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    26 Cheap Solutions To Expensive Problems

    Just a couple of ways to fix life's most annoying problems — all for under 50 bucks.

    by ,

    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 polishing kit to make foggy headlights look as crystal clear as they did when you first drove it off the lot.


    Promising review: "This neat little kit has almost everything you need to get started on your headlights. The steps are pretty straight forward and simple. If you can apply wax to a car, you can do this. The result? Wow. I started with two 10-year-old headlight lenses that were horrible. I didn't think they would pass inspection, and they ruined the look of the vehicle. When I completed the last step, wiping on the sealant that has to dry for four hours, I was amazed. They actually looked like I had spent $200 for a new pair of headlight lenses. They were crystal clear. As it is, comparing my vehicle to a new one, you can't tell these lenses are even a year old. They really do look brand new. This kit saved me over $300 for the parts and only took a little time that I had to kill. If I need to do my other vehicles, I'm getting more of these kits and not stressing over it." —Alester Buckman

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    2. A pair of bamboo charcoal shoe deodorizers so you can go sockless and never have to worry about your shoes emitting an unpleasant odor.

    Yi Yang / BuzzFeed

    These can be reused for up to two years. To rejuvenate, simply place the bags in the sun once a month for at least one hour. To learn more, check out a review of the bamboo charcoal shoe deodorizers.

    Promising review: "These are magical! I have a favorite pair of shoes that got soaked in the rain. I thought the stench after that meant complete ruin and was ready to throw them away when I found these. I placed them inside the pumps for a week. And that was that. The stench is completely gone!!! Unbelievable." —Amazon Customer

    Get them from Amazon for $9.95.

    3. A jewelry cleaning solution that will have your precious stones shining brighter than the sun.


    The solution is non-toxic, and it comes with a small cleaning brush.

    Promising review: "ABSOLUTELY THE BEST JEWELRY CLEANER HANDS-DOWN!!! I have a ton of jewelry — a diamond tennis bracelet, 14-karat rings and earrings, precious stones, pearls, and vermeil, too. I cleaned my expensive pieces, and they sparkled like they never have, the pearls' luster was so vibrant I was in awe. The one piece that sealed the deal is a Sleeping Beauty turquoise and diamond ring I have. The diamonds are okay quality, but after cleaning it, it shimmers and twinkles like it never has. Cleans vermeil beautifully, too!" —tammy

    Get it from Amazon for $7.95.

    4. A pack of elastic fasteners because there is nothing more annoying than having to get up in the middle of the night to fix the sheets when they slip off the mattress.

    Reviewer photo of elastic fasteners on bed sheets

    Promising review: "These sheet straps are the best purchase I have ever made. I bought a new bed and had to put a thick mattress protector on it for the warranty to remain active, so my sheets fit very snugly. I toss and turn a lot and my dog moves around a lot, so the sheets were always coming off the corner. I bought these, and it only took a couple minutes to put on. It’s been a week and my sheets have stayed in place. This was the perfect simple and cheap solution for a major annoyance." —Shariece

    Get a four-pack from Amazon for $8.99.

    5. A scratch remover to fix the scuffs on your car for 10x less than what a mechanic would charge.


    Promising review: "I had a few noticeable fine scratches on the hood of my truck that I tried this Trinova Scratch and Swirl Remover on, and it worked. I no longer have to be annoyed every time I approach my vehicle from the front! It didn't take a lot of effort to get it back to looking like new again. I will use it again in the future if necessary. I'm glad that I didn't pay someone at the body shop to try to buff the scratches out, I saved a bunch of money with this!" —Bonnie Walton

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97.

    6. A bra strap extender so you never have to throw out your favorite bras when you're in between sizes.

    Promising review: "These have been amazing during my pregnancy. I really can't rave enough. When my body started changing, I went out and bought a new bra (I'm a 32 and got a 34), but soon it started feeling tight on me. I didn't need another bra because the cups still fit fine, then I found these extenders, and they made all the difference! I can extend without buying new bras! They are sooo soft and comfortable, you can't really feel or tell they are there. I've already recommended them to all of my pregnant friends!" —Mari

    Get a three-pack from Amazon for $6.99 (available in five sizes).

    7. A pair of high heel caps because if you're a fashionista on a budget, the bill from the shoe repair shop could cost more than the shoe itself. Save yourself the money and the trouble!

