Life isn’t cheap. From groceries to utility bills, it feels like I’m always spending tons of money just to stay alive. Granted, I do still have a little leftover at the end of every month — but it doesn’t stretch very far
unless I’m smart with it. That’s why whenever my apartment needs a little refresh, I head over to see what sort of affordable home upgrades Amazon has for sale.
I know what you’re thinking: “How affordable can these upgrades really be?” Don’t worry — not only have I made sure that everything on this list is $30 or less, but each item also
dramatically improves the look of your home. Take this shower caddy as an example. It’s large enough to hold all those bottles you’ve probably got cluttering up your tub, and the stainless steel frame is even rustproof. Or, if you’re looking for more tech-savvy upgrades, there are also smart plugs, smart light switches, smart garage door openers — I think you get the idea.
Let’s face it: life isn’t getting any cheaper. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t afford to live in a nice home. Thankfully, these affordable upgrades under $30 are proof. Scroll through this list to find some of my favorites.
1 These Smart Light Bulbs That Work With Voice Commands
these smart light bulbs with Alexa or Google Home, and you’ll be able to control them using voice commands — all from the comfort of your couch. Or, if you don’t have either, you can also use the downloadable smartphone app to adjust the brightness, change their color, and more. 2 A Peel & Stick Backsplash Made From Sleek Stainless
this backsplash installs like a giant sticker, it looks way more expensive than it is. The stainless steel exterior looks good in any kitchen — and it’s even heat- as well as moisture-resistant. “The end result is stunning,” wrote one reviewer. “It's hard to tell that it's not a solid backsplash as opposed to tiles.” 3 The Pillows Made From Hair-Friendly Satin 4 A Smart Light Switch You Can Control Remotely
Can’t remember if you turned the lights off? Not a problem when you’ve got
this smart light switch. The downloadable app lets you check whether or not your lights are on, and you can even pair it with Alexa — just in case you want to start using voice commands. 5 This Shower Shelf That’s Easy To Install
There’s no need to drill into your walls when mounting
this shower shelf — just use the included waterproof adhesive to stick it directly to your tile wall. And since it’s made from sleek stainless steel, it’s also completely rustproof. “Easy installation,” wrote one reviewer. “Even comes with a 2nd adhesive strip in case you need to move it.” 6 A Drain Protector That Can Help You Save Money
A visit from the plumber can cost hundreds of dollars, whereas
this TubShroom drain protector is available for less than $15. Any bits of hair or debris that flow its way are collected in the base — and unlike other drain protectors, they won’t impede the flow of water down your pipes. 7 The Wireless Doorbell With More Than 50 Melodies
With a wireless range of up to 3,200 feet,
this doorbell will let you know guests have arrived no matter where you are in your home. Choose from more than 50 melodies that all sound crystal-clear coming from the built-in speakers. Plus, it even comes with batteries included — and they’ll generally last for about three years. 8 A Kit That’ll Help You Repair Scuffed Furniture
Not only does
this furniture repair kit come with easy-to-use markers and crayons, but you also get eight tubes of wood filler for those extra-deep scratches. The colors are suitable for nearly any color wood, from rich mahogany to washed gray — and reviewers raved about how well it works on hardwood floors. 9 This Roll-Up Dish Rack That Helps Save Space
this dish rack rolls out over the unused space above your sink, it’s great for small kitchens — and it’s even made from stainless steel. That means it’s rustproof, as well as heat-resistant in case you need to use it as a quick trivet. Plus, there’s even a little drying caddy for silverware. 10 These Smart Plugs That Are Easy To Use
Not sure about installing that smart switch? You can still control your lights remotely with
these smart plugs. They’ll also let you set schedules so that they’re on when you come home, and you can even use them for more than just lights. Electric kettles, fans, coffee machines — they’re that versatile. 11 These Bins That Are Great For Storing Seasonal Clothes
If you’ve got an overflowing closet, try moving all your seasonal clothes into
these storage bins. That’ll help open up some space — or, you can even use them to store extra blankets and towels. Plus, the handles on either side make it easy to pull them out from underneath your bed. 12 A Broom Holder That Can Handle Heavy Tools
You can tidy up that messy utility closet with
this handy broom holder. Five slots and six hooks give you space for everything from scrubbers to mops — and if you put it in your garage, the ball grips are even strong enough to hold heavier tools. 13 The Gadget That’ll Help Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal
Got spotty service throughout your home?
