20 Life-Changing Items That Are Worth Every Penny (Even Though They’re Cheap)

In this overpriced generation, we all need some mind-blowing items that do not blow a hole in our wallets. Who says you need to splurge to make a difference? Sometimes, it’s the affordable stuff that can have the most profound impact!

One Redditor asked, “What life-changing thing can you buy for less than $100?”

This thread received thousands of comments, and we have compiled the top 20 life-changing items for you!

1. First Aid Kit

Woman with first aid kit on gray background, top view.
Image Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.

First Aid Kits- a true hero in our lives that doesn’t get the credit it deserves! You might be surprised to learn that these bad boys are not only affordable but can also be life-changing in more ways than one!

A discerning Reddit user commented, “A decent first aid kit. I take one with me wherever I go in the car. You can make your own with good supplies for around that much. Never know when you’ll need it.”

Someone else added, “Yes, great idea. I’ve got one for the house and one for the vehicle. But a cheap plastic bin and fill it with bandages, gauze, anti-septic spray, etc.”

2. CO Detector

Carbon monoxide detector on a yellow background CO detector.
Image Credit: Zigmar Stein/Shutterstock.

First, let’s address the cost factor- carbon monoxide detectors are surprisingly cheap. You can equip your home with a device that can save your life for just a few bucks.

One said, “Carbon monoxide detector. Plug it in your bedroom. That way if there’s a 1/1,000,000 chance your appliance or heater or whatever malfunctions you’ll at least wake up before you die from suffocation in your sleep. EDIT: I mean, wake up before you die so you can LEAVE. The goal is to avoid suffocating.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “We moved into our first home right before winter, and our heater wouldn’t turn on. It was a terribly cold winter, one of those storm-of-a-century type deals, and our heater wasn’t working. Long story short, turns out that a single sensor had tripped a safety, and had it turned on, it would have pumped carbon monoxide into our very small, very well-insulated house and very likely killed us both our first night.”

3. Squatty Potty

Interior of modern comfortable restroom.
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock.

We’re talking about the glorious Squatty Potty—a game-changer that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. These little wonders are affordable and can truly transform your bathroom experience.

A Reddit user wrote, “The squatty potty (or its knockoff). Truly changed my life.”

Another added, “You don’t even need a knockoff version – I’ve using a little plastic stool (lol) that I got for £1 at the Pound Shop down the road for the last 20+ years.”

Someone else replied, “I got a great condition one at Goodwill for 5 bucks the other day. Good lord, does it make a difference”

4. Gym Membership

an empty locker room in the sports club, school, section.
Image Credit: by dejavu/Shutterstock.

One Redditor stated, “If you have gone totally bankrupt and those are your last 100$, a gym membership. Gives you a couple of months of access to a locker and a shower for you to find a job in the meanwhile.

Another person pitched in to say, “I briefly lived somewhere that the shower had such bad water pressure 99 percent of the time. I need a hard-pressure shower in the morning to relax and get my day going.

I already had a gym membership, and I realized their showers were always amazing. I ended up going there every single morning to shower. Wouldn’t even work out. Just go shower and change and start my day.

A nice staff member offered me food once. He thought I was homeless. Apparently, quite a few people did this. Crazy to think that all of us have this image of homeless people being dirty with ripped clothes, yet we’ve probably worked with people who we had no idea were temporarily homeless at the time.”

We all know that regular exercise is crucial for our physical and mental well-being. But it can be challenging to stick to a workout routine on your own. That’s where the gym comes in as a game-changer!

5. Cheese Graters

sliced cheese.
Image Credit: Chatham172/Shutterstock.

For just a few bucks, you can equip your kitchen with a grater that can revolutionize your culinary experience. It’s a small investment that can yield big rewards, right?

Someone on Reddit said, “I got one of those cheese graters with the hand crank (like Olive Garden) 🤌🤌🤌🤌”

Another Redditor agreed to say, “I GOT IT FROM IKEA, AND IT CHANGED MY LIFE!!!! You can cut the cheese into bricks that fit it and freeze them, the cheese stays fresh forever, and it’s super easy to grate.”