    Photo of black studded high heels with high heel caps on them

    Promising review: "I can't believe I never thought of searching for a product like this before for the twelve pairs of heels that I have sitting around waiting for shoe repair! These Quick Tips are awesome and will save me a bundle in time and money, instead of hauling my shoes to the inconvenient shoe repair shop. I am so impressed. They fit really well. For point of reference, I will say that the extra small size is a perfect fit for my Alfani Easy-Step black heels, and the small size is a perfect fit for my Nine West ones. Please try these, you will not be sorry! Also, great in those emergencies when you lose your heel tip right before an important date or job interview!" —MarisaReads

    Get a four-pack (two pairs) from Amazon for $9.99 (available in four sizes and two colors).

    8. A bottle of fabric dye to zhuzh up your worn and washed out (but still favorite) pair of jeans. It comes in 30 different colors and can be used on shoes, accessories, and bedding. Bye-bye unsightly bleach stains!

    Reviewer before and after photo of jeans using Rit dye

    Promising review: "Works very well. I have some favorite blue jean capris that were getting a little light and this brightened them right up." —R Christensen

    Get it from Amazon for $2.98+ (available in 30 colors).

    9. A pack of generic melamine sponges that reviewers say are a dupe for the beloved Mr. Clean Magic Erasers — but for wayyyy less.

    Tom Vellner / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "As good as Mr. Clean Magic Erasers but half the price. They clean so many surfaces better than anything. We use them at the bar and clean our chalkboards, metal sinks and ice wells, beer coolers, FRP backsplash walls, and even graffiti in the bathrooms comes off more easily with these than other cleaning products. I took one home and cleaned my shower faster and more easily than with bottles of shower cleaner. Highly recommended." —Stephen Brandau

    Get a 20-pack from Amazon for $8.95.

    To learn more, check out "I Swear By This Cheap Dupe For Magic Erasers".

    10. A pair of silicone hooks to keep your frames perfectly perched upon your nose without needing to raise a finger.

    Photo of model wearing silicone hooks on glasses

    Promising review: "Finally the solution to my issue. My eyeglasses would always dig into the back of my ear on one side, not to mention they would slip down my nose from time to time. Purchased these and what a difference, my glasses have never fit better, and often times I forget to take them off, they're so comfortable. Best purchase decision EVER." —Andrea Lincoln

    Get five-pairs from Amazon for $6.99 (available in three colors).

    11. A beauty spatula that doubles as an applicator. Never again will you have to trash what could easily be five more full face applications of product.,

    Promising review: "Fantastic product. I'm able to get every drop out of my very expensive face cream. Works on bottles, jars, etc. Only wish I would have bought this product years ago. Oh, the money I could have saved." —HMSK

    Get it from Amazon for $6.12.

    12. An electric knife sharpener because dull knives can make it harder to cut through meat and vegetables. Put this in your cart to cut your cooking prep time in half., Elizaebeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

    Read our full review of the KitchenIQ knife sharpener!

    Promising review: "Wow, this little gadget is pretty amazing! I have some old (expensive) non-serrated knives that are supposed to never need sharpening but unfortunately, lost their sharp edge long ago. I saw this gadget and decided to try it. I set the bottom of this gadget on the edge of the counter and ran one of the knives through the side labeled 'Coarse' about 10 times, then ran it through the side labeled 'Fine' another 8-10 times. Bingo! The knife was transformed back to its former high-dollar cutlery glory. I could hardly believe how effectively it had sharpened the knife, which I had been ready to throw away a week before. I've been happily sharpening all our knives and trying to add up in my head how much money I've saved by NOT having to buy another set of expensive knives. I don't know where else you can spend $6 and get this return for the money. Great score!" —Schelly L. Wagoner

    Get it from Amazon for $5.99 (available in three colors).

    13. A terra-cotta bear to keep your sugar soft and separated. It can also be used on other baked goods (like cookies and cakes!) so they taste like they just came out of the oven.

    Photo of jar of sugar on table next to terracotta bear

    Promising review: "If anyone claims that this product does not work, they MUST NOT be using it correctly! I was very apprehensive about this product but after tossing several bags of brown sugar because they literally were as hard as rocks, I decided to give it a try. I soaked it for about 20 minutes then dried it with a paper towel and stuck it in my brown sugar jar. I broke the 'sugar brick' into about eight chunks and stuck them in a large glass jar. After a week I was able to actually crumble some of it with my fingers. I soaked it again and two weeks later, when I was going to bake, the sugar was a lot softer and only had a few large clumps. I've had it now in the jar for almost two months and there are no clumps." —Pamela A Vazquez

    Get it from Amazon for $5.28.

    14. A 4-in-1 cleaning brush that works magic on suede or nubuck. This keeps your Ugg boots looking like they're fresh out of the box with just a few quick swipes.

