You might think that the best way to get started on a budget is to lock your credit card in a safe and then throw away the key, but the truth is that sometimes you've got to spend a little money to save money. Investing in a few key items upfront
— like all these money-saving products on Amazon — can actually set you up for long-term financial success.
Now, I realize that whipping out your credit card when you're trying to save seems totally counterintuitive, but the right products will actually help you make a few lifestyle tweaks that'll result in lot more wiggle room in your budget.
For example, you'll find gadgets that help you to cut down on your energy usage at home, as well as ingenious ways to avoid spending lots of money at restaurants and coffee shops when you're out.
You'll also find reusable versions of one-use products, which means you won't have to stock up on dryer sheets and plastic food storage baggies every time you go to the store.
So before you put your Visa under lock and key, do a little money-smart shopping, and then sit back, relax, and watch your savings grow.
These Wool Dryer Balls That Last For 1,000 Laundry Loads
Forego one-use dryer sheets in favor of these extra-large
dryer balls that last through 1,000 loads of laundry. The dryer balls soften and fluff laundry, but they also improve airflow — this significantly speeds up drying time, so you don't have to wait around for your favorite pair of jeans to dry. Each set comes with six all-natural, hypoallergenic dryer balls.
These Smart Plugs That Let You Turn Off Appliances From Your Phone
Save money on your electricity bill with these ingenious
smart plugs that sync to an app on your phone, enabling you to turn electronics and appliances on and off from anywhere in the world. You don't need a smart home hub to use them, but they are compatible with both Alexa and Google Home if you want to use voice control. Each order comes with four plugs.
These Smart Light Switches That Help You Save Electricity
If you frequently forget to turn the lights off, this
smart light switch is for you. Connect it to an app and you can set lights on a schedule or turn them off manually from your phone. No smart home hub is required, but you can use them with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana for voice control capabilities.
This Collapsible Dish Rack That Won't Rust Over Time
Anyone with limited counter space will love this
collapsible dish rack. Pop it up when you're doing the dishes, then collapse it to store it out of the way in a cupboard when you're done. The heavy-duty rack is rust-proof and features a draining board that funnels water directly into the sink.
A Heated Throw Blanket So You Can Turn Down The Thermostat
Instead of cranking up the thermostat, wrap yourself up in this
heated throw blanket. The hand control lets you toggle between three heat settings and an auto-shutoff function kicks in after three hours. Made with velvety mink-like fabric on one side and cozy sherpa on the other, the blanket is machine-washable and dryer-safe.
These Yoga Socks So You Can Do Yoga Anywhere
The grips on the bottoms of these
yoga socks keep your feet firmly in place, so you can go into poses with or without a mat. Made from breathable cotton, the socks feature targeted arch support, an open-toe design for increased flexibility and strengthening, and open tops to maximize airflow. Choose from 13 colors.
These Outlet Timers So You Don't Have To Remember To Turn The Lights Off
Keep your power bill at a steady rate every month with this
outlet timer that lets you put your lights and other appliances on a schedule. The timer has 24 time setting options in 30-minute intervals and can be used for lamps, fans, and — when the holidays roll around — Christmas lights and trees.
This Kit That Helps You Grow Your Own Avocados At Home
Instead of spending half your grocery budget on avocados (totally possible), invest in this
avocado tree growing kit and grow your own at home. The kit is totally easy to use: just place an avocado pit in the "boat" and float it in a container of water until it cracks, germinates, and begins to grow.
These Airtight Containers That Keep Food From Going Stale
Keep pasta, cereal, popcorn, trail mix, and snacks from getting stale with these highly-rated
food storage containers. The BPA-free containers feature silicone edges and high-strength lever locks on the lids that create an airtight seal, keeping food fresh for weeks. Each set comes with seven stackable containers in different sizes, along with reusable chalkboard labels.
These Fridge Organizers That Keep You From Buying Multiples Of Products
With a disorganized fridge, you can end up buying multiples of products simply because you can't find what you're looking for. (Hint: the strawberry jam is hiding behind the ketchup.) Keep that from happening with these
fridge bins that keep everything tidy and easy to find. The set comes with two wide bins, two narrow bins, a can dispenser, and an egg container.
