I've Saved SO Much Money Buying These 34 Cheap Products That Work As Well As Expensive Ones

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Cheap doesn’t mean what it used to. While it used to be that something “cheap” was flimsy or worthless, nowadays it simply means that whatever you’re looking at it very affordable. That’s a good thing, because my bank account needs all the help it can get these days. That’s why I try to only buy cheap products that work as well as the expensive ones; there are tons of them available on Amazon.

Case in point? This mascara with thousands of positive ratings — and when I say “thousands,” I mean over 100,000. That many people can’t be wrong, can they? And since it costs less than $6, it won’t hurt your wallet much to find out for yourself. Or, if you’re looking for ways to relax after a long day, make sure to check out these bath bombs. Each one is made with hydrating shea butter to help keep your skin from drying out while you soak. And even though they cost less than $30, they won’t leave stains in your tub like some bath bombs will.

There are also affordable deep conditioners, extra-thick yoga mats, and even a coffee maker that can do cold brew. So what are you waiting for? These cheap products work just as well as the brand-name versions, and they’ve been recommended by the commerce editors here at Bustle.


A Sherpa-Lined Throw Blanket That’s As Soft As Can Be

A good throw blanket at a reasonable price can be hard to find — so make sure to check this one, recommended by Jen Fiegel, a commerce editor at Bustle. It’s made from premium microfiber sherpa fleece, making it perfect for snuggling on cold nights. Plus, it also comes in 24 colors, as well as five sizes. Fiegel says, “My cat has rejected a good number of cat beds including a lot of expensive ones, but as soon as I rolled this out on the couch, she jumped on and quickly claimed it. It's nice as a blanket for humans, too.”


These Transparent Glass Tumblers That Are Chip Resistant

Need some new glassware? These tumblers — recommended by one of Bustle’s commerce editors, Kate Miller — are not only made from sleek glass, but they’re also chip- as well as temperature-resistant. Each order comes with 12 glasses, and Miller says: “These glasses are utterly indestructible and stand up to so much daily wear. They're simple, well made, and cost so much less than something you'd find at a well-known kitchenware store.”


A Serum That Can Help Boost The Look Of Your Eyelashes

There’s nothing wrong with having thin lashes — but if you’d like to bolster them up a bit, make sure to take a look at this lash-enhancing serum recommended by Lisa Fogarty, a commerce editor at Bustle. The formula contains amino acids, vitamins, and peptides that work together to help your lashes look longer and thicker. Plus, results are typically visible within six weeks. Fogarty says, “Years ago I paid triple the amount for a lash serum that worked half as well as this one does.”


The Sweet-Smelling Bath Bombs That Help Moisturize Dry Skin

Speaking from personal experience, nothing feels better than lying in the tub with one of these bath bombs after a long, stressful day. They’re made with coco and shea butter so that your skin holds onto moisture while you soak — and unlike some bombs, these ones won’t stain your tub. These were recommended by Carolyn Menyes, a commerce editor at Bustle. She says, “Taking baths is one of my all-time favorite ways to relax, and bath bombs elevate that experience for me. But they can be really, really expensive.”

Menyes continues, “I love these bath bombs and buy them often. There's something for everyone in here, from relaxing lavender and rose bath bombs to shea butter-infused bath bombs to glittery, colorful bath bombs. It's truly a variety pack.”


A Hair-Strengthening Shampoo Bar That Lasts As Long As 2 Bottles

Whether you’re trying to cut down on plastic or planning a camping trip, this shampoo bar recommended by Fiegel is a must-have. Each bar is so long-lasting that it replaces two plastic bottles of liquid shampoo — all without relying on any harsh sulfates. Instead, Monoi oil works to cleanse strands so that your hair is left feeling silky, smooth, and clean. Fiegel says, “I usually use salon brands, but this shampoo bar and the brand's conditioner have totally won me over. They clean and moisturize well, and unlike some other bars, the shampoo actually lathers up. Plus, they smell great and last a long time.”


This Brow Pencil That Comes In 7 Shades

If you’re trying to create the look of fuller eyebrows, try using one of these brow pencils to fill in the gaps. The super-skinny tip makes it easy to draw fine hairs so that your brows look completely natural, and there’s even a brush on the other end for sculpting. Choose from seven colors, ranging from blonde to espresso. This product was recommended by Anna Anderson, one of Bustle’s commerce editors. She says, “I used to spend four times as much on an eyebrow pencil and this one works just as well; it blends beautifully, has a micro-tip for detail work, and the shades look totally natural.”


A Balm That Keeps Chafing To A Minimum

Thighs, neck, arms — this anti-chafe balm can be applied all over your body (or wherever you experience uncomfortable rubbing). The balm is another recommendation by Menyes, and its formula is allergen-free as well as made from plant-derived ingredients. Plus, unlike some balms, this one is so long-lasting that it’ll even work in humid conditions.


