Ways to Save Money

10 Items Under $50 That Will Significantly Improve Your Life

Updated March 28, 2016
by Dana Sitar

We came across this money question on Reddit this week — and we’re intrigued.

User servitefriars asked, “What can you buy for less than $50 to instantly improve the quality of life?”

Some of the responses are surprisingly simple.

You might not immediately think of $50 as a game-changer. And you may have considered purchasing some of these items, but think they’re too expensive.

The conversation puts it all into perspective.

We’ve pulled together the top 10 responses, as upvoted by the Reddit community, excluding anything that’s always free.

Here are some of the items users mentioned that significantly improved their quality of life — and cost less than $50.

1. Buy “Your Mum Some Flowers”

We’re not kidding.

This is the top response and definitely the sweetest.

Without leaving your couch, you can have flowers delivered to any loved one — but, c’mon, send them to your mom. Prices vary quite a bit, but you can certainly find options under $50.

2. An Attachable Bidet. Seriously.

Tired of your friends returning from European vacations and gushing about how bidets are everywhere there, and it’s changed their lives?

Thankfully, they’re finally starting to catch on in the U.S.

Because totally restructuring your bathroom isn’t in the cards for most of us, we have bidet attachments for between $20-$100 to give our toilets a dual purpose.

3. Slow Cooker

Parents in particular tout the life-changing benefits of owning a slow cooker.

You can make just about anything in it — meats, soups, stews, casseroles, dips, oatmeal, even some breads.

This Crock-Pot 6-quart slow cooker is just $49 on Amazon. Cooking for just one or two? Try this 3-quart slow cooker for only $20.

4. Seed Packets (for Gardening)

“Gardening is very therapeutic,” said commenter lemonriot, “so right away you have that benefit. Later you have food, cut flowers, whatever. Collect those seeds for next season. And so the wheel turns.”

Start a vegetable garden in your backyard, and enjoy the psychological and physical health benefits. Plus, you’ll save money on groceries!

This collection of 12 heirloom varieties of non-GMO vegetable seeds is less than $20 on Amazon. You can get this full starter kit for $35.

If you prefer planting flowers, get free wildflower seeds from FindABee. Be sure to share a bouquet with your mom.

5. Handheld Showerhead With Adjustable Spray Settings

We were surprised to see this on the list — at first.

But think about it.

You take a shower most days. For many of us, it’s how we start each day. For $20, you can significantly improve the experience.

6. Fire Extinguisher and a First Aid Kit

As user dryfire explained, “These are things you buy while hoping they don’t improve your quality of life.”

Pick up a home fire extinguisher for $20-$30. First aid kit prices vary quite a bit, depending on their contents, but you can easily find one for around $20.

7. Electric Kettle

Comments suggest more Brits than Americans prefer an electric kettle, but we can attest to their life-changing powers!

We have an electric kettle in The Penny Hoarder office — and it only cost $25.

They’re perfect for break rooms, dorm rooms and small apartments with no stovetops. Boil water quickly for coffee, tea, oatmeal and other creative recipes.

Or, pick up the stove-top version for about half the price.

8. A Good Pillow

What makes a “good pillow” is totally subjective.

It’s definitely worth investmenting in a comfortable pillow that doesn’t flatten into oblivion in a few months.

I got this contour memory foam pillow from Target for $24.99, and my neck is quite grateful.

9. Electric Toothbrush

We’re not surprised someone listed this, but a little surprised to see it so commonly upvoted.

Several people confirmed the life-changing effect of the seemingly boring tool. Improve your oral hygiene, decrease dental expenses and boost your confidence.

Get this Oral-B electric toothbrush for $49.95. Replacement heads are less than $20 for three.

10. Wine and Dine Your Friends

“Wine and dine your friends,” suggested user her_nibs.

“Not extravagantly at restaurants, just — hey, good to see you, want some beer? Hey, I made bread yesterday, have a loaf!” the user wrote.

They said it pays off in bartering.

“I can get big favours done for the price of a few loaves of homemade bread.”

Here are 10 good wines under $15 and some thoughtful DIY gift ideas. And if you’re ready to get into it, here’s how to get started baking bread at home.

Your Turn: What have you bought for less than $50 that’s changed your life?

Disclosure: What would Abe do? Probably pat us on the back for placing affiliate links in this post. Thanks for helping us fill The Penny Hoarder’s beer fridge!

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).

by Dana Sitar
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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