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    37 Cheap Things That’ll Help You Have Some Top-Shelf Fun

    Wild how you used anything *other* than this compact mini donut maker for weekend breakfasts before now.

    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 set of eye-popping fine point pens designed for planners and journals, so you can — gasp — color code all your to-do lists, fun plans with friends, and scrapbook pages. 

    Perhaps most importantly for anyone out there planning to go full Leslie Knope on these is that they're designed not to bleed through thin pages!

    Promising review: "I love how this pen feels to hold and it writes beautifully! I am very picky about how the ink looks from the pens I use and I don't remember having one that writes so smoothly and beautifully! I will buy these whenever I need more. I actually just purchased another package of all black!" —Marcia

    Get a set of 18 from Amazon for $7.99 (get this price by clipping the 20% off coupon). 

    2. An easy-to-use rolled and chopped ice cream maker — it's basically a mini at-home cold plate that turns any yogurt into frozen yogurt in five minutes flat, and lets you customize the flavor by mixing in your own toppings like chocolate, candy, cookies, and cereal. You can also use it for sorbets and gelatos yum 😋.  

    A cold plate with frozen yogurt topped with cereal
    The ice cream chopped up in a bowl

    Promising review: "Our family loves this ice cream maker. It's easy to use, super easy clean up, and doesn't take up as much room in my freezer as the ice cream maker bowl. It took a bit to figure out the rolling technique but watched a few YouTube videos and we're getting the hang of it. Basically, make sure to freeze your choice of dessert product on the plate for the recommended time (three to five minutes), and freeze the spatula, too. Push away from you at a 45-degree angle and it rolls right up. We freeze yogurt right out of the container, and have used the soft serve ice cream mix at 2:1 water to mix and it turned out great." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $26.99+ (available in two colors). 

    3. A plug-in color-shifting mushroom light for anyone whose little cottagecore heart could use an extra dose of cozy in their room. 

    Reviewer holding white plug with pastel mushrooms and leaves blooming out of it
    The mushrooms lit up in the dark

    Promising review: "I LOVE this night-light. It's in my bathroom and is a lovely addition. It turns off the second the lights go on which is nice that I don't have to worry about accidentally leaving it on. Super cute and the little itty-bitty lighting element does a good job lighting, just enough so I don't have to turn the main lights on in the middle of the night." —1Thand

    Get it from Amazon for $5.97

    4. An oh-so-satisfying 1,000-piece Mystic Maze puzzle you may have already seen on TikTok, where lovers of puzzles and magic lore are singing its praises. This whimsically-illustrated, colorful puzzle isn't just a puzzle, but a journey — there are over 50 easter eggs in it, tons of miniature scenes full of optical illusions and surprises, *plus* a magical twist at the end. You'll have to solve the puzzle to find out! 

    close-up of a section of the puzzle showing its whimsical illustration style

    Promising review: "I bought this as a gift for my husband because he absolutely loves puzzles and magic, so it was a no-brainer! I was honestly way more excited to finish putting this puzzle together than a normal puzzle because I couldn’t wait to see the end result. Blown away. I’m super impressed and will be purchasing a different version. Oh, and they weren’t kidding about the no dust in the box...very pleased with this purchase!" —Nlbrimberry

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    5. A pair of glowing light saber chopsticks to bring balance to The Force *and* to your sushi. 

    BuzzFeed editor using the glowing, blue chopsticks to eat sushi
    Two sets of glowing lightsaber chopsticks in blue and red
    Emma Lord / BuzzFeed, Amazon

    As you can see from the above GIF, I bought these for myself, and I love them to pieces. TBH, I use them as decor every bit as much as I use them to eat. Sometimes I just keep them in my work area to light them up during the day to feel fancy. They toggle back and forth between a bunch of different colors, like red, blue, yellow, purple, and multicolor, so you can either make them match *or* have a red and blue one together and bring ~balance~ to the Force.

    Promising review: "The chopsticks are very durable, and the glow is bright. They're a bit bigger that I expected — but very pleased nonetheless with the product because it serves the purpose and is entertaining for kids, right up to adult Star Wars nerds. It also made the perfect gift for my fellow Star Wars nerds. I've been too busy playing with them rather than using them to eat food — but hopefully that will eventually happen before the batteries need changing." —Anthony

    Get it from Amazon for $10.97.

    6. A set of easy-to-apply gel nail strips with a gorgeous minimalist design that will make your hands look like they should be on display in a modern art museum. Bonus: no drying time, and these are super easy and nondamaging to your nails to remove! 

    model holding a flower pot and showing black and white minimalist designed nails
    Art Tips Studio/Etsy

    Art Tips Studio is a Virginia-based Etsy shop established in 2020 that specializes in gel nail strips. 