The Indoor Pots Made From Gorgeous Ceramic

Adding plants throughout your home is an easy way to brighten any room, especially when they’re in ceramic indoor pots like these ones. They’re the perfect size for herbs, orchids, or even succulents if you prefer low-maintenance plants. And if you aren’t into green? Other color choices include white, teal, and blue. These were recommended by Karen Belz, a commerce editor at Bustle. She says, “I'm an avid houseplant enthusiast, and these pots are perfect in every way. I've actually bought these three times. Four come in a set, and I always get compliments on how they look. But even better, they're also incredibly functional.”


A Cream That Helps Reduce Skin Redness At Night

If your sensitive skin is prone to redness at night, this cream might be able to help. Licorice root extract works to soothe irritated skin, and the formula is also fragrance- and oil-free (as well as non-comedogenic). It was recommended by one of Bustle’s commerce editors, Cassandra Seale. She says, “This Eucerin Night Creme is just as lush for my dry, sensitive skin, and is hydrating without being heavy. Plus, at this price you can feel good about slathering it onto neck and décolletage, too.


This Moisturizer Made With Hyaluronic Acid

This moisturizer recommended by Anderson contains hyaluronic acid, and it’s a total steal at only $25. Not only does it leave your skin feeling hydrated for up to 24 hours, but the formula is also completely oil-free. Anderson says, “It’s easy to spend an arm and a leg on skin care, but this budget-friendly retinol has done the most to make my skin look brighter and more even. I wish I’d started using it years ago because I love the glow it gives over time.”


These Hand Towels Made From Turkish Cotton

Fluffy hand towels can take up a ton of space in storage, whereas these Turkish towels recommended by Miller are lighter, yet just as absorbent. They also get softer with each wash — and Miller says, “I love how fast Turkish towels dry but they can be expensive, especially when bough individually. This four-pack is a bargain and the towels are well-made, colorful, and versatile.”


A Shampoo That’s Loaded With Clarifying Apple Cider Vinegar

This shampoo is absolutely loaded with apple cider vinegar that helps add shine to your hair. But if that isn’t enough? It also contains oat to help soothe your scalp, all without relying on any parabens, sulfates, or dyes. It was recommended by Bustle commerce editor Cristina Sanza, who says, “This shampoo really boosts shine and removes product buildup, so my hair always feels smooth and super clean after washing.”


The Lip Exfoliator Infused With Vitamin E

Chapped lips got you feeling down? This exfoliator recommended by Menyes can help get rid of those unwanted flakes, as well as soothe the fresh skin underneath. Vitamin E and shea butter work to hydrate your lips, while avocado and jojoba oil deliver a nourishing dose of antioxidants. Menyes says, “My lips get chapped a lot, especially in the winter. I love this e.l.f. lip exfoliator stick for getting off all that dry skin. The lipstick-like tube makes it easy to apply and leaves my fingers free from the sugary scrub, and it leaves my lips feeling just as smooth as more expensive exfoliators.”


These Thick Socks Made With Toasty Wool

Step off of those cold hardwood floors and into these toasty socks that were recommended by Miller. They’re made from a warm blend of wool and cotton so that your feet can breathe — and they even come in more than 25 colors and patterns. Miller says, “I loathe having cold feet and these socks have been a godsend in the winter.”

  • One size fits most
  • Available colors: 25 packs


A Deep Conditioner That Only Needs To Sit For 1 Minute

It only takes about one minute for this deep conditioner to penetrate your strands, as its potent almond proteins quickly breathe new life into damaged hair. The formula is lightweight enough for daily use — and it can even help detangle knotted strands. Anderson recommends this product and says, “I have fine hair that’s prone to breakage and splitting, but this cheap deep conditioner has been a game-changer. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to grow my hair as long as I’ve been able to when using this on the regular.”


The Moisturizing Burt’s Bees Lip Balm With Just A Hint Of Color

With just a touch of color that tints your lips, these lip balms are perfect for achieving a natural, everyday look. They’re also made with shea butter so that your lips are left feeling soft for up to eight hours — and each tube is made without any parabens or petroleum. Sanza recommends these lip balms, and she says, “I’ve tried more expensive options and always come back to this Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm. It’s so easy to apply without a mirror and provides a perfect hint of lip color.”


A Popular Mascara That Shouldn’t Smudge Or Flake

Tired of your mascara flaking onto your under-eyes after just a few hours? This tube from L’Oreal is formulated so that it shouldn’t flake, smudge, or clump — all while leaving your lashes looking full and feathery. Choose from seven colors, including a rich shade of navy. Anderson recommended this product, and she says, “I haven’t looked back since getting on board with this mascara. Super similar to a formula that’s four times as much, Lash Paradise delivers big-time on volume, and it doesn’t clump or flake.”


