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    Feb 26, 2020

    30 Useful Products Under $20 You Should Probably Buy In Your 20s

    Smart little problem-solvers and upgrades.

    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 pair of Bandelettes because you shouldn't go one more day in life putting up with thigh chafe under dresses — and these will give you immediate relief.

    BuzzFeed Video / buzzfeed.com, Amazon

    A BuzzFeed video producer tested the best thigh chafe products, and these were one of the winners! They're basically stretchy bands of either lace or solid fabric with a line of no-slip silicone along the top and bottom edges.

    Promising review: "These are fantastic! I work overnights and wear dresses regularly to the office, I've been using the deodorant style anti-chafing rubs and wanted a longer lasting option. Ding ding ladies!! This is it! So comfortable I fell asleep in them! No marks, no uncomfortable "digging in." I did measure my thigh to get an accurate size rather than guessing, but it is definitely true to that measurement. They take some fine tuning to make sure that they don't roll, but once you find that spot, they don't move!! I got the lacy ones and they are sexy and soft to the touch with the silicone on the top and bottom. Highly recommended!!!" —A. Spencer

    Get them on Amazon for $14.95+ (available in six sizes that fit thighs 21–32", eight colors, and lace or solid options).

    2. A silicone drain cover to catch all the hair you (and the people you live with) shed in the shower, so you can stop spending so much $$ on chemical de-cloggers.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    This fits over pretty much any drain, whether it pops up, sinks in, or is flat and flush with the rest of the tub.

    Promising review: "After tossing away quite a few cheap-o drain protectors that became dingy over time, I decided to splurge on this OXO silicone drain protector. I'm very impressed! The weighted top keeps it in place without suction cups — even with my faucet running almost directly on it. I have medium-length hair and seem to shed almost as much as my cat, but the drain protector catches it all, then it's easily removed and tossed away. Best of all, in my case, the silicone hasn't held onto mildew or mold — I've been able to spray and wipe away any grime with very little effort. It looks like this drain protector will last a very long time. This has been a very worthy purchase!" —Suneimi

    Get one on Amazon for $9.99.

    3. Some bedsheet fasteners that'll finally stop your fitted sheet from creeping off its designated corners in the middle of the night.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "My husband turns a lot in his sleep and has always woken up with the fitted sheet halfway off his side of the bed. Bought these and we have NEVER once had to adjust the sheet in the morning! These are amazing!

    A tip for putting them on: lay the fitted sheet on top of the bed with the corners inside out (flipped up, off the mattress). Then attach these bands to each of the corners and tighten the bands. Once they are all clamped and tightened, THEN flip the corners onto the mattress. We have a pillow top 10" thick king mattress and this is the best method to get these on. Hope that helps!" —LindseyB

    Get the set of four on Amazon for $8.99.

    4. A daily moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF protection because now's the time to start wearing sunscreen on your face every single day.

    Amazon

    Well, your teen years would've been good too, but might as well start now! Daily sunscreen (that's at least SPF 30, broad spectrum) = the absolute best way to prevent wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of aging.

    Promising review "I have been using this sunscreen for years, and it's one of my favorites, especially in the summer when I like lighter moisture. It rubs in well, it does't smell weird, it makes my skin feel moisturized but not greasy AND it's cheap!" —Siobhan

    Get it on Amazon for $7.20.

    5. A pack of hydrocolloid patches that will absorb so much gunk out of those annoying "adult acne" whiteheads literally while you sleep. Trust me, we ALL thought we'd be grown out of this by now...

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "These little pimple patches work great!! The hydrocolloid works as advertised, sucking out the pus from whiteheads so I don't have to squeeze or scar the pimple. These are stickier than other brands. Sometimes I would leave on other patches overnight but they'd slide off by the time morning came. I tried this one overnight and it was right where I left it the night before!" —Amazon Customer

    Get a pack of 36 patches on Amazon for $12.50.

    6. The One Line A Day journal: each page asks you to record a little about that calendar date over the course of five years, so as you flip through each year again, you get to reflect on how much has changed (and how much hasn't)!