    Promising review: "Wow I’m amazed! Love how pretty they are and I am still wearing mine after six days. I’ve been washing dishes, washing my hair, and using water a lot and they are holding up well. Highly recommend." —Wendi

    Get it from Art Tips Studio on Etsy for $8 (originally $16). 

    7. A set of affordable, highly popular wireless Bluetooth earbuds that make *excellent* AirPod dupes, except arguably better — these are completely waterproof (like, you can fully take them in the shower) and come with several silicone earbuds to get the best fit possible.

    These come with a wireless charging case that provides up to 14 hours of charge (with the earbuds able to play for four-plus hours with each full charge). 

    Promising review: "Best decision! These are the greatest headphones ever! I saw them on TikTok months ago and added them to my wishlist. I got a new phone that doesn't have the headphone port so I decided it was time to finally buy them. They are amazing and I probably won't ever take them out of my ears! 😂" —Katlyn D Arnold

    Get it from Amazon $22.09+ (available in five colors).

    8. A cult-favorite ~secret~ popcorn salt that anyone in the movie theater industry will tell you is a perfect dupe for that oh-so-savory buttery goodness you love to inhale before the previews begin. Not to be dramatic about popcorn on main, but this stuff is game changing.

    A carton of Flavacol salt
    Reviewer image of buttery popcorn
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed,

    Our family recently unearthed this because beloved To All The Boys I've Loved Before author Jenny Han mentioned that it was her secret to delicious popcorn, and it may have just wrecked me for other at-home popcorn for the rest of my life. It genuinely tastes just as salty and buttery and savory as fresh movie theater popcorn. I inhaled it so fast that every single one of my organs lit up in mild alarm.

    Promising review: "I used to use Flavacol during my time working at an amusement park and popping popcorn for hungry guests, so I knew this was what the 'professionals' use. I am happy to report that using this does make your popcorn taste like it was just popped at a movie theater. I like to put a little bit of oil on my kernels, mix in some Flavacol, and then add it to the pot of oil on my stove top when it's hot enough (as opposed to sprinkling it on top of freshly popped corn, which I could see easily accidentally adding too much). It also means that I'm no longer loading up my popcorn with additional toppings like butter or plain salt. Yum!" —Kate R.

    Psst — there's a popular microwave popcorn maker/bowl on Amazon for $14.99 if you wanna make yours from scratch! 

    Get it from Amazon for $10.10 (available in two other flavors).

    9. A rainbow prism suncatcher you can easily hang indoors to refract sunlight and make a bunch of teensy little rainbows all over the place, adding a subtle touch of magic in your space 🌈.

    reviewer image of tiny rainbows reflected around a couch and room
    Reviewer image of a cat with a rainbow on it

    Promising review: "They actually were bigger than I anticipated which was actually pretty awesome. I hung them in the window of my office and it's beautiful when they catch light. Definitely worth the money when it puts a smile on your face." —Emmy Ann

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $8.98.

    10. A gorgeous pastel paint-by-number with an intricate, deeply satisfying pattern for anyone who is looking for an activity that pairs perfectly with a night in with Netflix. 

    A water color of a single pink flower in a vase on a rustic table

    Each set comes with a detailed numbered outline, three brushes, and a set of numbered acrylic paints with extra to spare.

    Promising review: "I’ve been doing a lot of paint by number paintings lately as a way to decompress from stress, and this one is by far my favorite one. It just looks so cool, and it was not as hard to do as some of the others I’ve done." —K Rivera

    Get it from Amazon for $9.97.

    11. A spooky skull-shaped ice mold, because honestly, if we're all gonna become TikTok bartenders now, we might as well be metal as heck about it.

    Pro-tip: these molds also work for making soaps, birthday candles, chocolate, and fondant, covering all your miscellaneous undead needs.

    Promising review: "Got these to make ice cubes for a Halloween party. It's very easy to use and easy to clean. The cubes come out perfectly. I'm probably going to try to use it to make chocolate skulls next." —Amazon Customer

    Get a two-pack from Amazon for $8.99.

    12. A ~Mystical Fire~ colorant you can use in your fireplace at home or in outdoor campfires to basically flex to everyone on Instagram that you are, in fact, a wizard now. 

