Everyone has something they swear by in their domestic life — whether it’s an object that opens tight jars or a cheese grater that keeps your fingers far from danger. These everyday items work double time to make your life that little bit easier.

1. Ziplock sandwich bags

Clocking in around the $2 mark for 50 of the smallest size, keeping a stock of small, medium and large ziplock bags means always having a waterproof cover for your mobile, a place to keep spare coins or keys in your purse, and a way to store spare charging cords so they don’t get tangled. Of course they’re also an excellent freezer- and microwave-friendly food storage option. 

Related: 15 make-ahead school lunches that’ll save your mornings

2. Ice cube tray

These handy $2 trays can be used to store flavour-boosting ice blocks, made using leftover citrus fruits, watermelon, strawberries or pomegranate. Another trick is to save the last of the wine in ice cubes for popping into your cooking — the small cube size means they’ll defrost quickly. You can also use them to freeze and preserve herbs.

Bonus tip: freezing hardier-flavoured herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano in olive oil, instead of water, reduces browning or freezer burn ­— lighter herbs won’t cook up well if you do this, so stick with water for them.

Related: 19 best cheap healthy food hacks of all time

 3. A basic toolkit

There are plenty of disasters that can be easily solved
with a simple toolkit. A can of WD-40, an allen key, basic hammer, pliers and a decent screwdriver means being able to DIY a wide variety of handyman jobs.

Not keen to store a whole toolkit at home? A multi tool offers a screwdriver, pliers and other handy gadgets as part of the one compact tool. Whatever your preference, your local hardware store can pull together the basic line-up for about 30 smackeroos.

Related: Top tips for organising your garage

4. Extra-long phone charger

Not so keen on sitting on the floor by your power socket because your phone’s standard issue charger cord doesn’t reach far enough? Get your hands on an extra-long charging cable (you can pick up a 3-metre cord for $20 from as a price guide) and enjoy using your phone from the comfort of your couch.

5. LED light bulbs

With the rising cost of electricity, these energy efficient little money savers use significantly less electricity to provide the same glow as regular lights. Bonus benefit: they also last up to 10 times longer than your standard bulb, meaning less time changing them — or scrambling about in your cupboards in the hope that you’ve got spares!

6. Bulldog clips

Hit your local supermarket or stationers for these super-handy clips that come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours. You can use them to hang artwork (string a few together using knotted twine to create a nifty ‘banner’ of clipped artworks for your hallway). Other uses? Keep bags of food clipped closed to retain freshness, tidy runaway cords, keep tablecloths in place.

And of course, they’re great for clipping papers together — stick a magnet or some Blu-Tack on the clip and you can keep all your bills together on the fridge.