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    Updated on Aug 4, 2020. Posted on Aug 4, 2020

    21 Affordable Things To Make Your Home More Awesome This Summer

    "Home sweet home" may get a new meaning this summer. 😎

    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 sprinkler pool that'll be easy to set up in the yard so the kids — or dogs, per the reviews — will get plenty of water time at the house this summer. Plus, it's got cartoon letters and animals at the bottom of it so kids can get a little learning done in between splashes.

    A small inflatable pool with water shooting up from the squirters all around the rim of it. It's sitting in a yard, attached to a hose.
    amazon.com

    Several reviewers shared that this little pool kept their kids engaged for hours.

    Promising review: "My kids love this. It is soo easy to plug the hose into and turn the water on and the kids can have hours of fun. Once the kids are done playing, I disconnect the hose let the water drain, and hang it over the porch." —Austin

    Get it from Amazon for $27.99.

    2. Outdoor string lights to make hanging outside near your house extra ~lit~. Throw this above your outdoor seating area and you'll instantly have a spot worth Instagramming.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    These are perfect for enjoying summer nights but one reviewer also noted how beautiful they are to have in the fall as well so you'll probably get several months of enjoyment out of these before having to wait out the winter. Several reviewers also noted how easy these were to install.

    Promising review: "When the weather started warming up, I searched online for a while trying to find lights for my outdoor area. These were the best value (length, number of lights) I could find and I haven't been disappointed. The bulbs come packed separately and were easy to screw in as I strung the lights from the house to the tree one afternoon. Make sure to turn on the lights before putting the ladder away. I didn't and had to pull it back out later when I realized that I hadn't fully seated the bulbs. I've been using these lights nightly now for a couple of weeks and really like being able to sit outside past sundown with friends. These bulbs put out a soft yellow light that provides lighting for the area without being so bright that they hurt your eyes." —D. Emery

    Get them from Amazon for $45.99+ (available in two colors; free shipping).

    3. A Pothos plant that's a favorite amongst vet plant parents but will also make great starter greenery for newbies. If your goal this summer is to fill your home with plants, here's the best starter.

    The plant sitting in a pot on the corner of a dresser. It's prob about a foot tall including the pot.
    amazon.com

    These beauties start off small but their vines with heart-shaped leaves can grow long enough to wrap so gracefully around the legs of a plant stand or to be stretched across any surface you put it on. You want greenery? You want great decor?! You'll def get it with the Pothos. It thrives in medium to low light and only needs to be watered once weekly.

    Promising review: "These are actually my fourth or fifth order of plants from Costa Farms and the video says/shows it all. They send gorgeous plants that you can tell are grown with love and sent with care. I’ve never received a plant on its last leg or that I feared wouldn’t survive. I love the care guides they send with the babies and overall I love how every last plant I’ve purchased from them is thriving. I will continue to purchase from them and I recommend everyone purchase plants from them because you won’t regret it." —Ms. West

    Get it from Amazon for $44.99+.

    4. And! Miracle-Gro indoor plant food sticks to keep your plants alive so they'll actually ~stick~ around to make your home look like a beautiful indoor garden.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Just pop these sticks into the soil of your hungry plants and watch their beautiful green leaves flourish. The spikes will feed each plant for up to two months.

    Promising review: "I have several houseplants that had stopped flowering so I put a few of these spikes in the pot. There are directions on the back of package for quantity and approximately a month after using these spikes, my peace lily had three flowers on it! My African violets plants all got several blooms on them! This worked wonders for my plants that don't flower also. I noticed that my ivy and cactus plants started growing faster and they became more green and healthy-looking. I am very happy with this product and I will buy it again." —Elizabeth

    Get them from Amazon for $2.24 (available in a pack of 48).

    5. Yankee Candles that come in so many great summer-appropriate scents that you prob won't be able to just snag one. Want your home to smell like a romantic beach getaway ("Pink Sands") or apple blossoms and citrus ("Flowers In The Sun")? Your ~wick~ is my command!

    A reviewer's hand holding the biggest jar of the "Pink Sands" Yankee Candle
    amazon.com

    There's literally a scent for your every mood and fantasy and even the smallest size in the bunch is meant to burn between 35 to 45 hours.

    Promising review: "I love my candles and I love the beach. I put one in my bedroom and one in the living room. This is a great size and it's a great product for the price." —Danny Quimby

    Get them from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in six sizes and numerous scents).