These Reusable Food Storage Bags That Are Budget-Wise And Eco-Friendly
Bid farewell to one-use plastic baggies and say hello to these
reusable food storage bags. Made from silicone, the freezer-safe bags feature airtight, leak-proof zip closures, and each set comes with three storage-size bags and four sandwich-size bags. These are a great way to save on your grocery bill, but they're a great way to help save the environment, too.
A Makeup Brush Cleaner That Extends The Life Of Your Bristles
Extend the life of your makeup brushes with this battery-operated
makeup brush cleaner. Just fill the container with soapy water, dunk the bristles in, and press the button to spin. Rinse, then press the button again to spin the bristles dry. The cleaner comes with eight collars to fit makeup brushes of all sizes.
A Skin-Brightening Mask That Reviewers Swear By
Weighing in at a full pound, this
clay mask will last you a long time. The classic formula is made with 100 percent natural calcium bentonite clay which removes impurities from your pores, leaving you with softer, smoother, clearer skin. The mask is a cult favorite, with reviewers saying, "it really is magic" and "I have never used any type of product that works as well as this."
A Fire TV Stick That'll Help You Rein In Your Entertainment Budget
With this Amazon
Fire TV Stick, you won't even be tempted to go out and spend money on a Saturday night. The stick gives you access to Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV, HBO, as well as free streaming from Pluto and IMDB TV. To browse, you can use the remote or voice control — which makes it feel like you have your own personal entertainment concierge.
A One-Gallon Water Bottle That's So Much Cheaper Than Buying Water Bottles At The Corner Store
If you haven't made the transition from money-draining one-use water bottles, now's the time. This extra-large, one-gallon
water bottle will keep you hydrated all day long, and it features inspirational quotes on the side that remind you to keep sipping. Outfitted with a leak-proof lid and carrying strap, the bottle is BPA-free and available in 10 color options.
An Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner That Prevents Rust, Damage, And Dulling
Keep your jewelry in tip-top condition with this
jewelry cleaner that uses ultrasonic energy waves to make your baubles sparkle and shine. It operates on five cleaning settings with just the touch of a button and has an option for adding soapy water for enhanced results. Use it for bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, and even eyeglasses.
This Brilliant Way To Keep Wine Fresh For Days After Opening It
wine saver pump, a good bottle of pinot will never go to waste again. Just insert it into the neck of an open bottle and pump to remove all the air and prevent oxidation. The pump comes with four airtight stoppers, so you can keep multiple bottles fresh after your dinner party winds down.
This Amazing Gadget That Sanitizes Your Phone
Get all the germs off your phone with this
UV phone sanitizer. Just place your phone inside, close the lid, and the UV-C rays will eliminate 99.99 percent of the bacteria living on the surface of your phone. There's even a cable slot so you can charge while you sanitize. Hot tip: use it to sanitize keys, pens, and other small items, too.
These Washable Makeup Remover Pads That Can Be Used Again And Again
The cost of buying makeup removing wipes can add up fast, which is why these
reusable makeup remover pads are such a good buy. Made from super-soft microfiber, the extra thick pads effortlessly get rid of foundation, lip color, and eye makeup with just a few swipes. Each pack comes with 14 machine-washable pads and a mesh laundry bag to keep them from getting lost.
A Pillow Book Holder Because Reading Is Cheaper Than Going To The Movies
Save money on going out and cozy up on the couch instead with this ingenious
pillow book holder. The pyramid-shaped pillow fits comfortably in your lap where it holds the pages of your book open. There's even a built-in bookmark, so you can pause your reading and head to the kitchen for a cup of tea.
This 24-Pack Of Sheet Masks That's More Affordable Than A Facial
This set of 24
sheet masks is a huge value and clocks in at an impressive 4.6-star rating. Each mask is soaked in a skin-firming collagen essence, along with a variety of other skin-nourishing ingredients like Vitamin C to brighten, charcoal to detox pores, and cucumber to soothe redness. Use one every day of the week for a complexion that glows.
This Expensive Looking Lunch Bag That'll Encourage You To Pack Your Lunch
With this chic
lunch bag that looks like it cost a zillion bucks, you'll actually want to pack a lunch instead of shelling out for mediocre salad a restaurant. The bag is insulated to help retain food temperature and features sturdy handles, a front pocket for utensils, and a mesh side pocket for a drink. Choose from 16 color and pattern options.
