10 Products That (Really Do) Simplify My Life, Save Me Money, and Maximize My Space

I am all for this trend of “minimalism”.


I do tend to lean toward the cozier end of the spectrum. But, I am all the way on board with buying less stuff.


Living with less stuff.


And creating less waste.


This is a practical lifestyle shift that just makes sense to me. And to lots of other people. There are bazillions of stories online about the many ways an anti-consumerism mindset has changed lives for the better.

That being said, as a person pursuing a simpler life in a small space, there are a few things I have purchased that have made a difference toward that end.


These things simplify my life. They save me money. AND they help me make efficient use of our small living space.

This post does contain affiliate links.

But be assured, I’m not Oprah. I own, use, and love every one of these items.


Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II

This was a gift, and I am impressed! I’ve been able to remove the dusty, tangled nest of cords that powered the standard computer speakers we use for music we play at home. This is only about the size  I can move this anywhere I want, including in the kitchen while I’m working. I can use link it with my phone, desktop computer, or iPad. The sound is excellent. Five stars!



Camco Knife Safe

We bought this when our oldest was small, brought it with us when we moved, and still love it. With limited kitchen space and multiple curious children, we needed an out-of-reach solution for our knives.  No, it’s not a gorgeous wood knife block -but nobody sees it anyway! It’s functional and leaves me space on the counter to do my thing.  Oh, and it’s 4 bucks!


Contigo AutoSeal Stainless Steel Water Bottle

I’ve been using the Contigo AutoSeal bottles for years.  I love being able to open and drink one-handed. Whether I’m driving, working out, in bed, or juggling kids and a bag, this thing has never let me down. I switched to the stainless steel version recently when it finally became available, because I prefer it over plastic.


iHave Toothbrush Wall Mount Toothbrush Holder 

The bathroom in our small rental house has no cabinet over the sink and no drawers in the vanity. I did not want toothbrushes sitting in a cup on the sink. For one, my people are picky about their toothpaste, so we’ve got at least 3 tubes. And then, you know, germs. This gadget keeps everything clean, corralled, and off the sink. I love it so much!



Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar

Forgive me. I’m in danger of sounding like every other “mommy blogger” on the internet. But I have to admit that apple cider vinegar lives up its reputation. I use it (diluted in water) as a hair rinse instead of conditioner. This isn’t for everyone. It depends on your hair type and body chemistry. But my hair loves it. And I don’t have to buy conditioner! It also makes a great facial cleanser and toner. I get mine at our local grocery store. But now I see that Amazon has it much cheaper by the gallon!


Japanese Style Apron

I’d been wanting an apron like this for years. I am forever splattering grease on my clothes while cooking. I think the style of this one is adorable. So finally, I bought myself one this year for my birthday. It’s comfortable like a garment so that over a pair of leggings and a t-shirt, I can wear it all day at home. It protects my clothes, which tend to get destroyed because A) I’m a messy cook, and B) kids.


Fractal Design Core 500 Mini-ITX Case

A couple of years ago, when Mr. G needed a desktop computer upgrade, he went the DIY route. I didn’t even know you could do that. But apparently, it’s not as hard as it sounds. He had particular specifications he was looking for. And saved a ton of money by buying the components individually and assembling them himself. As an added perk, he was able to get a very compact case to house it all in. This thing is so cute! Right now this computer, with the printer I’ve included below, lives in a corner of our living room. So I’m glad it’s small!



Brother Laser Printer

We have the older model of this printer, but as far as I can tell, they are nearly identical. We don’t do a lot of printing. So even though the toner cartridges cost more than those for an inkjet printer, they last us forever. We gave up the ability to print in color, which we have no use for anyway. But the cost per page on this is pennies. We do not regret making the switch. AND it just fits on top of our filing cabinet. Perfect!


Wahl Professional Clippers

We went this route not long after getting married. For Mr. G, the time and cost to get a professional haircut were not worth it. He isn’t a picky guy. Which is fortunate, because I am not a great barber. But this is a great device and it does a great job.


Under-cabinet LED Rechargeable Tap Light

This is my most recent purchase, and I’m so happy with it! The compact strip brightens the dim countertop I use as command central – where I sort mail and keep my planner. It turns on and off with a touch, and instead of needing replacement batteries or taking one of our scarce outlets, is rechargeable. I couldn’t be happier. So I’m bookmarking this one because I know I’ll think of a million more places to use it!











1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. We do the kleen kanteens for coffee, water, iced tea from home for work versus buying it out. We have well water so it tastes better than the water at work as well.
    I see you bought the Wahl Icon clippers, I bought the same one as I did the research and the cheaper ones heat up, are noisy, vibrate excessively, don’t cut as well, and don’t hold up as long due to the cheaper motor with poor quality bearings. I figured being they were going to save me a lot of money, it was worth the investment. I have two boys that each received three really bad haircuts in a row at the barbershop from “licensed professionals”. I was tired of paying for bad haircuts. We got a child size cape, neck strips and the spray cleaner/lube at Sally’s. I then watched a number of YouTube videos to understand the process with my husband. I waited until school was out for the year so in case I made mistakes, at least they would not have to go to school the next day. We set a chair on the deck with a board across the arms as a booster seat. My younger went first, hubby caped him and put the neck strip under the cape to block itchy hairs down his back. Hubby had me use the largest attachment first to get the feel of it. I was nervous and couldn’t get it right, so I tried again and did somewhat ok as hubby coached me. But I got flustered and had him finish. He did a great job. My older was next, same process, but he has his hair longer on top, that was scissors and comb time, hubby took over. Success! Two great looking haircuts. My mom fawned over how nice they looked and said fire the barbershop, you get better results at home. Next time my older son went first, I was looking forward to cutting his hair, I watched more videos and felt more confident, but he said no, I was fired. He wanted his step Dad to cut his hair, not me. So he did. I thought my younger son would want his mom, nope, he followed his brother’s lead. So I bought the clippers hoping that I could cut their hair and save money, but no one trusts me to cut their hair. So it is my husband’s job each month to do the boys’ haircuts and it does save me money, hundreds a year, while the boys get nice looking haircuts. Hubby trims my elbow length hair every other month and he has given haircuts to my mom and two of my best friends as well, hair shears only, no clippers used on mine or any of the other ladies’ hair. So I save alot of money skipping the salon and barbershop, getting haircuts at home with great results. I, my mom and my friends are frugal, but there is no way I would let him near my hair if he didn’t dona great job. And my friends and mom would not ask him to cut theirs again if he gave them a bad haircut, let alone the first time if he didn’t do such nice work on mine. So we are saving money and not wearing wonky haircuts.

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