40 Mistakes You Don't Realize Are Costing You A Lot Of Money Every Day

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Some days, I look around my house and realize just how much money I’m losing. There’s not any one big way that it’s going out the door; rather, it’s a myriad of little things, like the coffee pods I’m always replenishing for my single-use coffee maker and the cosmetics I throw out because I can’t scrape the last bits of remaining product from the bottoms of the jars. If that’s you too, I’m here to show you some easy ways to put a stop to making costly household mistakes.

This list is packed with money-saving fixes, including ingenious solutions for pet problems (hello, stained carpet) and ways to rehabilitate your favorite clothing, so you don’t have to purchase expensive replacements. You can even dip your toe into smart home technology, which is a great way to save on energy bills. Best of all, since so many of these money-saving products are reusable, they’re not only good for your wallet, but good for the earth, as well.


Mistake: Not Turning Off The Lights On When You Leave A Room

Solution: These Motion-Sensor Lights That Plug Into Outlets

If you keep forgetting to turn off the lights when you leave a room or hallway, get these motion-sensor night lights that will do it for you. They detect motion from up to 15 feet away, then turn off after 60 seconds of inactivity. Two lighting modes give you your choice of illumination levels, and you can rest easy knowing you’re saving up to 84% on energy in comparison to night lights without motion sensors.


Mistake: Letting Hair Clog The Shower Drain

Solution: This Cheap Drain Strainer That Catches Hair

You won’t need an expensive plumber to come out and fix your clogged drain when you put this clever hair catcher in your tub or shower. It catches hair by simply wrapping strands around the cylinder, and the holes throughout mean water will still be able to flow, so you’re not standing in a puddle. Then you can simply lift the catcher out of the drain and remove the hair.


Mistake: Neglecting To Clean Out Your Dryer Lint Trap

Solution: A Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit That Improves Your Machine’s Efficiency

You clean your lint filter every time you dry a load of clothes, but have you ever cleaned out the lint that’s lurking down in the body of your dryer? That hidden lint is not only compromising your dryer’s efficiency, but it can also be a fire hazard. This dryer vent cleaner kit attaches to your vacuum to help you get all of that hidden lint out of your dryer to maximize efficiency and help you save on your energy bills.


Mistake: Throwing Away Expensive Produce Because It’s Gone Bad

Solution: Fridge Liners Designed To Lengthen The Life Of Your Produce

Fresh produce can be so expensive, and it’s incredibly aggravating when it goes bad in the refrigerator before you can use it. These foam life extender sheets can be placed under your produce to promote air circulation and prevent bruising, odors, and premature spoiling. They’re BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free, and can be customized to fit your fridge with household scissors.


Mistake: Not Protecting Your Car Seats From Fur & Claws

Solution: A Waterproof Cover For Your Backseat

I love bringing my dogs along when I travel, but I don’t love all the dog hair and claw marks they leave behind in the car after the trip. This car seat cover lets you bring your dog along without worrying about damage to your leather or upholstery. Made from quilted waterproof cotton, it protects your seats by repelling mud and anything else your pupper might get into. It attaches to your headrests and has flaps for full-coverage protection.

  • Available trim colors: 4


Mistake: Regularly Paying For Pedicures To Soften Rough Feet

Solution: This Pack Of Foot Peels Mask That Will Make Your Skin Baby-Soft

Why put up with tough, callused feet when you can get baby-soft feet easily with these foot peel masks? (No pedicure appointment required.) They’re simple to use: You just pull on the booties, wear them for about an hour, then go about your business. Over the course of the next one to two weeks, all the dead skin will peel off, restoring smooth, velvety softness to your skin.

  • Available scents: 4


Mistake: Letting Your Area Rug Curl Up Over Time

Solution: Stick-On Grippers That Protect The Corners Of Your Rug

Left to its own devices, the corners of your area rug will curl up over time — and replacing a rug is no small investment. These nonslip grippers attach to the corners of the rug to tack it down, so it’ll stay lying flat. (Not to mention, it’ll also help prevent tripping and falling.) The pads’ vacuum-suction design adheres securely to the floor, and you don’t have to worry about any sticky residue being left behind.


