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    30 Things For Anyone Who Frequently Feels Underprepared

    Prepare to finally feel...prepared.

    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. An acne patch because pimples always pop up at the *worst* possible moment and it's time that you finally had a product to help you deal with them. Hydrocolloid, tea tree oil, and calendula oil are gentle on the skin while still drawing out fluids and pus from your pimple.,

    Promising review: "I have tried many of the acne patches that are becoming increasingly popular. This is by far the best brand I have tried. There is a good variety of sizes in this packet. I wash my face in the evening and apply a patch. In the morning, the patch is clearly filled and the size of the pimple has significantly reduced and redness is gone. It is honestly a lifesaver and it is an absolute steal for the price!" —Brankica Cosic

    Get 40 round patches from Amazon for $8.50 (also available in XL square patches).

    Our in-depth review of Avarelle's acne patches gets into the nitty-gritty — why they work, how to use them, and why 4,000+ people can't stop raving about them.

    2. A lightweight Nalgene if you never remember to drink water until the minute you're dying of thirst. Carry this durable water bottle with you and you'll never go thirsty again!

    person holding red nalgene with mountain in the background / Via @nalgene

    Promising review: "I've used my wide-mouthed Nalgene for EIGHT years, every day at every job I've had. We were inseparable. All the lunches we had together, the late nights, early mornings, fears of bosses, laughing at co-workers...ah the joys we had together. I didn't even treat it that well, dropping it on concrete, down stairs, throwing it in my car, and not a single leak. One time I threw it in my car without the lid on all the way, and it reminded me gently with spilled water that I needed to tighten the lid. I've left it behind almost everywhere, but we always found each other. Until one work meeting when I left it in the conference room. I'm guessing someone grew quite jealous of our affection, and swiped it! NOO! Truly an end of an era. There really was a connection here. Well eight years of daily use later is a good enough review for me to come back and buy the same water bottle. :)" —amznbuyer

    Get it from Amazon for $10.98+ (available in 17 colors).

    3. A bug bite suction tool for anyone who's tired of being a mosquito meal. It's designed to actually suck out venom, saliva, and irritants on your skin that may be causing swelling and itching so you can get back to enjoying your hike instead of stopping to scratch every five minutes.

    Reviewer's photoset showing the progression of the tool and that it made their mosquito bite flat and almost unnoticeable

    You can also use it to treat bites from bees, wasps, biting flies, no-see-ums, chiggers, and sea lice.

    Promising review: "I am a magnet for bites of all kinds and carry topical and medicines with me at all times — so I figured this would be a good product to see if it really works. I woke up with a bug bite on my arm so I used this little tool (three times per the instructions) — immediately after using, it stopped itching! And less than 24 hours later the bump/bite gone! There is a very faint red mark from using the thing, but a small price to pay IMO. Bottom line: it’s awesome. I’m carrying it with me everywhere!" —Rebecca

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95.

    4. A compact automatic LifeTek umbrella so you're always prepared for unexpected showers. This lightweight yet sturdy rain repeller will become a must-have in your bag.

    Reviewer holding the umbrella

    Promising review: "I don't think I've ever owned an umbrella that lasted this long. Well worth the money. I've had this umbrella since 2015 now, and I carry it in my backpack daily and use it pretty much every time it rains. It's still going strong despite the rain and wind of NYC." —Ben

    Get it from Amazon for $26.95+ (available in two sizes and four colors).

    5. A dandruff shampoo to keep in your bathroom cabinet at all times. It's made with ketoconazole 1%, an antifungal ingredient that'll swoop in and save the day when you notice some unexpected white flakes on your scalp.

    Reviewer's before and after photos showing the shampoo got rid of their significant dandruff

    Promising review: "I’ve tried everything that’s available over the counter: Head and Shoulders, Selsun Blue, Dove Antidandruff, Neutrogena, etc. Some were okay, some worked temporarily. This is THE first shampoo that has finally taken care of my dandruff and itchy scalp. I’m on my second bottle. After the first wash, the itching subsided but I would get itchy after two days or if I used a different shampoo. Now, I alternate using a conditioning shampoo and this shampoo and I don’t have any problems. It does dry out your hair, so I would definitely use moisturizing conditioner. I haven’t seen any flakes in weeks. Very, very satisfied!" —Lani Spice

    Get it from Amazon for $14.84.

    6. A roll-on migraine stick if you're prone to mind-numbing headaches. It's made with a mixture of peppermint, spearmint, lavender, and coconut oil so you may find sweet, sweet relief instead of having to retreat to your darkened bedroom when you feel a migraine coming on.

    Yi Yang / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "This is the best product on earth!! I absolutely am in love with it. I rub a bit on the sides of my neck when my neck hurts and a little bit on my forehead if I have a headache. The scent of peppermint just makes me relax and forget about everything else. I carry it in my purse so it's with me at all times. I highly recommend this product. Thank you for allowing me to review this product. I am very satisfied with it." —King

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    My colleague tested and loved this. Read her full review on the Migrastil Migraine Stick here to learn more.

    7. A box of wart-removing pads that'll help you say goodbye to your extra growth faster than it'll take you to name it. Apply it just like a bandage and voila — see ya later!,

    Promising review: "This stuff works! I’ve never had a wart in my life! At first I thought it was a small callus but as months went by it was getting larger. I started to google and realized I had a plantar wart on my thumb! Eww, embarrassing! So I got the freeze off and thought 'This has to work!' Nope! I tried the freeze off three times and nothing! I than realized the same thing was happening on my other thumb, a small callus but I knew that the wart had spread! Now I was desperate to get rid of them and knew I had waited too long! Bought the invisible strips and it removed my small wart in four days and my big wart in eight!! I couldn’t believe it. I left strips on for two days then pulled back the dead skin with a cuticle clipper and reapplied! My bigger wart was a little tougher to removed and I had irritated my skin trying to cut it out, so I left it alone for few days before reapplying strip and by the second 48-hour treatment, it was gone! I thought my skin would be damaged but it looks like nothing was ever there!" —Audrey N.

    Get 14 pads from Amazon for $6.96.

    8. A set of four reusable bags because this is the last time you forget your grocery tote at home! These come with built-in carabiners so you can clip them to your belt loops or your purse strap and literally never walk out the door without them.


    Promising review: "LOVE these bags. Have been using one from a promotional campaign at a store for 12+ years, and it's just now started to show some age. It gets used/abused several times a week with much heavier loads than recommended. With the carabiner and draw cord, it clips right on my tiny purse and I never forget it at home or in the truck when I go to the store. Bought these for gifts for a couple of environmentally aware friends, I'm positive they'll love them as much as I do." —M. Miller

    Get a four-pack from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in a variety of colors).

    Check out BuzzFeed Reviews' deep dive into the best reusable grocery bags.

    9. A paraben-free dry shampoo powder so your locks look fresh between washes. No more panicking in the morning once you realize your hair is looking mighty greasy but you don't have time to wash it.

    Reviewer's before and after photos showing the powder made their formerly greasy bangs look freshly washed

    Promising review: "My hair is ALWAYS oily at the roots and the aerosol cans of dry shampoo make my hair stiff. But this stuff...this stuff is amazing! Adds volume, doesn't completely dry out my hair, and does not leave residue or buildup (I have black hair so this is very important). Also, my hair smells super fresh after using. Would give more stars if I could!" —Gabriela

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    10. A pack of Schick dermaplaning razors to take care of stray hairs the minute you notice them. Reviewers also say they're great for shaving peach fuzz so makeup applies more evenly.,

    Promising review: "I'm a hairy gal. Hormonal problems ruled out by my physician; it's just hereditary. My cheeks, neck, forehead, and chin are covered in a fine ever-growing peach fuzz. If I cease shaving, I shall acquire a boat and thus forth be dubbed blonde beard. My mustache is darker and thicker, something I think a lot of women experience. I have been shaving for a while with a men's razor (Gillette Fusion ProGlide for reference) and shaving cream but it just couldn't give me a close enough shave. ENTER SCHICK SILK TOUCH-UP! Holy wow! I've been dry shaving my entire face and some of my neck with these and no irritation, plus it is the closest shave I have gotten. No pulling or scraping like other 'mini razors.' It's quicker than doing what I call a 'dad shave' in the shower, and I can see what I'm shaving because I'm at my makeup table and there's no shaving cream obstructing my view (I don't want to accidentally hack off the hair by my ears or forehead). Plus, I compared this to other (what I call) mini razors and it's twice the size. So very efficient for doing your whole face, easy for detailing those brows. I love this product and hope that they sell it forever. It works on my peach fuzz, mustache, and brows. If I ever get word that they are going to stop making them, I will hoard them all." —Dr. Eleanor Abernathy

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $6.97.

    11. A pack of iPhone chargers for the person who's notorious for breaking theirs. These nylon braided cables have a 12,000+ bend lifespan meaning you can unsubscribe from your monthly Amazon order of a pack of chargers.

    The chargers, which come in three-foot, six-foot, and 10-foot lengths

    Promising review: "I’ve got these in my vehicle and by the bed. They’re very durable and can’t kink. They charge really well. I’m very satisfied with them." —Jamie S

    Get a five-pack from Amazon for $14.99.

    Don't have an iPhone? These USB-C cables work great with most Android phones, and you can get them from Amazon for $7.99.

    12. A to-do list that'll help you stay on top of all your tasks. Being prepared is a lot easier when you can actually see everything that's on your plate.

    The planner

    Promising review: "Exactly what I was looking for! Perfect for planning the day and keeping me on task with what I want/ need to accomplish." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95.

    13. Some foam earplugs because you never realize you need them until, well, you need them. Get them now to save yourself from sleepless nights and ruined productivity later.

    BuzzFeed Editor holding the ear plugs
    Melanie Aman / BuzzFeed

    I live above a restaurant with outdoor seating *and* my downstairs neighbors' balcony is right below my bedroom window, so it can get a bit loud at night. Even with the white noise of my AC running, I was still woken up by the noise more than a few times. Of all the many things in life that I love, a solid eight hours of sleep is pretty high up there on my list, so I eventually decided to buy these earplugs. There's nothing fancy about them but let me tell you: they do their job and they do it well. I'm now sleeping through the night and the ear plugs stay wedged in my ears until morning. While they don't block out every bit of sound, they significantly dull the noises coming from below, and they're comfy to boot.

    Get a bottle of 50 earplugs from Amazon for $9.89.

    14. A pack of aluminum-free deodorant wipes to freshen up on the go. They're made to absorb orders so no one else has to know that you forget to apply deodorant this morning.

    The wipes

    Promising review: "I have always suffered from bad odor on my underarms since I have very delicate skin, so I can't use strongly scented deodorants. I'm always trying out cream deodorant or gels, but it either irritates my skin or it doesn't stop my bad odor. THIS IS THE BEST INVENTION EVER. I LOVE IT! I can't believe that something finally works! My armpits don't smell bad. I can finally move my arms freely. The scent is wonderful; I love the smell and it's not harsh on my skin. Even after a long day, my underarms are still smelling like coconut." —Patricia

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99 (available in three scents and multipacks).

    15. A meal planner if you frequently find yourself mindlessly walking down the aisles at your grocery store, waiting for meal prep inspiration to hit you. There's nothing worse than staring at your fridge at 6:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, wishing that food would magically appear.

    The planner

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this thing. I used to just print out a blank calendar for every month and then plan my week, but it always looks so tacky and made it so complicated. This thing is great because it literally gives you half of the page to plan out your meals for the week and the other half for your grocery list." —sheri f.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95 (available in three colors).

    16. And speaking of meals, an "all out of" grocery list so you can mark things as you use them up instead of trying to remember what you need and then walking into a grocery store and totally blanking. I think we need milk, right?

    The list

    Promising review: "If you're like me, you become a deer in the headlights when you walk into the grocery store. That's why this notepad is a game-changer. We keep this on the refrigerator and check the appropriate box whenever we use the last of/realize we are out of something. I also use this list to plan for shopping trips. There is nothing worse than getting back from the store and realizing that you forgot to buy something essential. Making a list only helps when you think of everything that you need when you're making the list. 'All out of' provides a comprehensive list of the essentials and helps with the brainstorming process. I have already recommended this product to my friends." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $6.36+ (available in five colors).

    17. An Anker portable battery pack for juicing your devices when you inevitably forget your charger. It's small enough to take with you on the go but powerful enough to charge your phone to full battery multiple times.

    The power bank

    Promising review: "Lifesaver! Beyond happy with this purchase. I toss it in my purse and I’m ready to go. I even have friends and family constantly asking to use it because it charges devices so quickly." —Ashley M.

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in four colors).

    18. A collapsible dog bowl that'll ensure your furry friend stays hydrated no matter where your next adventure takes you. It folds flat, making it a ~port-a-bowl~ option you can easily store in your backpack or pocket the next time you're on the go.

    The bowl

    Promising review: "I love this bowl!! It's lightweight. You could shove it in your pocket. It has a loop for hanging or attaching it. I've used it a few times on walks and around the house. My dog loves to drink from it. It holds more than her collapsible dog bowl. Today I leak tested it. I filled it with cold water so at first it did have some moisture under and around the bottom. After two hours, several dog slurps and the water warming, there is no moisture and the bottom is dry. Just noticed it was sitting in direct sunlight so I temp tested. The water inside is still very cool. This is a great buy!!" —baduffy

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    19. A portable razor because it makes shaving on the go a little less ~hairy~ (pun intended!). It has a built-in water spritzer, a moisturizing bar to lubricate your skin, and two razor blades so you can shear any stray hairs or just reduce the amount of stuff you have to bring in your overnight bag.

    Reviewer photo of the circular razor, the spritzer, the lubricating bar, and the razor

    Promising review: "I am obsessed with this razor. I used to have to take so many things with me when I slept at my boyfriend's house or went on vacation, but now I just drop this into my bag and it's all I need. I shave my legs and arms with this and it makes my skin so soft and smooth. Definitely going to purchase a couple more to gift to my sisters. Highly recommend this to anyone...even if its just for a touch-up — so worth it!" —Michelle Lameh

    Get it from Amazon for $14.46.

    20. A makeup-removing pen to clean up small messes — like smeared eyeliner or flaky mascara — so you don't have to whip out the makeup remover and start all over again.

    Before and after showing the pen being used to clean eyeliner smudges, smeared lipstick, and messy foundation

    Promising review: "So far it has worked great as a quick fix whenever I make mistakes on my winged eyeliner. I would return it if it left any residue, but it wasn't greasy when applied and is remarkably precise. It also worked well when removing mascara from my eyelids. This remover stick is very useful for me and saves me time and frustration, easily removing whatever mess I made. I’ve used swabs and liquid eye makeup remover to correct eyeliner and remove smudges but I really didn’t like that it left unnecessary trash and mess in my room. I’m quite impressed that it can also be used as a lip or nail balm. I appreciate that it easily absorbs and conditions my dry cuticles without being too greasy. It feels silky smooth, calming the irritated areas of my cuticles." —Elena

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    21. A car safety hammer if you're ever in a situation were you need to break the window or cut through a seatbelt. While I hope you're never in an automobile emergency, it's a good idea to have this in the car just in case!

    The hammer being used to break the passenger's side window

    It's small enough to keep in the glove compartment, center console, or door pocket, but it also comes with a mounting bracket.

    Promising review: "I try to make sure that we have everything necessary to insure safe travel. We are seniors who travel back and forth between two states and even though WE follow all the road rules, others do not. That being said, being prepared for as much as possible just makes sense. This little utensil fits the bill. Fits nicely into the glove box and is very handy. Got two and gave one to our daughter just in case!" —Barbara Erickson

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $10.99.

    22. A multi-tool so you have 40 tools (including a bottle opener, can opener, cord cutter, hex bit driver, pry bar, screwdriver, and wrench) in one handy gadget whenever you need them. It doesn't have sharp or jagged edges so it's safe to store in your purse.


    Promising review: "I keep this in my wallet and it has come in handy a few times. It's plenty sturdy, and to be honest it probably has too many features for me to even use all of them. It's been great so far, though. Very compact and sits in my wallet just fine. It's pretty useful and convenient at times. Pretty handy and far better than being empty-handed when something unexpected comes up." —Zachary

    Get it from Amazon for $25.95+ (available in two colors).

    23. A budget book for anyone who struggles to remember when they paid their credit card bill or frequently overdraws their checking account. This will help you stay on top of your finances and be prepared when it's time to make big money decisions.

    The budget book, which has lines for day-to-day spending

    Promising review: "I really love this budget book! It's been really helpful for me to learn how to manage my money. Sometimes I go over budget, and it's really helpful to see how that happened. The main reason why I bought this book is so I get an idea of how much I spend per month on bills, food, personal stuff, and more before I live on my own. I already purchased a second one for this year." —Aurora

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    24. A pocket-sized Tile Mate that'll help you feel prepared to find whatever it is that you've lost. Using your smartphone, you can make these trackers "ring" so it's easier to locate whatever is missing. You can even find a lost phone by holding down the Tile button until your phone rings, even if it's on silent.

    The square tracker on a keyring

    Promising review: "I normally don't write reviews for products, but the Tile is too fantastic not to yell it from the rooftops! I am always losing my keys or my phone and with the Tile it makes it so easy to find my keys in a flash or find my phone! All you have to do is attach it to your keys and you're all set! When you misplace your keys, you go into the app on your phone (which is super user-friendly) and tap find my keys. It then rings your Tile that is attached to your keys and if they are not in an area where they can ring, it shows you the location of the tile, which is also very helpful! If you misplace your phone, you can double tap the middle button on the tile and it will ring your phone! It is such an amazing product and I am thinking about attaching them to everything in my house!!" —Brooke

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (also available in two styles).

    25. A pack of stain-removing pads because they'll rapidly lift stains when your pet has a surprise accident on your carpet. All you have to do is give the pads a few stomps to activate their cleaning powers.

    These are perfect for erasing small messes in a matter of minutes. If you have more stubborn stains, you may need to let the pad sit.

    Promising review: "Perfect for quick cleanup from pets and kids spilling stuff. Bissell nailed it with this cleaning pad! Will definitely buy again!" —Theresa Render

    Get a pack of 20 from Amazon for $24.99.

    26. A red wine stain-remover spray to hastily remove any vino you spill in those few moments of clarity you have when you're tipsy and realize you've made a big mistake. It even works on old stains!

    Promising review: "We have a lighter-colored carpet throughout our entire house and with a toddler, two black cats, and two clumsy adults, it feels like a new stain shows up every single day. Saw this product on a BuzzFeed list and figured since it’s less than $6 I’d give it a try. It WORKS! It worked SO fast and smells nice too! I promise you, this is $6 well spent!" —Jonathan and Jill Orbell

    Get it from Amazon for $7.94.

    27. A pack of BluApple packets if you hate throwing away rotten produce but aren't sure how to make it last longer. These are designed to absorb to absorb ethylene gas, which should extend the life of your fresh fruits and veggies.


    Promising review: "In my drunken stupor, I purchased these thinking were ben wa balls. Boy was I wrong. But I'm so happy with my purchase because these keep my produce fresher for much longer than normal. Nothing is worse than buying red bell peppers at the store and having them start wilting after four days. These should be in everyone's fridges!" —The Waites

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $11.99.

    28. A set of magnetic Instant Pot cheat sheets with cook times for your favorite foods so you can actually feel prepared while making dinner instead of saying, "welp, we're just gonna wing it" multiple times.

    The Instant Pot Magnetic Cheat Sheet Set.

    Promising review: "This certainly is a handy, organized way to check Instant Pot cooking references for various foods. The highlighted portions are a little bit too shaded to easily see the print beneath but overall is well-thought-out. The item came quickly, well-packaged. Didn't even know this type thing existed." —mew

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99 (available in two sizes).

    29. A treat-dispensing mat for tackling bath time like a pro. Slather it with peanut butter to distract your pet so you can finally give them a good rinse.


    Promising review: "We have a 30-pound lab mix rescue who hates water. Usually, she shakes and tries to escape the bathtub. With this product, she got distracted and stayed in place. We put peanut butter in it and froze it so that it would take longer. Having the nubs helps slow her down too. It stayed in place on our tub with the suctions. Basic product but works great." —book nerd

    Get it from Amazon for $10.95.

    30. An estate-planning journal that'll help you feel a bit more prepared for what's to come.

    The book cover

    This book is meant to guide you through the process of getting your affairs in order. It is *not* a legal will but it'll educate you about writing one.

    Promising review: "Don’t let the title throw you (you can order the same material with a 'softer' title if you want, but why?), this book allows you to enter the information that your loved ones will need when you’re gone...and save them so much trouble at a time when they have enough grief to deal with. As an estate planning attorney, I recommend these books to ALL my clients. And remind them to keep the info up to save the ones you love time, anguish, and money." —PJ

    Get it from Amazon for $12.

    You feeling totally prepared and ready to solve all your problems:

    United Plankton Pictures

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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