    6. Ice pop molds to make all the cold, sweet treats your taste buds can handle in your own kitchen.

    four popsicle containers filled with the fruit mix. Two have the tops on them that will serve as the sticks
    amazon.com

    These'll def be a hit in a household with kids but anyone with a sweet tooth will do. The set will come with one ice pop stand, six drip trays that double as the ice pop sticks, a collapsible funnel for getting the mixture into the ice pop holders, and a tiny cleaning brush.

    Promising review: "This is a great purchase for the summer. The molds hold a good amount of Popsicle material and the little handles do a good job of pulling the pop out, with a little defrost help from a quick blast of warmish water on the outside. The handle has a little drip catch which would work great if my 18-month-old didn't just flip it upside down periodically. The little tray does snap the molds in, so the Popsicles don't just tip over in the freezer. It does take up a fair amount of freezer real estate until they're frozen solid but no worse than most. It comes with a sort-of useful brush to scrub around the inside and an EXTREMELY useful funnel to help pour Popsicle material into the mold. Overall, a good purchase." —Steel_muffins

    Get them from Amazon for $16.99 (lifetime warranty; 100% refund guarantee).

    7. A cooling elevated pet bed that'll make your house cooler this summer for your fur baby. It's designed to let air in so pets can ~chill~ with you all summer with zero probs.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    The off-the-ground design and breathable fabric are meant to increase airflow and eliminate hot spots on your pet's fur. Also, the bed is supposed to support your pet's joints and pressure points. It's flea-, mite-, mold-, and mildew-resistant. Several reviewers noted that the bed doesn't hold odors like other beds they've used and also, survives even their toughest chewers. BTW, this baby has over 10,000 5-star reviews 😱!

    Promising review: "My dog is a chewer and this bed prevents me from coming home to a pile of bedding insides. I was nervous he wouldn't like it since it is elevated and doesn't look that comfortable but I was wrong! My dog loves this bed more than any bed he's ever had (and he's had a lot in his one year of life). He loves laying on the floor but since finding this bed, you'll only catch him on this and never the floor. He loved the floor because of how cold it gets and with all his fur I know he's overheated all the time. This bed lets him get airflow and comfort at the same time. I know it has to be way better for his body and it holds him up just fine and he has room to stretch out and still has extra inches. He's a 55-pound Australian shepherd. I cannot recommend this bed more for those who love laying on the floor and can't quite handle a bed because they tear them apart." —Kelsey

    Get it from Amazon for $24.95 (available in six colors and three sizes; free shipping).

    8. An expandable wall gardening system to give yourself a makeshift indoor or outdoor garden, even if you don't have a yard or a ton of space.

    Two lines of about 15 plant pots on one long rectangle that's attached to a rail on an outdoor porch
    amazon.com

    It also has a built-in dripper mechanism you can take advantage of as long as you hook up the planters to a hose. This way, you'll never have to worry about forgetting to water 'em.

    Promising review: "Where have these been all my life?! I have always grown herbs and had a garden the traditional way (in pots or in a garden bed). I love these because my husband and I travel a lot, so we're able to hook these babies up to a water source and timer...and voila!!!! Plants are stayin' alive! I bought three panels, but I am going to order more and do a whole wall of the house." —Yee Jensen

    Get an eight-pot section from Amazon for $65 (free shipping).

    9. The Spontuneous game that'll require a player to choose a word while the others think of a song with that word in the lyrics. Note: You don't need a great voice. In fact, things'll be more fun if you sound as bad as possible. Game nights at your house this summer are about to get a serious ~tune~-up.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    My friends and I played this game and we enjoyed it a ton. I will say that the board game is what can create a limitation since you can get through it rather quickly. We were having a good time and really could have gone much longer than the board game's journey allows. If you want to, you can ditch the board and just follow the game with the cards. If you do that, then just take points down and determine how many points you guys are playing to. That will elongate the game.

    Promising review: "The game brought laughs and tears running down our cheeks as the whole table would break out into a song. This game is fun for any family who wants to have a good time, is willing to laugh at each other, and can think fast on their toes. The rules are pretty simple and the turns around the table go fast. We had to think of about nine trigger words each and play with about nine people as well. The game works in both partners and individuals. I would recommend anyone play the game and take it to every party. Introverts do have a hard time playing when there are a lot of extroverts who will shout and yell the lyrics right over the top of someone quiet. Make sure you have a team spirit in mind and remember that the game is supposed to be fun for everyone, and you won't regret purchasing this game." —Canary

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (free shipping).