    Amazon

    I wish I'd tried something similar when I was 23, now that I'm 28 — so many things have changed in those five years!

    Promising review: "This is my second One Line A Day Five Year Memory Book. I started the first one the day I got it...no reason to wait til January first — that's the beauty of it! I HATE journaling, but this is totally manageable. I write small and don't actually do "one line;" I just write about my day. The best thing is you can easily look back on what you did on a particular day up to five years ago, and you can compare each year. Kind of cool. It's interesting to note coincidences over the years, like I happened to be sick at the same time a few years in a row — weird. And my kids saw a particular movie one year, and three years later saw the sequel, to the day, with the same friends, even though they had moved away!!" —Cleanin' Mommy

    Get it on Amazon for $16.99.

    7. A cold brew coffee maker because if you love iced coffee, it's probably better to save up the $$ you're spending everyday to get it from a fancy shop, and this is the easiest way to brew it at home.

    Amazon

    You just scoop out some ground coffee, pour in your water, stick it in the fridge, and let it work its magic! And yes, it's dishwasher safe.

    Promising review: "This little filter is great. It makes the perfect amount of cold brew for a week for me. I usually steep for anywhere between 12–24 hours depending on how strong I want it to be. Grind your beans coarse and fill with filtered water and toss it in the fridge, can't be any simpler. I used to always drop $3–4 a day on iced coffee on the VSC cold brew from Starbucks, so I can't imagine how much money this has saved me." —Jacob S

    Get it on Amazon for $17.99+ (available in one or two quarts).

    Maitland, an editor here at BuzzFeed, owns and loves this! Read her full cold brew maker review for more.

    8. A pair of blue light blocking glasses, especially if your job involves sitting in front of a computer most of the day — these can help with both headaches and eyestrain.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I love these glasses, they are super cute. I work at a computer every day for at least eight hours plus take online classes — over the past few months I have been getting really bad headaches and so I wanted to try these out. I can honestly say that they have helped! I have fewer headaches and my eyes aren't super tired anymore. And the price is perfect." —Gabrielle

    Get them on Amazon for $16.99 (available in 13 colors).

    9. A basic toolkit so you're prepared for those occasions when you call your parents asking how to fix, idk, your loose shower handle, and they say "well, you'll need a set of hex keys..."

    Amazon

    (Yup, that exact situation happened to me!!) This 39-piece kit has almost any size hex key you could want, plus a bunch of other tools most commonly used for small household fixes. And everything fits snugly in the protective carrying case!

    Promising review: "I've had this toolkit for three years now, and it's still going strong. It has everything I could really need as a renter. I've used it for hanging art, putting together furniture (and taking it apart), taking measurements in my home, and plenty of other odd jobs around my apartments over these last few years. Of the many things I purchased when I moved out on my own, this is the one I still use regularly and am always thankful to have! This set isn't the highest quality in the world, but it gets the job done." —Amazon Customer

    Get it on Amazon for $16.98+ (available in four colors).

    10. Or if that still feels like too much for you, at least this 12-bits-in-one ratcheting screwdriver that you'll rely on again and again to build furniture, tighten loose screws, pry open tough containers, and so much more.

    Amazon

    The dual-ended bits fit right in the screwdriver's body, so you'll never lose 'em.

    Promising review: "This stubby ratcheting screwdriver is very handy and works well. I have used it in low-clearance situations — as well as normal everyday usage to tighten loose screws — and it has performed very well. Very easy and convenient to switch the attachments that are stored in the screwdriver handle. I will definitely bring this screwdriver with me when I travel as it is so compact. Really works well!" —Ruben Rodriguez

    Get it on Amazon for $13.99.

    11. An acrylic makeup organizer with enough space to fit pretty much your entire collection *and* neatly make everything easy to find — assuming you're not a professional makeup artist.

    Amazon

    Seriously, BuzzFeed writer AnaMaria owns this and loves it — in just this organizer, she fits 32 lipsticks, six blushes and bronzers, two large highlighter sticks, one foundation bottle, three concealers, two contouring sticks, two rollerball perfumes, two primers, and countless lip pencils, eyeliners, and eyeshadow sticks. (If you have lots of palettes, though, check out an organizer made specifically for those, $8.99 on Amazon).

