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21 Products Under $12 That Will Improve Your Home Life

When it comes to home and garden improvements, most people's thoughts immediately go to complicated projects and extensive rehabs. But that doesn't need to be the case! Here are 21 ways to make a positive impact on the quality of your home and garden, and ALL of them are $12 or less.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

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Gardening Finger Claws

Staying in the realm of the home garden, this next item is ideal for the gardener who likes to take a hands-on approach! Durable garden gloves with plastic claw tips are an inexpensive item that will make your life easier when it comes to weeding, seeding and adjusting soil layout.

If you or a loved one like these garden claws, you won’t want to miss this list of a dozen more must-have garden tools!

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Joseph Joseph Chop2Pot Foldable Cutting Board

One of the most frustrating things about chopping veggies is that they don’t all make it in the pan you’re cooking them in! This often happens because people try to slide them right off the cutting board, while others try to transfer them with their hands. This cutting board will make the step so much easier since it folds inward to create a chute-like space. Here’s how to make a wooden chopping board and serving tray.

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Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Scrubber

You spend so much money on cleaners with bleach in them, only to scrub and scrub before your bathroom finally starts to sparkle. Take the effort and money out of cleaning with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Scrubber. It features Durafoam and can erase three times more soap scum than leading all-purpose spray cleaners. What makes the Magic Eraser so magical?

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Puzzling Pet Toys

An engaged dog is a well-behaved dog! Keep your pet’s mind working and reduce mischievous behavior with this Hide-a-Squirrel plush puzzle toy. Perfect for dogs who love pulling things apart and delight in the rewarding squeak of a toy well-chewed. You can even replace damaged individual chews with new versions, in a variety of designs from bumblebees to hedgehogs.

Of course, you can always opt for the DIY route. Here’s a list of fifteen DIY projects that your pet will love.

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Magnetic Wristband

Small parts can be the bane of the DIYer’s existence, and nothing can spoil the fun of a good home improvement project like an accidentally dropped screw or other fastener. Especially if you happen to be standing on a ladder at the time!

Eliminate this headache with an inexpensive magnetic wristband. Intuitive and easy to use, you’ll be able to keep small parts within reach and avoid those annoying moments spent hunting for small parts lost in a lawn or carpet fibers.

Parts management is one of many time-honored DIY traditions. If you’d like to learn more, here’s a great starter list of classic tool tips and tricks.

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Shower Foot Rest

Shaving is annoying as it is, so why make it difficult too? If you don’t have the ideal place to put your foot for the best vantage point, you’ll love this convenient suction cup and non-slip sticker foot rest.

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Self Stirring Mug

Avoid dirtying spoons with this innovative self-stirring mug. It quickly blends beverages without the effort of shaking or stirring using two AAA batteries (not included). Check out these 14 super cool homemade coffee table ideas.

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Soil Test Kit

Take some of the mystery out of gardening with this soil testing kit. Notice that batteries aren’t included… because they aren’t needed! Simply insert the probes into soft soil, press the button, and watch the readout. This 3-in-1 will test for proper acidity, moisture and light exposure. At less than $15, this soil meter can potentially pay for itself by saving the life of expensive plants outdoors or inside your home.

Of course, identifying the problem is only the first step. Here’s how to correct your soil’s pH.

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Adjustable Bed Sheet Fasteners Suspenders

If it seems like you’re constantly trying to keep your linens taught on your mattress, you’ll love these heavy-duty clips that grip the fabric tightly without damaging it. Say goodbye to unraveled sheets once and for all!

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BBQ Bear Claws

If you like the idea of garden claws you’ll be even happier to know that there is a similar tool available for the home and kitchen as well. These BBQ bear claws are designed to help shred pork and other meats, a technique that’s especially important for cooking up extra succulent barbecue. Designed to take a beating, these dishwasher-safe tearing implements can make quick work of a traditionally tedious task.

Whether you are buying for yourself or have a barbecue lover on your gift list, you’re sure to find something to make life easier on this list of 30 essential BBQ tools.

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Wooden Golf Tees

Keeping wooden golf tees on hand is a surprisingly simple way to increase the quality of your home life. Why? Because they’re one of the fastest ways to repair loose hinges and re-secure screws. If you have a wobbly door in your home or on one of your cabinets, simply back out the screws and insert a glue-coated golf tee. Once the glue is set up, cut the tee flush, and you’ve got a brand new material for the screw to bite into.