A Breakfast Sandwich Maker, So You're Not Tempted To Buy One At The Coffee Shop
Instead of picking up takeout in the morning, put this
breakfast sandwich maker to work before you head out the door. Just load it with bread, pre-cooked bacon or sausage, and an egg and press down. Within a quick five minutes, you'll have a hot and delicious breakfast sandwich, ready to eat.
This Milk Frother So You Don't Even Have To *Go* To The Coffee Shop
Speaking of coffee shops — you can save big money by making your own lattes and cappuccinos at home with this easy-to-use
milk frother. The battery-operated frother is outfitted with a powerful stainless steel whisk that whips up creamy foam in about 30 seconds. It works with all kinds of milk —including soy, almond, hemp, and cashew — and can also be used to blend Bulletproof coffee.
This Highly-Rated Cold Brew Coffee Maker That's Simple To Use
Give yourself a good dose of energy with this super highly-rated
cold brew coffee maker. It's super simple to brew: just fill the jar with water and add coffee to the filter and let steep overnight. Made from fine mesh stainless steel, the filter prevent grounds from sneaking through and all parts are dishwasher-safe.
These Food Prep Containers That'll Encourage You To Eat Out Less Often
Eating out less is a great way to save some dollar bills, and these
meal prep containers are a great way to get started The set of 10 containers comes in fun colors like pink, light blue, and orange, and all the containers are stackable, so fridge storage is easy. Made from BPA-free borosilicate glass, they're oven-, microwave-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe.
These Stretchy Lids That Keep Your Leftovers Fresh
You can save an amazing amount of money just by eating leftovers (trust me — that chow mein
is good the next day). Just place one of these silicone stretch lids directly over a plate, bowl, or can to keep things fresh. Each order comes with 12 dishwasher-safe lids in different sizes, so you can use them on mixing bowls, salad bowls, dinner plates, cups, and more.
These Space-Saving Packing Cubes So You Don't Have To Take An Extra Suitcase
Instead of paying a baggage fee to take a second suitcase on your trip, use these space-saving
packing cubes that compress clothes, so you can pack more in your luggage. The set comes with four cubes for coats, pants, shirts, socks, and underwear, along with a shoe case to keep dirty sneaker soles off your clean clothes. Choose from colors like black, teal, and purple.
These Dispensers That Keep Your Cereal From Going Stale
If your corn flakes go stale before you get to the bottom of the box, you'll love this dual
cereal dispenser. The compact dispensers hold up to 17 ounces of cereal, and create an airtight seal that keeps food fresh for up to 45 days. When you're ready to pour yourself a bowl, just twist the front knob to dispense.
These Charcoal Bags That Get Rid Of That Funky Sneaker Odor
charcoal odor absorbing bags, you won't have to throw out your sneakers once they start to smell funky. Filled with activated charcoal, the narrow linen bags fit right inside your shoes where they absorb moisture and neutralize odors. Each order comes with 12 bags — stick them in your gym bag, closet, and car, too.
This Electric Nail File So You Can Skip Your Mani/Pedi Appointment
Cancel your bi-weekly nail appointments and give yourself at-home mani/pedis at home with this
electric nail file set. The battery-operated file comes with five interchangeable heads so you can effortlessly shape, buff, shine, and remove calluses and dead skin. There's even a built-in UV dryer to accelerate polish drying time, so you don't have to stress about accidental smudges.
An Electric Callus Remover For Significantly Softer Feet
Complete your at-home pedicure routine with this
electric callus remover that one reviewer calls "miraculous." The rechargeable device comes with three interchangeable roller attachments that smooth rough skin and get rid of tough calluses, leaving you with baby soft feet. It's waterproof and features a built-in LED light so you can check your work.
A 2-In-1 Hair Straightener And Curling Iron That Lets You Style On A Budget
Thanks to this two-in-one
hair straightener and curling iron, you won't have to invest in two separate hair tools just to have styling options. Tourmaline ceramic prevents heat damage and boosts shine while the 3-D floating plates prevent pulling and breakage. The twelve temperature settings let you tailor the heat level to your hair type, and the swivel cord makes maneuvering the iron easy.
