40 Expensive Mistakes You Don't Realize You're Making During The Holiday Season

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Overpriced mistakes I’m not going to make this holiday season include burning dinner, ordering pricey takeout, and waiting too long to order presents and paying for expensive shipping. Plus, the worst mistake: only using half of a holiday candle (I’ll admit, I do it every year). The holidays always involve a lot of running around, and it’s easy to get flustered and make expensive mistakes like these. Thankfully, I’ve gathered all of the solutions right here on this list.

In other words, I’m avoiding those mistakes before I even buy wrapping paper — and if you’re trying to do the same, this collection of products can help. Thanks to these items, you can avoid the mistakes you might not even realize you’re making during the holiday season. One of those is going over budget on your heating bill, but I’ve found plenty of solutions to help you avoid that. Insulated blackout curtains and a machine-washable heated blanket are just a few examples.

You can also save money on holiday candles — and stop throwing away half-used ones — with the flameless candles on this list, or even some holiday-scented essentials oils and a diffuser. There are even products for baking and cooking without burning your dinner for the family gathering, along with a lunch box with a portable heater for warming your food on your holiday road trip.

Regardless of the mistakes you might be making, you can save money this holiday season and feel a little less flustered — all thanks to the products on this list.


Mistake: Buying Expensive Rolls Of Wrapping Paper

Solution: Customizing Your Own With This Bulk Brown Kraft Paper

Not only is this bulk roll of brown kraft paper a cheap and customizable wrapping paper option, but it's also classic — so you can use it use it for birthday presents, too. This roll has 1,200 inches of paper to wrap your gifts for under $15. Just top with a bow and make each one unique with markers.


Mistake: Wasting Unused Pie Dough

Solution: A Measured Rolling Pin For Super Even Bakes

You can easily avoid pie dough trimming with this wood rolling pin that has removable, rainbow-colored rings. Each ring is labeled with measurements so that you know exactly how thick you're rolling your dough, and it’ll help ensure that everything is super even for a perfectly baked pie.


Mistake: Buying New Gift Bags Every Year

Solution: Reusing These Festive Metallic Ones

Spend $16 this year, and won’t need to spend anything on gift bags for the next holiday season (or even for birthdays). That’s because you'll have this reusable pack, which you can present gifts in and then keep recycling. It comes with 16 metallic bags in each pack, and you can choose from brown, green, dark pink, light pink, and gold and silver tones.


Mistake: Overcooking Your Holiday Meals

Solution: An Instant-Read Digital Meat Thermometer With An LED Screen

Grab this instant-read digital thermometer because overcooking the holiday meal and buying new groceries is not the vibe this year (neither is spending money on backup takeout). It has an LED backlight, it tells you a precise temperature in two to four seconds, and it even has a magnet and a hook on the back to store it.


Mistake: Spending Way Too Much On Electricity

Solution: These Solar-Powered & Cordless Holiday Lights

Besides the possibility of saving money on electricity, the best part of these solar-powered holiday string lights is their cordless design. Thanks to the energy-saving, solar-powered battery, you won't have to find an outside plug or worry about connecting each strand together. Plus, they're waterproof and have eight light settings.


Mistake: Breaking Ornaments In & Out Of Storage

Solution: A Large Ornament Organizer In Festive Prints

This ornament organizer holds up to 128 ornaments and comes with eight sturdy and stackable ornament trays. The translucent outer shell lets you see your ornaments, but it also has a festive polka dot pattern, reinforced seams, and carrying handles. One reviewer raved, "My ornaments will be well protected and easy to find!"


Mistake: Buying Expensive Store-Bought Cookies

Solution: Making Your Own Holiday Cookies With This Cookie Press Set

This easy-to-use OXO cookie press set creates perfectly matching cookies in 12 different designs, including sunflowers, snowflakes, hearts, and more. It comes with a storage case for all of your stainless steel design discs. Plus, you can add on a holiday disc pack if you're looking for snowmen or bows.


