8 Super Useful Gadgets for Every Home and Kitchen

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?

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


Today, I want to share this fabulous anti-clog gadget plus seven other gadgets that I love and adore because they make my life easier. Besides that, they’re just plain cool!



A toothbrushIt was a dear reader who 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.

Zip-It is a 20-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.

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 buh-bye to future clogs and expensive housecalls. Totally genius.

Note: The original Zip-It has tripled in price since I first introduced it to my readers. This alternative is the same item, but at a much better price.

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EZ-DUZ-IT Can Opener

Drain and 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. It’s 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.


Pocket Food Thermometer

A close up of a device

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.




It was new to me—a non-noodle choice at Noodles World Kitchen. 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!


Mr. Scrappy

Drain and Mr. Scrappy

Whether you have a stinky garbage disposal presently or plan to never experience such a thing—this is the 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!

MORE: How to Deep Clean a Garbage Disposal and Why You Need To


Lemon and lime juicer

A close up of a tool

Recently, 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.



A close up of a bowl, with Frywall and Kitchen

It’s a splash guard for your favorite skillet. 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. .

Hoover Linx Stick Vac


Stick and Cordless


I’ve tried them all. I’ve been disappointed, shocked, even dismayed. I’ve been thrilled then disappointed to learn no way to replace the battery; replacement filters? Not available. And worst of all: “Sorry but this item has been discontinued!” Argh!

Well, finally, a reliable stick vac with all the features I expect in this Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum. I’ve been using it for nearly a year and cannot recommend it more highly.

It’s so handy, holds a charge like forever, and the run-time is excellent. Linx is super lightweight (7.5 lbs), stands up on its own, has a swivel head to reach easily under and around tight places and a brush roll with has two settings: Suction Only for hard floor surfaces and Suction + Brush Roll for low pile carpet. I love this feature! Switching back and forth is a cinch, too. Linx picks up like a champ. The debris cup is easy to empty and super easy to clean.

But here’s the best part: The Linx battery is replaceable! It is located at the front and pops out easily—no tools required. You can buy Linx plus an extra battery from the get-go, or purchase a replacement battery later. Isn’t that awesome?

Updated 3-9-20


More from Mary's Everyday Cheapskate

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9 replies
  1. Joan Arning says:

    I ordered an EZ DUZ IT can opener on your recommendation and went back to using my 30 plus year old Swingway! The EZ Duz It Is pretty much useless. I’d thrown away the packaging before I tried it or I would have returned it. Money wasted!

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Hi Joan … What is the problem with the EZDUZIT? If you got it on Amazon you have 30 days to send it back (you don’t need the original packaging to do that) for either a refund or replacement. I encourage you to do that.

  2. Paula B says:

    The rubber flange in my disposal pops right out. Easy to clean and pop back in. You’re right; they can get pretty nasty.

  3. Genie says:

    The last time I called Roto Rooter for a drain clog, he said if I pour boiling water down the drain, it would make a major difference. So I pour the rest of the morning tea kettle water down my kitchen sink. Best advice ever-no clogs!


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