    10. A small bookshelf for anyone who's digging more into summer reads and needs more space to store the titles.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I'm super impressed with this bookshelf. It is easy to put together, sturdy for the composite material type of bookshelves, looks nice, and functional for holding books. Definitely a good purchase." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99 (available in four colors and tier options).

    11. A soft-serve maker that'll turn your favorite frozen fruit into yummy, healthy soft-serve. It'll be the perf at-home substitution for runs to the ice cream truck this summer.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    You can add flavors like chocolate too, and the chute, plunger, and blade are dishwasher safe!

    Promising review: "Easy, fast, and works amazingly well. LOVE this product! Now I have something to do with all my bananas. Also, it makes really good acai bowls (packets from Costco). It's easy, fast, relatively quiet, and cleans up easy. What else can be said? If you have kids, they will love helping you make soft-serve ice cream. We made pineapple last night — so yummy." —CMA

    Get it from Amazon for $45.22.

    12. A giant Connect Four for your household — it will def be a fun choice if the family needs a lil' extra game time to ~connect~ with each other over lighthearted fun.

    an oversized connect four game on a table which has several holes in it where chips can be inserted via the open top slot. Two people are standing on either side of it playing the game.
    amazon.com

    Several reviewers noted how sturdy it is since it's made of wood so you won't have to worry about it tipping over at the slightest touch.

    Promising review: "I bought this for the kids to enjoy but I think the adults have had just as much fun with it. We've had it for a month and it is holding up better than a lot of other games." —A

    Get it from Amazon for $65.52+ (available with or without the travel bag and in three height options).

    13. A weighted blanket you'll actually enjoy sleeping under this summer since it's designed to keep you cooled thanks to its cotton material and interior glass beads that help regulate temperature.

    a reviewer snuggled up and smiling underneath a blue and white striped weighted blanket
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "First off, let me start off with the fact that I love this product. I’ve always piled on blankets since I was young, but that’s hard to do when summer rolls around. I went looking for a blanket that was cool and heavy and I’m happy to report that this did the job... I look forward to using it during winter too." —Rain Alone

    Get it from Amazon for $45.90+ (available in 14 weight options and 21 colors).

    14. The Kan Jam for outdoor game folks who've already played themselves out of regular frisbee and want to have some more fun out in the yard. 🥏

    amazon.com

    The game materials are made in the US. Also, there's a mini Kan Jam version of this for indoor play!

    Promising review: "My nephews introduced me to this game and it is FUN! It's a team game so it's fun to get the whole family involved. Basically, you have one member from each team by one of the 'goals' while the other member stands by the other goal and throws the Frisbee trying to get it into the goal basket. The teammate close to the goal basket hits the Frisbee to help it either go inside or touch the goal basket in order to get points for their team. Then, that team member throws the Frisbee back attempting to do the same thing with the other teammate trying to help the Frisbee go into the other goal basket. The number of points each toss can get depends on if the Frisbee goes into the basket without help, with help, or touches the goal basket with or without help. The first team to make it to 21 points wins. This is a great game for the summer!" —A to Z for moms like me
    Get it from Amazon for $39.99 (free shipping; available in five styles including a glow-in-the-dark version for evening play).

    15. A pocket projector to turn movie nights and streaming sessions into a big to-do! Once you throw in buttery popcorn and tell someone to "shh!" a few times, it'll be like your house is a real theater — without the ridiculously priced snacks, of course.

    the pocket projector looks like a white square, no bigger than a Mac charger
    amazon.com

    Peep what BuzzFeed writer, Yi Yang, has to say about hers:

    "I own and love this pocket projector. Despite its compact size, this little guy can actually project quite far (I tested it at 14 feet or so, and the image measures approximately 50 inches by 60 inches). I’ve used it to watch films and shows, and it truly feels like I have my own personal movie theater. (The darker the room, the clearer and crispier the images are, so I always use it at night with the lights out. However, blackout shades would work, too!) It can connect to a phone or computer, AND it has its own speakers (though you can connect it to an external speaker as well). For longer binge sessions, I like to have it plugged in so it doesn’t run out of juice, but it can last through a couple of 40-minute episodes unplugged just fine. The best part is once I’m done with it, it fits nicely into my drawers for storage. Easy peasy."