Mistake: Buying Too Many Ingredients For Holiday Meals

Solution: A Magnetic Kitchen Conversion Chart To Take Proper Measurements Beforehand

This magnetic kitchen conversion chart for your refrigerator is especially handy for overwhelming holiday cooking because it's even more stressful if you spend money on too many ingredients. Before you leave with your grocery list in hand, check this chart that uses fun colors and helpful icons to show weights, volumes, oven temperatures, liquid conversions, and more.


Mistake: Wasting Leftovers After Festive Meals

Solution: This Variety Pack Of Food Storage Containers With Unique Vents

This variety pack of eight BPA-free food storage containers is only $20, and it has over 11,000 five-star ratings. It includes two sizes and unique lids designed with adjustable air vents. Plus, one reviewer raved, "These substantial, well-made containers are the best I've ever had."


Mistake: Letting Opened Wine Bottles Go Bad

Solution: This Vacuum-Sealing Wine Bottle Cork That Helps Keep It Fresh

If you open one too many bottles at your holiday gathering, this vacuum-sealing wine bottle stopper can help save the day. It comes with a vacuum pump to help prevent the bottle from getting old too quickly, and it can help keep your wine fresh for up to a week. Plus, it lets you know when the cork is sealed with a clicking sound.


Mistake: Buying New Tablecloths Every Year

Solution: Reusing This Stain-Proof Table Cloth That’s Machine Washable

Instead of buying a brand new tablecloth every year, you can start using this one that’s made of a machine-washable blend of linen and polyester. It’s stain-proof, so don’t worry if it gets a little messy during your holiday party — and there are six colors to choose from.


Mistake: Letting Food Sit Out Before Potlucks

Solution: A Insulated Tote That's Sleek & Easy To Carry

This insulated food carrier is super sleek, polished, and BPA-free. Plus, it has two levels to pack food storage containers, baking dishes, casserole dishes, and more. The party food that took hours to cook will stay warm, and you can store utensils in the top pocket. One reviewer raved, "You need this for the holidays!!!"


Mistake: Turning Up The Heat For An Expensive Bill

Solution: This Heated Blanket That's Machine-Washable

Instead of turning up the heat constantly, you can use this machine-washable heated blanket. It comes in gray, brown, beige, red, and two shades of blue. Plus, it even has an auto-shutoff in case you forget about it during your dinner party.


Mistake: Buying New Lights Because You Can't Get Yours Untangled

Solution: These Easy-To-Use Light Organizers With A Storage Case

If you’ve gone out and buy new string lights because yours were impossible to untangle, you’re not alone. However, these light organizers will help save you money every year. They're made of durable plastic with a wheel design that lets you wrap and unroll them quickly, and they come with a storage case.


Mistake: Buying Real Wreaths Every Year

Solution: A Unique-But-Classic Faux Olive Leaf Wreath

Not only does this unique olive leaf faux wreath save you money during the holidays, but it’s also classic enough to use as front-door decor all year. It’s 17 inches wide and has colorful and festive olive accents. One reviewer raved, “I’m so impressed with how real this wreath looks.”


Mistake: Letting The Floor Under Your Tree Get Messy

Solution: This Festive Floor Protector That's Reversible

You can layer this double-sided floor protector under your tree skirt for extra coverage or use it on its own, because it has two festive and reversible colors. It can even hold up to four times its weight in moisture — perfect for spill insurance while watering your tree.


Mistake: Not Using Wrapping Paper From The Year Before

Solution: A Wrapping Paper Holder That's Organized & Easy To See

This wrapping paper holder makes finding your leftover wrapping paper next year much easier. It's made of durable and transparent PVC, so you can see all of the wrapping paper patterns you already have before running out to buy more. Plus, it has handles and fits 14 to 20 rolls.


Mistake: Leaving Your Lights On All Night Long

Solution: A Smart Outlet That Can Be Used Outside

This outdoor outlet looks super sleek and is even compatible with Alexa and Google Home, but it's under $30. If you forget to turn your festive string lights off, just ask Alexa to (and maybe you'll save on your power bill). One reviewer raved, "We use it to control our outdoor string lights, and it works incredibly well."


