woman facing white counter making a purchase from female cashier
Christiann Koepke on Unsplash

When I was seven-years-old, I decided to use my allowance to buy one of those disposable cameras. It was less than $10, and my life was never the same!

Since I was so young, I wasn’t allowed to use my dad’s Nikon, in case I dropped it, so I never understood the joy he got from taking pictures until I got my own camera. Once I took my first photograph, I never stopped.

Now, I’m the one who gets pictorial evidence of special events or documents family trips. I’m the one who makes sure memories are preserved, and I love it.

You never know what purchase is going to be life-changing, but chances are, something was. Usually, these life-changing purchases aren’t even that expensive.

Curious about this or perhaps hoping for a recommendation, Redditor stampoutreality asked:

“What life-changing item can you buy for less than a hundred dollars?”

Kept Me In Food

"Rice Cooker. That kept me fed during covid when I barely had the energy to get out of bed"

– ArkadyKirilenko

"Chinese families know this. Got addicted when I married into one. We keep soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar around for condiments."

– ihbarddx

For A Good Night's Sleep

"A good pillow"

– wilsonianuk

"Completely changes the way you sleep am I right?"

"I had trouble for months getting good sleep, brought a under pillow and a memory pillow for the top and I swear a nuke could go off and I'd just sleep through it."

– viking_raider94

To Heal

"First aid kit. They are handy when you least want them to be."

– ThePhoenixBird2022

"My family is very outdoorsy, and my grandpa was a medic in the National Guard. He always stressed having a basic first aid kit wherever you go, and making sure to throw out anything that’s expired. That bag has more mileage than my grandpa’s ‘55 Chevy lol"

– IllurinatiL

"Exactly, you never want to need it but when you keep it handy it turns form a minor inconvenience to have near you to a potential literal lifesaver."

– MrPers0n30

"Yep. My freshman year of college I used lots of band aids on myself and my floor mates, and once had a girl come to my apartment at 2am to splint her broken hand until she could get to the doctor in the morning as she couldn’t go to the ER."

"Ironically I didn’t have it the day I ended up in a serious biking accident and had a nasty head injury. The off duty EMT who found me had a first aid kit with him and did more to actually treat me then the crew that showed up in the ambulance."

– IronDominion

Caught It On Camera

"A decent dash cam. I scoffed at the idea of a dashcam for years. A friend told me to try it out and it helped me out when I got in an accident a couple years back."

– Froggy-of-the-butt

"I keep thinking about getting a dash cam, but I also have an irrational fear that as soon as I get one I'll really need it like I'm tipping probability somehow."

– RomanSeraphim

Protect Yourself


– DucoNdona

"Not buying them would be more life changing"

– rippin12000

"An even cheaper birth control method is to tell your potential mate how you spend 8 hours a day on reddit. Works every time."

– FartingBob

Arthur Said It Best

"A library card--free if you live in the library's district, a fee if you are a non-resident. So many resources for self improvement and growth...and so many free alternatives to paid services."

– TheSanityInspector

"Hot tip: Librarians want you to have a card, so they are very often willing to very liberally interpret the requirements to prove that you are in district."

– TrineonX

"Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card!"

– psiv92

Can We Fix It?

"Basic tool set."

"A little youtube/Google work, a $100 worth of tools and you'd be amazed at the things you can fix on your car, around the house, etc."

"Bonus points if you're a man - chicks dig dudes that are handy"

"Bonus points if you're a woman - dudes dig chicks that can turn wrenches with them"

"Everyone wins!"

– 86Logs

"people love people who can handle their own sh*t**"

– granth1993

Once You Grind, You Never Go Back

"Pepper grinder. Seriously I will never use regular pepper again"

– Deleted User

"Same goes for coffee!"

– realityGrtrThanUs

"Recently got a salt/pepper grinder set and bulk peppercorn medley and pink Himalayan salt off Amazon and it’s been a great decision. We also buy bulk dried Thai bird chilies and grind our own for spice at home."


Run, Run, Fast As You Can

"Running shoes."

"Can easily get a quality, long-lasting and versatile pair under 100."

"Running can have such a massive positive effect for anyone struggling with their mental health I can’t recommend it enough."

– forreverendgreen_

"Been running a mile a day for the last few months. It may have unnoticed benefits to my mental health outside of the time spent running, but on a conscious level it's brought nothing but misery - whether hating the act of running itself to the tiredness that follows."

"I hope someday to feel the mythical runner's high. So far it feels more like a kick in the gut."

– texanarob

"Blackout curtains"

– Ny_Mike27

"Every time I date a guy and spend the first night over the next morning I’m always like “we gotta get some black out curtains for this room.” Knew I met the love of my life when he already had them lol"

– AndyJCohen

"I'm going to ask for this for Christmas."

"Here in the UK especially in the north, it can get sunny from about 4AM onwards in summer"

– Peniche1997

All of these are totally justified, but that last one is definitely the best!