    Promising review: "I've never had a suede brush but for $7, I thought it was worth a try for my well-loved, $150 black suede booties. Holy shit, this thing works! There is a nubby plastic side and a bristle side. My shoes had dried splash marks and toe scuffs, nothing major, but they were starting to look worn. This brush plucked the dirt off and 'fluffed' the suede up. It did seem to maybe pull some of the fibers off, but my boots look almost brand new! They have been restored better than I could have imagined. I'm so excited and can't imagine why, at 40 years old, I've never known how well a suede brush works!" —ShoeGirl

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99.

    15. A pack of fenugreek-infused sheets to preserve your produce — because you just receiving that coupon code for a delicious pizza pie from Postmates, so the fruit will not be eaten right now.


    Each bag contains eight sheets, which lasts approximately one to two months.

    Promising review: "I love these papers! They really help keep produce fresher. I use them a lot for berries, herbs, and counter produce like apples and bananas. They really help bananas slow their ripening, extending their life, and ultimately saving you money. The papers really do have a maple syrup smell and when that smell fades, you know it’s time to change the paper." —r2rn1

    Get an eight-pack from Amazon for $9.99.

    16. An essential oil stick that may naturally soothe and ease pain from migraines using a blend of coconut, peppermint, lavender, and spearmint oil. It's small enough to fit in your purse or you pocket. Just pop it out when you need relief and rub it on your temples, forehead, and the back of your neck.

    Reviewer photo of essential oil stick in hand
    Katy Herman / BuzzFeed

    One BuzzFeeder swears by this for headaches — read her review!

    Promising review: "I have had tension and migraine headaches for around 20 years. I have tried everything. OTC medication, prescription medication, pain injections, chiropractor etc... This topical oil has given me relief for nearly six weeks now. I have only had two to three headaches in that time, and they were mild. I ordered more already so I have some in my car and at home, and I bought some for two of my friends who suffer from chronic migraines. I would recommend this product to anyone with migraines. It is phenomenal." —Mary D.

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    17. A ring size adjuster to keep your ring in place and save you a trip to the jeweler.

    Photo of model wrapping ring size adjuster on ring

    Promising review: "I absolutely love these! My rings were loose but not enough to need resizing. I used the larger size coil to keep my rings in place and have had no issues getting my rings off or back on. My rings also stay in place now! I have not noticed any lotion, soap, etc getting stuck underneath either." —Amazon Customer

    Get a four-pack from Amazon for $5.99.

    18. A pack of leather cushion inserts for the shoes on final sale that you just couldn't pass up even though they were a little too big. These let you comfortably strut around in style.

    Photo of model placing leather cushion inserts in shoe next to four leather cushion inserts

    Promising review: "These are the perfect solution to avoid blisters and keep those cute heels fitting comfortably all day. I wear heels all day and these instantly gave my feet relief for heels that were just slightly too big." —andrea higgins

    Get a four-pack (two pairs) from Amazon for $9.95 (available in two sizes).

    19. A drain snake to easily unclog your drains yourself before having to call in the (expensive) professionals.


    Promising review: "When my wife and I moved into this new place, we noticed that there was a bit of water that just kept pooling near the drain in the shower. We tried at least two full bottles of Drano with success, but it was short-lived. A bottle of Drano costs about $6-$8 for two attempts. One package of these and only ONE of the items used in this package made more short-term progress than all that Drano did. Less than $10 to save over $20 in drain cleaning products or even the prospect of hundreds from calling out a plumber? Hell yeah, I'd buy this again! Your hands will get messy but you will thank yourself for getting these. Your partner will thank you. If you have slow drains in your shower, there are only three words I can say for you to help fix that problem. Buy. This. Product." —Adam W.

    Get a three-pack from Amazon for $9.99.

    20. Draft stoppers that'll keep the cold air in during the summer, plus the cool drafts out during the winter. It also blocks out noise and unpleasant odors all for under 10 bucks.

    Photo of draft stopper on door

    Promising review: "Strong, durable, and easy to install. I immediately noticed a difference in the temperature in the room, keeping cold air in during hot summer days." —Steve RainH2O

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    21. A pack of Affresh cleaning tablets to remove lime and mineral buildup that can leave yucky residue on your glasses, plates, and silverware.