These Nourishing Face Masks That Bring The Spa To Your Home

You don’t have to hit the spa for a spa-like experience — just put on one of these face masks while you’re soaking in the tub. Each one is infused with a different nourishing ingredient, including cleansing charcoal, brightening pomegranate, and stimulating avocado. These were recommended by Belz, who says, “With only so many hours in the day, it can be tough to remember to look after your skin. These beauty masks are easy to use, a wonderful price for what you get, and a great way to feel pampered in just a short amount of time.”


A Pair Of Leggings With Pockets On Both Legs

Made from lightweight and moisture-wicking fabric, these leggings are perfect for hitting the gym, or even going for a jog outside. Amy Biggart, a commerce editor at Bustle, recommended them — and she says, “These Core 10 leggings have outlasted so many of my more expensive pairs, and feel super soft and comfortable on. For the price, I don't think there are better leggings around.” Pockets on both legs give you room to stash your keys while you work out, and you can even choose between two cuts: medium- or high-waisted.

  • Available sizes: X-Small — 1X
  • Available colors: 1


This Yoga Mat Made From Extra-Thick Foam

Yoga is challenging enough already — you might as well make sure you’re at least comfortable while you’re doing it, so grab this mat that Biggart recommends. It’s made from extra-thick foam to give your joints added cushioning, and each order also includes a knee pad. She says, “I've had this thick yoga mat for over two years, and it holds up super well given its price. I've often thought of splurging on a more expensive mat, but this one works so well, and offers great cushioning for my knees when I work out.”


A Spray That Helps Soothe Irritated Skin

Fresh tattoos, red patches, inflammation — this spray is formulated to help soothe all sorts of skin irritations. It’s suitable for people with sensitive skin, as the formula is non-comedogenic as well as fragrance-free. It was recommended by Kori Perten, a commerce editor at Bustle. She says, “I used to spend a lot of money at Sephora repurchasing a facial spray that my partner and I have both found really great for clearing up our skin. This skin spray by Briotech has the same active ingredient, hypochlorous acid, which reduces inflammation and makes my face glow — but it costs a lot less. I use it literally every day.”


The Milk & Honey Oil That Helps Hydrate Dry Cuticles

Cuticles need some hydration? This oil is loaded with nourishing milk and honey, delivering a powerful dose of moisture to help soothe even the driest cuticles. It also works well on brittle nails, as well as any dry skin on your hands. Biggart recommends this nail oil and says, “I've tried a couple more expensive cuticle oils, and I keep coming back to this one. It hydrates and moisturizes my nails so well, and has lasted forever.”


This Duvet Cover Made From 100% Washed Cotton

If you ask me, you can never go wrong when it comes to upgrading your bedding — so make sure to check out this duvet cover recommended by Perten. It’s made from 100% washed cotton, making it soft, breathable, and lightweight. The zipper closure keeps your insert from slipping out, and each order also includes two pillowcases.

Perten says, “I love the look of linen bedding, but it can be pretty pricy and takes time to get soft. This washed cotton duvet cover with two matching pillowcases has the look and feel of linen, but it was soft right away (and got softer over time), and it definitely cost a lot less than real linen. The ties in all four corners of the duvet cover and the bottom zipper make it easy to keep your duvet in place, and the sage green color I opted for is super pretty in person.”


An Electric Toothbrush That Comes With Replacement Heads

Not only does this electric toothbrush come with eight replacement heads, but it also features four modes to help you get your mouth oh-so clean. You can use it in the shower since it’s waterproof — and each order also includes a travel case to keep it clean in your suitcase. It was recommended Wesley Salazar, one of Bustle’s commerce editors. She says, “Electric toothbrushes can get expensive, but this one offers a lot of bang for your buck, including four brushing modes. It also has a two-minute timer with 30-second intervals to help you more thoroughly clean each quadrant of your mouth.”


These Makeup Blenders Made Without Latex

Using one of these makeup blenders recommended by Biggart is an easy way to help blend contour, as the combination of round and pointed edges allow you to blend anywhere — including around your eyes. They work whether they’re wet or dry, and easily rinse out under running water. Biggart says, “With the rate I go through makeup sponges, it does not make any sense to invest in a $20 name brand. This five-piece set works nearly as well, and is only $7.”


The High-Waisted Workout Leggings Made From 4-Way Stretch Fabric

Scarlett James, a commerce editor at Bustle, recommends these leggings. They’re made from opaque, four-way stretch fabric that’s totally squat-proof, and the high-waisted cut looks great with nearly any top. Plus, there’s even a hidden pocket in the waistband. James says, “After comparing five bestselling leggings — yes, for fun — these were the undisputed champions in my book.”

