the extra 4 bucks. ArtDrawerGuy

I recently got an eyeshadow palette from


for $3 that has 4 shades in decent pan sizes, and they performed/blended nicely and stayed on all day. While I worked from home. In a shed. And saw no one… Whatever, it’s my $3 and I look cute. Puffpiece

This reusable straw that folds up into a little metal case misselmiraglch

We collect pop figures. We used to make it a game to find certain figures. We found a clear gallum. We hide him around the house and see who can find him — it’s actually been funny. He ends up in interesting places. exhaustedStacey

Totally impractical, but it’s a Mr. T in your pocket key chain. Seriously just hit the “I pity the fool” button, wallah instant mood change SarahHorneCook

Two damn nice fluffy bath towels!! People comment on them when they stay over. Amazing how much a sale at Target can up your “host” gsme hahah CarissaHornbeck

This [iKross] bendable iPhone tripod with Bluetooth remote. Fun for family/friend photos, selfies and (especially now) not having to ask a stranger to hold your phone and take your pic! There are other options if this one is unavailable. JamieShap

This Thermos stainless steel beverage can insulator. It keeps my seltzer cold and my hands cool, and if you get the multicolor pack or decorate with stickers, it can help you keep track of whose drink is whose. ShapeSpiral

Ok, this is a little dated but… a self-inking stamp with my name and return address. Sending 48 Christmas cards? Stamp the return address. Remember when you had to mail a check for every bill every month? Stamp the return address. DanaSChase

$19.99 Bluetooth earbuds, because AirPods are an insane waste of money –amusementshark

These folding reading glasses. 2 for $16. Keep a pair in my pocket at all times. Surprising quality and comfort. –jwhiteABQ

I don’t have central air and I complain about it every summer. This [spritzer] is my new best friend. My dogs love it too- as long as I don’t spritz them in the face. GeekColumns

Back scratchers! – melissainboston

Monkey hooks are on my list of items every home needs [like hanging pictures] -SarahZeeGee

A mop bucket that spins with the use of a foot pedal!! Liberal_family

This mug that keeps my coffee hot for hours bc I drink it so slowly dovergirl95

These reading glasses that stick to the back of your phone. $19.95 torporiffic

A pashmina scarf with bits of colour patterned on a black side and an ivory side that goes with almost every thing and I have used as a scarf, a blanket, a shade, a tablecloth, a pillow, back support, curtain. It is something I always take when traveling. travelbabble

I cleaned out the military exchange clearance inventory — $1.77 ea & free shipping to everybody — enough for a brother, all 4 sisters & nieces. Not sure what they’re doing with ’em, but I’m keeping ConAgra Brands (they own Orville Redenbacher’s) in business this election season. JohnLDavey [similar — bowl for popcorn]

This fabric shaver. $9. Effective but also ridiculously satisfying (and fun in a sort of Biore nose strip kind of way) getting sweaters de-pilled. iamdianametzger

This little outdoor, waterproof speaker! The sound is incredible. aeo2626

For writers/doodlers stuck in a Quarantine with their kid. Super fun! UnicornTanooki

Nice pencils, a bunch of those old-school freezer pops, some coasters that look exactly like old floppy disks, a new charger cable for my phone to replace a frayed one that works but sucks, nice socks, ear plugs, a spinning top to fidget with on my desk, a

donation anildash

1790 Glass Food Storage Containers 4 Piece Set — 2 Leak Resistant 1520ml Glass Storage containers — Perfect Lunch Containers for Adults — BPA Free Glass storage containers with lids jonjordan7

I wanted some long spoons for when I’m feeling fancy so I treated myself to these. I can stir a tall drink while keeping my fingertips dry (like the fancy people do!) BubbleTraveler

Telescoping back scratcher.. Proof of G*d falls_harmony

Every tiny spatula I have in my kitchen. I’m obsessed with small whisks and spatulas susie_parker

