Experts Say You're Wasting Money At Home If You Aren't Trying Any Of These Clever Hacks

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Written by Claire Epting

I’ve never been a make-a-hard-budget-and-stick-to-it type of person. Don’t get me wrong, I love saving money (who doesn’t?) — but I get overwhelmed when trying to figure out just how much to spend on each little thing. That’s why I love these money-saving hacks from home experts — they help you lower your living costs with practically zero effort on your part.

One easy way you can reduce your spending is by cutting out single-use food storage bags in the kitchen. By investing in these washable and reusable bags or some beeswax wraps, you can keep your produce and leftovers fresh for longer while eliminating the need for disposable bags. Then you can lower your utility bills by incorporating energy-efficient gadgets — like these smart light bulbs — into your home. Below, you’ll find tons of genius money-saving hacks recommended by plumbers, decluttering gurus, and other home experts. Living on a budget has never been easier.


Preventing A Bed Bug Infestation With These Interceptors

These rounded furniture risers have unique grooved designs that trap crawling bed bugs inside before they can climb up your bed frame. “Bed bug interceptor cups are a great way to monitor for bed bugs and catch a bed bug issue early, before it becomes a full-blown infestation,” says Rick Conti, certified bed bug inspector in New York City and owner of Doctor Sniffs Bed Bug Dogs. No infestations equals no expensive visits from an exterminator.

  • Available colors: Black, White


Clearing Small Sink Clogs Yourself With These Flexible Drain Snakes

In some cases, a clogged sink is simply caused by a buildup of hair near the top of a drain. Brendon White, director at District Drain Solutions, recommends using this handheld drain snake to clear out small messes — no plumber (or plumbing bills) necessary. White says, “It’s good to have this on hand to removed small clogs and even prevent things from building up.”


Keeping Track Of Your Dried Goods With This Airtight Container

Macie Kreutzer, decluttering expert and founder of For The Love Of Simple, loves this airtight dry goods container because it allows you to see how much food you have left — so you don’t accidentally buy too much on your next trip to the grocery store. “In addition to overbuying, your food has a longer shelf life in tight containers instead of its original packaging,” she adds.


Mapping Out Your Meals In This Compact Planner

Use this stylish meal planner to map out at-home eating throughout the week. “Thoughtful, intentional food ready to be eaten or cooked in the fridge will ultimately keep you from spending too much money at the grocery store and eating out,” says Kreutzer. The planner helps you organize your food budget, grocery list, and recipes, so everything is in one place.


Lowering Your Water Bill With A Faucet Aerator

You might not realize it, but something as simple as using the faucet can rack up your monthly water bill. The solution? A faucet aerator, which is super easy to install. “Faucet aerators are a great addition to your standard faucet because they reduce the amount of water flow and better control the water stream,” says Todd Saunders, CEO of Flooring Stores. This one comes in chrome, brushed nickel, and matte black finishes.

  • Available colors: Brushed Nickel, Chrome, Matte Black


Catching Leaky Pipes Early With A Water Leak Sensor

It’s much more cost-effective to nip a leaky pipe in the bud than let it grow into a larger problem. Doyle James, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, suggests installing a water leak sensor by your water heater and underneath your sinks, so you can be alerted when there’s excess moisture around the pipes. “Addressing a water loss quickly can save thousands in damages and repair costs,” he says.


Touching Up Your Metal Hardware With Rub-N-Buff

Instead of purchasing new metal hardware, you can touch up your existing pieces with Rub-N-Buff. Made from pigmented carnauba waxes, the treatment dries to a lustrous metallic finish. “For updating hardware — from furniture handles to light fixtures to curtain rods — Rub-n-Buff is an absolute game changer!!” says Rebecca Rouse, home stylist and DIY-er behind Rouse in the House Co.


Air-Drying Your Clothes Instead Of Machine-Drying Them

One way to lower your monthly utility bill? Run your dryer sparingly. Nick Mueller, director of operations at luxury beach house rental company, recommends using this foldable metal rack to air-dry your clothes. “Aside from extending the life of your clothing, you'll also save energy by using your dryer less often,” he says.

  • Available colors: White, Chrome


Replacing Your Plastic Wrap With These Reusable Beeswax Wraps

Say goodbye to your disposable plastic wrap and hello to these beeswax-coated cotton food wraps. “Replacing your disposables with sustainable, reusable alternatives is a great way to save money,” says Amanda Santoro, landscape architect and cofounder of eco-sustainable blog Big Living | Little Footprint. Available in four vibrant patterns, the flexible wraps keep produce, leftovers, and snacks fresh.

  • Available patterns: 4


Storing Food In These Reusable Bags Instead Of Plastic Baggies

Following Santoro’s advice further, you can replace your disposable baggies with these reusable food storage bags made of food-grade PEVA material. You get a variety of sizes in this pack of 10 bags, each one with a resealable closure at the top. In between uses, simply rinse the bags out with water and allow to air dry.


