|

15 amazing products for $15 or less

These bargains didn't disappoint in Consumer Reports' tests and they won't disappoint you

Published: April 25, 2014 06:00 AM

High-quality products don't have to come at a high price. We combed our ratings to find 15 top-performing products that sell for $15 or less. You won’t get fancy packaging or fancy features. But that’s the point: These items do exactly what they’re supposed to do without giving you extras you don’t want or need. (Click each product for more information.)

Share your smartest money-saving tips in our best shopping deals discussion.

Panasonic RP-TCM125 headphones

 

Price: $10

 

Why a bargain: Sound quality as good as some much higher priced models, and you can have them for $10! It has integrated function control, microphone, and call connect/disconnect.
 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for headphones.

 

Price: $13 for 48

 

Why a bargain: Brand-name batteries can be quadruple the cost. These kept our flashlights and other gadgets powered for at least as long. Tip: Power up flashlights and remotes with inexpensive alkaline batteries. Save pricey lithium batteries for cameras and game controllers.

Check our buying guide and Ratings for batteries.

 

Price: $11

 

Why it's a bargain: Durable, accurate, and easy to use, this stick-type pressure gauge measures your tires’ air pressure from 5 to 99 PSI. The similar Accutire MS-4021B goes for about $10 and measures pressure up to 150 PSI.
 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for tire-pressure gauges.

 

Price: $6.95

 

Why it's a bargain: Excellent accuracy and reliability in our tests makes this model a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for thermometers.

 

Price: $7.50 for 16 oz.

 

Why it's a bargain: This sunscreen blocks UVA and UVB rays, and you get a lot for the money.  In our tests, it was one of the best of 12 similar products tested and a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for sunscreens.

 

Price: $1.46

 

Why it's a bargain: Aaah. Lotion. Gentler on sore noses. This one is ultrasoft and a lot cheaper than big brands with lotion.

 

Check our Ratings of facial tissues.

 

Price: $15 for 12 rolls

 

Why it's a bargain: Costco’s paper towels are great at sucking up spills. So if you go through sheets like crazy, why pay more?

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for paper towels.

 

Price: $6 for a 12-roll pack

 

Why it's a bargain: Strength, softness, and disintegration time are all excellent. Not only is this toilet paper a Consumer Best Buy, it is also the No. 1 rated toilet paper tested in our labs!

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for toilet paper.

 

Price: $8 for 16 oz.

 

Why it's a bargain: A Consumer Reports Best Buy, the Nu Finish NF-76 is the No. 2 out of 12 liquid/gel wax in our ratings—and is less than half the of the No. 1 rated wax.

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for car wax.

 

Price: $5 for 4 oz.

 

Why it's a bargain: Classic Elmer’s brand, in its Ultimate line, is excellent on wood and plastic, good on metal. Water resistance: very good. A Consumer Reports Best Buy.

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for glue.

 

Price: $10 for package of 110 pacs

 

Why it's a bargain: Another great bargain product from Costco, these pacs made our dirty pots and dishes sparkle!

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for dishwasher detergent.

 

Price: $14 for 177 oz.

 

Why it's a bargain: It was second only to Tide Ultra Plus Bleach Vivid White+Bright in our lab tests—and it’s half the price! It out-cleaned dozens of big-brand and store-brand high-efficiency detergents at only 12 cents per medium-sized load.

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for laundry detergent.

 

Price: $13

 

Why it's a bargain: Fried eggs didn’t stick, and pancakes cooked as evenly as in some expensive pans.

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for cookware.

 

Price: $15

 

Why it's such a bargain: With such an affordable and great performance, this everyday appliance has made our annual bargain list three times.

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for toasters.

 

Price: $2.91 for two single-serving pies

 

Whay it's a bargain: Keep these in your freezer and save on takeout. The crust is crisp and tasty, the cheese is good and stretchy, and the sauce has a nice kick.

 

Check our buying guide and Ratings for frozen pizza.

—Susan Feinstein

   

Find Ratings blob logo

Batteries Ratings

View and compare all Batteries ratings.

Car wax Ratings

View and compare all Car wax ratings.

Dishwasher detergents Ratings

View and compare all Dishwasher detergents ratings.

Frozen pizza Ratings

View and compare all Frozen pizza ratings.

Facial tissue Ratings

View and compare all Facial tissue ratings.

Glues Ratings

View and compare all Glues ratings.

Headphones Ratings

View and compare all Headphones ratings.

Cookware Ratings

View and compare all Cookware ratings.

Laundry detergents Ratings

View and compare all Laundry detergents ratings.

Paper towels Ratings

View and compare all Paper towels ratings.

Tire pressure gauges Ratings

View and compare all Tire pressure gauges ratings.

Toasters Ratings

View and compare all Toasters ratings.

Toilet paper Ratings

View and compare all Toilet paper ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Money News

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more