25 Cheap And Useful Things That Nobody Ever Has

Posted by , Updated on April 24, 2024

Economical and practical are two characteristics everyone appreciates. However, we typically associate useful items with a high cost, even if it’s just on a subconscious level. While a lot of challenges can be tackled with homemade solutions, budget-friendly devices, and a dash of inventive adaptation, our initial reaction when we require something is to purchase the product (generally pricey) that caters to that specific need.

Of course these days we have the internet so it’s much easier to just search around on forums for some sort of hack, but that doesn’t change the fact that we still tend to be poor planners and improvisers. And that’s what this list is about. It’s about planning ahead. That immigration form on the airplane? You’ll be the one with the pen while everyone else is asking the flight attendants.

Car battery died? You’ve got the jumper cables. Need to open something up? You’ve got the pocket knife. Now don’t get us wrong. We’re not suggesting that you go out and start hoarding stuff. Not at all.

We’re just going to suggest some things that are typically dirt cheap and will give you some bang for your buck with their usefulness. And you’ll also probably get a lot of cool points from your friends for always being so well prepared. These are 25 cheap and useful things that nobody ever has.


Featured Image: Wikipedia


Pens on international flights

Pens on international flightsSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

No one ever seems to have a pen to fill out those pesky customs forms. In fact, in some places, people have been known to sell $5 pens in airports just to take advantage of this unfortunate fact.


Safety hammer/seatbelt cutter in the car

Safety hammer/seatbelt cutter in the carSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

Your seatbelt saves you during the crash, but if you’re still conscious afterward you’ll probably want to be able to get out of the car…especially if it landed in the water.



ShoehornsSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

They only cost about 99 cents at IKEA and make putting on your shoes incredibly simple.


Baby Wipes

Baby WipesSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

Any parent of a young child quickly discovers how useful these actually are. Although they were created for wiping down babies, they are some of the most multipurpose cleaners you could hope for.


Pocket knife

Pocket knifeSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

How often do you need a can opener, screwdriver, or scissors and can’t find any? Just keep a mini Swiss Army Knife on your keychain and you’re set.



PlungerSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

So many people do actually have this, but usually, it’s the wrong one. Trust us, it makes a difference!


Extra battery for your phone

Extra battery for your phoneSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

Or at least a backup power source. You can easily get one for around $15.


First aid kit

First aid kitSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

Whether its in your car or your backpack, even a pack of bandaids can go a long way.



ThermometerSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

We’re specifically mentioning this because it’s a good idea to keep one next to the thermostat in your home. Thermostats can get out of whack and you’ll end up paying more than you should for heating/cooling.


Jumper cables

Jumper cablesSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

Even if your car is brand new, it’s still not a bad idea to have these laying around. They’re cheap and don’t take up much space.


A cheese spatula

A cheese spatulaSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

Known in Scandinavia as an osthyvel, this is a must-have for making sandwiches.


Bluetooth earphone set

Bluetooth earphone setSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

You can easily take phone calls while you drive, listen to music while you exercise, and not have to deal with wires.


Duct Tape

Duct TapeSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

For whenever you need to things to hold together


Fire extinguisher

Fire extinguisherSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

At least for your car, this is a good idea.


Cell phone mount

Cell phone mountSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

This is another way to free yourself up while driving. And it’s a heck of a lot safer than trying to juggle your phone.


Carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide detectorSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

It’s invisible and odorless, so you won’t even know what’s killing you until you’re already dead (yes, we know, you’ll be dead by that point so you won’t actually know). An alarm would be your only defense.


Battery powered water sensing alarm

Battery powered water sensing alarmSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

Put this next to your sump pump or your hot water heater and if either one fails you’ll save thousands in repairs.


Emergency water storage bags

Emergency water storage bagsSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

With one of these 100-gallon bags, just plop it in your tub before disaster strikes and you’ll have enough water to at least get through a week.


Floss holder

Floss holderSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

If you hate flossing then this is for you.


Cheap backup "burner" phone

Cheap backup "burner" phoneSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

Although burner phones are usually used for illegal activities, we’re not suggesting that. No, we mean a phone that you take with you when you go out (instead of your iPhone) so that at least you can call 911.


Foam roller

Foam rollerSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

You’d be surprised at how efficient this can be at relieving aches and pains.


Microwaveable heat pack

Microwaveable heat packSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

90 seconds to heat and then pure awesomeness. Whether you’re watching TV or even going to sleep, the warmth around you’re neck makes a difference.


Food scale

Food scaleSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

Sure, you can cook without it, but if you’re trying to lose weight, this is a must-have.


Octopus head massager

Octopus head massagerSource: reddit, Image: amazon

If you’ve never tried this, then you don’t know what you’re missing out on.



CashSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

Everything these days seems to be so credit driven that we forget to carry cash. Does anybody have 2 quarters to pay this toll? Seriously.