35 Mistakes You're Making If You're Trying To Save Money

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Is there a moment at the end of every month when you realize that maybe you didn’t do such an amazing job at saving money? You might think, “Where does it all go?” The answers are surprisingly simple. As you’ll see below, I’ve listed at least 35 mistakes you might be making if you’re trying to save money. But take hope: For every mistake, there’s a clever and easy fix that’ll be sure to free up room in the monthly budget.

Maybe your favorite morning routine is splurging on pricey lattes at the coffee shop. Switching to an at-home pour-over coffee maker is an affordable solution that still satisfies your taste buds. Can’t figure out how to pack a suitcase without succumbing to checked baggage fees? The packing cubes on this list can help you effectively use every inch of that carry-on.

Browse below for so many ingenious solutions that will trim costs and increase your freedom, dollar by dollar.


Mistake: Going To A Coffee Shop Every Morning

Solution: Brewing A Delicious Cup At Home

If you’ve just realized you could have put a small down payment on a house with the amount of money you’re spending at coffee shops every day, then this pour-over coffee maker is for you. The Japanese-designed carafe is made with thermal shock-resistant borosilicate glass and an accompanying glass lid to help retain heat. Most importantly, it uses a double-layer stainless steel mesh filter that effectively extracts coffee without robbing your brew of flavor.


Mistake: Spending Too Much On Takeout Because You’re Not Planning Meals

Solution: This Clever Meal Planner That Lives Right On The Fridge

If Doordash feels like a friend on speed dial or if you had to yet again toss out those vegetables that have turned, you need this ingenious meal planner. It’s magnetic so it can sit in clear view on your fridge, guiding you with a predetermined day-to-day schedule of what’s on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It comes with 60 sheets and will help you save major bucks by simply planning out your meals for the week so you can shop accordingly.


Mistake: Only Cooking For One Night

Solution: Making Enough For Leftovers & Storing Them Correctly

Maximize grocery dollars and time spent cooking by creating meals that will last through the week using these storage containers to keep contents fresh. They come in a set of three rectangular containers with silicone lids that lock down for an airtight fit. They can be used in the freezer, fridge, and microwave, and are dishwasher-friendly for easy cleanup.


Mistake: Paying Hefty Airline Fees For Checked Bags

Solution: Packing Smarter With These Space-Saving Cubes

With the high cost of travel, save yourself beaucoup bucks by using these packing cubes to optimize the space in your carry-on. These clever cubes come in a set of five organizers of different shapes and sizes to make the most of the space at hand. They’re constructed of a sturdy yet lightweight material that includes a mesh top panel for breathability. The complete set is able to store clothing for up to an amazing 14 days of travel. There’s even a laundry bag included to keep clean clothes separate and fresh.


Mistake: Ordering Lattes Every Time You Go Out

Solution: A Frother That Pays For Itself In A Couple Of Homemade Lattes

At the top end of coffee shop delights, lattes are lovely but also pricey. Within literally two uses, this affordable handheld frother will have paid for itself by allowing you to create delicious lattes directly from home. It’s conveniently cordless and uses two AAA batteries to operate so you can freely move about your kitchen. The powerful motor creates major foam for hot or cold drinks and the affordable device is easy to clean with soap and water.


Mistake: Letting Your Pet’s Coat Get Out Of Hand

Solution: This Pet Brush Set That Gently Gets Rid Of Mats

If you’ve neglected to maintain your pet’s mane, you may be cringing at the cost of constant trips to the groomer. Instead, try this pet brush set that includes everything you need to keep your pet’s coat in consistently great shape. The set comes with a slicker brush that gently removes mats as well as shedding hair, dirt, and dander. Its retractable bristles make it easier to clean and it includes a soft-bristle brush that can be used on sensitive areas like the paws and face.


Mistake: Constantly Buying Paper Towels

Solution: These Reusable Towels For Drying Dishes And More

Do a solid for the environment as well as your wallet by using these reusable towels that come in a healthy pack of six for less than $30. They’re made of highly absorbent 100% cotton and are both soft on surfaces and machine-washable. Each towel comes in a charming striped pattern and is available in six shades such as royal blue, red, or turquoise, so you can perfectly match your kitchen’s aesthetic.


Mistake: Buying Duplicates Because You Can’t Access The Back Of Your Fridge

Solution: A Turntable That Makes Everything Readily Accessible

Bought yourself the fifth jar of mustard not realizing you had already amassed an army-worthy supply at the back of the fridge? The transparent acrylic material of this turntable allows you to clearly see what you have on hand and its design allows you to rotate it 360 degrees. It features removable dividers for up to four separate compartments and a non-skid liner to keep items securely in place.


