Skip To Content

    24 Little Ways To Upgrade Your Life For Under $25

    It's time to level up.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Finally get that jumbled stack of papers off your desk with a color-coded hanging organizer that'll actually allow you to find what you need.

    It features six removable folders and a clear pocket at the bottom for must-see papers like calendars or lists.

    Promising review: "This is a perfect solution for organizing school papers. My daughter just started kindergarten and I was instantly overwhelmed with the amount of things coming home in her backpack: homework, newsletters, flash cards, drawings, order forms, the list is endless. This has been a lifesaver. I hung it right above her backpack and I go through and sort everything right when she gets home. It's durable and the bright colors make sorting faster and easier. There are so many possible uses. It's very lightweight yet strong; it's even holding a book or two in addition to loads of paper. I would definitely say this is an organizational must-have!" —KES

    Get it from Amazon for $12.74.

    2. Brush on a close-to-magical teeth whitening charcoal powder so you can dazzle everyone with your brilliant smile, even before they get to know your equally glowing personality.,

    Over 13,000 (!!!!) Amazon reviewers swear by this stuff, which you brush on just like toothpaste. It will discolor your usual toothbrush, so you may want to try some charcoal toothbrushes, too.

    Promising review: "You guys, this stuff is awesome! I drink black coffee, red wine, and soda. I've used whitening toothpaste and whitening strips, but nothing has whitened my teeth like this stuff. I use it at night before bed, and you see results almost immediately. If you want white teeth, TRY IT NOW! It really works!" —Goseegaby

    Get it from Amazon for $19.89+ (available in four flavors).

    3. Double your closet space with a hanging rack so affordable, you'll have leftover money and space for more clothes.


    It even has hooks on the sides that are great for purses, scarves, or pulling out tomorrow's outfit ahead of time.

    Promising review: "I needed more space in my closet and this was the cheapest option without skimping on quality. The best feature is that you can adjust the height of the second bar, which is something not even the expensive ones I've tried had. I love it." —NBAC

    Get it from Jet for $16.05.

    4. FINALLY follow through on your pledge to drink more water thanks to an insulated, time-marked bottle that'll remind you to keep sipping throughout the day.,

    Filling this twice will get you to eight glasses a day, but remember that everyone's daily water requirement is different.

    Promising review: "It's so simple. You just fill the bottle, then drink enough to reach the time target goals marked on the side. When the bottle is empty, refill it and start keeping track on the second set of times. There are also blank spaces on the other side so you can fill in your own goal times. You can use it with or without a straw. Mine was half filled with water and some ice and I left it in the car on a 50-degree, sunny day to run a couple of errands. I got back to the car and the water was still cold! The lid snaps on tightly and stays closed. Best of all, this will get me back to drinking the amount of water that I should be. Excellent!" —Musicbookfan

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99, or get a more compact, cup holder–friendly (but non-insulated) version from Amazon for $14.99.

    5. Mix up your style (even if just for one night) by clipping in some super-realistic extensions.

    Promising review: "I'm very picky about hair extensions. I've spent hundreds of dollars on numerous sets and have never been completely satisfied, UNTIL NOW! These are by far my favorite, and the price is amazing! If you're worried that this deal is too good to be true, stop worrying and buy these extensions. I have very short hair and they still look great, very full and luscious. Plus, you can straighten them. I'm very happy :)." —Makenzie Long

    Get them from Amazon for $9.49 (available in four lengths and 32 colors).

    6. Upgrade your food storage sitch (and save tons of $$ on groceries) by stashing fruits and veggies in these miraculous produce-saving containers that'll keep them fresh for days on end.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed,

    The pics above show my coworker's strawberries after 10 days. The top one was stored in the original container and the bottom was in one of these. Amazing, right? Plus, these guys are dishwasher safe and the built-in filter on the lid never needs replacing. Check out BuzzFeed's full review of these containers here.