Mistake: Calling A Plumber For Every Little Clog

Solution: This Wildly Popular Drain Cleaner That Eats Through Clogs

You’ll find that you can break up most clogged drains yourself when you have this liquid drain remover on your side. It uses the power of enzymes to eat up soap scum, grease, and food, so there’s no need to call out the plumber. Best of all, Green Gobbler eliminates the guesswork of trying to figure out how much to pour down the drain — these doses are pre-measured for convenience.


Mistake: Leaving Your Patio Furniture Out To Brave The Elements

Solution: These Waterproof Patio Furniture Covers

Your patio furniture was an investment — and leaving that investment to rust and become a mess when it rains and snows can wind up costing you even more money. The solution is these patio chair covers that are waterproof and made from sturdy oxford polyester with a UV coating. The covers have small air vents that prevent condensation and they come in a pack of two. Choose from three sizes.


Mistake: Letting Under-Door Drafts Inflate Your Heating & A/C Bills

Solution: This Cleverly Shaped Draft Stopper That Keeps In The Heat

If you have drafty doors that suck out your heat and air conditioning, put a quick stop to that with this door draft stopper. A great way to keep your energy bill from getting jacked up, it slides right under the door, and comes in multiple colors. It’s machine-washable and can even block out light and noise, too.

  • Available colors: 9


Mistake: Discarding Your Good Leather & Vinyl Items When They’re Ripped

Solution: This Repairing Kit That Lets You Get A New Life Out Of Them

Fix holes, tears, and scratches in your vinyl and leather sofas, chairs, and clothing with this vinyl and leather repair kit. With a wide variety of colors that can be mixed to achieve an exact shade match, this kit comes with plenty of compound to fill in deep holes and scratches. Repairs are a breeze, and no heat tools are required for patching up tears.


Mistake: Throwing Away Money On Disposable Food Storage Bags

Solution: These Reusable Snack Bags That Are More Eco-Friendly, Too

Save money and be kinder to mother earth at the same time when you buy these reusable food storage bags instead of the disposable plastic kind. Made from a thick, BPA-free material, they feature leakproof zippers that seal in freshness. The pack of 24 includes bags in three different sizes that are ideal for everything from taking lunch to school to storing leftovers in the freezer.


Mistake: Constantly Stocking Up On Plastic Wrap At The Store

Solution: This Reusable Beeswax Wrap That’s Made With Eco-Friendly Materials

Plastic wrap is one disposable item that’s easy to eliminate from our grocery shopping list once you have these reusable food wraps. Made from certified organic cotton that’s coated with responsibly sourced beeswax, plant oils, and tree resin, they wrap securely around food and over bowls to keep contents fresh.


Mistake: Buying A New Couch The Second Yours Snags

Solution: A Kit That Lets You Make Easy Repairs To Furniture

Don’t let a couch filled with snags make your whole house feel sad — just use this upholstery repair kit. The kit comes with seven different types of needles and two spools of strong upholstery thread. Reviewers said it’s not only amazing for giving your worn furniture a little love, but it’s equally great for fixing buttons, shoes, and even car seatbelts.


Mistake: Wasting Those Last Few Squeezes Of Toothpaste

Solution: These Clever Squeezers That Allow You To Get Every Last Drop Out Of Your Tubes

When you want to get a few extra days out of your toothpaste, these toothpaste squeezers will do the trick, saving you a little extra cash on each tube — and that can really add up over time. The four-pack gives you one for everyone in your family or your household, and they’re super easy to use — just slip over the end of the tube and slide up.


Mistake: Buying One-Use Makeup Remover Wipes

Solution: These Gentle Cotton Ones That Can Be Reused Again & Again

Those disposable makeup remover wipes may be convenient, but they’re expensive (and only add to the amount of garbage we’re putting in the landfills every day). These reusable makeup remover pads are an amazing alternative. Made from a blend of organic cotton and soft bamboo, the pads produce a much lower carbon footprint than their disposable counterparts, and can be thrown in the washing machine in their accompanying drawstring bag for easy reuse.


