40 Wasteful Mistakes You Don't Realize Are Costing You Time & Money Every Day

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You may think of yourself as an expert efficiency, having pulled back in all areas of your life to save money. But unexpected expenses seem to pop up everywhere, whether it’s that splurge-worthy wine that spoiled after one glass or the shocking price of disposable paper towels. Even with all your savvy thrift, this list shows you that there are still at least 40 wasteful mistakes you don’t realize are costing you time and money every day.

Luckily, there are simple and easy fixes to these expensive problems. Whether you could really use ingenious reusable Swedish dishcloths or a vacuum wine stopper that will keep that expensive bottle of wine fresh for seven days, this list is a treasure trove of money and time-saving ideas. Keep scrolling to find affordable gems.


Mistake: Running The Dishwasher When You Don’t Need To

Solution: A Double-Sided Magnet That Says “Clean” Or “Dirty”

Never again question the state of your dishes when you have this dishwasher magnet that flips to say either “clean” or “dirty.” The waterproof and peel-proof magnet comes in a large 3.15-inch size, is written in a charming farmhouse font, and will last for years to come. It’s available in either blue or white and attaches to any metal surface, yet also conveniently comes with a separate metal piece for non-magnetic surfaces.


Mistake: Leaving Your Mattress Vulnerable To Spills

Solution: This Mattress Protector That’s 100% Waterproof

The last thing you want when you’ve invested in a quality mattress is for that breakfast-in-bed to end up literally in the bed. This mattress protector is fully waterproof yet still offers breathability so as to not trap heat and cause uncomfortable sleep. It goes on your mattress like a snug fitted sheet and is made with hypoallergenic, soft cotton terry.


Mistake: Running Your Linens Into The Ground Instead Of Having Replacement Sets On Hand

Solution: A Popular Bed Sheet Set That’s Affordable

Forgo putting those old sheets through the wash cycle one more time and instead treat yourself to this quality bed sheet set that has over 126,000 reviews on Amazon and will cost you less than $40. It’s available in sizes ranging from twin to California king and comes in seven neutral shades such as cream, ice blue, and gray to fit any bedroom decor. It’s made of microfiber and will last throughout the seasons, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.


Mistake: Not Doing Any DIY Repairs

Solution: These Compact Flashlights That Help You With Home Projects

Cultivate DIY confidence (and skip pricey handyman costs) with the help of these compact, water-resistant flashlights that come in a pack of two. They’re made of military-grade aluminum that’s nearly indestructible — they can even survive a 10-foot drop. They emit a strong beam of light that can be focused to a pinpoint or extended to a wide spotlight depending on the job at hand.


Mistake: Waiting Till A Bug Problem Gets Worse Before Taking Action

Solution: An Insect Trap That Lures Using UV Light

Delaying dealing with a bug problem can lead to expensive exterminator bills, not to mention time spent waiting for it to resolve. Instead, set up this indoor insect trap for a painless and cost-friendly way to keep bugs under control 24/7. It uses UV light to attract bugs, then sucks them in with the help of a fan and traps them onto a sticky glue board (four of which are included). For less than $50, you can set up this trap near any problem area and deal with bug issues before they get worse.


Mistake: Using Plastic Hangers That Leave Clothing Misshapen

Solution: These Velvet Hangers With A Contour Shoulder

Save money on dry cleaning or time spent ironing by using these velvet hangers that can hold up to 10 pounds each and feature a non-slip texture and contour shoulder line to keep clothes in their proper shape. They come in a pack of 50 and feature a 360-degree swivel hook as well as a slim design to be able to fit tons more clothes more efficiently. Best of all, the soft texture of these versatile hangers allows you to hang delicate items without fear of them falling to the floor.


Mistake: Never Cleaning Your Coffee Machine

Solution: A Charcoal Water Filter Pod For Delicious Coffee Everyday

Instead of spending tons of time cleaning your Keurig for that perfect cup of coffee (or wasting money buying a brand new one), simply insert one of these charcoal water filter pods to keep your brew consistently tasting its best. These are perfect for those dealing with hard water as the pods filter out calcium, chlorine, odors, and other impurities using purifying fine-grain charcoal. They can be used in any Keurig machine including newer 2.0 versions.


Mistake: Paying High Energy Bills From Raising Your Thermostat

Solution: This Weighted Blanket That Regulates Your Temperature

Turn that thermostat down and opt for this weighted blanket that features a soft cotton material and gentle pressure to keep you comfortably warm. Find your optimum setup for relaxation by choosing from tons of different sizes as well as weights ranging from five pounds all the way to 30 pounds. The blanket itself comes in gray but there are machine-washable duvet covers available in colors such as aqua, navy, or a gray and white pattern.


Mistake: Wasting Money On Disposable Paper Towels

Solution: A Swedish Dishcloth That’s Reusable Up To 100 Times

Say goodbye to endless and costly paper towels with these incredible Swedish dishcloths that can literally be reused up to 100 times. They’re available in tons of cheerful colors and come in a pack of 10, and each can be tossed in the washing machine to make them good as new. Use them to clean counters, wipe windows, and wash dishes among many other things. They can be great scrubbers when dry and they hold 20 times their weight in liquid when wet.


Mistake: Using Plastic Prep Bowls That Don’t Last

Solution: These Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls That Are Incredibly Durable

These stainless steel mixing bowls can be used for any cooking or baking project and go from the fridge to the freezer to the dishwasher effortlessly. Each set comes with five bowls of different sizes that nest within one another for efficient storage. The stain-resistant steel won’t shatter or absorb any odors, making these bowls ones that will most likely last you a lifetime.


Mistake: Letting Food & Leftovers Go To Waste By Not Storing Them Properly

Solution: A Set Of Glass Food Storage Containers With An Airtight Seal

Stretch those leftovers (and dollars) to last throughout the week by using these glass food storage containers that feature an airtight seal. They come in a set of 12 containers in various sizes and shapes from round to rectangular and have accompanying lids that each feature a rubber gasket and hinged lock to preserve freshness. The borosilicate glass can easily go from the freezer to the oven with no fear of shattering and can be tossed in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.


Mistake: Constantly Having To Replace Disposable Floor Cleaning Pads

Solution: These Floor Mop Pads That Are Machine Washable

Feel great about both saving money and the environment with these reusable floor mop pads that take the place of up to 100 disposable pads. They come in a pack of two and are made of a thick microfiber with a looped design that helps pick up dirt and debris while absorbing moisture at the same time. Clean them in the washing machine after every mop to be ready to go for the next cleaning cycle.


Mistake: Not Maintaining Cutting Boards & Butcher Blocks

Solution: A Food-Grade Mineral Oil That Protects Wood

A butcher block is a kitchen investment worth protecting and this food-grade mineral oil will do just that for years to come. Simply rub it onto the wood every three months and let it sit for four hours. The colorless and odorless oil will protect the wood from drying and cracking, keeping it in tip-top shape for lots of future chopping action. As a bonus, the oil can also be used to restore and maintain marble, soapstone, knives, and stainless steel.


Mistake: Not Cleaning The Inside Of Bottles & Then Having To Throw Them Out

Solution: These Bottle Brushes That Clean Hard-To-Reach Areas

Extend the life of your bottles and the breadth of your budget by using these bottle brushes designed exactly for that purpose. They come in a pack of five brushes of different sizes including two extra-large ones for water bottles, one narrow brush for long-neck bottles, a small one for baby bottles, and a straw brush for reusable straws. All are designed with stiff nylon bristles and rust-resistant stainless steel and they’re dishwasher-safe.


Mistake: Throwing Out Jars You Can’t Open

Solution: A Jar Opener That Lives Under Your Cabinet

Resist throwing away that prized jar of jam after struggling endlessly to open it. Turn to this jar opener that you can install under your cabinet and will allow you to open any jar with any lid size quickly and effortlessly. It uses a strong peel-and-stick adhesive as well as three screws to firmly adhere to the surface. Plus, it won’t take up any visual space as it discreetly sits out of sight.


Mistake: Using Plastic Utensils That Melt In High Heat Or Steel Ones That Scratch Pans

Solution: These Gentle Silicone Spatulas That Are Heat-Resistant

Preserve those precious pans and cook with efficiency using these silicone spatulas that won’t scratch surfaces and can withstand temperatures up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit. Four spatulas come in every set ( one large, one small, a spoon spatula, and a jar spatula) to suit any cooking or baking need. They are available in five shades such as orange or teal and are conveniently dishwasher-friendly.


Mistake: Throwing Out Things Because You Have No Way Of Storing Them

Solution: An Underbed Storage Box That Stashes Items Out Of Sight

Regularly wearing everything you have on hand can stretch that clothing budget to no end, but finding a place to store everything can be a challenge. Enter these under-bed storage boxes that take advantage of that prime real estate that can be used to store a ton yet keep stuff out of sight. They’re made from a durable yet breathable non-woven material and feature a transparent plastic cover so it’s easy to see the contents.


Mistake: Not Properly Storing Holiday Decor

Solution: This Christmas Tree Storage Bag That Fits Trees Up To 9 Feet

If you’ve already chosen to invest in a faux tree for the holidays in order to save precious money, go one step further by getting this Christmas tree storage bag to keep it looking great from season to season. It’s large enough to fit trees up to 9 feet in length and has handles on both the top and sides for effortless carrying. It’s made of a heavy-duty, tear-proof, and waterproof canvas that will protect your tree from dust and moisture.


Mistake: Not Having Enough Room In Your Drawers & Buying Expensive Wardrobes

Solution: A Hanging Closet Organizer With 5 Shelves

Stuffing your drawers to the brim with clothes might seem like it’s working until you realize clothes have been damaged beyond repair. This hanging closet organizer takes advantage of available vertical space to give you five shelves of storage. It’s especially great for storing delicate items and sweaters that need to be folded, but can also be used for hats, shoes, and other clothing. Six mesh pockets on the sides are perfect for all your accessories.


Mistake: Wasting Money On Expensive Cocktails At Bars

Solution: This Cocktail Shaker Set To Make Literally Any Drink From Home

If the cost of a cocktail gives you involuntary jaw drop syndrome, opt instead for this cocktail shaker set that comes with everything you need to make any drink under the sun. It includes a Boston shaker, strainer, bar spoon, jigger, two shot glasses, bottle opener, and two rubber pourers, with all components made of durable, food-grade, and rust-free stainless steel. Don your ‘80s sunglasses as you’ll be wowing your friends Tom Cruise-style in no time.


Mistake: Spending Too Much Money At Coffee Shops

Solution: A Handheld Milk Frother To Create Delish Lattes

The moment you realize your coffee shop visits are eating into your life savings can be a serious wake-up call. Fear not, this extremely affordable handheld milk frother can whip up the froth of your dreams and all from your own kitchen. It’s battery-operated, features a comfortable silicone handle, and even comes with its own stand. Most importantly, it includes a powerful motor that will whip any kind of dairy or non-dairy milk into a delicious froth in a mere 15 seconds.


Mistake: Not Cooking Food To The Proper Temperature

Solution: This Infrared Thermometer That Reads Precisely From A Distance

When you’ve got some prized sausages or handmade pizzas on the dinner menu, you want to make sure your oven or grill temperatures are just right. This infrared thermometer allows you to scan from a distance (recommendations are to be at least 14 inches away) and detect surface temperatures ranging all the way up to 1112 degrees Fahrenheit. The large LCD screen lets you read the temperature reading clearly and two AAA batteries are included for immediate use.


Mistake: Letting Quality Coffee Go Stale

Solution: An Airtight Coffee Container With A CO2 Release Valve

There’s nothing like having treated yourself to a seriously good bag of coffee beans only to have it eventually go stale. This coffee container stretches that money further by preserving the freshness of your beans or grounds using an airtight seal to keep oxygen out and a release valve to ventilate flavor-destroying carbon dioxide. Choose from four sizes ranging from 11 to 64 ounces. The containers have convenient date trackers.


Mistake: Wasting Oil & Vinegar By Pouring From The Bottle

Solution: These Oil & Vinegar Dispensers With A Spout For Measured Pouring

A good bottle of olive oil or vinegar can cost a pretty penny, which makes it all the more upsetting when loads of it flow out uncontrollably. These oil and vinegar dispensers give you back precise control by featuring a spout with a measured pour. They’re made of dishwasher-safe glass and are designed with handy measurement marks along the side as well as a wide mouth for easy refilling. An accompanying filter accessory can be added to the lid in case you want to infuse oils with your own herbs or spices.


Mistake: Losing Track Of Important Documents

Solution: A Safe Box That With A 3-Digit Combination Lock

Instead of spending hours of your day searching the house in mild panic for that very important document, use this safe box that has a three-digit combination for extra security. The box comes in three sizes, all of which have a handle on top for effortless portability. Its corners are reinforced with chrome steel for durability and rubber feet keep the box securely in place.


Mistake: Ruining Purses By Shoving Them In A Corner

Solution: This Hanging Purse Organizer That Keeps Them Neatly Stored

Never again pull that favorite purse out of the corner pile only to see it crumpled and misshapen. This hanging purse organizer has eight large, transparent vinyl pockets perfectly designed for small to large handbags. It hangs from a 360-degree swivel hook and comes in four elegant neutrals (black, java, white, and gray) that will complement any closet.


Mistake: Wasting Money On Disposable Cotton Swabs

Solution: A Set Of Reusable Swabs That Each Replace 1,000 Cotton Swabs

If you’re ready to switch to a zero-waste lifestyle, not only will the planet thank you, but your wallet will as well. One easy step would be to start using these reusable cotton swabs. They come in a colorful pack of five with each of them replacing up to 1,000 single-use cotton swabs. The tips are constructed of soft silicone that can be easily cleaned again and again with warm water and soap and every swab comes in a carrying case made of recycled ocean waste plastic.


Mistake: Too Much Time Spent Cleaning Grease & Debris Off Oven Surfaces

Solution: These Non-Stick Oven Liners

Use these non-stick oven liners to save precious time that would be otherwise spent removing crusty debris from your oven interior. Pop them on your oven rack to catch any dripping grease, accidental spills, or falling pepperoni as they can handle temperatures up to 500 degrees and can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher. These versatile liners are completely food-safe, non-toxic, and BPA-free, and can even be used on grill surfaces as well.


Mistake: Failing To Clean Upholstery That’s Constantly Plagued By Pet Hair

Solution: A Pet Hair Remover That Uses A Dual-Sided Brush

Skip the cost of replacing lint rollers over and over and use this pet hair remover that features a dual-sided brush to pick up every errant hair. Simply roll it back and forth over your upholstery and all the hair will be collected into a small receptacle that is easily emptied. No runs to the drugstore for more sticky paper or batteries are required.


Mistake: Never Being Able To Find The Right Tupperware Lid

Solution: These Food Covers That Stretch To Fit Any Container

Save beaucoup bucks with these incredibly versatile food covers that stretch to securely fit any container thus stretching the longevity of those groceries. They’re made of food-grade, BPA-free silicone and can go just as easily in the microwave, freezer, oven, or dishwasher. Each set comes with six circle shapes and six square shapes of varied sizes.


Mistake: Accidentally Letting Produce Go To Waste

Solution: A Pack Of Reusable GreenBags That Extend The Life Of Fruits & Veggies

Make those dollars spent at the grocery store really count by using these innovative GreenBags that help fruits, vegetables, and even fresh-cut flowers last much longer. The 20-pack comes with eight medium, eight large, and four extra-large sizes with each bag able to be reused eight to 10 times with just a quick rinse in cool water. Recycle these bags for eco-friendly disposal.