Mistake: Buying Fresh Herbs Every Time A Recipe Calls For Them

Solution: An Herb Keeper That Keeps Them Fresh For Longer

Constantly running to the store for fresh herbs not only feels like a waste of time but also wastes precious money. This herb keeper helps herbs last much longer (up to three weeks!) due to its innovative design that provides both water and airflow. Simply fill the BPA-free plastic base with the designated amount of water, trim your herbs, place them inside the glass container, and store them in your fridge. Air vents on top help maintain circulation and a change of water every two or three days keeps herbs fresh.


Mistake: Going Out Every Time You Want A Cheese & Charcuterie Board

Solution: Making Your Own On This Bamboo Board

Who doesn’t live for a decadent and decidedly Euro-style spread of cheese and meats? Take the ‘treat yo self’ approach and curate your own spread, displaying it on this gorgeous bamboo board. It measures an ample 16-by-10 inches and includes specially designed trays on either side that are perfect for nuts, dried fruit, or crackers. Two handles underneath make this board easy to transport.


Mistake: Letting Cool Air Escape So Your AC Has To Work Harder

Solution: A Draft Stopper That’s Easy To Install

This popular draft stopper installs within two minutes and has over 16,000 reviews on Amazon due to its ability to help save money on monthly energy bills. Trim the stopper to fit any door and rely on the accompanying extra-strong adhesive to keep it in place. It’s available in four colors (brown, gray, white, and transparent) so it will blend in and is additionally great for blocking noise, light, and dust.


Mistake: Not Covering Your Windows To Better Insulate Your Home

Solution: These Pleated Shades To Shut The Sun Out

There’s no denying it – that warm glow of the sun may be a joy to bask in come winter, but in the warmer months it can feel more like pain than pleasure. These pleated shades block out all UV light, preventing your room from overheating and making the most of your air conditioning. They’re constructed of paper and are adjustable in both width and length to fit your window’s specific size. They install easily using strong 3M adhesive and come in a pack of six.


Mistake: Not Taking Care Of Your Wooden Cutting Boards & Tools

Solution: Mineral Oil To Keep Wood Hydrated & Help It Last Longer

A good quality butcher block or chef’s knife can set you back a fair amount and are worthy of maintaining for the long haul. When used every three months, this mineral oil will prevent the drying and cracking of wooden cutting boards as well as rejuvenate any knives or kitchen tools in need of some TLC. The oil is food-grade, odorless, and tasteless, and applies easily using either your hands or a rag.


Mistake: Washing Your Face With Disposable Cotton Rounds

Solution: Swapping Them For Reusable Pads

Instead of spending tons of money on single-use cotton rounds, opt for these reusable cotton pads. Each pack comes with 20 rounds that are made of natural bamboo cotton and can last for several years. The material is super absorbent and soft on the skin, making it appropriate for even the most sensitive skin types. A cotton laundry bag is conveniently provided so you can easily pop them in the washing machine.


Mistake: Paying $15 For A Cocktail At The Bar

Solution: A Mixology Set To Make Your Own Drinks At Home

It seems more and more like the cost of a cocktail is matching the price of your dinner, which just seems wrong. Instead of seeing your paycheck disappear into a martini, spend $45 on this mixology set that will provide at-home happy hours galore. It comes with every tool you need to craft the craftiest of cocktails. The sleek stainless steel set includes a shaker, jigger, mixing spoon, muddler, liquid pourers for mixers, ice tongs, strainer, and a handy recipe book and a wooden stand to display your bar in all its glory.


Mistake: Buying Single-Use Microwave Popcorn Bags For Movie Nights

Solution: A Reusable Popcorn Popper That’s A Fan Favorite

Skip the cost of repeatedly buying one-and-done microwave popcorn bags and alternatively go for this reusable popcorn popper with over 19,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. Not only does it pop up to 15 cups of popcorn but it does so in non-toxic, heat-resistant, food-grade silicone that collapses down for convenient storage. Best of all, because of the shape of the bowl, heat is evenly distributed to make sure every kernel is popped and not one is burnt.


Mistake: Not Protecting Your Car Seat When Your Pet Rides Along

Solution: This Seat Cover That’s Your Defense Against Scratches & Fur

Keep the love for your pet alive while protecting your car’s interior with this clever seat cover, which is made with a durable material that prevents damaging scratches and hair buildup. It features a waterproof coating perfect for dealing with muddy walks and an anti-slip texture to keep your pet solidly situated when you’re on the move. It’s easy to install using buckles, seat anchors, and zipper seat belt openings.