Mistake: Using So, So Many Paper Towels

Solution: These Machine-Washable Dishcloths That You Can Reuse Indefinitely

If you feel like you’re spending a small fortune on paper towels and yet you still never have enough of them, try these highly rated Swedish dishcloths as an alternative in your kitchen. Made from a cellulose and cotton blend, these cloths can be used for scrubbing when dry, and for gently wiping up messes when they’re wet — and they’re highly absorbent, too. Then, when they’re soiled, just throw them in the washing machine, and they’ll be ready to use all over again.

  • Available colors: 9


Mistake: Eating Microwave Popcorn From Pre-Prepared Bags

Solution: This Clever Invention That Makes Healthier, Tastier DIY Popcorn Every Time

Skip the microwave popcorn that comes in those pre-packaged bags; instead, get yourself this popcorn popper that lets you pop traditional kernels in the microwave on the cheap (and without any oil or butter, if you so desire). Made from heat-resistant, BPA-free silicone, it comes with a lid and collapses flat for storage.

  • Available colors: 13


Mistake: Buying Extras Of What You Already Have Because You Can’t See What’s In Your Fridge

Solution: These Clear Storage Bins That Allow You To View & Access Everything

If you can’t see what’s in your refrigerator, it could be costing you money in both wasted and extra food, since you’re likely doubling up on items at the store. These refrigerator bins make it easy to straighten up your refrigerator, so you can see exactly what you have before finalizing your grocery list.


Mistake: Buying All Your Coffee From The Fancy Cafe Down The Street

Solution: Becoming Your Own Barista With This Easy-To-Use Moka Pot

So you’re spending the GDP of a small nation at your favorite coffee house each week. (I get it.) Take a break for a while and get yourself one of these moka pots and enjoy making espresso right on your stovetop at home. An easy way to save a pretty penny, this pot gives you a full-flavored coffee drink, and comes with stainless steel cups for frothing milk.


Mistake: Going Out For Drinks Instead Of Having Everyone Over For A Cocktail

Solution: Mastering The Art Of Bartending — & Impressing Your Friends — With This All-In-One Cocktail Kit

Entertaining at home is so much more fun — and cost-effective — when you have a fully outfitted bar. With this cocktail set, you’ll look and feel like a professional mixologist, thanks to the stainless steel shaker, jiggers, strainer, and other tools that make it possible to whip up mixed drinks at your friends’ requests. It even comes with a cocktail recipe book, so you can learn the basics in no time.


Mistake: Buying Batteries When You Actually Already Have Them (But Can’t Find Them)

Solution: This Clever Battery Organizing Case So You Can See Exactly What You Have

It’s so aggravating to search for batteries in your junk drawer, buy new ones because you can’t find any, and then discover they’re actually in another random drawer (after you’ve bought the new ones). Put an end to that struggle with this battery storage case that keeps everything organized and within view. It even has an integrated battery tester, so you don’t have to fuss with popping a battery into a remote control, only to have it not work.


Mistake: Storing Your Coffee In A Container That’s Not Airtight

Solution: Ensuring Your Coffee Never Loses Its Taste With This Airtight Storage Canister

Coffee stored in a jar without an airtight seal loses its flavor and aroma so fast — especially problematic if you spend good money on your beans. This coffee canister features an airtight seal as well as a valve that lets out the carbon dioxide, keeping both beans and grounds as fresh as possible. This military-grade storage container is crafted from stainless steel and features a date wheel, so you can track how long the beans have been inside.

  • Available colors: 4


Mistake: Letting Pet Stains Ruin Your Carpet

Solution: A UV Light That Allows You To See — & Therefore Clean — Easy-To-Miss Stains

You love your four-legged friend, but maybe he or she leaves behind some stains on your carpet that are hard to tolerate. You can smell them, but you can’t see them... until now, that is. This UV flashlight makes it easy to spot pet accidents, so you can clean them up before they get a chance to settle in. It’s so powerful, it can be used in the daylight, so you don’t have to wait until night falls.