Orange peelers. Pretty helpful for someone who is impatient. AuraOfHeroism

Happy Color app for my iPa ( $ 3.99 when I got it, but I think it’s free now) *Connect Four game to play with the fam . We lost some piecesin our old game ( 7.99 ish ) *Uno cards ( 6.99 ish) * 7 pattern nozzle/ head for our garden hose to water plants and kids. (7.99ish) tangelaekhoff

@CraveNaturals wet/dry brush and hand powered fan from Daiso EWachsberg

cable guides

Cable guides that keep my charger/USB cords from falling behind my desk. And replacement double-sided pads when I need to move them. Both available at office supply shops and major retailers. GCGeek

I am on a plant kick, as they lift my spirits during quarantine, and this little beaut arrived yesterday! Silver satin pothos from Etsy for $10 + shipping. msdebra88

A badge clip for my mask. They’re for ids for hospital workers or whoever. They have a retractable cord & clip to your shirt. Super convenient for masks abbey426

My cheap cotton tartan dressing gown. It makes me so happy. It’s soft and light and I take it everywhere with me. AliCamera

Wooden tongs for taking toast out of toaster instead of burning your fingers. Added extra of having a magnet attached so they stick to the toaster. allanaharper

A hand-held steamer. How come no one told me they’re not just great for clothes, but perfect for cleaning windows, mirrors & any glass or hard surface? No more cleaners! My windows look like they were professionally done. I keep finding new uses for it. Great purchase. Zabzmom

My Joie devil oven pull from Bed Bath & Beyond! Just $5, super useful *and* makes me happy every time I use, see or think of it! Don’t miss the adorable detailing of a pointy tail on its rear!! ReshmaNayyar

I’ve had this letter opener for years (replaced a few times). Not only compact and easy, but makes a satisfying zzzzzipp sound as you slit the envelope. kleavitt

This huge bottle of tequila from Costco. snarkmonger

I bought my Aussie grill a decade ago for $19.99. Today it’s closer to $50 but price per use is so low and learning to grill is fun! charlotte_heinz

3 from the super useful category: Prepworks collapsible wash basin, SukhaLife yoga knee pad, Kuhn Rikon strain-free jar/bottle gripper/opener. supersallyryan

I got several sets of these adjustable shoe slots for my closet, and I’m so mad I didn’t know about them before. It makes you feel like you’re shopping in your very own, neatly organized store. Lori_McClain11

A cold brew coffee maker. Grind coffee, add water, leave in the fridge for 24hrs. Pour over ice and repeat. ComicsAndNoir

First thing that came to mind was Luxardo cherries. I always assumed they were only a thing you could get at a bar! You can just have them in your house and pop them in whatever! It feels luxurious and I would recommend it. staceymolski

My rimroller, until it broke. Also me tiny knife that looks like a shotgun shell. Shelley_Lawless

Crystals!!! Extra long phone cord. Portable charger. A plug with 4 USB ports. This reading light (pic) These shelves & the adhesive strips LACE FINGERLESS GLOVES so I can be

I legit carry them with me at all times- you *never know*! & gold sharpies.

A bird feeder that suctions to the window. It’s on the window in front of my desk and I get bird visitors all day while I work. duchessohhellno

Ankle sleeve. Pull it on instead of wrapping when my ‘bad ankle’ starts to feel uncomfortable. Can sleep in it, even wear with shoes. Improved quality of life. like this one. jesshuntley

My Immersion blender. So many uses and she’s a soldier! CLuehsenhop

A jewellers loupe. It’s a mini microscope, with so many uses. And you can hold it over your phone lens to check on your trichosomes. MrGolly

Foam roller!! Has helped a lot with back pain. Also a lacrosse ball which I also use to get out knots in my back. saramikaila

Butter keeper. Sits atop your counter keeping butter cool via evaporation but butter stays soft. About $10. Life changing!! stoptrumptbaggr

A set of six, 5” wooden spoons. The perfect size for so many small jobs. They sit in a small glass on my counter. $9. HANSGO Small Wooden Spoons, 6PCS outsidevoice