    Promising review: "I wish I'd gotten these sooner. I'm a vegetarian, so I eat a lot of produce, and recently my husband has started eating healthier, so we eat even more. I bought strawberries for my children, and then I forgot about them. I found them in the back of the refrigerator almost TWO WEEKS later, and they were still good. This keeps blackberries fresh for a really long time. Lettuce (even washed and cut up) has lasted close to three weeks. The real miracle is how long it keeps zucchini. Zucchini starts to get mushy in the crisper drawer after just a few days. These miracle containers have kept it fresh for close to two weeks now. I've also kept cut cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, sliced bell peppers, cut jicama, and carrots in these containers. I've had fantastic results with all of them. I love these so much, I ordered a second set. If I had more room in my fridge, I'd get more!" —Laura

    Get it from Amazon for $5.69+ (available in six shapes and sizes).

    7. Get out of a snoozeworthy lunch rut by learning a few nonboring salad recipes you'll actually be excited to eat.

    View this video on YouTube

    From Tasty.

    And if not all of the ingredients for one of these fit in your grocery budget, NBD. The nice thing about salads is that you can add or subtract an ingredient or two and have it still be just as good, so get creative!

    8. Snag a majorly colorful statement necklace that'll match pretty much anything. Throw it on with basics you've worn a zillion times and boom! You have a fab new outfit.,

    Promising review: "This necklace is beautiful. I love the bright colors. It sits nicely on your neck and doesn't feel too bulky or heavy." —jessica rosas

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    9. Upgrade your ~me time~ with a 10-speed, dual-action vibe that's made hundreds of Amazon reviewers weak in the knees.,

    Get the required AA batteries here.

    Promising review: "BAM! When I opened up the discrete package and saw this, I couldn't help myself, I had to look for batteries right away! I couldn't find any so I grabbed them from another vibrator. LET ME TELL YOU! This is the first time I've had an internal orgasm! I was pleasantly surprised when I realized the settings allowed the internal part and the external part to vibrate at either different times or the same time or have one part be turned off entirely. The waterproof silicone feels so good because it's so soft and bendable. I'm still out of breath from the effects of this vibrator! My batteries are staying in this one for good!" —Tammy Schaeffer

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

    10. Impress guests at your next gathering by teaching yourself to make classic cocktails like a bona fide bartender. This book has everything you need to get started.

    The Little Black Book of Cocktails starts out with a few pages of cocktails 101, like what you should keep in your home bar and a guide to types of glasses. While the 150-plus recipes are organized by theme, there are multiple indexes that allow you to find drinks by name, flavor, or primary component.

    Promising review: "This is a must-have book for any aspiring mixologist. The recipes are simple and classic. If you have a well-stocked home bar with all the basic spirits, you'll find you can make many more things than you ever thought you could. No more buying $50 worth of stuff you'll never use again to make that pomegranate cosmotini or whatever. There are vignettes interspersed among the recipes that'll give you the history of classic cocktails, and the thematic organization makes it easy to find, say, party punches or martinis, without remembering specific names. The cover and pages are durable, at least somewhat waterproof, and its slimness will allow you to wedge it between the gin and the whiskey." —Abrahamo Linconi

    Get it from Amazon for $3+.

    11. Quit rummaging through your bag for chapstick or your phone charger with the help of a portable DIY organizer. Just weave some elastic bands over the frame of an old clipboard.

    Get the full tutorial from Nifty.

    Get elastic for $5.72, Velcro for $2.31, and fabric glue for $5.88, all from Amazon.

    12. Make the best damn grilled cheese of your life with zero mess with reusable toaster bags. You don't even need butter or a stove!

    These are a perfect way for lazy cooks or folks without access to a full kitchen to upgrade their meals. They're not just for sandwiches, either — use them to reheat and crisp up leftovers. They also help reduce cross-contamination if you're sharing appliances with someone with different dietary restrictions. And one pack will last you for ages — you can put them in the dishwasher and reuse each one up to 100 times!

