I should note, before I begin, that I've not been asked or otherwise compensated to endorse any of these products. I just like them and want to pass along things that make my life easier.
1. Goody Simple Styles Spin Pins
I keep two of these in my purse. They are great for those days when Mother Nature decides to screw you over with humidity/rain/hail/other assorted nastiness. They will fix any hair problem in 30 seconds. All you have to do is pile your hair atop your head, screw in these pins, and it somehow magically looks good. Definitely worth the $6 I paid at CVS for them.
2. Simply Asia Noodle Bowls
Much like the Cookie Monster now says about cookies, I will say this: instant noodles are a sometimes food. But sometimes, you have 7 minutes before an afternoon meeting and crackers aren't going to cut it. But if you can get 2 tablespoons of water and access to a microwave for 2 minutes, you can enjoy this delicious, economical lunch on occasion. I keep a stack of them in my desk and I doubt 8 of these a semester is going to kill me; it also beats the heck out of paying $8 for a wrap at the food court.
I've heard plenty of discussion on this, but I'm still firmly on the pro-Netflix side of things. I like getting movies mailed to me after doing minimal work to arrange it, and I also like watching shows on streaming when I'm alone in the office and need a break. It's just easy and if the place you live is anything like my area, going to a single movie costs more than a month of Netflix. And if you fall asleep from sheer exhaustion during the movie, you just start it again without being out $12!
Any other cheap life-improving items? Leave them in the comments!