This wi-fi booster can extend your coverage by as much as 1,000 square feet — and it can even support connections with up to 15 devices. Plus, one reviewer wrote that “the install was *dead* simple — I think it took five minutes.” 14 A Roll Of Contact Paper To Updated Tired Counters
Countertops, tables, drawers, backsplashes — you name it,
this contact paper can give it a white marble finish at less than $10 per roll. The adhesive backing makes it easy to apply, as it’s just like putting on a giant sticker. And from personal experience? The vinyl material is so water-resistant that you can leave puddles on it, overnight. 15 The Smart Outlet You Can Use Outdoors
Pair Alexa or Google Home with
this smart outlet, and you’ll be able to control any plugged-in devices using voice commands. Unlike some plugs, this one is suitable for outdoor use — and you can even use it to put your devices on schedules. Plus, the power cable is extra-long for added convenience. 16 These Pillows Filled With Shredded Memory Foam
Looking for a memory foam pillow that won’t break the bank?
These ones are filled with shredded foam that you can remove for a lower loft — or, stuff even more inside for a firmer feel. And since the 100% polyester cover is hypoallergenic, there’s no need to worry about any irritation. 17 This Garage Door Opener You Can Control Using Your Phone
did you leave the garage open? If so, you can easily connect to this smart garage door opener using your phone to find out. You can also use the downloadable app to open your garage remotely for deliveries, or even let someone in when they forgot their key. 18 A Phone Charger That Doesn’t Use Any Wires
Don’t go hunting around for a charging cable the next time your phone dies — just put it on top of
this wireless charger. It’s designed to work with any Qi-enabled device, including AirPods. And if you aren’t sure whether or not it’s connected? The colorful LED indicator lights will let you know. 19 The Pull-Down Faucet Head With 3 Spray Settings
With its sleek metal exterior and three different spray modes — stream, spray, or pause —
this faucet head is a definite upgrade for outdated kitchen sinks. No tools are needed for installation, since all you need to do is unscrew your old head, then screw this one on. Choose from three finishes: nickel, chrome, or oil-rubbed bronze. 20 A Toothpaste Dispenser That’s Easy To Mount
If your kids are in the habit of using
way too much toothpaste, have them try out this dispenser. Not only does it squeeze out the perfect amount of paste, but it’s also completely BPA-free. The best part? Each order comes with adhesive for easy installation. 21 These Strip Lights You Can Stick Anywhere
Behind your television, underneath your cabinets, behind shelves — t
hese strip lights can be installed anywhere for some gorgeous mood lighting. They’re backed with adhesive, making it easy to stick them nearly anywhere. Plus, you can even trim them to fit shorter spaces. 22 A Cozy Comforter You Can Use All Year
Neither too light nor too heavy,
this comforter is just right for year-round use. It’s made from ultra-soft microfiber, giving it a plush feel against your skin — and the box stitching keeps the filling distributed evenly while you’re snoozing. Or, you can even use it as a duvet insert. 23 The Bins That Help Organize Messy Fridges
I was skeptical about
these bins — until I tried them out. Now my refrigerator is like something out of Better Homes & Gardens, as everything is neatly organized. And since they’re made from BPA-free plastic that’s also transparent, it’s easy to see what’s inside without having to unpack anything. 24 A Toilet Night Light That Won’t Blind You
Don’t turn on that bright overhead light when you stumble into the bathroom at night — let
this gentle toilet night light guide the way instead. The brightness is adjustable up to five levels, and there are even 16 different colors to choose from. Or, set it to carousel mode to enjoy them all. 25 These Hangers Help Save You Closet Space
Made from tough stainless steel,
these hangers are great for opening up some space in crowded closets. The five rungs can be used to store everything from pants to scarves — and one reviewer even wrote that “due to the S-shape, you can quickly see what is on the entire hanger without having to move things around.” 26 A Bluetooth Speaker That’s Water-Resistant
Looking for a Bluetooth speaker you can take with you?
This one is rugged enough that you can get it splashed without issue, while the 100-foot Bluetooth range lets you wander away without losing connectivity. The best part? Its rechargeable battery lasts for up to 14 hours. 27 This Pour-Over Coffee Maker With A Reusable Filter
Why waste your money on paper filters?
