8 Super Useful Kitchen Gadgets

There’s just nothing like a clogged drain in a tub, sink, or shower to get the day off to a bad start. Ack! Now what? Gallons of caustic drain cleaner? A mad online search for an available plumber? Today, I want to share a fabulous anti-clog tool plus seven other kitchen gadgets that I love and adore because they make my life easier. Besides that, I think they’re just plain awesome.

best gadgets collage

1. Zip-It

If you’ve got drains they’re a problem just waiting to happen—but one you can prevent with a slickest little gadget you’ve ever seen.

Many years ago, a faithful reader introduced me to Zip-It,  an ingenious drain cleaning tool that works like a champ on drains prone to gathering hair—showers, bathroom sinks, etc. There are lots of knock-offs out there, but this is the original Zip-It from its inventor, still made in the USA. Totally genius. You’ll find one of these under every sink in my home.

Zip-It is a 25-inch plastic snake with barb-like hooks that when inserted into any drain, twisted, and then pulled out, easily removes all the hair, gunk, and stuff that builds up in those bathroom drains to eventually cause a major clog—stuff that doesn’t easily dissolve using boiling water or other tricks.

Zip-It is 100% environmentally safe and involves no toxic fumes or chemicals. Use it once a month to maintain clean drains in your home and you can say good-bye to future clogs and expensive housecalls.

Amazon sells Zip-It in a 3-pak; Walmart 1-pak.


        WALMART $14.97


2. Classic can opener

I’m pretty sure I’ve tried them all—every type of can opener out there. EZ-DUZ-IT  is the old school, faithful, tried and true can opener, easy-to-use, manual can opener. This kitchen gadget is compact, doesn’t take up counter space and with red handles, I can always find it. (It does come in other colors.) Best of all, EZ-DUZ-IT works. It really does open cans without any hassles, tricks or annoying fails. CAUTION: Do not put this can opener in the dishwasher! Handwash and dry only.


        WALMART $14.47

3. Pocket food thermometer

This ThermoPop super handy, food thermometer gives super fast readings for whatever you’re cooking—and it easily rotates so you can see it no matter the angle required. Even better it has a backlight! It comes in a bunch of cool colors. This is my old faithful because it’s simple to use and I know I can trust ThermoPop. I’ve had mine for years and it still works like new.







4. Spiralizer

It was new to me—a non-noodle choice at Noodles World Kitchen restaurant. It’s called zoodles—zucchini noodles! My first thought was, how did they do that? I’m pretty sure they use a gadget and you can have one, too. This Spiralizer will turn out fresh zoodles right there in your kitchen. Of course, it has lots of other uses, too Bonus: So much fun!


        WALMART $24.97

5. Mr. Scrappy

Whether you have a stinky garbage disposal presently or plan to never experience such a thing ever again—this is the kitchen gadget you need. Mr. Scrappy‘s secret is that he will clean under the splash guard (the rubber flange that keeps stuff from splashing out. That’s where gross, nasty stuff gets caught that you cannot see or reach. Just follow the package instructions for use and you’ll have a clean, fresh-smelling garbage disposal in a matter of minutes thanks to the original Mr. Scrappy!

        WALMART $26.21

6. Lemon and lime juicer

As part of my kitchen clean-out-reorganization-spring-clean project, I discarded three useless citrus juicers and replaced them with this one, fabulous, manual gadget. The electric juicer was a piece of junk. It made a big mess, was difficult to clean, and took up too much storage space. The other two had rusted and had never worked well anyway.

This  Zulay Lemon Lime Hand Juicer quickly found a spot on my “it’s a miracle!” list. Seriously easy to use (takes so little effort because it is ergonomically correct) gets out more juice than I would have thought possible—especially from limes.

It has two different sized “bowls” that make it even more useful because one of them always fits whatever I need to juice. Zulay is made of enamel-coated-metal, so no more rust. And so handy. I could not be any happier with my Zulay. NOTE: The cut half goes into this juicer cut-side down. I know that seems weird given the shape and all but therein lies the magic.

Note: Walmart’s Zulay has a single bowl.


        WALMART $28.59

7. Frywall

It’s a splash guard for your favorite skillet. You may know about needing something like this if you’ve prepared our favorite Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs recipe (an EC favorite that makes quite a mess without a Frywall).

Frywall is totally genius. Made of silicone it can handle high-temp sauteing and frying, keeping all that popping grease contained and not all over the stovetop without closing up the top of the skillet, which would prevent you from reaching in to add, stir and move things around. Frywall comes in three sizes to fit 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch skillets. (Make sure you’re using the right size.) It cleans up in the dishwasher then folds up neatly for storage. Frywall is such a cool invention! And it comes in several colors.


        WALMART $27.00

8. Handheld cordless vacuum

This is the new,  updated version of the Black + Decker cordless handheld vac I’ve been using for years and absolutely love. Now with 20v Lithium-ion battery, its super-powerful, holds the charge like forever when off its charger, and has amazing runtime. Lightweight, fast charging.  Comes with a washable (also replaceable) filter and large dirt bowl.


        WALMART $87.78


Revised & Updated 6-9-21

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7 Cheap Gadgets That Make Life Easy—Fun, Too

I am nothing if not a cheap gadget lover. Ingenious items that make my life easier are great, but when I find something that’s cool and also has the potential to save money? Well, that’s cause for celebration. Here are a few of my favorite fun finds.

A person posing for the camera


I don’t know where this stuff has been hiding (maybe I’m the one who’s been missing?), but my recent cheap gadget discovery has me giddy with joy. It’s called Sugru, or perhaps a better name would be Miracle in a Package. Think: silly putty without the silly part.