Plant seeds! Even if you don’t have a garden, for less than $2, you can plant seeds, grow flowers, spread joy, and experience awe of whatever you deem it: divinity, science, art. AGoodSpy

Peeps eyeglasses cleaner Gockomo

My wife bought this [cold brew iced coffee maker] for me last Christmas but it has become very essential during quarantine. I love it. lec_mae

Just bought a new electric kettle! Less than 20 at Target! IreneAdlerCal

Guitar picks! wendyandlisa

Scalp massager $11 on Amazon for spa level relaxation. It’s like a hair brush but with soft rubber bristles. debrasaidthat

2 5 -inch balls that I use against the wall to massage my back, shoulders and arms! They’re less then 10 bucks a piece! wendysurf

Therapik mosquito bite fixer. I don’t understand how it works but, it works. If you are mosquito bait, this is for you. TammyChesman

Extendable back scratchers. GrammHammer

Plastic safety knife-thingy with ceramic blades, $6 Super handy having a couple of these laying around for opening Amazon boxes, slicing up Amazon boxes to fit in the recycling bin, or… yeah, that’s what I use it for really. CheesySituation

I bought the yearlong subscription to the New York Times Games, because they sucked me in with Spelling Bee and Tiles. Now the games are one of my brain breaks during the day, to interrupt my doomscrolling. paulajanekelly

This reading light — lightweight and very adjustable Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light justthisweird

This makes me absurdly happy. It also allows me to tell the same joke each time I use it. nycbubbles

Cleaning Gel Universal Dust Cleaner for PC Keyboard Cleaning from ColorCoral 160G kleavitt

This jar opener. It is about $13 today, but I bought mine 30 years ago for much less. scribunda

This book, for 7.99 for my kindle, which introduced me to Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache (and 7 more books in the series since mid-June). I haven’t read mysteries since high school. I haven’t read this much since i became a mom. sukatra

This time of year, my cherry pitter is my favorite! TheDiKoob

Onion goggles. They look so dorky but work really well! megansingley

This makeup/toiletry carousel. It cleared up so much counter space and so can find things so easily. GalMagenta

This headphone hook stand has helped me save precious desk space while working from home. urmilesh

This dress. After I got the first one, I went back and ordered one in every color they had. It is the most comfortable thing ever and can look nice if you are into that. @sdavisneedsanap

Disney Plus. Jaime_Moyer

I have these [flashlights] stashed all over the house in places where my old eyes tend to need more light: next to the record albums, near the ancient thermostat in the dark corner, hanging on a hook in my closet… Vikki_Tikkitavi

It’s a continuing purchase and not at all exciting, but these liners have saved me countless hours of litterbox scrubbing. simcha1972

This YouCopia tea caddy. Slightly above $20, but every time I pull it out and choose from my tidy teas I feel so happy. bethmorgan

About $30 but I got a phone case with a pop socket built into the case. It makes my phone a million times more comfortable to use and I can prop it up wherever for following recipes, etc. sashahearts

This foot massager that sits under my desk at home — relaxing and makes me happy usernamejill

Trader Joe’s Umami Seasoning, Yogi Kava Tea, Bullet Journal, Audible version of The Sandman, Graphic novel version of Butler’s Parable of the Sower, and a packet of sunflower seeds…(fun to plant, got 9 feet tall, now arranging the trimmed back faded blooms to feed birds) InterminableVi

The wooden back scratcher I bought for $1.50 at CVS. My shoulders are Not Great and now I never need to worry about getting an annoying itch between my shoulder blades! KateHoldsCourt

I installed two of these [lightbulbs] in my bathroom and now I have disco showers. There’s a bunch of different settings, connects to an app. It feels like cheap colour therapy, I can pretend I’m paying for that red light bullshit. Oh, this is in Canadian $ so it’s cheaper where you are. welllahdeedah

3 from the super useful category: Prepworks collapsible wash basin, SukhaLife yoga knee pad, Kuhn Rikon strain-free jar/bottle gripper/opener. supersallyryan