    A campfire with rainbow flames
    A small outdoor fire pit with rainbow flames

    Promising review: "Mystical Fire Colorant is amazing. For a really fun experience, get some of these for your next camping trip. As if a campfire needs improvement... but this stuff is really neat. I'd say the adults love it even more than the kids. We only used one packet and the colors were so good — seems like they lasted at least 20 minutes. There was even color left in the ashes the next day. We will never go camping again without several packs of Mystical Fire on hand." —TeNe

    Get it from Amazon for $5.49.

    13. A reversible Harry Styles dishwasher magnet to let folks in your home know whether the dishes in there are safe to use or waiting to get washed ("I don't wanna talk about who's doin' it first" —you avoiding putting the dishes away and waiting for someone else to step up). 

    A magnet with Harry Styles' face with one side saying

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99 (available in two other styles, although this is the only Harry Styles). 

    14. A set of four silicone popcorn ball makers so you can put all *kinds* of creative spins on a nostalgic treat, whether you're using one of the recipes in the provided recipe book or striking out on your own by adding in your favorite candies, cheeses, seasonings, and sauces. Bonus: these are safe in the microwave, so you can even melt down chocolate or caramel in them before sticking the popcorn in! 

    Popcorn balls with sticks on them next to the silicone containers

    Promising review: "My family had a great time making s’mores popcorn balls as one of our Boxing Day activities. It’s fun and easy. It was a different experience to make these as opposed to the cookies I usually make during the holidays. The clean up was quick too." —terripisces

    Get a set of four from Amazon for $14+ (available in two color sets). 

    15. book tracker bookmark so you can keep track of all the lovely adventures you've taken from the comfort of your favorite window chair. 

    a person holding the bookmark with blank books on painted shelves
    British Book Art / Etsy

    British Book Art is a UK-based Etsy shop established in 2021 that specializes in tracker bookmarks and book art. 

    Promising review: "Absolutely love my bookmark! So, so cute! Already made a start coloring in the books and writing the names on the spines!" —Chloe

    Get it from British Book Art for $3.21

    16. A Drinking Animals Coloring Book perfect for anyone who wants to unwind with a little extra 🌈 in their evening. This also comes complete with recipes for themed cocktails on each page — Llamarita, anyone?

    Reviewer holding the coloring book
    Reviewer shows colored-in page that says

    Promising review: "I wanted to get an adult coloring book and pencils to help calm me down when I get stressed out. And this one is perfect. The pictures are really cute and each page comes with a drink recipe." —Rengil

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    17. Plus a tin of cocktail sugar or salt for the rims of your at-home cocktails that come in so many inventive flavors you might just call the Food Network to get your own bartending show.

    A whiskey glass with a sugar rim
    A container of citrus petals rim sugar
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

    I started putting this on my end-of-the-week whiskey drink (the pandemic made me go full Mad Men, who knew!!) and it is SO darn satisfying. I tried the citrus petals version, and it's got a light lemon, faint floral, and vaguely minty taste with its sweetness that just makes the whole experience a delight and a half. The container it comes in is actually quite wide, so what we did was pour lemon juice on the top half to prep the rim, and a bit of sugar in the bottom half to coat it. In other news, I am officially too fancy to exist.

    Promising review: "Since COVID-19 I have become my own bartender. Taco Tuesdays and margaritas! The lime comes through so well with this salt. I use it for Bloody Marys as well. It is thick and chunky so it's a learning curve to get the right amount of salt on. Don't press down too hard if you don't like a lot of salt. I do like extra salt but my husband said it was a little much for him, so I have mastered just a light salt for him." —cobrajet427

    Get it from Amazon for $9.93 (available in nine flavors).

    18. A mini retro speaker that can wirelessly connect to your devices, so you can prop it on the counter and take calls or play music from it while you cook. Plus, it can operate on a rechargeable battery, so you can even take it from room to room and keep your playlists movin' and groovin'.

    Small pink retro speaker

    Promising review: "It’s so cute! I got it in flamingo pink, which my little one loves. It’s a shiny glossy finish — beautifully and elegantly made! It’s compact, small and portable. Very pleasant and satisfying shape aesthetically! Large power-on, volume, and pairing up buttons on the right underside and adorable blue indicator light on the left. It’s easy to pair with a phone and a laptop by Bluetooth. The sound is incredible for such a small device! Plus the built-in mic is great for using at home or in the car. It’s very convenient to charge by using a micro usb. I’m pleased with my purchase and would recommend to my friends." —Olivia

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99 (available in six colors).

    19. A werewolf-themed escape room game with all the thrills and suspense of an actual escape room without the hefty price tag and the coordinating of a real one. In this immersive experience, you have to solve a series of puzzles to ~~escape~~ before a mad scientist turns you into a werewolf (Team Jacob out here like 👀). You can even go the extra mile and connect the game with Amazon Alexa! 