This pour-over coffee maker comes with a reusable filter made from tough stainless steel — and you can even use it to make your own cold brew at home. Plus, it’s made from tough, heat-resistant borosilicate glass that’s extra-durable. 28 A Floor Pillow That’s Soft & Comfy
Made from soft chenille,
these floor pillows work great when you need somewhere to sit in a pinch — and their gorgeous scalloped edges are a luxurious touch. You can also line them up next to each other to create a bench cushion, or even just use them for meditation. Choose from six colors, including a soft shade of aqua. 29 The Camera That Helps Add Security To Your Home
With built-in night vision and motion detection,
this indoor camera is an affordable way to add security to your home. Two-way audio lets you talk to people remotely — and if it detects a suspicious sound, it’ll even send an alert to your phone. 30 These Blackout Curtains That Can Help You Save Money
By blocking out light and insulating your home,
these blackout curtains can help you save money on your utility bill. Not only are they extra-thick, but they also have a silky, luxurious feel to them. And with dozens of colors and lengths to choose from, there’s bound to be at least one that’ll fit your windows. 31 A Caddy For All Your Dish Scrubbers & Sponges
Don’t leave your scrubbers in the bottom of your sink — keep them stored in
this caddy instead. Its open design helps everything dry quickly in order to prevent mildew, while the stainless steel frame is completely rustproof. Plus, the suction cups are sturdy enough to hold up to 15 pounds. 32 These Throw Pillow Covers Made With Soft Velvet
these throw pillow covers on my bed — they’re available in so many vibrant shades that they work perfectly as little pops of color. They’re covered in soft velvet that feels genuinely soft against my skin. Plus, the hidden zipper keeps the pillow inside from slipping out. 33 The Patches That Keep Your Rugs From Curling
rug patches grip onto your floors using a powerful adhesive that won’t ruin floors. The dual-sided tape is made by a trusted brand and won’t leave residue behind. According to one reviewer, “This product works! My rug was lifting at the corners pretty bad. As soon as I put these on...went flat right away. It stays put.” 34 These Globe Lights You Can Hang Outside
these globe lights in your home for a cozy feeling, or even string them up on your patio. They’re waterproof against the rain — and you can even connect up to three strands together for larger spaces. Choose from three colors: black, green, or white. 35 This Cool Mist Humidifier Is Ultra-Silent
Noisy humidifier keeping you awake during naps?
This one runs at an ultra-silent level — and the steam spout even rotates so that you can point it wherever you like. Plus, the water tank is large enough for more than a full days’ worth of cool mist. 36 A Kit That Turns Mirrors Into Hollywood Vanities
I’ve been a huge fan of
this kit ever since I converted a spare room in my apartment into a walk-in closet. The LED bulbs are backed with adhesive, allowing you to easily stick them onto any mirror. Plus, there are even three light temperatures to pick from: cold, natural, or warm white. 37 The Faux Sheepskin Rug That Comes In More Than 15 Colors
White, red, turquoise, spring green — with more than 15 colors to choose from,
this rug is an easy way to add a pop of color to dull rooms. It’s made from high-quality faux sheepskin, while the non-slip back keeps it from sliding out from underneath you. 38 A Soap Dispenser That’s Completely Touchless
You wash your hands all the time, but when was the last time you washed the pump on your soap dispenser? Probably never — so grab
this touch-free soap dispenser. The infrared sensor detects when your hand is underneath, and reviewers raved about how it dispenses the “perfect” amount of soap. 39 This Side Table Takes Up Hardly Any Room
Need a side table for your living room, but short on space?
This one looks just as good as any full-sized version, yet the C-shape allows it to be tucked into your sofa to help save space. Plus, it can safely hold up to 13 pounds. 40 An Essential Oil Diffuser To Help Set A Relaxing Mood
Just add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to
this diffuser, and it’ll send gentle, aromatic puffs of mist into the air. Seven different LED colors make it easy to set a relaxing mood — and it can even run for up to eight hours when the water reservoir is full. 41 The Glass Food Jars With Airtight Seals & Labels
Pasta, beans, rice, flour — you name it, these
mason jars can keep it fresh until you’re ready to cook. The lids have a leak-proof rubber gasket, giving them an airtight seal to help prevent spoilage, and the jars themselves have wide mouths that make it easier to fill and transfer ingredients over. Plus, they’re made from real glass instead of plastic and come with convenient labels. 42 These Remote-Controlled Candles With Fake Flickering Flames
Each one of these
flameless candles flickers like the real thing, and they’ll give your home soothing vibes. They’re also controlled via remote, and you can set them on a timer for two, four, six, or eight hours. Not to mention, they’re encased with sleek glass that’ll match your existing decor. 43 This Motion-Activated Light For Underneath Your Bed
motion-activated light can be placed underneath your bed and will cast a soothing glow whenever you get up in the middle of the night. It’ll turn on when it senses your movement and then turn off after either 30 seconds or 10 minutes (you can pick the setting), and it comes with an adhesive for installation.
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This article was originally published on
July 17, 2021