These are the best things you can buy for $20 or less

AOL'ers share their must-have cheap buys
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These are the best things you can buy for $20 or less
Ahead, the AOL staff spills their cheap must-haves. Happy shopping!

"Sweatpants for the winter are a must, because who wants to put on real pants or go outside when it's snowing?" -- Nathan Giannini, Programming Manager 

Uniqlo Men's Sweatpants, available at Uniqlo.


"I keep one of these in my desk at all times -- you never know when you're going to need a nail polish remover wipe, deodorant, mouth wash, a mini sewing kit -- and it's so handy. Plus, the countless number of times I've reached in my desk to say, 'I have that!' makes me feel like Inspector Gadget." -- Alexis Shaw, Managing Editor

Pinch Provisions MiniMergency Kit, available at Sephora.


"I've never been one to love spending hours in the kitchen, so throwing a ton of veggies, sometimes an egg, some quinoa and sriracha into a big wok and calling it a day has been my best (and maybe only secret) to cooking delicious food at home. Over the years, I've gotten creative and gone beyond your standard Asian stir-fry (try filling your wok with veggies, tomato sauce and Italian flavorings or shrimp, veggies and Mexican sauces and spices). Cleaning it is super easy and it seems to last forever. The best part? The wok is big enough to contain 2+ meals, so I often make dinner and lunch for the following day." -- Allison Polster, Manager of Editorial Strategy

T-fal Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Jumbo Wok Cookware, available at Amazon. 


1) "This toner is great for a refreshing spritz before bed!"

2) "I buy these lip balms in packs and keep one at the office, one in my purse, and one at home! Never leaves my side!" 

3) "I'm addicted to filing my nails so keeping a file on me at all times is a must-do. This one is particularly awesome because it has it's own container."

4) "This is a must-have for any dry or cracked hands -- it smells fantastic and isn't too oily."

--Brittany VanBibber, Associate Social Media Programmer 

EOS Vanilla Mint Lip Balm, available at Target; Bath and Body Works Limoncello Hand Cream, available at Bath and Body Works; Sephora Collection Crystal Nail File, available at Sephora; Burt's Bees Rosewater Toner, available at Amazon.


"I refuse to go to the gym without a pair of headphones that can stand up to the test -- because what's worse than readjusting earbuds just when you've hit your stride? These little guys fit snuggly in my ears and stay there from start to finish."

-- Banu Ibrahim, Social Media/Trending Content Fellow

JVC Gumy Plus Inner Ear Headphones, available at Amazon.


"I love Yogi Tea because not only is tea a great way to relax and super good for you, but this particular brand includes little positive messages attached to each tea bag that always make you feel good or are thought-provoking. The 'Calming' flavor is my favorite because it combines chamomile and lavender, but I haven't had a flavor I didn't like!

On top of loving my Yogi Tea, I love drinking it out of this mug, which has my initial 'M' on it and just plain makes me happy to look at! I also received the mug as a gift, so it has a special meaning attached to it because it makes me think of the person that gave it to me. At only $8, it makes a great present for a loved one or a nice treat for yourself!"

-- Molly Winding, Lifestyle Associate Programming Manager 

Yogi Calming Tea, available at Amazon; Homegrown Monogram Mug, available at Anthropologie.


1) "The wipes are a lifesaver when you're too tired to wash your face but refuse to sleep with your makeup on! Plus I love that they have mango in them for a brightening touch, and all of Simple's products are very nice to my sensitive skin.

2) "And Maybelline Great Lash Mascara because ... duh. Mascara is the one beauty product I've found you don't need to spend a lot of money on to get great results. This is my favorite because it's easy to wash off at night, it's super inexpensive, and best of all -- it works."

-- Logan Sowa, Lifestyle Programming Manager 

Simple Radiance Facial Wipes, available at Amazon; Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, available at Target. 


"For when you gotta have that #nonslipheel"

-- Chelsea Huang, Associate Programming Manager

Sof Sole Liner Socks, available at Nordstrom.


"Anthropologie's Latte Bowls are the perfect size for cereals and pastas, are microwavable, and go with practically everything."

-- Isabelle Chapman, Associate Programming Manager 

Latte Bowls, available at Anthropologie. 


"I remove my makeup every night before bed, and on the days I wear eye liner and mascara, simply cleaning my face doesn't cut it. The 'Take the Day Off' Makeup Remover from Clinique is my fave because just a little goes a long way, and it feels so gentle on my eyes."

-- Lisa Bonarrigo, Lifestyle Programming Manager

Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover, available at Nordstrom.


"I absolutely have to eat something for breakfast before work every morning, so every day I eat yogurt and granola. Easy. But I don't eat just any granola -- I eat BQgranola. It's made from locally-sourced ingredients and comes in an amazing 1.5-pound resealable bag. It's simple, flavorful, and delicious, and it's also way healthier than your average granola. I'm obsessed."

-- Gibson Johns, Associate Programming Manager 

BQgranola Large Stay Fresh Bag, available at BQgranola.


Life is all about the little things -- go-to mascaras, sweatpants, and cleansing wipes included. And when those small buys come with even smaller price tags, well, we think it's safe to say nothing gets much better than that.

The AOL staff can attest to this. Tiny (and cheap) must-haves, like lip balms and woks may not seem like much, but they really do have the capability to make our day exponentially better. Not to mention, treating ourselves won't result in a drastic hit to our bank account.

That's because our editors' picks all have one very important thing in common: these serious life-changers won't cost you more than 20 bucks. Not too shabby, right?

And since we're in the business of brightening your day, we're spilling these must-haves so you can indulge for yourself.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the cheap buys we can't live without.

Happy shopping!

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