    This game is appropriate for ages 13 and up with a minimum of two players. 

    Promising review: "This was my favorite of all the table escape games I have played. The inclusion of a few locks and props just made the game that much more engaging. To an old hand at escape table games and actual escape rooms, this was easier than some of the others I have played but it was also more charming. I played this with my mother and grandmother and we all had an excellent time! We did escape, if you were wondering. This is a great introduction to do this genre so if you haven't played one before or only done a few, this is a nice start. On the other hand, if you are a pro wanting a huge challenge, this might not be your cup of tea. (I still had fun personally but I love puzzles of all kinds.) They need to make another one quickly!" —A.L. 

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99

    20. Wreck This Journal, a full color journal with prompts for you to write, paint, shred, and, in the words of Taylor Swift, "have a marvelous time ruining everything." 

    Penguin Books

    Some of the prompts include one to close the journal and scribble on the edges; another to cut out colors from a magazine and tape them all over the page; another is a "Stain Log," which you can use classify stains in your life, from red wine to nail polishes to food dyes. Basically, if you turn the page in this journal, odds are it's going to look *nothing* like it originally did by the time you're through.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.59

    21. A mini donut maker to keep anyone with a sweet tooth living their best life — truly, can you think of anything in this universe more delicious than a warm homemade donut?? I'll wait.

    the donut machine with room for seven small donuts
    reviewer image of a sheet of donuts with different frostings on them

    The donuts cook within minutes, have an auto shutoff to stop them from overheating, and come with a recipe book that even includes gluten-free and Paleo-friendly options. Bonus? You don't even need to figure out how to make donuts — this machine will take store bought brownie, muffin, and cake mix just fine.

    Promising review: "I cannot say enough about the Dash Mini Donut Maker. It is so much fun to use and make donuts at home. Rather than going to the local chain donut restaurant, you can make your own specialty donuts at home. It is very easy to use and cleans up quickly. My children love to decorate the donuts after they are cooked. It's a fun family activity and the donuts taste great! Also, it comes with a neat design and stands out among my other boring looking kitchen cooking appliances. If you like donuts, this product is for you." —JoshH

    Get it from Amazon for $29.95.

    22. An upside down wine glass so you can drink with some real Alice in Wonderland vibes, and/or mildly alarm your tipsy friends when they come over for wine and cheese nights. 

    A stemmed wine glass that looks like it's upside down that you drink out of the base of

    Get it from Firebox for $12.99. 

    23. A set of adorable hanging cat spoons, because truly, is there a more purrrfect breakfast companion than one that will stir your coffee and your heart?

    A gold cat spoon resting with its arms over a glass rim
    Closeup showing the cat's smiling face

    Promising review: "I loved these spoons so much that I ordered more for myself and my mother-in-law. They attach to the side of your coffee mug easily, stay put, and don't even get in the way when you are drinking out of the mug." —Handy

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $5.99 (available in four colors).

    24. A tiny milk frother that makes rich, creamy froths in seconds, making you as powerful as the Starbucks mermaid herself. It also doesn't need to be plugged in, cleans with a quick stream of hot running water, and is teensy for storing.

    Reviewer image of white marble handheld frother on its stand
    Reviewer using the frother to frother milk in a cup

    Promising review: "A must-have for busy latte lovers! Perfect product for my morning latte!!! Easy to use and clean! Thirty seconds and my latte is fantastic!! —Joanna Grazynska-Johnson

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in 24 styles).

    25. A bath overflow drain cover so you can finally get the luxurious, full-to-the-brim bath soak you deserve without listening to that disappointing wurgity-gurgle as the tub sucks down all that lovely hot water back down the drain. 

    The drain cover overtop of the overflow drain in a full bath

    Promising review: "I have a high-stress job, and I've started taking baths as a way to unwind. However, it never seemed like I could keep enough water in the tub to really enjoy it. This little thing makes a HUGE difference!! I get at least an extra 3 inches of water and it is great." —Hyacinthe Snyder

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99 (available in four colors).

    26. A mess-free microwave s'mores maker engineered with a well of water that ensures the marshmallow and chocolate melt at the same time (and don't overflow!), giving you ooey gooey perfection that will make your tastebuds weep. 

    Promising review: "This is a very cute gadget. I saw this on a TikTok and fell for it lol. I'm glad I did. My kids and I have so much fun making instant s'mores. They're done in about 30–40 seconds with literally no cleanup. The marshmallow doesn't melt over so you basically can just run hot water over it to remove a few crumbs from crackers and be done." —Shawna G.

    Get it from Amazon for $14.04.