12 Amazing Home Buys Under $5


We first gave you a list of 16 Home Purchases for Under $10 that are well worth your spending money. Now we've lowered the mark to just $5. That's right! Five dollars or less. These items earn points for their adaptability to various situations and purposes, beginning with things that will get your house sparkling clean and ending with a product that can even augment your wardrobe on the cheap.

1. Vinegar

I used to use vinegar just to make salad dressing. Now? Inexpensive white vinegar is part of my everyday cleaning routine. Mix it with different ratios of water for a powerful, all-purpose spray that will get your house fresh and disinfected from top to bottom. Pour some in the wash for a boost. And, yes, make that salad. (See also: 30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace)

2. Baking Soda

Much like vinegar, I thought baking soda's purpose in my life was to give rise to my baked goods. It also happens to be a dynamo in most other areas of my life. I've made DIY deodorant with a baking soda base. I've read it soothes insect bites and makes a great antacid. You can use it as a face wash or toothpaste. (See also: 27 Awesome Uses for Baking Soda)

3. Castile Soap

A simple bar of castile soap can help you bathe without all sorts of nasty chemicals. But beyond that, it's a critical ingredient in homemade laundry detergent. Just chop your bar into pieces (or shred), melt with some water, and mix with a few other simple ingredients before pouring into a container for storage. (See also: 5 DIY Laundry Detergent Recipes)

4. Binder Clips

You can buy a set of binder clips for under $5, and their uses are many. Use them in place of chip clips or clothespins. Create a smart money clip with one. Squeeze your tube of toothpaste with another to avoid waste. Fasten them to your wall to create an easily interchangeable photo display. And the list keeps going.

5. A Tension Rod

I use tension rods for a multitude of purposes around my house. Hang one in a naked window for some quick privacy. Use a couple in your kitchen cupboard to wrangle your baking sheets and cutting boards. You can do something similar with all those shoes cluttering your floor. Create quick storage in your child's closet or elsewhere. (See also: 20 Unexpected Uses for Tension Rods)

6. Bucket

A basic bucket can be used for far more than cleaning up messes. Reimagine it as storage for bath toys, dog and cat supplies, crafts, gardening, and more. Use it when you go berry picking or stop by the market. Or fill with ice to keep drinks cold at your next party. (Related: 20 Great Ways to Use a Beach Bucket)

7. Extension Cord

We used to live in a house with very few outlets — only one per room. So, small gauge extension cords became our good friends for putting lamps in the right place, giving power to holiday decorations, etc. (Note: Make sure you use your extension cords properly and follow some safety guidelines to avoid fire and shock hazards. For example, don't use them as a permanent solution and toss if your cord is damaged in any way.)

8. Monkey Hooks

Have you seen monkey or Hercules hooks? I learned about them when we moved into our last house, and what a lifesaver. We used them to hang pictures in heavy frames, bulky mirrors, and all sorts of other heftier items. You don't even need tools to install. Just mark your point, twist, push, and hang.

9. Latex Gloves

Of course, you can use latex gloves for most standard household cleaning, but what else? Well, if you have any desire to dye clothing or other items, they'd come in handy for that. Save your hands from stains when you're peeling roasted beets. Slip some on before picking through the garbage to find that lost receipt. Basically, if it's a messy job, you'll be thankful you have gloves.

10. A Spatula

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but I can't believe how long it took me to buy an actual spatula. If you cook and bake — whether for fun or just hunger — you'll stop wasting all that batter that accumulates on the sides of your bowl. Or flip omelets with ease. Sounds a little too straightforward, but if you don't have one — get one!

11. Rubber Bands

My uncle used to keep one of those gigantic rubber band balls in his living room, and I'd play with it whenever we'd visit. You can use rubber bands as hair ties. Seal food bags with them. Or sort wires. You can even fashion a makeshift toddler lock, and much more. (See also: 52 Uses for Rubber Bands)

12. Duct Tape

Ah, the classic multipurpose product — duct tape! It comes in all colors these days. There are some absolutely great ways to use duct tape, like removing splinters and hemming pants. As well, there are some majorly unique uses, including duct tape sunglasses, belts, purses, and much more.

What cheap essentials do you have around the house? Let us know in comments!

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