Blending Your Produce Scraps Into Homemade Plant Compost

CEO of Indoor Home Garden Sarah Beaumont has a genius gardening hack that will save you money: Make your own compost in this 10-speed blender. “This makeshift compost is excellent for encouraging new and strong plant growth, without the need to buy ready-made (and expensive) compost from the gardening center,” she says. Save your leftover produce scraps throughout the week and blend them together into a pulp that can be added straight to your garden.


Growing Your Own Herbs In These Wall-Mounted Planters

These globe-shaped wall planters provide the perfect spot to grow basil, rosemary, and other herbs indoors. “This will save you quite a bit of money because you will no longer need to buy these ingredients from the store,” says Beaumont. You get six transparent planters in a pack, which are easy to install with the included hardware.


Extending The Life Of Your Produce With These Containers

If you constantly find yourself tossing out spoiled produce, you should check out these refrigerator containers from Rubbermaid. Taylor Barefoot, founder and chief editor of home decor guide, recommends them because they can extend the life of your fresh goods up to two or three times. “This hack can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run, since you won't have to throw out spoiled produce as often,” he says.


Installing A Low-Flow Showerhead In Your Bathroom

Reducing your monthly water bill can be as easy as installing this filtered showerhead. “A low-flow showerhead can save you money on your water bill and also help conserve water,” says Barefoot. Not only will you be using significantly less water, but you’ll also be enjoying cleaner water — the natural mineral beads remove impurities as it passes through the head. The best part? The dense nozzle pattern will actually make it feel like the water pressure has increased (like magic).


Hanging Blackout Curtains To Regulate Your Home’s Temperature

Hang these blackout curtains to block the sun’s heat in the summer and prevent heat from escaping in the winter. “By doing this, you'll be able to keep your home at a comfortable temperature without having to rely as much on your heating and cooling system,” explains Barefoot. Using the heat and A/C less often can help guarantee a lower utility bill each month.

  • Available sizes: 32
  • Available colors: 26


Brightening Up Your Space With This Wallet-Friendly Mirror

Looking to make your living space feel brighter without spending a lot of cash? You can make it happen with this wallet-friendly hanging mirror. The oval-shaped wall fixture features a chain loop up top that secures onto a hook. “Hanging a mirror in your home can create the illusion of more space, which can make a room look and feel bigger,” advises Barefoot.


Swapping Out Your Regular Lights For These Energy-Saving Smart Bulbs

Pairing with your Amazon Alexa or Google Home, these smart light bulbs can be programmed only to turn on at certain times of day, or be dimmed to your liking. “LED light bulbs use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, so they can help you save money on your energy bill,” says Barefoot. You can even adjust the bulbs from anywhere using your smartphone.


Cleaning Your Car With A Waterless Solution

Petar Dazja, blogger at Car Detailing Planet, suggests using this waterless wash and wax on your car to keep it looking clean without running up your monthly water bill. Safe for use on paint, wheels, and windows, the detailing treatment will also save you a trip to the car wash. Simply spray it on your car and wipe it away with a microfiber cloth.


Plugging Your Devices Into This Energy-Efficient Smart Power Strip

One simple way to reduce your electricity levels is to plug your devices into a smart power strip — allowing you to power on and off with a simple voice command or via your smartphone. You can also set schedules and timers to ensure you’re not draining unnecessary electricity. “This will help you save money on your energy bill by not leaving electronics plugged in when they are not in use,” says Yan Margulis, CEO of Capable Group home renovation company.


Preserving Your Leftover Produce With These Silicone Covers

When your recipe only calls for, say, half a lemon, these silicone food huggers allow you to preserve the rest of your produce for future use. Says Jenna Moran, CEO and creative director of cooking blog Whimsy and Spice: “These Food Huggers form a seal over the cut edge of the produce, preventing it from drying out and allowing it to be used another time (saving money in the process).” Try them with onions, tomatoes, citrus, and more.

  • Available multipacks: 5


Sealing The Bottom Of Your Door With This Draft Stopper

Beatrice Flores, cleaning expert and head blogger at Living Pristine, suggests sealing the bottoms of your doors with these draft stoppers. They keep cold air from entering your heated room, and hot air from seeping into air-conditioned spaces. “These measures will help to reduce your heating and cooling costs, and can also help to improve the indoor air quality of your home,” she says.

  • Available colors: 5


Insulating Your Doors & Windows With Weather-Sealing Tape

Designed for use on both windows and doors, this weather-sealing tape covers up any cracks that could be letting hot or cold air into your home. The moisture-resistant, transparent tape is flexible, conforming to angles and curves. Flores recommends insulating your home to make it more energy-efficient, and this tape is a cost-effective way to do so.