    Promising review: "I love this storage for a couple of reasons. First, it's pretty. My last makeup storage was a black and grey plastic thingy. This makes my whole vanity look much more put together. Second, I can put all my heavily used items where I can see them." —Julesie_O

    Get it on Amazon for $14.65+ (available in five colors).

    12. A pack of two aluminum sheet pans because you'll come to rely on them for easy 30-minute dinners, bulk batches of chocolate chip cookies, and simple homemade pizzas.

    Amazon

    Even if those cookies happen to be store-bought slice-and-bake, you'll be glad you have these classic pans! They're made of mostly aluminum, with steel around the rim to help prevent warping at high temps. (Although they, like pretty much every sheet pan I've encountered, aren't dishwasher safe.)

    Promising review: "Definitely heavy duty. It has not buckled/warped in my oven once. I have used it up to 475 degrees and under the broiler. I have cooked hamburger, barbecued chicken, potatoes, and bread/biscuits on it and nothing really sticks to it." —Robert S

    Get the pack of two on Amazon for $21.99+ (about $11 each).

    Note that they're not ~nonstick~: you have to use oil or silicone baking sheets ($13.99 for two, or about $7 each) to keep your food from sticking. For even more inspiration, check out a bunch of easy sheet pan dinner recipes.

    13. A hand-held mini-steamer that you simply wave in front of pretty much any blouse, shirt, dress, skirt, or pants to make every little wrinkle vanish right before your eyes. No iron- or ironing-board-lugging required.

    amazon.com

    It comes with a little mitt to protect your other hand from the heat, and a carrying bag for travel.

    Promising review: "I hate ironing. I love this thing. This sits on my cabinet and takes less than two minutes to heat up. It gets the wrinkles out of my clothes. It is awesome for linen and cotton. I appreciate I don't have to take out an ironing board and can do my steaming on a hanger. It's easy and the unit is compact. My only complaint is if you're doing more than two pieces of very wrinkled or thick clothing at once, you may need to refill the steamer, but it's not a big deal. This unit was a bang for the buck." —Tree

    Get it on Amazon for $20.99.

    14. An insulated stainless-steel bottle so you can both remember to and actually stay hydrated wherever you happen to be. (Or just keep your morning coffee hot during your commute. Or both!)

    Amazon

    They're vacuum-sealed to actually keep your drinks the temperatures they're supposed to be: hot for up to 12 hours, and cold for up to 24. (Yes: twenty. four. whole. hours.)

    Promising review: "Excellent product! The bottle itself looks great. Very similar to my Swell bottle at a fraction of the price. I only use it with water but it has been able to stay ice cold for 24 hrs. It doesn't sweat at all and I keep it in my pack next to my iPad without any problems. The opening is a narrow as shown in the picture so my cleaning brush is a tight fit but that is to be expected and not really a con." —MC

    Get one on Amazon for $15.95 (available in two sizes and 25 colors).

    15. And a water bottle cleaning brush set that makes it super simple to scrub out all the nooks and crannies so you never have to deal with lurking mold.

    Amazon

    It comes with three brushes: one with flexible bristles to fit into even narrow-necked bottles, a small loop scrubber for lids, and a thin fuzzy one for straws.

    Promising review: "I have to admit, I was hesitant to spend $10 on a bottle brush but am so glad I did! The big brush worked great on all bottles I tried. I was worried it may be too big for the bottles with a narrow neck but the bristles are soft and nimble enough to easily fit. The straw brush worked great on the straight plastic tumbler straws as well as a couple of straws with very pronounced ridges. I used the detail brush once and it cleaned a lid well. I'm an extremely frugal (okay, cheap) person and I think this set is worth the money." —Jen O.

    Get it on Amazon for $9.99.

    Still curious to learn more? Check out our water bottle brush review (#6).

    16. A set of two miniature spatulas — they reach into all kinds of containers, letting you actually use every bit of product that you paid good money to enjoy.

    instagram.com, Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

    And no, they're not just too good to be true! One BuzzFeed writer actually tried these, loves them, and wrote up a Spatty Daddy review.

    Promising review: "So worth it! I'm so happy with it. You will definitely save money using this. I think about how much I could have saved if this was invented 30 years ago. I mostly use it for small makeup jars. I tested out the longer one on a 18oz lotion and it worked fine. Some reviews complain about not being able to get every curve and corner of their container. ...oh please..! You get so much more than you would without it." —Liz

    Get the set of two on Amazon (one with a shorter handle and one with a longer handle, depending on the function you need) for $11.99 (available in pink or blue).

    17. A toilet-cleaning gel you stamp directly into the bowl, so you can be lazy about cleaning your bathroom *and* (almost) never have to scrub away grime.

    amazon.com, Scrubbing Bubbles / youtube.com

    You just press it beneath the rim (after a regular toilet cleaning, of course!) and let it get to work. You'll have to re-stamp every 12 days or so, depending on how often the toilet's flushed.

    Promising review: "I live in a two-story house with three men, so needless to say, our downstairs toilet becomes quite a mess no less than three days after I clean it. But with this product, it keeps the bathroom smelling fresh, the toilet looking clean, and me feeling less grossed-out about cleaning the toilet at the end of the week! I highly recommend this product for anyone with a house full of guys, or just someone who hates cleaning the toilet as much as I do. You could easily not scrub your bowl for two weeks and not have to worry about stuck-on grossness." —Vanessa

    Get it in packs that last for up to 20 weeks from Amazon: the "rainshower" scent for $7.97 or the "fresh" scent for $17.99.

    18. A set of wool dryer balls because it's time to stop throwing so many single-use dryer sheets in your trash. Now if only you could somehow figure out how to stop procrastinating on laundry entirely...

    Amazon, amazon.com

    These will last for at LEAST 1000 loads, which will save you money when you stop buying dryer sheets.

    Promising review: "I've had these for several months now. I was previously using the plastic spiked balls, which were incredibly noisy and beat up the inside of my dryer. The wool balls are very quiet and have done a great job drying my clothes faster and reducing static. I have only had a couple of instances where there was a static problem. I used lavender essential oil on mine and enjoyed that scent. Don't get me wrong, I love the fragrance of the dryer sheets, but with the essential oil I don't miss it." —Cindy J.

    Get a pack of six on Amazon for $12.95.

    19. A meal-planning pad with a detachable shopping list so you can stop ordering out because it's Wednesday and you're out of food. Instead, you can make sure you buy plenty for the week in just one grocery store run.

    Amazon

    It has two magnets on the back, so it's easy to hang on the fridge!

    Promising review: "I made a resolution to eat at home more this year. This planner is helping a lot! Everyone in the house likes knowing what's for dinner and I love that it has a built in shopping list. Makes the week so much less stressful when I have planned out every meal and have all of the ingredients to make it. Looks exactly like the pic, looks cute hanging on the fridge, very happy with this purchase!" —Steve

    Get it from Amazon for $8.95.

    20. A pack of three magical makeup remover cloths that will literally erase every speck of foundation, mascara, powder, eyeliner, and other makeup you're wearing in just a few swipes — and all you have to do is dampen them with water.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    This will also save ya money in the long run, if you're in the habit of buying and using makeup remover wipes.

    Promising review: "I have no clue how this works, but it does! I was wearing a full face of make up. I mean foundation, contour highlight, eyeliner, seriously the whole nine yards. All I did was wet it and wiped my face, and my jaw literally dropped. This is hands-down my favorite make up remover. The best part is that they are reusable so you don't have to keep buying those expensive disposables that leave your face feeling greasy. And honestly, four dollars? Trust me, you won't regret it." —Heather and Ryne Griffith

    Get the pack of three on Amazon for $4.29.

    21. A cute key magnet you can hang right next to the door you use most often. You'll never have to frantically tear apart the couch looking for your keys again, especially on those mornings you're already running late.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Some reviewers mention the adhesive's way too strong, while others complain it barely stuck to their walls — to make sure it both stays stuck and comes off easily (without damaging the surface it's on), I'd suggest hanging it with one or more picture-weight removable adhesive strips ($4.84 for a pack of six pairs).

    Promising review: "I bought this for my apartment, and my sister and I absolutely love it. It's very cute, doesn't draw a lot of attention to itself or look out of place, and it actually holds a sort of ridiculous amount of weight. Both our key rings are pretty heavy because we have our car key fob, three keys for work, two for our apartment complex, decorative keychains, etc. and this product holds both our key rings. I was worried that the magnets would weaken and that our keys would fall off the wall in the middle of the night and give us a heart attack, but that hasn't happened." —ellery

    Get one on Amazon for $7.98.

    22. A wine aerator to bring out all the flavors and nuances in even your least fancy bottles, so almost any variety you serve tastes kinda expensive — or at least not so cheap!

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    It works by mixing the wine with the air in a narrow stream, which draws out the flavors.

    Promising review: "I bought this for my Dad who really likes his wine. He didn't think it would do much to the taste of the wine so I had him try some cheapish wine without this aerator and then had him try it with the aerator and the taste was like night and day. He's tried it on some of his better wine and while it does change the taste a little, it wasn't as drastic as the improvement on the cheaper wine." —Jason

    Get one on Amazon for $15.99.

    23. And a wine saver system because sometimes it's nice to have just one or two glasses on a weeknight, then keep the rest of the bottle fresh to finish on Friday.

    Amazon

    I've owned one of these for years (and my parents have owned theirs for even longer) and it's still going strong: you simply dampen the bottom end of one of the rubber corks in water, stick it in the bottle, then use the pump to vacuum out the extra air until you hear a "click!" sound. And voila! Your wine is sealed, and will last at least another few days, and up to a week.

    Promising review: "So, you know how you open a bottle of wine for a glass and then the bottle sits there until it turns undrinkable? LOL...me neither. Still, there are times when I open a bottle and I know it's going to be several days before I finish it. This helps. A lot! It's easy to use, it's small enough to fit into my silverware drawer, and it really does draw all the extra air out of the bottle so your vino doesn't get all ickish before you finish it." —V. Daniels

    Get the pump and two stoppers on Amazon for $11.87+ (available in two colors).

    24. A small handheld broom and dustpan so you can quickly deal with any small spills, no need to lug out the big stuff from the cleaning closet.

    Amazon

    The brush easily snaps into the handle for easy storage, and it has a spot so you can hang it on a hook wherever you need it!

    Promising review: "Such a simple concept. It's difficult finding the perfect dustpan yet this is it. The brush has an angled tip that gets into corners... genius! The best part is the small strip of rubber that edges the pan, actually lays flat, unlike countless other brands I've tried. I am no longer chasing crumbs around the floor." —L.

    Get it on Amazon for $9.99.

    25. A Swiffer starter kit because it's perfect for those days when you're feeling lazy about cleaning but have friends or parents coming over, and you don't want them to know just how much grime's slowly accumulated on your kitchen and bathroom floors.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    I've used these on and off through my twenties, and find Swiffers most useful for precisely those kinds of situations. It quickly picks up dust, dirt, and hair — and can push bigger debris into a pile you can sweep up with that small broom and dustpan. This kit comes with the mop, seven dry cloths, and three wet cloths.

    Promising review: "The Swiffer makes cleaning up pet hair quick and easy — the hair seems to gravitate towards the cloth. If I've dropped something crumbly, I still get out my broom and dustpan, since the Swiffer seems less effective for those textures. The mop function is nice, too. It's good for a quick clean if your floor isn't too soiled. Since I have no kids in the house and I don't live in a muddy area, it suits my purposes perfectly. If your floor needs a serious scrubbing, you would probably need something sturdier than this mop." —Melissa C

    Get the starter kit on Amazon for $11.85.

    26. A carpet and upholstery stain remover spray that can make both fresh and set-in spots vanish like they were never there in the first place.

    amazon.com

    That includes wine, grease, dirt, and all kinds of, erm, pet and people stains. Because you never know when a situation like this reviewer's might arise (and yes, that's her pictured before and after above)....