Sugru moldable clay

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9 of the Best Pocket Tools and Gadgets Out There

I’ve been doing some early Christmas shopping, specifically for unique but useful gadgets—stocking stuffers for the adults in my family, some of who can be hard to buy for.

Close up view of Christmas stockings hanging on fireplace


This is a task I usually leave until the last minute, which sends me scrambling. But not this year. I’m way ahead of the game since I found the perfect gifts—these super cool, unique, and useful, pocket-size tools and gadgets.

Leatherman Micro Tool

A pair of scissors
Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multitool, the quintessential gadget, is a mere 2-1/4 inches in length when closed, and 2 oz. in weight—pocket size! Its spring-action clip easily attaches to a key ring or backpack or slides easily into a small pocket in a handbag.

With its three screwdrivers, wire cutter, scissors, knife blade, file, tweezers, and bottle opener, you’ll have 9 tools powerful enough to keep you going when things fall apart. And did I say practical?

This little Squirt PS4 requires only one hand to open and to use all the tools, too. Remarkable! The Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multitool is super cool, available in three colors, and comes with a 25-year warranty.

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10 Simple Gadgets That Put Money Back in Your Wallet

There is an old marketing adage that says to make money, you have to spend money. There’s truth in that for businesses, but don’t count on it for personal money management—unless you have a clear strategy.

The quickest and best way to keep more money in your wallet is to cut expenses. Spend less. Just like that, you get the equivalent of a tax-free raise.

male hand opening wallet of money

That’s exactly what these inexpensive yet handy gadgets offer—clear strategies to reduce the high cost of energy to keep your home comfortable and powered up.

1. Outlet Sealers

Electrical sockets and switch plates on interior and exterior walls can be hidden sources of drafts that may lead to high heating and cooling costs.

Outlet (socket) sealers are really easy to install and act as a buffer between your home’s inside and the outdoor air, helping to keep conditioned air in and outside air out. The Duck Brand Socket Sealers Variety Pack comes with 16 outlet sealers, 6 switch plates, and 2 decorative covers.

socket sealers to reduce home energy

2. Window Shrink Film

Chilly winter or hot summer weather can send the home heating/air conditioning bill through the roof. But a little insulation goes a long way.

You can cut a chunk out of your power bill by making your home more energy efficient when you install window shrink film. It’s easy, using a conventional hairdryer and proper film like you can get in a Duck Brand Indoor 10-Window Shrink Film Insulator Kit. This particular kit will insulate the equivalent of ten 3’ x 5’ windows.

Duck Brand Window Kit seals 10 indoor windows

3. Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer

Keeping your refrigerator and freezer cooling at the proper temperature ensures that you aren’t wasting energy by keeping it too cold, but not wasting food either by keeping it not cold enough!

This 2-pack set of freezer refrigerator thermometers is a super cost-effective way to make sure your temps are just right.

fridge and freezer thermometers

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4. Surge Protector/Auto-switch

Stop for a moment and think about all of the electronics you have plugged into your home outlets. Can’t remember? Take a walk through the house tonight after dark and check out all the little green electronic “eyes” staring at you. They’re using energy 24/7.

Stop the phantom power drain with a surge protector that automatically turns off power when not in use. That one move will reduce your power bill by saving energy. A p0wer strip like this Energy Saving Surge Protector with Auto-switching Technology is just the ticket.

surge protector


5. Power Conserve Switch

What about your coffee pot, electric grill, clothing, heater, and electric fans that are plugged in all over the house? Rather than a large multi-outlet power strip, use individual power conserve switches—one per electrical item.

The conserve power switch completely shuts off power including standby power to your electronics and appliances with the flip of a switch. Easy to use and a great way to bring your electricity bill down month after month.


6. Kill-A-Watt

With this handy gadget, you can easily figure out which of your appliances are actually worth keeping plugged in. Simply connect these appliances to the Kill A Watt EZ, and it will assess how efficient they really are.

The large LCD display will measure consumption by the kilowatt-hour—the same way your local utility figures it—letting you calculate your cumulative electrical expenses and forecast by the day, week, month, even an entire year. With the amazing P3 International Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor you’ll know (get ready) watts killing you!

kill-a-watt monitor

7. Showerhead

A really good low-flow showerhead will radically cut your water consumption per shower without giving the person showering any sense of deprivation, but your water bill will certainly show the difference.

This Niagara 1.25 GPM Chrome Shower Head is spectacular with its 3 spray functions easily rotates from a gentle needle spray to a forceful jet.

We are a Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you., an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon, no cost to you.

8. Faucet Aerator

A faucet aerator saves water and energy by producing forceful streams in kitchen and bathroom sinks at a reduced flow rate that minimizes the amount of energy needed to heat hot water. Save energy two ways—heating the water and the amount of water used to get the job done. This  0.5 GPM Low Flow Faucet Aerator for kitchen and bath is a great option.

faucet aerator

9. Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can save you up to 33 percent of your energy bill if used as directed. You set it up to adjust the temperature when you are away or asleep—times when you don’t necessarily need to heat or cool your home to optimum comfort—and your HVAC equipment runs less.

Plus, your heating or cooling comes back to the comfort level you desire before you come home or wake up. This Honeywell 5-2 Day Programmable Thermostat is super easy to install and comes pre-programmed for your convenience.

10. Motion Activated Solar Lights

Solar-powered motion activated light can provide your home, yard, walkways, driveway and garden with free power to light your property for both security and safety. Waterproof Wireless Security Bright Motion Sensor Solar Lights are brighter than other similar lights on the market with high-powered LEDs of up to 80 lumens! Extremely cost-effective in a 4-pack.