By Andrew Lisa
When you’re trying to save money, every dollar counts. The frugal shopper never puts the word “just” before the price of an item he or she is considering buying. But in some cases, an investment of just a few dollars can bring a gadget into your life that will make you wonder how you ever lived without it in the first place.
Here are 10 life-changing devices that you can get for under $10 that are worth every penny.
––Omega Pacific Oval Black Carabiner: Although they are typically designed for climbers, carabiners are amazing, simple and cost-effective tools for everyday use. Use it to clip your house keys to your belt loop for quick access while carrying something with both hands, or use it to join the handles of several of grocery bags for easy carrying. The oval shape is the most useful, but it sometimes lacks in strength. That is not the case, however, with the Omega Pacific Black Carabiner. $6.50.
––Tac Force TF-705RB Pocket Knife: Although we can push, pull and lift, human beings are not made with sharp edges, yet cutting is a common necessity. And a basic pocket knife can serve many everyday purposes. Rated four out of five stars by users on Amazon, the TAC Force TF-705RB Gentleman’s Assisted Opening Knife measures 4.5 inches closed and features a rainbow stainless steel blade, half of which is serrated. It folds closed into its black aluminum handle and features a glass breaker, can opener and a pocket clip. Knife laws vary from state to state, so know your state’s laws before you buy. $9.50
––Swiss Tech ST53100 Micro-Max Multi-Function Pocket Tool: An updated version of the classic Swiss Army Knife, a multi-tool is exactly what its name implies _ a single device that contains multiple tools that can be kept in the glove compartment of a car, under the sink and just about anywhere else. The problem is that the good ones are usually expensive, with several common multi-tools in regular stores going for more than $160. But, you can get the Swiss Tech ST53100 Micro-Max for less than $9 on Amazon, whose customers gave the pocket tool a rating of four out of five stars. It includes two hex wrenches, six screwdrivers, pliers, a bottle opener, a wire cutter, wire crimper and a hand drill. $8.54
––Lightning EVER LED Headlamp: Flashlights are great, unless you’re doing a task that requires two hands. The LED Headlamp from Lighting EVER (LE) directs 20 LED lights, two red, 18 white, in whichever direction your head is turned, freeing your hands. The headband is adjustable as well as waterproof, vibration proof and shockproof. A good headlamp for under $10 is a steal. The least expensive headlamp at REI, for example, is $33.59, with the most expensive coming in at $374.89. To purchase the LE LED Headlamp and similar products, shop online through its website or on Amazon. $6.99
––Panasonic ER-GN30-K Nose, Ear and Hair Trimmer: Personal trimmers are incredibly useful for both men and women who use them for daily maintenance and upkeep between trips to the barber or salon. Choosing one generally comes down to finding a balance between price and features. It can be difficult to find a trimmer that is waterproof, has a long battery life and is cost-effective _ but Panasonic has done it.
This Panasonic ER-GN30-K trimmer got four out of five stars on Amazon after more than 6,500 reviews. It works on both wet and dry skin, and takes a single AA battery for a full 90 minutes of continued use. The dual-edge blade cuts evenly without pulling, and the device is washable and fully immersible.
The Panasonic website is currently selling the trimmer for $12.99, but it has been sold for less on other sites. For example, you can buy it for $10.57 at Walmart or $6.40 on iMarketcity.com.
––AmazonBasics 4.0 Amp MP Dual USB Car Charger:
Car chargers that draw electricity from the vehicle’s cigarette lighter have been around for years. However, they are often device specific and therefore very limited. Universal USB car chargers can solve that problem, but the options that deliver enough power can cost you more than $10.
The AmazonBasics 4.0 Amp Dual USB car charger allows you to charge your depleted mobile devices while you drive, whether you have an Android or Apple device. It features two USB ports and 20-watt power to charge multiple devices simultaneously at full speed. The AmazonBasics 4.0 received four out of five stars on Amazon and is covered by a one-year limited warranty. $9.99
––Danesco Bamboo Mezzaluna 3020218: The mezzaluna, a knife with a curved blade, is one of the most underrated tools in the kitchen, allowing ordinarily slow cutters to safely and accurately fly through chopping, dicing and mincing. Two handles make the device safe, and double blades make it incredibly fast. The Danesco Bamboo Mezzaluna comes with a specialized dugout cutting board made of renewable, durable bamboo. You can purchase the item on Amazon for $9.89, not including shipping fees.
––MyBaby HoMedics SoundSpa On-the-Go: Every parent knows the phrase “sleep like a baby” is a misnomer. Babies are easily startled by sharp sounds like doorbells, barking and the cries of other children. The HoMedics SoundSpa was designed to soothe babies to sleep with ambient sound by drowning out noise coming from another room or outside.
The device features four sound options: static noise, a musical lullaby, the ocean and a heartbeat. It weighs just 4.8 ounces, and batteries last 10 hours. The HoMedics website sells the device for $12.99; buy it on Amazon for only $9.62.
––Luos Cultural Goods Paracord Survival Bracelet: Travelers, hunters, hikers and campers should carry several feet of reliable cord. But if your cord tangles easily, you might want to opt for a paracord survival bracelet instead.
The Paracord Survival Bracelet by Luos Cultural Goods prevents tangles and is easy to carry. Once unwound, the cord can be used to make snares, fix gear, replace broken shoelaces and more. The bracelet also features a compass for directional aid. It is available on Amazon for only $5.96.
––Marshal Aluminum Wallet/Credit Card Case: Did you know some thieves can steal your credit card information without ever touching you? By using scanners and other devices, they can scan the “chip” in your credit card to gather your personal information and even steal your identity.
When you replace your wallet with the Marshal Aluminum Wallet/Credit Card Case, however, you eliminate the threat of electronic credit card identify theft. Made of high-quality aluminum, not only do these wallets protect your credit cards from thieves, but they can protect your cards and bills from water and stains. On Amazon, you can buy a six-pack for only $9.99.