    Promising review: "So my dog got into my makeup bag and got ahold of some liquid lipstick and needless to say I flipped out to see my now-neon orange carpet. It took about an hour and two rolls of paper towels but holy moly! WOW did this stuff work! My mother recommended it to me after using it on minor stains at her house and so glad I got it. Definitely worth the money and it really does disappear right before your eyes like the bottle says!" —jen

    Get a bottle on Amazon for $13.33.

    27. A handheld knife sharpener with three different sharpening stages — no matter how fancy or basic your knives are, they'll be much safer and easier to use after a few swipes through this system.

    Amazon

    And yes, that cut-resistant glove's 100% included! The three stages are: diamond-coated (which straightens your metal knife), tungsten steel (to coarsely sharpen and restore), and ceramic (to polish and finely sharpen).

    Promising review: "I was a little skeptical because I've owned similar sharpeners before and they never really seemed to work. So to test it I pulled out one of our older knives that would barely serve as a butter knife. I made five passes on each stage and could immediately tell the difference. After a few more passes I was easily shaving the hair off my arm. I sharpened 10 or so kitchen knives that were dull — this sharpener within five to 15 passes had them all shaving sharp. Very impressed." —David Cooley

    Get it (and the cut-resistant glove) on Amazon for $17.99.

    28. A silk sleep mask because a good night's sleep is more important than ever, and this will block out all that extra light so you can doze deeply.

    Amazon

    I have one of these and while I can't verify that it's actually the mulberry silk it claims to be, I do know it doesn't make me sweat, it's super soft, and it does an excellent job blocking out the light. I've had mine for about two and a half months now, and it's still in perfect condition.

    Promising review: "This is one of the best sleep masks I have ever owned. It feels good on my skin and is very comfortable. I have traveled the world with this mask and slept in brightly lit rooms with ease. I like it so much i have bought it twice: the downside is the strap in the back, because it stretches over time and you have to constantly tighten it. The trouble is you can only tighten it so much, but it is to thick to tie in a knot so i had to toss my old one for a new one. Still for the price having to replace it every three years isn't so bad. Even with the strap issue I will most likely buy this mask again." —Elise Atwood-youngstrom

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in 20 colors / designs).

    29. Some slimline hangers that will pretty much instantly create more closet space the moment you swap them in for your current mishmash of random plastic ones.

    amazon.com

    Not to mention make your closet look a thousand times neater. Plus they're nonslip so even slippery spaghetti straps will stay put.

    Promising review: "These hangers are seriously low-profile enough to give you close to twice the amount of space in your closet. Probably not necessarily a good thing, but I revamped my closet with these instead of donating a large portion of clothes to Goodwill (although I had already donated two other closets full until a friend recommended these hangers) and now my clothes all fit neatly!" —Lisa427

    Get a pack of 30 hangers for $15.99 (three colors).

    30. A basic first aid kit packed with pretty much everything you'd need for any small (and even some medium-ish) mishaps, because it's always better to be prepared.

    Amazon

    This kit has 299 pieces that treat for cuts and scrapes, burns and swelling, and minor pain. It comes with a durable, organized carrying case so you can refill as needed and add whatever you prefer.

    Promising review: "I don't play the game of giving big praise for 150 inexpensive bandages; but this has a number of other features, like single-serve OTC medicines and salves, which are ideal. The pouch is STURDY and capacious. I added a few gauze rolls, a couple of Neosporin-type antibiotics bought from the dollar store, a few other things I wanted, and, voila, I have a meaningful first aid kit. When I remove some of the cheap bandages, there's space for much more in the pouch." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $13.49.

    You, loving life in your 20s whether you're just beginning the decade or leaving it soon:

    Comedy Central / giphy.com

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

    31. Looking for more great Amazon finds? Check out some of our favorite cheap things to buy on Amazon, some of the weirdest things on Amazon you might actually want, or read through all the rest of our incredible Amazon product recommendations.

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!

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