18 Purchases People Made For Under $100 That They Say Have Changed Their Lives For The Better

    "It’s one of those quality of life improvements where it’s something small, but it adds a good bit of happiness to each day."

    Look, we all know that money can't buy happiness, but it can buy stuff, and on occasion, that stuff can make your life run a lil' bit smoother. And in these, let's charitably call them "complicated" financial times, many folks are looking for affordable solutions to their day-to-day problems and discomforts.

    So there were plenty of good suggestions when redditor u/stampoutreality asked the people of AskReddit, "What life-changing item can you buy for less than a hundred dollars?" Here are 18 of their ideas.

    Responses may have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

    1. "A First Aid kit. They are handy when you least want them to be."

    hand opening up a first-aid kit

    2. "A rice cooker. That fucker kept me fed during COVID when I barely had the energy to get out of bed."

    hand scooping out rice into a bowl from the rice cooker

    3. "A library card. It's free if you live in the library's district, or available for a fee if you are a non-resident. So many resources for self-improvement and growth, and so many free alternatives to paid services."


    4. "Depending on your lifestyle, I would say a Crockpot or slow cooker can be pretty life-changing. They are super affordable, money-saving, time-saving, last forever, and don't take up too much space. Because they have been around for a gazillion years, there are tons of recipes for any kind of dietary need. They also make really great gifts for work or white elephant parties where you might not really know the people and have a smaller price point to work within. Also great for new parents, people living on their own (especially for the first time), single parents and caregivers, anyone on a limited or fixed income, anyone with a disability or illness that can make it hard to shop for or prepare healthy homemade meals (especially useful for anyone who lives with depression), so basically everyone!"

    person stirring the contents of a crockpot

    5. "A good shop vacuum. You will not believe how many uses around the house you'll find for it. Cobweb removal, water removal, gravel removal, vent cleaning, soot trap cleaning, (after a good scrub since it's likely dirty from other tasks) car vacuuming, dust sucking: The list goes on. Seriously, if you plan to buy or already own a home, go get a shop vac."

    shop vac outside

    6. "A pepper grinder. Seriously, I will never use regular pepper again."

    hands using a pepper grinder on  chicken

    7. "Lemme get you some nice merino wool socks. Your work life will dramatically change, literally from the bottom-up."

    person wearing cozy socks in bed with coffee

    8. "A good showerhead. SERIOUSLY. Bought a replacement one for the first time out of necessity, decided to get a nicer one but still only spent maybe $35 on it, and it is AMAZING. It’s been probably a year since I got it and I still think about what a good purchase it was every day when I get in the shower. It’s one of those quality-of-life improvements where it’s something small, but it adds a good bit of happiness to each day."

    showerhead thats on

    9. "When I get a new phone, the first thing I buy is the most heavy duty case they have. I don’t need it to look good, I need to know that it will keep my phone safe. And it’s saved me so many times."

    hand grabbing a case from the store display wall

    10. "A used bicycle."

    person getting on a bike

    11. "A basic skincare routine. I’m talking, like, cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, and if you’re really adventurous or in need, get yourself a topical for acne or other concerns. Amazing for your self-esteem, and also becomes a form of self-care eventually. It’s so easy to forget to take care of yourself."

    basket full of lotions, and skin care

    12. "Quick-dry sport towels. I had them when I was a swimmer and then fell out of the habit and temporarily got addicted to big plush cotton bath towels. But now, unless I'm taking a languorous bath, I use a sport towel. My body is dry in seconds, the towel is dry in minutes, and when I travel, it saves a bunch of space in my carry-on."

    pile of towels folded on a bench

    13. "Earplugs or specific noise-cancelling headphones. They help you sleep, and with noise in general."

    little packet of ear plugs

    14. "A really good pillow. Investing in a proper pillow has increased the quality of my sleep tremendously and it’s also a lot easier to fall asleep with it."

    person hugging a pillow in bed

    15. "Running shoes. I can easily get a quality, long-lasting, and versatile pair under $100. Running can have such a massive positive effect for anyone struggling with their mental health. I can’t recommend it enough."

    hands tying a shoe outside

    16. "A labeling machine. Ten out of ten, will never forget the names of my plants again."

    label machine spitting out a label that says, label it

    17. "Shoe horn. Hate tying your shoes or like wearing slip-ons? Shoes just old and flimsy? Invest in an 18-inch shoe horn for cheap. People make fun of me for recommending them, but dammit, I haven't had to tie my shoes in years."

    shoe horn and shoe in hand

    18. And finally, this adorable story: "Fifty-two years ago, one evening, I bought an $8 pizza at my university residence commissary for a young lady and me on our first date. I have been married to her for the past 48 years. She hates pizza now, but is more kindly disposed towards me."

    hand grabbing a slice of pizza

    What other relatively low cost purchases have you made that had an outsized positive effect on your life? Tell us about them in the comments!