    Promising review: "No more dragging out the pan to have grilled cheese sandwiches. These are so easy and grease-free. I like to warm slices of pizza in these, too, so the crust is crispy. I just cut off the pointy end and put it in the bag beside the slice." —Marie

    Get a set of four from Amazon for $6.99.

    13. Zhuzh up basic studs with pretty pearl backs. These luxe little ear jackets come apart so you can rock the back part with any fave pair.,

    Promising review: "I love these earrings! I was surprised that the cute bottom feature with the mini pearls is actually completely separate from the stud and the backs, so they can be switched to be worn with ANY earrings! How cool! The earrings look exactly like they do in the pictures and they aren't heavy in your earlobes at all. I wore them all day and they didn't cause any redness or irritation, which is pleasantly surprising because my ears are pretty sensitive. I even got a couple of compliments. They're very cute for the price!" —Chloe

    Get them from Amazon for $2.75.

    14. Hack the suckiest week of the month by subscribing to a period subscription like Petal Club, which'll bring a customized set of supplies (plus some extra goodies) to your door before your monthly visitor comes knocking.

    You can choose between pads, tampons, or a combo and select what sizes you need for your flow. You also pick when and how often it's delivered to make sure you've got everything you need when you need it. They'll even send little extras like heating pads and chocolate!

    Promising review: "My box came in the day before my cycle and it was the perfect pick-me-up for the week!" —Brianna

    Get it from Cratejoy for $8+/month (available in eight combinations of supplies).

    15. Become know as the best gift giver ever with a personal fill-in-the-blank journal. It comes in tons of different themes, so there's one for every person in your life, from your faraway bestie to your grandpa to your S.O.

    These are a personal fave of mine, because they're the perfect solution to that feeling of panic when you care about someone so much, but you also have no earthly clue what to get them. Or when you want a gift that's super meaningful but you're also super broke. I received the "Reasons Why You're My Bestie" version from my BFF a few years ago and it's one of my all-time favorite gifts. I also filled out the "What I Love About Mom" journal for Mother's Day one year and my mom was really touched. It's a great way to give a gift that's a little bit DIY even if you're not artistically inclined. Each one has 50 prompts about things like favorite moments and inside jokes. All you do is answer the questions and you've got a perfect gift!

    Get it from Amazon for $9.19+ (available in 15 versions). Find even more versions here.

    16. Refresh your walls or decorate a basic piece of furniture with some peel-and-stick wallpaper (like this cool newsprint pattern).,

    A busy pattern like this is a good choice if you don't have any experience using peel-and-stick wallpaper, since reviewers say it's hard to see mistakes and the pattern blends together well even if you have to use multiple pieces. It's removable and waterproof, too! Get some tips on installing peel-and-stick wallpaper from Less Than Average Height.

    Promising review: "This stuff is SO easy to work with and very forgiving. Our guest bathroom looks AWESOME!" —Michele Webb

    Get it from Amazon for $14.90+ (available in two roll sizes).

    17. Start a bullet journal, aka a planner/journal combo, that uses a system of bullet points and symbols to make your schedule feel like less of a shitshow.

    Rachel W. Miller / Ellie Sunakawa / BuzzFeed

    Get a full bullet journal tutorial here.

    Get a dotted journal for $11.60 and a set of 10 colorful, extra-fine pens for $3.99, both from Amazon.

    18. Kiss greasy microwave popcorn bags goodbye in favor of handy popping bowl that's just as easy, for a healthier take on your fave snack.

    This was a recent life upgrade I made and I'm so happy with it. I'm a popcorn addict, and I used to eat an alarming amount of the kind that comes in microwaveable bags. Apparently those bags are often coated in possibly harmful chemicals, so, well, that was maybe not my best health decision. But I was too lazy to take out a pot and make a batch on the stovetop every time I had a craving for some 'corn. Enter this guy. You just pour unpopped kernels in up to one of the fill markers, add as much butter, salt, or seasoning as you want, put on the lid, and pop it in the microwave for two or three minutes. The popcorn doesn't burn, it tastes great, and it feels less heavy and greasy than the bagged kind. Then you can just pop this thing in the dishwasher to be used again the next night!

