There’s nothing like the delight of finding a seemingly mundane product that solves a persistent but annoying problem in your life. It’s that elusive thing you’ve been looking for — the organizing solution that wrangles a nest of tangled cords, the smart outlet that turns off the lights, or the gadget that solves the problem you didn’t even know you had. (Automatic potato peeler, anyone?) The discovery never fails to give us a little boost, especially after we’ve clicked “Buy It Now.”
It’s even better when the item in question costs little more than a round of drinks — and thanks to Amazon’s famously low prices, this is a common occurrence. So common, in fact, that when we hit the site to compile a list of the most useful products that we could find, we were surprised at all the problem-solving potential out there. Click through to see the most clever products we could suss out — all for under $29.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Amazon Smart Plug
Best Used For: Scheduling lights, fans, and appliances to turn on and off automatically
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 435,422 ratings
Practical Peeps say: “Got this smart plug so I can remotely turn appliances/the lights on and off in an Alzheimer’s patient’s home. I can remotely make sure things are off by simply turning them on and off in the Amazon Alexa app — it’s super simple to use and really helps me out. Now I don’t have to drive over there to make sure the lights, the AC, or the TV are off, etc. Thank you!”
Amazon Smart Plug, $, available at AmazonHoan The Original Bagel Guillotine
Best Used for: Slicin’ & dicin’ bagels in seconds
The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars and 5,361 ratings
Practical Peeps say: “Picked this up because my heart could no longer take the stress of watching our 11 year old daughter slice bagels. This not-so-little little device slices through every single bagel, every single time — and my kid goes through kicks where she’ll eat two or three each day. I no longer worry about serious cuts even though the (covered) blade on this thing is SHARP!”
Hoan The Original Bagel Guillotine, $, available at AmazonYueshico Stainless Steel Watermelon Slicer Cutter Knife
Best Used For: Making melon cubes
The Hype: 4.2 out of 5 stars and 4,200 ratings
Practical Peeps say: “This tool is so handy!! I hate cutting watermelon and this is so fast and easy to use and easy to wash. I cut a watermelon in less than 5 minutes… The included baller is great for the small left over, hard to reach places.”