Personalized pencils. Guaranteed to brighten someone’s day. I buy them from myself too. I get mine from ehme

Bought this for [cleaner] $1 at the Dollar Tree. Checked the CDC website, and it is effective against the corona virus! b_russeau

This lip balm. I take it everywhere, instant happy. Elle_Kennedy

I buy these [sunglasses] two at a time in a bunch of colors now for when I inevitably scratch/sit on/lose them and they’re great andytwood

This [flytrap] has made spending time on our patio so much more enjoyable. It’s gross when it fills up with SO many flies but totally worth it. BiscuitofYork

I bought a clear plastic bag at Lambeau Field for $15. I use it for every event I go to. I take it shopping. I take it traveling. Every time I look at it I see the Packers logo, and it makes me happy. I would 100% recommend a clear plastic bag with a logo of your choosing Jj216pp

A decent double-walled water cup with a lid and a straw. I have a Bubba from Target, I haven’t found any others I like as much. I almost always have it with me, gotta stay hydrated. MShelfer

An ice roller! Great for your face or any other body part in summer sjpuls

This may be super specific but I LOVE Sunny Pits mini. I have it in my work out bag and my regular bag. I can’t use regular deodorant and this stuff is the bomb AND I love the female (Katie Sturino) run company.

These spring clamps for $12. My kids can make the best forts now. mommyshorts

Just discovered and spent like $6 on prescription swim goggles that have changed my world. I can now see all the dirt at the bottom of the public swimming pool with clarity. chonchitto_

Sleep headphones MJB_SF

A small application that automatically answer “Yes” to the dialog box that pops out on Outlook on my office PC when another application wants to send an email. I build multiple small programs to do tasks for me and this helps a lot. More free time for me! tower_axel

A jar opener. It makes men obsolete, except for decorative purposes. ;) LauriDonahue

The only lip balm you’ll ever need. Seriously. It’s the best. Bioderma — Atoderm — Lip Stick — Hydrating, Soothing and Renewing Lip Stick — for Dry Lips — net wt.0.14 oz SeanMonster8

The Sex Bomb by Lush and their heart shaped melty chocolate massage bar. My $20 is having more fun than your $20! geekgirl2000

Drain King sewer pipe bladder! Has saved me thousands in plumbing bills for clogged pipes. rehydraters

My aunt makes very pretty practical durable comfortable masks. She sells them for $10 +shipping. I can’t stop buying them bc masks are just part of life now so why not feel vaguely pretty while being safe? poundsign4life

These waterproof headphones for swimming! 4seasun

Therapik mosquito bite fixer. I don’t understand how it works but, it works. If you are mosquito bait, this is for you. TammyChesman

A set of 4 clear plastic refrigerator bins. I waste less food, my fridge is tidier, and it’s easier to keep clean. Wish I’d bought these long ago. JAFOOFAJ

I got several sets of these adjustable shoe slots for my closet, and I’m so mad I didn’t know about them before. It makes you feel like you’re shopping in your very own, neatly organized store. Lori_McClain11

Wine. Wine boxes. Splits of wine. You see a common theme here. Radio_Reesha

A pan organizer rack- cheap, no assembly, and significantly reduced the amount of angst in putting away and taking out pans, especially skillets! LizWNelson

Dr Teal’s sleep and muscle recovery bath soaks. Depending on the store they’re around 5 or 6 bucks each. thousandfabrics

@HypeDocsCo subscription! Great way to track the things that make me happy and highly recommend it to others AashniSShah

My OVENTE electric kettle was 18.99 and it’s been a lifesaver … maybe literally, because I used to forget when I had the regular kettle on the stove! I use it every day! n69n

This manual milk frother has been one of the surprisingly enduring joys of quarantine paulajanekelly

Doesn’t technically hit the price point but I LOVE this thing, anyone w/o a dishwasher should own and it’s ADORABLE tenaletilt

