Ah, those first months of marriage. A time when your loved ones send cutesy greeting cards to wish you well. These cards include confetti surprises, lyrical poems, timeless words of wisdom, and maybe even a fun joke!  What these cruel little pieces of paper and ink forget to warn you is just how hard the first year of marriage is. That person you love and made the big decision to spend the rest of your life with? You realize they are crazy. Worse yet, you’re crazy too. And before you know it your life is just two crazy people fighting about who loaded the dishwasher wrong.

The first year of marriage is a battlefield. There are weapons though. Weapons that seem small, but can bring a sense of real steadiness through measured dollops of tiny joy. They’ll buy you time until the one year anniversary hits–when everything magically seems to resolve itself.

These weapons also happen to be below $50 and are tragically overlooked household items. For your sanity I have left them here below.

Crock Pot Liners

If you think this is a joke, then you haven’t experienced the terror that is a two-day-old crockpot that needs cleaning.

Inevitably the two of you will look at your budget and decide to start eating your meals at home more. Great! One problem. Neither one of you have any extra time in the day. That’s where Pinterest and your crockpot come into play. Crockpots can literally save a relationship, but they are a double edged sword. The kind of sword that you can barely lift and is a nightmare to clean. Before you start leaving passive aggressive post-it notes on your crockpot that is filled with three day old residue, buy these. Buy them now. You can buy yours on Amazon by clicking here.

Bulk Umbrellas

In relationships when it rains, it pours. And when it actually pours outside you’re bound to look all over for an umbrella only to find that your least favorite spouse in the whole world took the last one after leaving the other one behind somewhere the last time it rained. You may be sitting there thinking “Oh no that won’t be us! We have a special spot for our umbrellas.” It will be you. A few months into marriage you’ll look in a mirror and only see the type of monster that yells at someone over an umbrella. Stop that monster in it’s hairy tracks. Start buying your umbrellas, and probably your snacks, in bulk. Buy yours on Amazon here.

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

There is no need to fight over what to watch or who gets the tv when you have Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey in your movie collection. Or whatever your joint go-to movie is. If you don’t have a favorite movie feel free to borrow mine. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is always the right choice. Find it here.

Want comedy? They got it. Want action? They got it! Want a drama that can make you cry? Uhhhh… They GOT it!

Beard Bib

Though I would prefer the name “Everyone Has Facial Hair” over “Beard Bib,” the product is still crucial. Buy yours here. Cleaning small hairs from out and around a sink is not for the faint of heart. If your partner promises they’ll just lay down a paper towel before trimming I recommend stealing their credit card information to order express shipping on this item. Plus, you’ll save so much money on Liquid Plumr that you could instead be spending on couple therapy or wine.

UnPaper Towels

When I asked my husband what I should put on this list, he immediately recommended these. He then proceeded to check in with me several times to make sure that I had, in fact, added them to my list. I can’t tell you how that thrilled me. To be fair though, he was absolutely right about this and nothing else. These reusable towels are not only good for the environment, they’re good for your soul. You can buy them on Etsy here. Next time there’s a spill you won’t have to realize no one bought paper towels and clean up the mess with the sock you’re wearing or a shirt you found in the dirty laundry. This leaves you free to fight about something else. Like why your spouse insists on speaking during movies.

Claire Linic is a Chicago based author and comedian. Her upcoming book Our Perfect Marriage, which she bravely wrote with her husband, will be released October, 4th. Follow Claire on Twitter or her blog.