Mistake: Not Monitoring Your Home’s Energy Consumption

Solution: This Mini Smart Plug That Makes It Easy

Save serious cash every month by monitoring your device’s energy output using this mini smart plug that takes up barely any room and is a cinch to set up. Control it via the included app or connect it to your smart devices such as Alexa or Google Home to use voice-activated commands. The plug allows you to see real-time energy usage and decrease exorbitant bills by creating schedules or setting timers for appliances.


Mistake: Slacking On Dental Hygiene

Solution: An Electric Toothbrush To Help Prevent Costly Visits To The Dentist

Something like an unexpected filling could set you back hundreds of dollars and put a serious dent in your monthly budget. Help prevent surprises like this by using this versatile and powerful electric toothbrush that operates with a 40,000 vibrations-per-minute motor and includes four brushing modes. It comes with eight brush heads, a sleek travel case, and a lithium-ion battery that recharges wirelessly. Most importantly of all, it’s garnered the American Dental Association seal of approval.


Mistake: Not Maintaining Your Dishwasher

Solution: This Cleaning Tablet That Helps It Run Efficiently

Avoid costly repairs by maintaining your appliances. Using these cleaning tablets can keep your dishwasher in perfect running order. They go into your detergent tray or at the bottom of your tub and dissolve during a cycle to remove limescale and mineral buildup, helping your machine make the most of each cleaning cycle. The tablets also clean the pump and valve, the drain, and the recirculation hoses.


Mistake: Overbuying Pet Food Because It Goes Stale

Solution: An Automatic Pet Feeder You Can Customize With A Voice Recording

Never again buy pet food in bulk only to have it eventually go stale. This automatic pet feeder holds 3 liters — about enough food to last an adult cat 15 days or a small dog seven days. The helpful LCD screen allows you to program four meals a day on a set schedule so you don’t have to wake up for that 2 a.m. feeding. Best of all, it has the ability to record a 10-second message from your very own voice signaling to your pet when it’s time to chow, which will make them love you even more.


Mistake: Not Using A Smart Thermostat

Solution: This Energy-Star Certified One For Under $75

This smart thermostat is made specifically to increase energy efficiency, saving you tons of money on bills each year. It connects to Amazon’s Alexa to give you full access to your energy usage stats as well as provide you with remote temperature control. Use voice commands to set schedules or let Alexa adjust the temperature according to your previous preferences. In this way, the smart thermostat will use your energy wisely and efficiently no matter if you’re out and about, at home, or asleep.


Mistake: Throwing Out Food Because It Wasn’t Cooked Correctly

Solution: A Digital Meat Thermometer

Cook that expensive cut of meat to absolute perfection using this digital meat thermometer that uses a probe and long-range receiver so you can monitor temperatures without having to even open the oven door. The transmitter attaches to the probe which is inserted into the meat, while the wireless remote receiver, which has a range of up to 120 feet, allows you to set a timer or temperature setting so you’ll be alerted when the meat has been cooked to perfection.


Mistake: Buying Fresh Produce That Goes Bad Before You Can Eat It

Solution: These Nifty Food Savers For Fruit Or Vegetables

It hurts seeing your precious dollars literally turn into compost, as expensive vegetables and fruit rot before you can eat them. These amazing food savers in the shape of an apple contain a packet that absorbs ethylene gas and extends the life of your produce by slowing down the ripening process. The food saver can be used wherever you store produce — in the refrigerator or on the counter — with each packet lasting up to three months.


Mistake: Tossing Leftover Wine

Solution: This Vacuum Wine Stopper That Extends Its Life & Includes A Bonus Aerator

Not only does this vacuum wine stopper stretch the life of that quality wine bottle into tomorrow but it also comes with an aerator to help increase flavor. The stopper’s silicone plug creates a tight seal with the bottle while the pumping rod allows you to remove all oxygen and increase the longevity of your wine. When it’s time to drink your wine, the aerator helps to add just the right amount of oxygen to release flavor-inducing esters and make even a cheap bottle taste like a million bucks.


Mistake: Going To The Dry Cleaner

Solution: Washing Delicate Items At Home Instead

Save tons of money on dry cleaning expenses by using this wool and cashmere shampoo to clean delicate items right from home. The shampoo is made with biodegradable, plant-based ingredients that are extremely gentle on fabrics such as merino wool, mohair, cashmere, and blends. One bottle will last you 32 washes (which certainly beats 32 trips to the dry cleaner) and clothes will be left with a soft cedar scent.