Mistake: Leaving Your Mattress Unprotected From Spills & Stains

Solution: This Mattress Cover That Protects It From Spills, Dust Mites, & More

When you enjoy having a cup of coffee in bed before you get up and go about your day, it’s so easy to accidentally spill (we’ve all been there). This mattress protector ensures that your mattress remains unscathed, while also locking out dust mites, perspiration, dead skin cells, and more. It’s noiseless and doesn’t change the feel of your mattress — it just extends its life and makes it allergen-free.


Mistake: Letting Stains Soak Into Your Clothes, Carpet & Other Fabrics

Solution: Keeping A Bottle Of This Clever Stain Remover On Hand

When difficult stains like red wine set into your clothes or your carpet, it’s easy to feel like just giving up and leaving them there. They don’t need to ruin things, though — just get this stain remover from the cleverly named Chateau Spill. Packaged in spray bottles, this formulation is purpose-made for red wine, but it’s just as effective on other tricky stains, too.


Mistake: Storing Your Expensive Clothes Without Shielding Them From Moths

Solution: These Moth Traps That You Can Conveniently Hang In Your Closet

When you store your beloved sweaters for the winter, don’t run the risk of letting moths set up shop while you’re not looking. Get these eco-friendly moth traps that protect clothes from holes. Virtually odorless, their unique design enables you to conveniently hang them alongside your clothing. Moths are trapped inside; simply dispose of them when full or after three months of continuous use.


Mistake: Forgetting To Moisturize Wood Countertops & Cutting Boards

Solution: This Mineral Oil That’ll Keep Your Wood Boards & Surfaces Looking Brand New

Butcher block countertops, cutting boards, and islands are so beautiful, but they do require attention and upkeep. When you let them dry out, they can crack, leading to costly replacements. Use this food-grade mineral oil to condition the wood and prevent drying and splitting. It’s odorless, tasteless, and can be applied easily with a rag.


Mistake: Ordering Takeout Because You Forgot To Meal Prep

Solution: These Glass Food Storage Containers That’ll Motivate You To Cook In Advance

Cooking at home can be fun and so much less expensive than ordering food from that app on your phone every night. These meal prep containers are a great asset to have in the kitchen when you’re determined to cook more. Made from stain-proof glass, they’re accompanied by BPA-free plastic lids that lock to be completely airtight. These containers can go from freezer to microwave to table, and are great for prepping ingredients on the weekend, so they’re ready for use when you’re in a hurry during the week.


Mistake: Storing Expensive Handbags So That They Slump Over & Lose Their Shape

Solution: This Over-The-Door Organizer That’ll Keep Your Most-Used Bags Looking Their Best

You fall in love with one particular handbag in your collection and carry it on repeat; meanwhile, all your other purses are on a shelf in your closet, slumping over and losing their shape. Don’t let that happen — get this purse organizer that hangs over the back of your closet or bedroom door. The individual pockets keep them upright and dust-free, and since they’re transparent, you can see what’s inside.


Mistake: Breaking Your Wine Glasses When You Sip Outside

Solution: These Shatterproof Wine Glasses That Also Keep Your Drink Cold

Enjoy a glass of wine outside without worrying about breaking your delicate glassware with these insulated wine tumblers that are so durable — and which also keep cold beverages absolutely icy. Made from stainless steel, they come with BPA-free plastic lids that have a convenient sipping mouthpiece with a sliding cover. The lids seal with rubber gaskets to ensure that the tumblers are spill- and drip-proof.

  • Available colors: 6


Mistake: Losing Your Couch To Cat Scratches

Solution: These Brilliant Shields That’ll Protect Your Furniture From Your Pets’ Claws

You love your cat, but she scratches up the arms of your couch to the point that they look like they’re tasseled and furry. You don’t have to live like that; get these cat scratch deterrent shields that make it unpleasant for your cat to exercise her claws. These shields are transparent, so they won’t affect the appearance of your furniture, and you simply cut them to size to get them to fit perfectly.