These scrubbers are great. Mr_Brooksher

A Jar Pop (helps pop the lid on pickle jars, etc); some of those washable cloth “paper towels”; a measuring cup that you look down into to see the measurements (rather than from the side). KnitterJen

A cast iron scraper, similar to this one. Hard plastic blade doesn’t harm the seasoned surface. Scrape, rinse, then follow up with scrub of sea salt, olive oil and a paper towel. jeirvine

2 5 -inch balls that I use against the wall to massage my back, shoulders and arms! They’re less then 10 bucks a piece! wendysurf

Dr. Tung’s smart floss. Tastes like cardamom! And 3M microfiber lens cloths. I got all my glasses-wearing friends hooked. mobrantley

Guard your ID privacy roller stamp to block our name and address on junk mail. Container store or Amazon they have a 2 or 3 pack as well. lamusic1

Ball’s beginner canning kit. Still great for making small batches of jams and preserves. siegelka

a fabric shaver that I got for like $10 at walgreens. I use it to clean up the couch when the cats scratch it and also to save my clothes when they start pilling!! sprigemoji

A box of Rubik’s cubes. I like puzzles but I don’t feel like doing 1,000 piece puzzles all the time. tira_tira_tira

French fries. brahmkornbluth

This whisk. Voted as best flat whisk by America’s Test Kitchen. Kitty_16

I tan really easily but my arms & hands have been looking old lately & I’m getting sunspots. I apply sunscreen daily but it’s not enough. I bought sun sleeves that partially cover my hands. I’m outdoors quite a bit these days and they’ve been awesome. Put a pair in the car too. NorCalNic

Hand Free Personal Fanmommydog67

20 years ago I bought a mesh laundry bag from Walmart for like $3. It’s still in great shape and I use it all the time. I am inordinately proud of this purchase. JerryThomas

Toothpaste squeezer for all the psychopaths (@ChristFinnegan) who squeeze toothpaste from the middle like a toddler. Saved our marriage at least once. kambri

Turbie twists. They keep y hair out of the way after a shower and dries my hair and they’re comfy and great! You can get 2 for $20. sallykaybee

Dog owners/walkers! These bags are biodegradable, easy to open with one hand, and soft to the touch all while being at the same price point as all the others! The cheeky name is an added perk ;) k10says

$15 t-shirt dress from Uniglo. I’m 74 and look 12 but who cares! 2casey451

A tiny handheld milk frother! It’s great for coffee drinks and for fluffing up cream to pour on berries. OhWeeBeasties

Jinhao fountain pens, you could get one and also a bottle of Diamine Oxblood ink for about 20 bucks smokingiscool69

over lips, under eyes, top of cheeks, it is one comfort stick to rule them all and my daughter and I are both obsessed. And it’s a great woman-owned company! mpnaron

Peeps eyeglasses cleaner (+2) Gockomo

These kitchen shears workahol

$12 Crofton cold brew coffee carafe from Aldis Put in 1 cup coarse ground dark roast in filter. Fill with water Put in fridge 12–24 hrs. Mix 1:1 with cold water or milk bolekaja1001

A grabber. Grabbing things from the floor without bending. jalvear

One of your followers recommended this [lip liquid] and I’m seriously impressed. So much joy for $6!

A good pill cutter and a tube wringer RandiBop

a citrus reamer. so simple, makes making margaritas and other cocktails a breeze. LindseyMFinn

Garlic rockerAudurSmith

A monogrammed cover for my heating pad. I have endometriosis, so I spend a ton of time with my heating pad, and the monogrammed cover makes it feel more like an adorable accessory TheaBissell

A butter dish made of glass. It’s my first see through butter dish and now I always know if I have butter left. Makes me happier than I thought it would LukeDausend

chain mail scrubber for cast iron Ugarles

A one gallon glass jar that can be used for many things including making a variety of interesting drinks in bulk. JimSorensen2

This rechargeable USB candle lighter. Best invention ever tkylemac

Here are mine:

Beyond 20:

  • Rain pants
  • Tempur-Pedic mattress topper