6. Library Card

Attractive young woman wearing pink pale shirt with dots and fashionable glasses holding a stack of books in the library surrounded by bookshelves with colorful books.
Image Credit: diignat/Shutterstock.

You might not realize it, but these little library cards can be life-changing in more ways than one. Not only are they incredibly affordable, but they also open the doors to a world of learning, entertainment, and personal growth.

Someone commented, “Library card. Gets you access to a ton of books, movies, and all sorts of things, and they’re often free. Just need to live in the area.”

Someone else couldn’t agree but say, “Once you have a library card, you can download an app called “Libby” that also gives access to rent out audible books from your local libraries as well.”

7. Bidet Attachment

Man with roll of toilet paper in WC, closeup
Image Credit: serezniy via DepositPhotos.com.

One said, “Clicked to say exactly this. Bought it for like $25 off Amazon around Black Friday 2019. Didn’t get around to installing it until The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020. I had a total colectomy due to Ulcerative Colitis back in 2011, so I have approx. 10-12 BMs a day.

So the toilet paper shortage was a massive problem for me, especially when Cottonelle stopped making the Aloe version (my preferred TP). The bidet attachment was way easier to install than I expected. Now I use TP to wipe once mainly just to dry (and make sure the bidet got everything). Saves me hundreds of dollars a year.”

Another Redditor couldn’t agree more and said, “World peace could be achieved if everyone had a bidet.”

Another person added, “Every time I travel, I miss my bidet – and my husband.”

With a bidet attachment installed, you can say goodbye to rough toilet paper and embrace the gentle spray of water for a cleaner, fresher feeling. It’s like upgrading from a basic cleaning to a luxurious spa treatment!

8. Heated Blankets

girl in bed with blanket covering half her face
Image Credit: zaretskaya via DepositPhotos.com.

It’s a cold winter’s night, and you’re cuddled up in your bed, shivering under layers of blankets. Suddenly, you switch on your heated blanket, and a wave of warmth envelops you. Ah, pure bliss!

Heated blankets offer comfort and coziness that can improve the quality of your sleep and make those cold nights more bearable.

Someone wrote, “A heated throw. Honestly saves you so much money in the winter and makes you more comfortable. Life changing because who can afford to heat their house all day every day through winter.”

Another person stated, “A heated quilt started 10mins before bed is amazing.. I never cared until I got a bit older, but getting into an already warm bed is another level.”

9. Shoes

Young man wearing formal pair of leather loafers with metal bit.
Image Credit: Ryan Garrett/Shutterstock.

One user shared, “Mandatory Sam Vimes quote time since I can’t believe no one else has already done it. “The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money. Take boots, for example. … A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.””

Another added, “To add to this, high-top hiking shoes are legitimately life-changing if you got the Floppy Ankles like I do. I got my first pair just this year, and I’ve never in my life been more sure-footed. I climbed up and down the mountains of Colorado last week and got zero twisted ankles. And I twist walking barefoot across a flat surface in broad daylight.

I had tried mids before, but I only ever buy myself clearance items for big stuff like this, so I never had the luxury to really choose. Came across some Eddie Bauer high-top hiking boots, and I can’t ever go back now. I’m interested in seeing how the brand holds up in durability, but the style is tip top of my recs list now.”

Investing in a pair of good shoes is a smart choice because they are built to last. In fact, you can find high-quality shoes at reasonable prices if you know where to look.

10. Dental Care

Playful Young Woman Holding Toothbrush in Bathroom
Image Credit: racorn via DepositPhotos.com.

Taking care of your dental health doesn’t have to drain your bank account. In fact, preventive dental care is often more affordable than dealing with extensive dental problems down the road.

Regular visits to the dentist, coupled with good oral hygiene practices, can help you maintain a healthy mouth and save you from costly dental procedures in the future. It’s a small investment that can significantly impact your overall well-being.