Mistake: Leaving Product In Containers And Bottles

Solution: These Flexible Beauty Spatulas That Get Out Every Drop

Get the most out of your pricey skincare investments by accessing every last precious bit of product. These beauty spatulas come in small sizes (one is slightly larger than the other), with long handles and flexible silicone heads to reach every bit of product buried at the bottom of bottles and containers. The BPA-free spatulas are food-safe and can be used in jars of peanut butter and other food items, as well.


Mistake: Your Low-Pressure Shower Head Wastes Water

Solution: A Spa-Like Shower Head With High Pressure

If you’re feeling the pinch from excessively high water bills, switch to this shower head with dense, micro nozzles that create a high-pressure flow that uses less water. It also features a built-in filtration system, perfect for those dealing with hard water, and offers three spray settings: rainfall, massage, and jetting. Easily attach it to any standard shower hose for a quick install.


Mistake: Letting Drafts Pass Through Your Doors

Solution: This Draft Stopper That Closes Gaps Under Doors

Squeeze every bit of efficiency out of your heating and cooling with this draft stopper that attaches to the underside of your door. It’s constructed of durable styrofoam that is covered with fabric and will fit doors up to 39 inches in length. It comes in four shades (brown, black, white, and beige) and attaches to one side of the door with a strong adhesive — blocking light, dust, and noise, in addition to drafts.


Mistake: Letting Good Wine Go Bad

Solution: A Vacuum Wine Stopper To Preserve Freshness For 7 Days

There’s nothing worse than spending your hard-earned cash on a decent bottle of wine only to have one glass, attempt to save the bottle, and then have to pour the whole thing down the drain a week later. Instead, use this vacuum wine stopper to preserve the life of that bottle so it’s still drinkable up to seven days later. Simply pop it on your bottle and pump the stopper to remove excess air. The stopper will naturally create a tight fit and just requires a shake to remove it so that you can enjoy a delicious glass days later.


Mistake: Allowing Bread To Go Stale

Solution: This Bread Keeper With An Adjustable Vent

Keep that pricey artisan-baked sourdough as fresh as possible for as long as possible using this bread keeper with an adjustable air vent. Depending on your needs you can open the vent more fully to circulate air when baked goods are warm or close it to keep the bread from drying out. The design is also expandable up to 11 inches so it will fit a variety of baked goods and it even includes its own small cutting board for convenience.


Mistake: Constantly Replacing Incandescent Bulbs

Solution: A Smart LED Light Bulb That Lasts 15,000 Hours

Not only does this smart LED bulb allow you to use voice control via Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, but it will also last you an incredible 15,000 hours. Adjust brightness, set schedules, and choose from over 16 million different color options, to name a few of the versatile things you can do with this wifi-connected smart bulb. Simply download the app to control your lights from your phone or pair them with your smart device for a hands-free experience.


Mistake: Spending Money On New Glasses Instead Of Repairing Your Own

Solution: This Glasses Repair Kit To Address Any Problem

Extend the life of those pricey glasses with this glasses repair kit that includes over 30 pieces to fix any possible problem. The kit comes with a flat head and Phillips head as well as a variety of screws and nose pads to be able to quickly repair and replace any broken parts. With over 5,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, it’s a perfect solution to salvaging expensive frames and costs less than $10.


Mistake: Spending Tons Of Money On Manicures

Solution: A Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit That Brings The Salon Home

If regular gel manicures are eating a sizable portion out of your budget, opt instead for this gel nail polish starter kit that creates your own salon at home for less than $35. This kit includes a UV LED nail lamp that takes less than 60 seconds to cure, six gel nail polishes in beautiful neutral nudes, and a top coat/base coat set. As a bonus, you’re also provided with nail art tools to take your creativity to the next level.


Mistake: Wasting Time In The Morning Perfecting Your Eye Makeup

Solution: This Eyebrow Pen That Quickly Creates Full Brows

You’ll rejoice at the amount of time saved each morning using this brow pen that quickly gives you fully formed brows. It comes in four shades (dark brown, brown, dark gray, and black) and uses a special four-tip design that recreates the look of hair for a natural aesthetic. The formula is waterproof and smudge-proof and will last through inclement weather or an intense workout.