    Get it from Amazon for $189.99+ (available in four sizes).

    16. An air fryer for the dog days when you really don't feel like standing in front of a hot stove but still want something yummy and home-cooked.

    BuzzFeed / Hannah Loewentheil

    "I've had this air fryer for about three weeks now and I can honestly say it's become the hero of my kitchen. It preheats quickly, it's large enough to a good amount of food at once, it's easy to clean, and it makes food taste crispy on the outside and moist on the inside without any oil..." —Hannah Loewentheil

    Get it from Amazon for $99.99 (free shipping and returns).

    ALSO, peep the full Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer review for way more details on how well this thing works.

    17. A leafy greens gardening kit that'll def be a triple threat for ya since it'll 1) give you a new hobby this summer or feed your current one, 2) feed your actual belly since they're edible, and 3) give your home the greenery it needs — ya know, before it makes its way to your table. 🍽️🌿🥬

    All of the kit pieces laid across a surface along with the greens that the seeds will eventually grow into
    Etsy / Hortiki Plants

    The kit will come with three seed sachets with organic seeds (for kale, lettuce mix, and spinach), three pots, three water catchment trays, three bamboo plant markers, two bags of organic potting soil, one glass mister bottle for gently watering new sprouts, and growing instructions (with recipes, fun facts, and more). Everything?! Everything! BTW, everything in this kit is biodegradable! Woot! Also, if you don't want these plants this Etsy shop has a ton of other gardening kits to suit your specific tastes. There's even a children's kit with gardening stuff, science games, art, and puzzles!

    Promising review: "This kit is beautifully packaged and has high-quality contents and wonderfully written guides! I just bought two more." —aminaalexandraross

    Get the leafy greens kit from Hortiki Plants on Etsy for $45.99 (free shipping) and the children's kit for $49.99 (free shipping for both).

    18. Playful pom pom pillow covers that'll be a quick, easy way to brighten up your home decor for the season.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising Review: "I LOVE them. My sofa came with pillows for the back cushion and I hated the design and color. So, I ordered these and two other pillow covers. They are SO PRETTY. I love the color and the pom poms. They're soft and comfy. I usually would never order this yellow. I'm more of a pink, purple, magenta, and dark green kind of person but I bought a huge room size rug that has yellows, blue, pink, orange in it and since I'm in a basement apartment, I needed bright colors. I'm so happy with these pillow covers!" —Robin

    Get them from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in seven sizes and 20 colors) and pillow inserts for $7.99+.

    19. A waterproof picnic blanket for days when you could use a different setting to enjoy a meal but don't necessarily want to leave your home. Backyard picnic, here you come!

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    The blanket is also sand-proof (so still great for beach days) and machine-washable!

    Promising review: "I love this picnic blanket! It's great quality, machine-washable, and wipeable. This is perfect for picnics and the beach. I love that it rolls up easily and has a handle to carry." —Natalie

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (free shipping; available in two colors).

    20. An inflatable bowling game so kids can work on getting their strikes without potentially destroying the house. It can also be played outside in the yard for even more physical activity.

    inflatable ball and pins
    amazon.com

    One reviewer shared that this was a great thing to buy for two kids in their family that couldn't play together due to social distancing restrictions. The family plan was to buy a set for both kids and have them FaceTime each other so they could still compete. How cute and creative is that?! Heads up though: Several reviewers noted that the pump included in the set isn't the best. Another reviewer suggested that you use the same pump you might have to blow up air mattresses or just grab a separate air pump.

    Promising review: "I purchased this for a field day event for the kids in my family. They enjoyed rolling the huge ball and knocking the pins over. The pins stay upright as long as it's not too windy outside. They even stay upright in the grass when it may even be unleveled. My older kids used the included pump to blow everything up. It took a while but not to the point that they wanted to give up." —Jamil Brown

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (free shipping; set comes with six inflatable pins and one ball).

    21. A watermelon slicer to keep in the house so prepping your go-to summer snack will be the easiest ever.

    The tool, which cuts cubes quickly and easily
    amazon.com

    It'll also come with a melon baller.

    Promising review: "This tool is so handy! I hate cutting watermelon and this is so fast and easy to use and easy to wash. I cut a watermelon in less than five minutes. It cuts yellow watermelon, too!!! The included baller is great for the small leftover, hard-to-reach places." —Andrea

    Get it from Amazon for $12.77.

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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