Someone said, “I just got a Sonicare toothbrush 20 bucks; good investment, already noticing a noticeable difference.”

Another added, “To add to this from a different comment I saw about teeth care, floss now. or you will see the issues in your forties n fifties.”

11. Dashcams

Handsome young man looking back at camera, sitting in car, parking auto, view from rear seat.
Image Credit: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.

Dashcams are more than just fancy gadgets. They act as your vigilant co-pilot, capturing valuable footage of your journeys on the road.

One Reddit user wrote, “A front and rear dashcam.”

Someone said, “Absolutely second this. Saved me about 18k when I got hit and run… Nobody would have believed me otherwise.”

Another commented, “Saved me 8k when that person tried to deny fault. So satisfying piecing together multiple clips to show how wrong he was. Best moment was him approaching my car and catching the audio of “My bad bro, the sun was in my eyes”. $60. Game changer. Also, don’t tell them you have a dash cam at the scene.”

12. Projectors

Teenager in 3d glasses holding bucket with popcorn near remote controller on couch
Image Credit: AntonLozovoy via DepositPhotos.com.

A Redditor wrote, “If you are a parent: a projector. I’ve seen TVs broken from throwing toys, toddlers thinking TVs are touch screens, climbing on furniture, etc. I bought a cheap $50 projector that sits up high and a white bedsheet, and it’s damn indestructible.”

Someone else agreed and said, “I’ll never forget my BIL was so proud of his huge 80-some-inch tv. It made it 1 month until his kid got mad and threw a lollipop at it. Shattered the screen. His new smaller tv has a 1/4 inch protector on it, and it makes the image fuzzy. I saved up for a nice projector and painted the wall white. It has survived over 10 years now.”

Gone are the days when projectors were only accessible to big corporations. Nowadays, you can find feature-packed projectors at reasonable prices that won’t break the bank. It’s a small investment that can bring a whole new level of entertainment and convenience into your life.

13. Air Compressor

White young man in gloves changes tires of his car. Change car wheel in tire, replace the winter tires for cars in the winter.
Image Credit: Yanya/Shutterstock.

Now you might think that such a versatile tool would come with a heavy price tag, but that’s not the case. With a modest investment, you can own an air compressor that will become a valuable addition to your toolkit. It’s a small price to pay for the countless benefits they bring.

Someone said, “A portable air compressor for your car tires.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “I bought one for each vehicle where you set the target pressure digitally and also has auto-shutoff. So great, I just futz around in the garage or yard until it’s done.”

14. Portable Jump Starters

angry man driving car
Image Credit: vladacanon via DepositPhotos.com.

Imagine you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, and your car battery decides to give up on you. It’s a frustrating and stressful situation, to say the least. But with a portable jump starter, you can take matters into your own hands.

These compact and powerful devices allow you to jump-start your vehicle all on its own. It’s like having a superhero in your glove compartment, ready to save the day!

One user said, “I will add – a portable car battery jump starter. I had a dead battery, and I needed a jump, but no one was around. Luckily, I had my portable jump starter! I just hooked it up, and in seconds, my car started. It’s saved my butt a few times. Also, being an introvert, it has saved me from asking people for a jump, which is also important.”

Someone else added, “That and a portable jump starter. I manage a facility for boats and RV storage. Cannot explain the joy I get when customers have a flat tire or dead battery, and I ride up on the golf cart with my little emergency bag to fix it. Every one of them thinks I’m crazy to think this little handheld thing is going to fix it.”

15. Alarm Clock

Man with alarm clock
Image Credit: AllaSerebrina via DepositPhotos.com.

Someone commented, “Sunrise alarm clock. So much more relaxing to wake up to a slowly increasing light than jarring noises.”

Another user added, “I have one of those. It also has a sound I can program. I wake up to birds chirping every morning. It really does make a difference.

So, why rely on erratic sleep patterns or the distracting buzz of smartphones when you can harness the budget-friendly magic of an alarm clock?