Mistake: Not Having Time To Cook & Ordering Takeout

Solution: An Oversized Slow Cooker That Does The Cooking For You

Serve more than seven people with this slow cooker and pack it in the car to drive to your family gathering. It comes in red, black, or silver. Plus, the removable stoneware bowl is dishwasher safe, and one reviewer raved, "Worked perfectly, and it is indispensable during the holidays for larger family gatherings."


Mistake: Running Out Of Wrapping Tape

Solution: A Value Pack Of Gentle Tape With Refillable Dispensers

You’ll probably run out of tape while wrapping presents, so go ahead and grab this value pack of tape to save money in advance. It comes with six in a pack, and each dispenser is refillable. Plus, this tape is even photo-safe, so you could customize each gift by taping a photo to the top.


Mistake: Letting Cold Weather Inside The House

Solution: A Door Draft Stopper With A Unique Stay-Put Design

This door draft stopper is super insulating, and it’s made with cotton along with glass beads to help weigh it down. Plus, it has a unique design with end loops and included hook pins to keep it secure on your door (no matter how many guests come to your party).


Mistake: Buying New Holiday Candles Every Year

Solution: This Bulk Pack Of Reusable Flameless Candles

This set of battery-operated flameless candles comes with nine for under $30, and it includes two remotes (in case you misplace one over the years). They come in ivory and an option that looks like festive, yet rustic birch wood. One reviewer raved, “These candles add a beautiful touch to a dining room table, windows during the holidays.”


Mistake: Buying New Holiday Taper Candles

Solution: These Flameless Taper Candles That Are Battery Operated

Pop these flameless taper candles next to your holiday decorations without a worry; they each have a 3-D flickering faux flame, a timer, and flicker settings that you can customize. Plus, one reviewer raved, “They are super high quality and perfect for the holidays or year-round use.”


Mistake: Tracking Dirt & Snow Inside

Solution: A Compact Boot Scraper With Thousands Of 5-Star Ratings

Made with a natural coconut fiber blend, this compact boot scraper holds up against the weather and all of the snow on your guests’ shoes. Its neutral color and classic design looks polished next to any holiday doormat — and one reviewer raved, “Works great for getting dirt, mud, and snow off my shoes.”


Mistake: Using Expensive Bows For Gift Wrapping

Solution: An Inexpensive Roll Of Twine That’s Rustic & Trendy

Hop on the rustic gift wrapping trend with this roll of natural jute twine that’s trendy and super inexpensive compared to many traditional bows. This roll has 328 feet of twine to last you multiple holiday seasons, and it even comes in 19 colors to match your wrapping vibe this year.


Mistake: Letting Your Holiday Groceries Go Bad

Solution: A Meal Planner To Know What Vegetables To Cook & When

This magnetic grocery list also has a meal planning section, so you never open your fridge before a holiday party to find sad and wilted vegetables (or worse, spoiled dairy). It features trendy gold accents — and one reviewer raved, “I love how simple and minimalistic the design is, and the perforated shopping list is so helpful.”


Mistake: Letting The Cold Air Inside

Solution: These Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains For Cozier Holidays

These blackout curtains have a simple and polished design, and they come in 34 colors to choose from. Plus, they even have thermal insulation to help keep your room cozy (and possibly save on heating). The curtains feature insulating, triple-weave technology that also helps keep your room cool if you live somewhere with hot weather.


Mistake: Leaving Your Tree Lights On All Night

Solution: A Simple-To-Use Timer With 2 Outlets For Your Tree & More

Not only is this simple-to-use mechanical timer an easy solution for your tree, but it even has two side outlets to plug in your garland or a lamp. If you stay up later than usual watching holiday movies and want your tree on for all of the holiday vibes, it even has a switch to override the timer.


Mistake: Buying Disposable Foil Pans All The Time

Solution: A Reusable Roasting Pan That Holds Up To 24 Pounds

Let’s be honest: Foil pans can be hard to find around the holidays — but with this reusable nonstick roasting pan, you can finally stop buying them. It has a removable roasting tray and holds up to 24 pounds if you’re the host for a huge gathering every year.


Mistake: Only Using Holiday Wrapping Paper

Solution: This Festive & Universal Wrapping Paper For Year-Round Gifts

This three-pack of wrapping paper is only $20, and the designs are so classic and universal that you could use them for every holiday. The pack includes metallic gold, sparkly black and gold, and a minimalist white and gold marble pattern. One reviewer raved, “This is a great basic choice for year-round gift-giving.”


Mistake: Losing Your Gloves When You Need To Text

Solution: Gloves You Don’t Have To Remove To Use Your Phone

Sometimes, pulling off your gloves and setting them down when you want to use your phone can lead to a pair of lost gloves. These winter gloves with three touchscreen-friendly fingers come in 13 colors, and they’re only $11. Plus, they’re made of warm knit fabric.


Mistake: Staining Your Clothes While Cooking

Solution: This 2-Pack Of Waterproof Aprons That Are Machine Washable

This waterproof apron comes in a two-pack so you can cook together (and you probably won’t have to replace your favorite top because of a spill). These machine-washable aprons come in 11 colors, including a stripe pattern — and one reviewer raved, “Quality is great, love the pockets in the front, very adjustable, very water-resistant.”


Mistake: Buying New Toiletries While Visiting Relatives

Solution: These Compact Toiletry Containers In Pastel colors

These travel bottles can help save you money while visiting relatives because you won’t have to buy new soap and shampoo when you arrive. And the best part — in my opinion — is that they come in aesthetic pastel colors. This set comes with four BPA-free, leakproof bottles made of soft silicone, and one reviewer raved, “It’s super easy to squeeze every last drop of a product into the bottle.”


Mistake: Buying Holiday-Scented Candles Every Year

Solution: These Holiday-Scented Essential Oils For Your Diffuser

These fragrance oils come in mistletoe, apple cider, cranberry, and more for holiday scents with only a few drops in your diffuser. They’re super compact, so they don’t take up a lot of space in your holiday storage — and they come in a festive box. Plus, you won’t have to buy new holiday-scented candles every year.


Mistake: Throwing Away Half-Used Holiday Candles

Solution: A Fragrance Diffuser You Can Use Year-Round

You can add a few drops of holiday-scented essential oils to this diffuser instead of throwing away half-used holiday candles at the end of the holidays. Plus, you can use this diffuser with seven LED colors and multiple mist modes all year round with everyday scents (or holiday scents to be festive all year).


Mistake: Letting Your Coffee Get Cold While You're Busy

Solution: This Super Insulated Coffee Mug That Comes In 20 Colors

During the busy holiday season, your coffee will stay super warm with this stainless steel and vacuum insulated coffee mug. It helps keep drinks warm for over three hours, and it comes in 20 colors (including bold colors, sparkly metallics, a few colorful two-packs, and more).


Mistake: Buying Food On Holiday Road Trips Back Home

Solution: A Lunchbox With A Portable Food Warmer

This lunch kit is only $30, and it’s perfect for long road trips to visit family during the holidays (because you can pack it with food instead of buying takeout along the way). The lunchbox plugs into your car or a standard outlet, and it heats up your food while the bag keeps it warm and insulated.


Mistake: Buying Fancy Desserts For Family & Friends

Solution: A Holiday Dessert Cookbook To Bake Your Own Sweets

Instead of buying a bunch of baked goods for your family this year, bring this dessert cookbook with over 50 recipes home and spend some quality time baking together. Plus, it makes a perfect holiday present, and its minimalist cover is aesthetic and festive to display on your counter all year.


Mistake: Overcooking Your Food Because You’re Busy

Solution: A Set Of Reliable Kitchen Timers In Fun Colors

Go ahead: Run around the house and get everything ready for the holidays, because these digital timers will let you know when the time you set is up (whether you’re using them for cooking, party planning, or both). They have a super loud setting, a memory setting for your most-used times, and come in six fun color options.


Mistake: Waiting To Buy Gifts & Spending Extra For Fast Shipping

Solution: A Minimalist To-Do List To Remind You To Buy Presents

This to-do list has a simple design that you can keep using long after you've marked off the last present on your holiday list. Choose from a half size or letter size and use it as a reminder of the gifts you haven't purchased yet, so you don't end up paying for expensive overnight shipping.