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Stainless Steel Odor Absorber

If you’ve ever chopped onions or garlic for a meal, you’ve probably noticed how long the smell can linger on your hands. Luckily, there’s an affordable and simple solution to this annoying issue. You can eliminate many kitchen odors simply by wiping your hands on a stainless steel bar. Although it may sound like an old wives’ tale, this trick works on a molecular level, by bonding with the sulfurous source of the odor to neutralize the scent.

In fact, if you want a true low-budget solution you can simply wet your hands and wipe them up the walls of your stainless steel kitchen sink. (Just make sure that the sink is clean, first!) This will work just as well as the bar, although it won’t add the fun, whimsical touch that this dedicated odor absorber brings to your home decor. This is a great trick for home chefs who do a lot of chopping, or for those who use an onion for something a little more unusual, like cleaning your grill grate.

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Stackable Mesh Drying Rack

Do you have clothes that aren’t intended for the dryer? If so, you know how easy it is to allow them to spread out all over the laundry room, or a spare chair, or maybe another table … the next thing you know, those clothes have taken over! Reclaim your home by confining your air-dry-only items to a contained area with these stackable mesh drying racks.

This is a great way to make your living space more enjoyable, even if your laundry room is relatively small. We also have loads of ways to make the most of small spaces, including this collection of 20 ways to organize a tiny laundry room.

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BUMP IT OFF Multi-Use Silicone Cleaning Tool

This multi-use cleaning tool is about to make your scrubbing so much easier. Designed to fit like a sleeve over your hand, its flexible silicone bristles allow you to scrub away all kinds of dirt and stains, even on skin.

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Indoor Humidity Sensor

Chances are that your thermostat already reports your home’s temperature, but that’s only half of the story. Depending on weather, water issues and your activities (such as drying your clothes indoors on racks!) you may see an uptick in your home’s humidity. Keep an eye on this important metric with an indoor humidity sensor.

Here are 10 things to keep in mind if you do decide to add a humidifier to your home.

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HuaPa Boil Over Guard

No matter how tidy you are in the kitchen, one quick boil over can leave your stove a mess! This BPA-free food-grade silicone accessory will stop spills, so you no longer have to worry when you get forgetful for a second too long! The fun flower design fits pots and pans with openings ranging from 6 to 10 inches in diameter. It’s non-stick and can handle up to 500 degrees. Here’s how to install a gas stove without dangerous leaks.

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Grow Bags Five-Pack

Forget the expense of clunky traditional pots! Make your outdoor plants happier and healthier with these freestanding grow bags. Also known as aeration pots, they’re made of landscape fabric, allowing for greater oxygen penetration and more even distribution of nutrients. That means faster growing times and higher yield from edible plants. (And if you need some suggestions for vegetable choices, check out these vegetables that are perfect for growing in pots or bags!) Intended for outdoor use, these bags can be used in your home, but you’ll need to place them on a tray to catch any water or excess moisture.

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Durable Cell Phone/Tool Holster

Essential items, like cell phones, are always with us, even in the home workshop. Taking a quick picture of a part or problem, or using one of countless DIY home improvement apps has been a fantastic boon for DIYers. But, how do you keep a cell phone handy and yet protected in the shop? You get this durable cell phone/tool holster! Of course, we also always love seeing DIY solutions from recycled materials.

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Lookatool Hanging Trash Rack

Make food prepping so much easier and cleaner with this hanging trash rack. It’s easy to place on just about any under-counter door or drawer, you can have a trash bag wherever you go in the kitchen.

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Designer Bench Scrape

Make mealtime cleanup quicker and easier with this attractive bench scrape. Many recipes call for finely chopped meats, vegetables or other foods. That makes for a delicious dish, but a messy countertop. This nifty tool makes it much easier to neatly scoop and transfer chopped foods. Durable and dishwasher safe, this simple affordable kitchen aid will soon become one of your favorites.

Combine this bench scrape with a properly sharpened chef’s knife and you’ll move through recipes faster and more safely.

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Bento and Co. Multi Kitchen Tool

Keep your kitchen clutter-free with one simple accessory. This multi-functional kitchen tool comes with eight unique and stackable parts, all of which have different functions. Use it to squeeze a lemon, grate cheese, funnel something and so much more!  You never know where you can pick up great kitchen accessories. Have you ever tried the hardware store?

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Dan Stout
Ohio-based freelance writer and author Dan Stout is a former residential remodeler, commercial site supervisor and maintenance manager. He’s worked on nearly all aspects of building and DIY including project planning and permitting, plumbing, basic electric, drywall, carpentry, tiling, painting and more. He also publishes noir fantasy thrillers, including The Carter Series, from Penguin imprint DAW Books.