She continues, “They are the perfect athleisure leggings: cotton-soft and stretchy yet substantial enough for vinyasa class, with details typically found on pricier pairs like a U-shaped gusset and flatlock seams. The sky-high waist hits my ribcage and feels supportive yet not constricting, so I can wear sports bras or chunky sweaters without thinking twice. I own five pairs now.

Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large


A Best-Selling Mascara With Thousands Of Positive Ratings (Over 170,000 Of Them)

With more than 170,000 positive four- and five-star ratings, it’s clear that this mascara recommended by James is a total hit with Amazon shoppers. The long-lasting formula shouldn’t fade or flake onto skin, all while providing dramatic volume without clumping. It’s also gluten- as well as cruelty-free. James says, “Mascara is my daily essential and I’m willing to pay for a good formula, but not even luxury brands hold a candle to my love for this essence Lash Princess mascara.”

She continues, “It actually lives up to the hype of 200,000 reviews, imparting incredible length and volume without clumping that somehow lasts through a HIIT class yet washes off easily at the end of the night. I wouldn’t take it swimming and mileage may vary if you fall asleep in it, but there’s truly nothing better. I don’t even look at other brands now.”


These Grocery Bags That Can Hold Up To 50 Pounds

Tired of your plastic grocery bags ripping? Try switching over to these reusable ones recommended by Danielle Kraese, a commerce editor at Bustle. They’re made from tough nylon that can handle up to 50 pounds, making them great for groceries and traveling. Each bag is also waterproof, as well as rip-resistant. Kraese says, “I loved the idea of switching to reusable grocery bags, but some of them are pretty pricey. I decided to give this budget-friendly set a try and was pleasantly surprised by both the quality and the convenience. Each one can be folded up into a self-contained pouch so its easy to keep one on hand for when you need it. And they hold up nicely after a go around in the wash!”


The Gel That Helps Heal Stubborn Blemishes

Dab a little dot of this gel onto any unwanted blemishes that’ve popped up; it contains potent adapalene that penetrates deep into pores to help remove dirt and oil. The formula is also fragrance-free, as well as absent of any alcohols or oil. Plus, it can even help prevent unwanted scarring. Seale recommends this product and says, “A dermatologist steered me toward Differin Gel as an effective (and affordable) retinoid treatment. [...] I use it 3 times a week, sandwiched between serum and moisturizer, and like it for easing into the world of retinoids.”


A Bralette That’s Nearly Invisible Under Clothes

Good everyday underwear can be hard to find — luckily, this bra from Calvin Klein is available for less than $30. It’s made from ultra-soft, stretchy nylon, and the cups are even completely wire-free (as well as removable). Kraese recommends this bra and says, “I wanted a seamless bra but really didn't want to dish out $50+ for it. So I gave this one a chance and it did not disappoint! The material feels silky yet sturdy, and nothing pokes or pinches. My previous everyday bra has been unseated!”

  • Available sizes: Small — 2X
  • Available colors: 17


This Pitcher That’ll Likely Fit In Your Fridge Door

With its airtight lid and nonslip handle, this pitcher recommended by Biggart is a must-have for anyone who likes tea (or even anyone who wants to make their own cold brew at home). It’s completely BPA-free, and the base is narrow enough to fit into most refrigerator doors. Biggart says, “This cold brew coffee maker makes a great cup of coffee, and has saved me so much money compared to store bought cold brew. It's really easy to steep your cold brew just by putting grinds in the central column, and it holds a couple cups at a time.”


A Pack Of Underwear Made Without Any Tags

Ever notice how the tag on your underwear can start to itch your lower back? This pack of underwear is completely tag-free, as well as made from a comfortable cotton-polyester blend. They were recommended by Seale, who says, “These are as comfy as classic Calvins (actually more so, being tag-free), and have a contrast waistband to give that fun little pop. They come in cute colors, too, and hold up really well after countless washes.”

  • Available sizes: 5 — 10
  • Available colors: 8 packs


This Pack Of Stainless Steel Hoop Earrings In Different Sizes

Not only does each order of these earrings include four different sizes, but each earring is also made from stainless steel. Plus, they come in four finishes: silver, gold, rose gold, or black. Amanda Fama, a commerce editor at Bustle, recommended these; she says, “This pack of earrings is perfect because it comes with different-sized hoops for all kinds of different occasions — and they cost less than $15.”


The Silky Sheets Made From 100% Polyester Satin

You can never go wrong with some high-quality bedding — and these sheets are made from 100% silky, polyester satin. The lustrous sheen makes them look way more expensive than they are, while the extra-deep fitted sheet pocket is sized to fit over taller mattresses. Fama also recommends these, and she says, “These sheets are so soft and comfortable; I can't believe they're under $30.”