Mistake: House-Training Your Dog Without Putting Down Protective Floor Pads

Solution: These Potty Pads That You Can Reuse Over & Over Again

If you’re housebreaking your puppy — and don’t protect your hardwood or carpets in the process — you’re in for some heartache. These reusable pee pads shield your floors, and since they’re machine-washable, you won’t have to continually restock until your dog gets the hang of things. Just as good, they look like chic area rugs.


Mistake: Getting Gel Manicures On The Regular

Solution: This Gel-Effect Polish That Allows You To Give Yourself A Long-Lasting Manicure At Home

With this wallet-friendly gel nail polish, you can do your own gel manicure at home without the need for a UV light — an easy way to save money on regular salon trips. It’s easy to apply and comes in a whole rainbow of colors. Plus, this formula is chip-resistant and proven to be long-lasting, so you get a similarly long life out of your home manicure as you would from the professional version.

  • Available colors: 34


Mistake: Buying Flavored Drinks Instead Of Making Your Own

Solution: A Water Bottle With A Built-In Infuser That’ll Save You So Much Money On Bottled Drinks

Instead of always buying flavored canned beverages, you can make your own with fruits and botanicals when you have this fruit infuser water bottle. The water bottle is made from shatterproof, BPA-free Tritan, while the infuser has a built-in pulp strainer to ensure that you only get the flavors of the ingredients you place inside. The lid has a leakproof flip-top mechanism and a sport-bottle nozzle for sipping.

  • Available colors: 3


Mistake: Restocking Your Daily Single-Use Coffee Pod Supply

Solution: These Genius, Reusable Coffee Pods That You Can Use With Your Favorite Ground Blend

The cost of coffee pods adds up fast, but if you love the convenience of a single-use machine, there is a money-saving hack: these reusable coffee pod cups. Dishwasher-safe, they’re designed with stainless steel mesh filters, so they won’t interfere with your delicious-tasting brew. Just add your favorite grounds, and insert into your machine.


Mistake: Discarding Your Old Sweaters Because They’re All Pilled Up

Solution: Giving Them A Second Life With This Best-Selling Fabric Defuzzer

Don’t throw out your favorite sweaters just because they have pills all over them — just get this fabric shaver and remove the fuzz, so your knitwear looks good as new again. With three depth settings, it’s safe to use on nearly any fabric (including delicates), and can also tackle upholstery and curtains. It’s cordless and battery-powered, making it a breeze to maneuver.

  • Available colors: 6


Mistake: Wasting The Ends Of Your Favorite Condiments & Cosmetics

Solution: A Long, Teeny Spatula That Allows You To Get The Very Last Drop

Get down to the last drop of your ketchup, chutney, and even your cosmetics with these last-drop spatulas that are specially designed to reach into narrow bottles and jars to scrape out remaining contents. The set of two includes a larger spatula that’s perfect for kitchen use and a miniature version that’s ideal for getting the most from your favorite beauty items. Both have long, slim handles for maneuvering into tight spaces, and the flexible heads reach every last bit.


Mistake: Buying New Candles All The Time

Solution: These Reusuable Ones That Last Forever

Stop buying wax candles that have to be replaced constantly, and get almost unlimited use from these flameless candles. They produce realistic flickering light, and are activated by a remote control that enables you set timers and control their brightness. They create a cozy ambience, just like the real thing, and are so much more budget-friendly.

  • Available colors: 5


Mistake: Not Keeping An Eye On Your Energy Use

Solution: These Smart Plugs That Do So For You

I can tell you from personal experience that if you’re not implementing smart technology into your home, you’re missing out on savings. These smart plugs let you set schedules and monitor energy usage, whether you plug in lights, appliances, or electronic devices. You can control them from an app on your phone, or use voice commands if you have an Alexa or Good Home, so they’re mega-convenient, too.

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