    Promising review: "After using this product, I am happy to report that my $5 investment saved me over $500. I was ready to replace my dishwasher, due to super cloudy glasses, residue, and just not getting clean. Then, I became aware that the water softener no longer was doing its job, so I had the rental company replace it. Dishwasher performance improved somewhat. I decided to do two more loads before deciding to purchase a new one. Then I saw a product test review for Affresh in Good Housekeeping magazine. I was ordering some stuff from Amazon anyway, so I added that to my order. When it came, I tossed one of the tablets into the bottom of the full machine, per instructions, and ran the regular cycle. I did not expect the results I got! The glassware that I thought was permanently etched and ruined came out like new. Same with cutlery. The difference is unbelievable. I will use this faithfully on a monthly basis, as recommended. I am amazed!" —Sheila

    Get a six-pack from Amazon for $5.99.

    22. A pack of motion-sensing LED lights for late-night trips to the bathroom or unexpected power outages. May you never stumble in the dark again.


    They're battery-powered (three AAA batteries; not included) for cordless installation. They automatically turn on within 10 feet and automatically shut off after 15 seconds of no motion detected.

    Promising review: "Excellent unwired lights for places that would benefit from having lights but you don’t want the hassle and expense of hiring an electrician to do the wiring for the lights. I have four of these lights inside hallway shelves. This hallway gets a lot of foot traffic. In the evening, these lights get triggered on by a passerby by at least 20 times. I’ve had these lights for two whole months, and the original batteries are still good to go. Please be advised that these white lights are rather cool temperature lights. I would estimate around 5,000K. If you’re looking for something slightly warmer (i.e. slightly more yellow) then opt for the warm white version." —H. Jonathan K. Park

    Get them from Amazon from $21.99 (available in four colors).

    23. A temporary tooth replacement kit that lets you shape and insert a realistic replacement while you save up for the real thing.

    Reviewer before photo of missing tooth and photo of after using the temporary tooth replacement kit

    Promising review: "I would give this 100 stars. I had to be IN a wedding without a front tooth and out of desperation ordered this. You could NOT TELL AT ALL that the tooth was not real. My husband was amazed... they give you enough material to make a dozen or more teeth. BEST INVESTMENT you can make if you can't afford the dentist but need to fix an unsightly lost tooth gap. I ate with it for three days straight and if you let it harden in place in your mouth, it won't come out until you pull it firmly. You will be completely safe to be in front of people and even out to dinner. Buy it." —Ashland A.

    Get the kit from Amazon for $32.75.

    24. Tiny braces to correct ingrown toenails and relieve pain in less than a week!


    The kit comes with ten toenail braces and adhesive to apply them.

    Promising review: "This is a product that actually works for ingrown toenails. I had suffered for years with ingrown nails on both big toes. They were so painful that I bought wide shoes to try and be more comfortable, and wore sandals practically all year. I was skeptical about spending this much, but I’d easily spent that much over the years on things that don’t work. I followed directions to a T (not difficult). The first couple of days, I didn’t notice a difference in pain, but by days three and four, it no longer hurt to touch the side of my toes. After wearing a few weeks, my nail shape is now flatter, as it's supposed to be. Great product!! Worth every penny." —Amazon Queen

    Get the kit from Amazon for $44.99.

    25. A purple shampoo for hair that's starting to look dull and brassy. The purple pigment simultaneously tones down the yellow and brightens your locks so your true hue can flourish.

    Reviewer photo showing the change in hair after using the shampoo two times

    Promising review: "I have bleached blonde hair that loves to go brassy. I can’t stand brassy/yellow blonde (on me). If you are looking for icy blonde to platinum, this is the shampoo for you. It completely removes all yellow from my hair. My friends are always asking me how I get this silvery blonde. Well, this is the secret. The trick is to wet your hair, put the shampoo on with as little agitation as possible (put it on like a conditioner, don’t let it lather), leave it for about five minutes (or however long it takes to wash your body and a quick shave), and then rinse. I use it about two times a week and it keeps my blonde PERFECT. I’ve tried every purple shampoo on the market (almost) and this is THE BEST. All of my blonde friends use it now." —T. Lubben

    Get it from Amazon for $13.49.

    26. Facial razors to touch up your eyebrows and remove facial hair. The results are baby smooth skin that allows for a flawless foundation application.


    These even come with an extra attachment for precise eyebrow shaping.

    Promising review: "I used to pay a professional to dermaplane my face once a month to remove the peach fuzz, which makes me look older and makes the makeup application more cumbersome. I searched for years for a home product to use to save money and time. This is the closest I have been able to get to professional dermaplaning in the convenience of my home, on my time/schedule, and at a fraction of the price. Love it!" —SEM1969

    Get a three-count from Amazon for $4.74.

    When you show other people your affordable yet effective solutions:


    Reviews here have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

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