This Brilliant Magnetic Holder That Keeps Your Soap From Getting Soggy
Extend the life of your soap — and keep it from getting soggy — with this ingenious
soap saver. Made from beech wood, it adheres directly to glass, tile, or a mirror and features a built-in magnet; insert the accompanying magnet into your bar of soap and the soap will automatically attach to the holder.
This Portable Mini Humidifier That Works With Just A Glass Of Water
portable mini humidifier is the perfect size for offices and small bedrooms, and since it doesn't require a water tank — you can easily pack it in your suitcase and take it on trips. Just stick the battery-operated humidifier in a glass of water to release a steady stream of air-moisturizing mist for up to five hours.
This 48-Packet Tea Box That Won't Break The Bank
tea box with 48 tea packets is a great value that'll keep you sipping for a long time. The set comes with six bags of each blend: English Breakfast, Earl Grey, decaffeinated breakfast, lemon and orange, pure Assam, jasmine green tea, organic peppermint, and organic chamomile. All teas are blended by a family-owned company based in Yorkshire, England.
A Shiatsu Massager That's Like Having Your Very Own Massage Therapist
shiatsu massager is a lot cheaper than hiring a full-time massage therapist, but it's almost as good. The massager features 16 bi-directional massage nodes, three speed settings, and a heating option. Slip your arms through the slings to keep the massager in place, then pull down for a deeper, more intense massage.
This Cheese Saver That Keeps Your Brie From Going Bad
Extend the life of your brie, gouda, and English cheddar with this
cheese saver that — adorably — looks just like a block of cheese. It eliminates the need for one-use plastic wrap and prevents cheese from drying out while still allowing it to breathe. It's dishwasher-safe and works for both soft and hard cheeses.
These Food "Huggers" That Let You Save The Other Half Of That Tomato
Instead of using plastic wrap or baggies to store sliced-into produce, use these flexible, silicone
food savers. They stretch over produce and tightly seal in freshness and preserve juices. Each set comes with four dishwasher-safe, BPA-free food savers. These are perfect for tomatoes, citrus, cucumbers, and onions.
These Reusable Filters For One-Brew Coffee Systems
Single-use filters for Keurig coffee machines are an expense that adds up fast. Put these
reusable K-cup filters to work instead. Just fill one of the cups with your own ground coffee, brew, and then rinse clean. They're BPA-free and each set comes with four. Even better? They're much better for the environment than one-use cups.
A Budget Planner That'll Help You Stick To Your Financial Goals
budget planner is packed with entries that help you stick to your financial plan, like monthly saving goals, monthly spending plans, income and expense trackers, a calendar to keep tabs on important dates, and long-term planning guides that help you develop financial strategy and saving tactics. Choose from 17 colors, like mint green, lavender, and black.
These Flameless Candles That Smell Like Vanilla
Add a little atmosphere to your dinner parties with these battery-operated
flameless candles that'll last for years. Made with real, vanilla-scented wax, they can be operated by remote control and set on 4- or 8-hour timers. The candles also have color-changing options: toggle between purple, white, red, green, and blue.
These Phone Screen Protectors That Prevent Cracks And Chips
phone screen protectors, you can avoid shelling out for screen repairs every time you drop your smartphone. Made from high-definition tempered glass, they protect your phone's original screen from cracks, chips, and shattering. The protectors adhere directly to your phone's existing screen and are touch-screen accurate and resistant to smudging and fingerprints. Each set comes with three, so you can replace anytime it's necessary.
This Bracelet That Doubles As A Hair Tie Holder
Perhaps the most practical piece of jewelry of all time, this
hair tie bracelet has a groove all the way around the perimeter that's perfect for securing hair elastics. It's a great way to keep track of hair ties, without having to deal with that pesky indentation around your wrist. Choose from black, gold, rose gold, and silver finishes.
This Easy Way To Keep Your Charging Cables From Fraying
Keep cable breakage at bay with these simple but genius
cable protectors. Just thread a cable through one of the flexible spiral protectors to prevent sharp angles that lead to fraying. Each order comes with 24 — use them while charging phones, tablets, laptops, and other USB devices. Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently of Bustle's editorial and sales departments.