    Get it from Amazon for $15.97 (available in eight colors).

    19. Give a plain rug or floor mat a makeover by painting on a bold pattern that'll really wake up your space.

    Get the full tutorial from The House of Smiths, and check out more affordable ways to upgrade your home.

    20. Treat yourself to a practical luxury, like this pretty plant mister that also makes for a chic piece of decor.

    It's certainly an upgrade from the plastic measuring cups I currently use to water my plants.

    Promising review: "It's perfect! I use it to squirt filtered water on my makeup sponge, but I also use it for the succulents and air plants in my tiny apartment. I love this mister, it looks antique in a good way! I highly recommend it." —HMSHINN

    Get it from Urban Outfitters for $14 or Amazon for $20.99+ (available in four colors).

    21. Get a basically brand new bathroom by eliminating long-embedded grout gunk with a power scrubber.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    While this thing clearly ~shines~ when it comes to cleaning grout, you can use it to scrub all sorts of other surfaces, too, from water fixtures to nooks and crannies on your car. Get more tips on how to clean your whole damn home here.

    Promising review: "Holy crap, I love this thing. It’s freakin' awesome. It's the best $13 I've ever spent. My grout is white again, even around the toilet, where the man I married can’t figure out how to pee. I love it. You’re stupid not to buy it. I’m buying another one for my mom. I’d buy you one if I could. Just get it." —Rebecca

    Get it from Amazon for $19.72.

    22. Take next-level photos with a clip-on selfie light that over 1,000 reviewers swear by.,

    Despite the name, it's good for way more than just selfies. You can use it to get better lighting for any photo or even a late-night FaceTime session. It charges via USB (the cable is included), can clip onto pretty much any smartphone or tablet, and has three adjustable brightness settings.

    Promising review: "This is such a great idea! I personally use it for taking group photos more than selfies. It makes every picture you take look good, because the key to a good photo is good lighting! It can get really bright, so it's ideal for nights out or sunny days at the beach. It helps create an even light all over your face, rather than just a bunch of shadows from the sun. This is also really great if you have blue eyes (like myself) and are prone to red eye! It's so much better than flash photography, because the flash can make you look washed out and discolored and gives you red eye. This bright phone light makes your pupils get smaller, so there's less chance of red eye, and you don't even need the flash with it so you won't look washed out. Also, it makes your teeth look SO white and really helps bring out your features!" —Michele Antonelli

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    23. Level up your skin care routine with a luxe sugar lip scrub. You spend lots of time and effort exfoliating and moisturizing your face, so doesn't your pretty pout deserve some pampering, too?,

    The sugar acts as an exfoliant, but it's also made with essential oil–infused wax that moisturizes and adds sheen.

    Promising review: "This is a great product and smells amazing. I bought this because I've been having trouble getting lip color to stay on all day! I use this at night before bed and then put gloss over it. I've been doing that every day for about a week now, and I've definitely seen a difference in my lips! I don't ever use lip balm during the day anymore, and two months ago I was constantly attached to a tube of lip balm to keep my lips from cracking. Now they're soft and wonderful!" —Karen

    Get it from Amazon for $14 (available in five flavors).

    24. Add some new moves to your workout routine or exercise on the go with affordable and versatile resistance bands.

    This set comes with five bands (each with a different level of maximum tension it can support), a carrying case, an instruction manual, and access to an e-book of more moves. Check out some of the exercises and stretches you can do with resistance loop bands here.

    Promising review: "I'm very happy with this set of bands, which have a good quality and range of tension. I wanted to add to what I do at the gym, and in just under two weeks of doing lower body work, I'm for sure feeling results. And the online videos gave me some new ideas for using them." —Maezeppa

    Get a set of five from Amazon for $9.96+ (available in two levels).

    Everyone when they talk about you from now on:


    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

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