Controlling Your Appliances With Smart Plugs

With voice-activation capabilities and the ability to pair with your smartphone, these smart plugs give you full control over the output of your electronic devices. “One of the best ways to save money at home is to make your living space more energy-efficient,” says Flores. You can also set timers and schedules for your devices, so they automatically shut off at certain times.


Packing Away Leftovers In These Glass Food Containers

With an airtight hinged locking system, these glass food containers preserve your leftovers in the fridge, so you can enjoy them the next day. “Not only will this help you save money on your grocery bill, but it will also reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills,” explains Flores. They’re also great for meal prepping at the beginning of the week, so you don’t end up spending money on takeout.


Wiping Away Spills With Absorbent Microfiber Cloths Instead Of Paper Towels

Save money on paper towels by wiping up household spills with these microfiber cloths. “You can use cleaning rags instead of disposable kitchen napkins, which are much more absorbent,” says Jamie Penney of The Backyard Pros. Unlike paper towels, these cloths are easy to reuse — just toss them in the washing machine to freshen them up.


Using Green Bags To Keep Your Fruits & Veggies Fresh

Reusable up to eight times each, Debbie Meyer Green Bags extend the life of your fruits and vegetables — which saves you from having to toss them out before eating. “Nothing is worse than spending cash on produce and then having it spoil before you can use it, but thanks to all of these recycled produce bags, you won't have to worry about that issue any longer,” says Robin Antill, director at Leisure Buildings. Use them with apples, bananas, stone fruit, peppers, and more.


Tossing These Wool Balls Into Your Clothing Dryer For More Efficiency

One simple way to cut back on your electricity bill? Use these dryer balls made of 100% New Zealand wool. “Put them in the dryer along with your clothing to save drying time and eliminate the need for fabric softener sheets,” says Antill. You get six dryer balls in a pack, which are stored inside a convenient drawstring pouch — so you can even take them to the laundromat.


Updating Your Throw Pillows On The Cheap With These Covers

With a soft, rustic feel, these pillow covers work with the inserts you already own — so you can update your bedroom without dropping a lot of cash. “Changing the pillows on your bed is a quick and easy method to give your bedroom a new look and feel,” Antill suggests. They come in a wide array of colors, from midnight blue to burnt orange.

  • Available sizes: 4
  • Available colors: 13


Carrying These Reusable Totes To The Grocery Store

Reduce your need for plastic bags at the grocery store with this trio of tote bags made out of 100% cotton. “Reusable totes are so helpful and, in this era of eliminating waste, can be very helpful when transporting things from one place to the next,” says Amy Kite, Chicago-area real estate agent at The Kite Team. Not only are these bags functional, they’re also cute.


Decluttering Your Space With A Storage Ottoman

Blanca Aguirrezabal, founder of home improvement site TheBlogStuff, recommends using this tufted linen storage ottoman to conceal books, magazines, or blankets from view. “The Alasdo Storage Small Ottoman is perfect for anyone who wants to declutter their home on a budget,” she says. Plus, it also doubles as a functional footrest.

  • Available colors & styles: 4


Utilizing Your Under-Bed Space For Storage

Another cheap decluttering hack, these three under-bed storage bags have transparent covers that allow you to easily see the items you place inside. “If you have an abundance of shoes, clothes, hats, or more, these storage bags are a great idea,” says Mike Harvey, Managing Director of First Move International. Not to mention, the zippered bags keep their contents safe from dirt and dust — which can extend the life of your belongings.


Swapping Out Cable For A Streaming Stick

Replacing your current cable setup with a Fire TV Stick can significantly save you money, since you only have to pay for the streaming services you wish to use. “Combining an antenna and a favorite streaming service keeps your family completely entertained while eliminating a large monthly expense,” advises Kurt Grosse, realtor with Realty One Group in Las Vegas.


Hanging Hooks On Your Wall Without Complicated Hardware

Need some extra hooks in your bathroom, kitchen, or hallway? “Fortunately, you can solve the problem quickly and cheaply by ordering a set of hooks with adhesive strips,” says Sean Chapman, professional carpenter and founder of Tools'n'Goods. What’s great about these Command wall hooks is that they’re so easy to install — no extra tools or hardware required. Plus, the strips won’t leave any lasting damage on your walls, which means no expensive repairs when you remove them.


Brewing Coffee With This Reusable K-Cup Filter

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you can cut down on spending by brewing your own cup in a Keurig machine at home — and brewing with a reusable K-Cup is even better. “Reusable coffee filters and K-cups can help you save a lot,” says Justin Marshall, founder of ergonomic Desk company Desky. Just add a scoop of your favorite gourmet coffee to the K-Cup before brewing. It’s dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze.