Just 26 Things Under $20 That'll Make Life Easier For Parents This School Year

The list includes an adorable mushroom timer, some seriously good spill-proof tumblers and more.

Popular items from this list include:

  • A set of snack boxes perfect for picky eaters like my nephew who only eats the crackers out of the Lunchables we buy at the store
  • A key and item locator you can use to find your keys, remotes, purse or any other item that mysteriously goes missing at the hands of your littles
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A set of snack boxes
Promising review: "Perfect for my kids to make their own Lunchables! The 10-pack is great because they can “meal prep” it and have it readily available for when they want an after school or a grab-and-go snack. I thought they would be flimsy, like the take and toss Tupperware’s but they are a little more durable. (Think of it as twice the thickness.) I bought the clear ones so they could see through the boxes and know what’s inside without having to open the lid. Fits crackers, cheese, pepperoni perfectly! Will definitely be a lot cheaper than constantly buying Lunchables and those Sargento Balanced Break snacks that cost almost $2 a box!" — MyMomShopsAtGoodwill
A key and item locator
Promising review: "I love this because it's so easy to use and does not require an app or anything like that. Just press the remote and you'll be able to find whatever you're searching for in seconds. This was a total life changer for me always having my kids grabbing my keys or my wallet etc etc. I would definitely buy this again." — MV
A cube timer with 15-, 20-, 30- and 60-minute intervals
Promising review: "Bought two of these for my kids to help them be organized in their studies for semester exams. They’d study for 45 then take a 15-minute break. Super easy to set the timer. Just put the time you want facing up!" — Busy Mama
Or, an adorable mushroom timer
Promising review: "My kids really enjoy utilizing this timer to keep track of the minutes while they work on their lessons." — Lee
A pack of slim reusable ice packs
Promising review: "They are still cool when my kids get home from school. They are very easy to clean. The size is perfect because if my kids want just a snack, I can give them one ice pack and if they want me to pack them a lunch then I have no problem fitting two ice packs in their lunchbox. Plus my kids LOVE dinosaurs!" — Ashley Brookshire
A chore chart to keep the house functioning like a well-oiled machine
This comes with a magnetic chore chart, six dry erase markers with magnetic caps, a magnetic dry erase board and a magnetic dry erase to-do list.

Promising review: "As the world continues to adjust to our new normal, there are many things we can do to help better manage our lives. During quarantine, I've deepened my appreciation for the need to set goals and aids to achieve them. Having a small but concise outline with a breakdown of daily and weekly goals has helped me. I came across these handy and magnetic lists and mini chalkboards. These helpful essentials has really assisted me with staying on track with all mommy duties and other matters. I have been homeschooling for 3 years now and in addition to my planner, I now have these little lists for my daughter which will assist in providing her an overview of both her school work and daily chores. They are neat, appropriately sized, and surprisingly, are very reasonably priced given the great quality. This is a first-time purchase from JJPRO for me, and based on THIS product, it won't be my last!!!" — Marva M Lloyd
A pack of laminated math posters
Promising review: "Best math posters for preschool through third grade. It took me two weeks to decide which math posters I should buy from what company. I chose these because: 1) the content covered, and 2) the layout of the content is easy to read and process. They complement the math curriculums my children have, from simple counting and shapes (pre-school through Kindergarten) all the way to roman numerals, telling time and key words for solving math word problems. I also appreciate the colors used, the size, and the quality, as well as the price and how many you get — what a value! These are not double sided. They arrived flat, not rolled up. I HIGHLY recommend these to give that added boost of comprehension to your little ones whether as a teacher, parent, or both in my case." — YellowTulips77
Or Photomath, an app that can help your kids get math help
The app is available on Android or Apple devices. There's a free option, or you can upgrade to the plus version of the app for $9.99 per month or $69.99 per year.
A magnetic air fryer cheat sheet
Promising review: "Bought an air fryer several months ago which I haven't used a whole lot because it came with only a few recipes but not enough info on other items to cook. The Lotteli cheat sheet gives you cooking times and temperatures for a lot of your common everyday foods in a magnetized easy-to-read, two-sheet combo that fills in where air fryer pamphlet that came with the unit leaves out. I also bought an air fryer cook book but this only comes with specific recipes, whereas the cheat sheet fills in the void for quick basic needs. Very happy with this purchase! 😁" — B. Frank Smith
A portable storage organizer
Promising review: "We own a few of these now and have had our first one for almost five years. Very durable. We had names added to them with vinyl and they make great art caddies!" — Amanda

"Love this to keep school supplies organized" — Gaby
A wrinkle release spray
Promising review: "As a college student with a full course load, I'm in and out of my room all the time. This helps me keep my clothes wrinkle-free without having to waste time ironing them. It's also great as it leaves a VERY nice smell on my clothes." — Seth
A microwave pasta cooker
Promising review: "This is an excellent, easy way to make pasta, taking just 12 minutes in the microwave for a serving. It's true that 12 minutes seems longer on microwave time than it does when you're busy making the pasta the traditional way, but in reality, the time is cut in at least half when you take into account waiting for the water to boil. It's important to follow the instructions though and not use the lid in the microwave. Doing so won't hurt the product; it's simply that the container and lid will be just a bit too hot to handle when draining the pasta after you remove it. I found this out the hard way when I dropped my serving while trying to drain :). The cold lid, however, lets you pick up the container and it drains extremely well, pour into a bowl and it's perfect-cooked pasta every time. The measuring holes also keep me from eating too much, or wasting it. A serving is perfect, and lets me know exactly how much I'm eating." — Paul W.
A rapid egg cooker
The rapid egg cooker allows you to make hard-boiled, poached and scrambled eggs. It comes with a base, lid, measuring cup, poaching tray for poached eggs, six-slot boiling tray for hard-boiled eggs, an omelet bowl and a recipe/instruction booklet. Add eggs and water (depending on the type of eggs you're making) and your meal will be done in minutes.

Promising review: "If you are on the fence about getting one of these, GET ONE. It really is as easy as it sounds to have a perfectly cooked egg, no guesswork. If you're particular about egg yolks like me and like them soft but not runny or raw, I've attached an image of a perfectly soft-boiled egg that was cooked as directed (I timed it, this one was 11 minutes. You don't have to time it at all as the buzzer will go off, just for reference). Makes healthy eating a breeze in the morning! Where has this been all my life!?" — rebecca
A bleach-free no-scrub shower cleaner
Promising review: "I was so skeptical. I had a cleaning business for 25 years and never used this product. All of the chemicals I used did not work. I tried this, and it was AMAZING. I also used an Unger 4” window scraper. This made it so soft it peeled right off—the corners I did with a scrub daddy. The pics speak for themselves. I’m glad I took a chance on this product!!!!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!" — Pam B
An ingenious sandwich sealer
Promising review: "These have been a GAME CHANGER in this house!! My son has always begged me for Uncrustables but my wallet didn’t agree with them. I LOVE being able to make them at home and customize them to exactly what they would like them filled with! I make two weeks' worth of sandwiches at a time and store them in sandwich bags in the freezer so in the morning during the school year we can just grab and go! Love them!" — Katherine Smaczniak
A two-pack of spill-proof Contigo Trekker Autoseal water bottles
Promising review: "These are great cups, we now have five of these for the kids lunches and I've never had one leak. They are easy for the kids to use and are the perfect size for their lunch bags."burnem79

Promising review: "I love these water bottles. My kid has been through so many water bottles with the same problem: either they were difficult for her to open or close, or they leaked and wet her backpack. These though are perfect: after drinking, she doesn’t have to worry about making sure the lid is tight enough since it closes by itself. Perfect size as they fit in her lunch box and bottle holder well. Highly recommend to any parent whose kid might not be the most careful with closing their water bottles." — SW
Tarrah At Home / Etsy
A matching rainbow print personalized snack bag
Tarrah At Home is a small biz based in Warman, Canada founded by a stay-at-home mom with four kids that offers handcrafted storage solutions for your home. You can add one name, either first or family, to this cheery bag. You can also choose your fave fonts and colors and add your notes in the personalization box when you place your order!

Promising review: "Product arrived on time. My daughter loves the bright colors. The snack bag fits perfectly into her lunch bag. I love that it's washable and reusable. A great purchase!!!" — Katherine
A pack of sink extenders
Promising review: "Must have for toddlers and small children! LOVE this! My 1- and 3-year-old love washing their hands now and my back gets a nice break. Adding the faucet extenders and a stepstool to our bed time/morning routine has been a godsend. Great bargain for the price." — TeaBea21
A pack of high-quality, flexible Welly Waterproof Bandages
Promising review: "Bandages for the bandage-fearing toddler. Adhesive bandages are scary things for a toddler, so you're willing to try any number of tricks to get your little guy to put on one when they get a scraped knee or elbow. My 3-year-old son rightfully was afraid of bandages for good long while, but the fact that these are colorful and fun-looking means that he no longer hates getting a scrape because he can run inside and get a bandage from the box. They're not panaceas but they make the process a little easier. The monsters are particularly nice, and there's a few different sizes, patterns, and bright colors for your child to choose from. In terms of how they hold up as bandages, I've had no issues with adhesion. They even last quite well through hand-washings and even sitting in the bathtub without falling off. Can't recommend enough!" — The Huntington Book Depository
An all-natural detangler
Promising review: "My girl has some frizzy, curly, easily knotted hair! We use this every night and morning and it works like a charm! Highly recommend and it smells GREAT." — JM
A detangling brush
Promising review: "So I have a testimony...Royalty is the most tender headed kid in the world. She would cry before you even touch her head. Professionals gave up on doing her hair. I got frustrated because I can't do hair to save my life, but then I found this detangling brush on Amazon. I thought it wouldn't work for kinky / thick hair. And boy I tell you, I was able to comb through her whole head without her shedding one tear. Right!! I recommend everyone who has a child to buy this detangling brush.. it works wonders. Thank you Lord for leading me to this lifesaving brush." — TaReese Womack
A set of three kid-friendly knives
Promising review: "Great for kids. My 8- and 4-year-olds have been using these knives almost daily since we got them. They are cutting through all sorts of vegetables (even tomatoes, although if you are going to a fancy cut or what them to look nice, I would use a sharp blade; it worked fine for dicing) and meats, and are easy to clean. I would recommend these to any parent who is getting their kids into helping cook. We ran the knifes across our skin as we talked about knife safety and while it did scratch a bit; it did not cut us. I am so happy I came across this product." — Karen Fett
A cereal and snack dispenser
Promising review: "We have three kids and a very small kitchen with very little cabinet/counter space. We used to keep our cereal boxes on top of our refrigerator, but I've been trying to de-clutter, and also come up with a solution for our kids to be able to get their own cereal in the mornings. THIS IS IT!!!! It looks great on our counter and we have very little space, so it fits just right! This has been the perfect solution to giving our kids the independence they need to get their own breakfast! It has been a lifesaver!!! Love it!!!" — tenle
A nifty buckle release tool
Promising review: "I got this because I have three kids, and since I have captain chairs, my 4-year-old sits in the third row. I can toss it back to him after I’ve parked or when I’m in the carpool line and he can unbuckle himself and then unbuckle his siblings and I don’t have to climb in the car. It’s GREAT! I also like how it doesn’t attach to the car seat like some similar products, and I can keep it up front while the car is moving. So much safer!" — Amazon customer
A jar of TikTok-famous The Pink Stuff cleaning paste
Promising review: "I’m in love. It’s official. I am obsessed with Magic Erasers, but sometimes they don’t work on all jobs. We are staying at an apartment out of town when my son decided to write all over the wall with crayons. At home, I use a magic eraser with no trouble, but this place has flat paint and a magic eraser would’ve torn away at it. The pink stuff was recommended by a friend, and I am obsessed! It didn’t damage the wall, I actually like the scent, and best of all the crayon came off with minimal scrubbing needed. The paste feels like a paste with super fine grit. Just get it! I can’t wait to use it again!" — Autumn Reese

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