16. Blood Pressure Monitor

Black woman, healthcare and blood pressure machine in checkup with caregiver for monitoring pulse at home. .
Image Credit: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a silent killer that often goes unnoticed until it causes serious health issues. With a blood pressure monitor at home, you can closely monitor your blood pressure levels and detect any abnormalities early on!

Someone said, “At some point in the past few years, doctors just decided that everyone has a blood pressure cuff at home. Mine never asked me to get one; she just gets annoyed when I don’t have two weeks of daily readings ready to go.”

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Can confirm. Went through 3 years of constant vertigo because my postnatal hypertension went undetected. They just assumed my blood pressure was elevated from being nervous at the doctor’s appointment. Then I really started monitoring it and was like, “Uh, this isn’t normal.”

Another responded, “I woke up one morning with a headache that felt like my skull was being pushed apart from the inside. Felt dizzy and nauseous, and my hands were going numb. Took my BP 223/140. Straight to the ER, a battery of tests to determine if I was having a stroke, and I’m very happy to say I was not, but the mystery of why I got so many migraines is solved. Left with BP meds and a referral to a doctor, we spent 3 months tweaking my medication. 117/75 this morning (I check it every day now).

Yes, invest in a BP monitor. They’re like $20. Check every month or whenever you have a mystery migraine.”

17. Sunscreen

Man crying after getting wildly sunburned.
Image Credit: AJR_photo/Shutterstock.

Someone on Reddit said, ‘’Surfed for 10 years without it because I liked being tan. Paying the toll with burning pre-cancer off my face every 6 months.”

Another wrote, “As someone who lost a cousin to melanoma, this. There is no safe tanning other than spray tanning.”

Sunscreen comes in various formulations, catering to different skin types and preferences. Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or sensitive skin, there’s sunscreen out there for you!

18. Air Fryer

black oil-free fryer on a white background.
Image Credit: Nattawut Susri/Shutterstock.

One of the greatest advantages of air fryers is their speed and convenience. No more waiting for the oven to preheat or dealing with messy frying pans. Just pop your ingredients into the air fryer, set the temperature and time, and let it work its magic!

A Redditor wrote, “Air fryer. Frozen fries in 11 minutes, come on now…”

Someone else agreed, “Reheating leftover pizza in an air fryer is amazing.”

Another person added, “I 2nd the air fryer. It is life-changing, even if you cook healthy things in it, like chicken. Set and forget cooking for your busy life.”

19. Massage Guns

Sport Phyical Pain Physiotherapy And Muscle Recovery And Massage.
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.

Someone commented, “My girlfriend is a massage therapist and has one. They’re pretty incredible. Hilariously, her most common use for it is clearing her sinuses. It works like a charm.”

Another replied, “I have restless legs at night and wear compression socks to sleep. Sometimes it’s not enough, and the massage gun immediately helps!”

One added, “A real game-changer for my neck and shoulder pain!”

Massage guns are easy to carry, unlike traditional massage therapy sessions that require appointments. You can take them to the gym, office, or even on vacation!

20. The Toolbox

Repairman with tools
Image Credit: pressmaster via DepositPhotos.com.

Now, what exactly makes a toolbox so important? Well, let us hammer out the details!

A toolbox is a treasure chest filled with all the essential tools you need to tackle many projects.

One user said, “A 125-piece mechanics tool set. It won’t be everything you need forever, but I learned how to use tools with a small $100 ($50 back then) set and still use the same set 25 years later. My dad bought them for me. Someday I will hand them down to my son.”

Another person pitched in to say, “I got one as a wedding gift thinking I don’t know anything about cars; what the heck am I gonna use this for? I thanked them politely. 23 years later, I’ve used that toolkit more times than I can count. Turns out, just about every fix has a YouTube video showing you how so you don’t need to be a mechanic to do the basic stuff. I still get the professionals to do more advanced things; also, marrying into a family of gearheads helped too.”

No more waiting for a handyman or relying on others for help. With a toolbox, you become the master of your projects!


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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.