Mistake: Letting A Loaf Of Bread Go Stale

Solution: A Bread Box That Keeps It Fresher For Longer

If investing in a good loaf of bread makes your life worth living then you will love this bread box that greatly extends its shelf life. It has tiny ventilation holes on three sides of the box in order to keep the perfect amount of air circulating and includes a linen bag for further preservation of freshness. The bamboo lid provides a good seal and conveniently transforms into a sturdy cutting board when needed. It is evident why this stylish yet functional bread box has nabbed several design awards and more than 4,000 Amazon reviews.


Mistake: Replacing Furniture With Minor Wear & Tear

Solution: An Upholstery Repair Kit For Quick Fixes

Furniture can be a significant investment. When your upholstery is showing signs of wear and tear, use this upholstery repair kit instead of sinking money into a whole new piece. The kit comes with a bonded three-ply upholstery nylon that is sturdy enough to be used even for heavy outdoor fabrics. It includes heavy-duty hand needles that come in several different sizes to accommodate different projects. On top of furniture, you can also use this kit to repair mattresses, carpets, or even tents.


Mistake: Getting Gel Mani-Pedis On The Regular

Solution: A $30 Kit That Lets You Do Your Own Long-Lasting Manicure

This gel nail polish kit provides you with everything you need to create the perfect gel manicure – and at a fraction of the cost of a typical trip to the salon. In addition to basic manicure tools like a nail clipper and file, the kit comes with a primer, top coat, base coat, seven polishes, a 48-watt UV cure lamp, and even rhinestone and rivets for fun nail decoration. As a bonus, the polishes are vegan and cruelty-free, as well as free of 11 major toxins such as formaldehyde and parabens.


Mistake: Paying Extra On Your Pedicure

Solution: This Foot Peel Mask To Soften Rough, Cracked Heels

Though you might enjoy opting for deluxe treatments when it comes to your feet, you can achieve serious results right from home using this foot peel mask. Slip on the mask socks, put your feet up for a relaxing 60 minutes, then wait as your dry skin peels away over the next six to 11 days to reveal gorgeous and soft skin underneath. The mask uses a blend of safe, non-toxic botanical ingredients and is available in several delightful scents such as peach or strawberry.


Mistake: Repeatedly Paying For Disposable Zip-Top Bags

Solution: A Set Of Reusable Food Storage Bags

Once you realize how long these reusable food storage bags last, you’ll never opt for single-use again. Just one of these bags, which features a double closure and is made of food-grade PEVA, takes the place of over 350 disposable bags. They’re non-toxic and leak-proof and are safe in the freezer and fridge. The set includes eight 1-gallon bags, eight sandwich bags, and eight snack bags – a set that is comprehensive enough to suit most kitchen storage needs.


Mistake: Leaving Outdoor Furniture Unprotected From The Elements

Solution: These Waterproof Chair Covers

Stretch your outdoor furniture investment for many years to come by using these waterproof chair covers that are made of heavy-duty oxford polyester material. They’re offered in three sizes (standard, medium, and large) and wrap securely around your chair using buckled straps and a drawstring hem. The fabric is also made with a UV coating to prevent fading and keep your outdoor chairs in perfect shape all year long.


Mistake: Buying Single-Use Mop Pads

Solution: A Reusable Pair That’s Conveniently Machine-Washable

These ingenious reusable mop pads will each outlast over 100 of their disposable counterparts and will save you loads of money in the process. They feature thick microfiber with a looped design that helps trap dirt and debris and can be used either wet or dry. They’re compatible with most other attachable mops, and best of all, can be tossed in the washing machine so that they’re good as new for the next cleaning session.


Mistake: Never Depilling Your Sweaters Or Furniture

Solution: This Fabric Shaver With A Cult Following

Restore your unintentionally shabby chic sweaters and sofas to their original glory by using this seriously popular and effective fabric shaver that has over 68,000 five-star reviews. Instead of replacing expensive sweaters, use one of the three depth settings on this shaver to easily remove lint, fuzz, and pills. It’s battery-operated for easy portability, has a honeycomb mesh over the blades for safety, and features a comfy grip so you can get down to business with ease.


Mistake: Not Washing Your Makeup Brushes

Solution: This Spinning Cleaner That Instantly Washes Them

Instead of having to spend money replacing brushes, maintain your prized tools using this spinning cleaner that cleans (and dries) brushes in seconds. You can easily charge this cordless spinner by placing it in the included USB-rechargeable dock. When you’re ready to clean your brushes, fill the break-resistant bowl with water and soap, choose the rubber adaptor most suited to your brush, and select a spinning speed to wash away remnants of old makeup. Simply lift the brush up slightly and spin it again to dry.