A dollar here or a few cents there may not seem like a lot of money, but it adds up. The best way to immediately reduce your expenses is to look around your house and see where you may be wasting money. I’ve made a list for you and paired each home mistake you may be making with the solution you’ve been looking for. And best of all? The affordable products you need come from Amazon and can be at your door in two days. Check out these 42 surprisingly mistakes you’re making around the house that are costing you money.
The number one way you’re losing money at home is probably through some form of waste. Whether it’s throwing out the peanut butter jar with a teaspoon or two left or letting the produce you bought spoil before eating it, these small mistakes wind up costing a ton of money in the long run. I’ve included Amazon finds that make it easier to get every last bit in the jar or extend the life of your favorite fruits and veggies.
Another way to cut costs is by doing some home repairs yourself. Instead of hiring a professional, I’ve included a handful of beginner-friendly kits that help you restore tile, leather, or wood furniture. Sometimes the smallest fixes have huge payouts by giving your space a fresh, expensive-looking feel without spending a ton of money. You’ll find everything you need to fall back in love with the stuff you already have.
There’s no shame in making any of these common mistakes — we’ve all been there. Live, learn, and “Buy Now.”
Mistake: Allowing Cold Air Or Heat To Escape Homes
Solution: These Door Draft Stoppers
One of the biggest mistakes you’re making in your home that is also costing you a ton of money is allowing cool air to escape under doors during the summer months and heat to be wasted away during the winter. But this pack of two
door stoppers offers a fast and cheap weather stripping solution that creates a seal under doors and stays put. Cut the stoppers to size and easily peel back their strip to adhere them to doors.
Mistake: Forgetting To Clean Your Washing Machine
Solution: These Cleaning Tables With A Cult Following
If you aren’t occasionally cleaning your washing machine you are leaving dirt and grime behind that can result in less-than-super-clean clothing every time you throw another load in the wash. But these
washing machine cleaning tablets remove residue and will work in both front and top-load washers, as well as HE washing machines. Each package comes with six tablets (use one each month) — and find out why it has a cult following with more than 152,000 reviews.
Mistake: Using Disposable Cotton Rounds To Remove Makeup
Solution: These Eco-Friendly Reusable Pads
Admit it: you’re wasting a ton of money on cotton rounds that end up in the garbage at the end of each day. There’s a more affordable solution — one that’s also eco-friendly: these disposable makeup remover pads that come 20 in a pack and are made with organic cotton and bamboo. The pads include a cotton drawstring laundry bag and are considered gentle on all skin types. They also boast more than 21,000 reviews.
Mistake: Watching Expensive Avocados Turn Brown In Days
Solution: These Avo Savers
Avocados are so expensive — and they go bad way too fast. But these
avocado savers block air from turning avos brown so quickly, and they are designed with a strap to keep them in place. The savers come two in a pack and cost less than $10.
Mistake: Spending Bundles On Paper Towels
Solution: A Roll Of Bamboo Towels That Lasts Six Months
If you’re going through paper towels without even thinking about how much money you’re wasting, making a switch to these reusable
bamboo towels is better for the planet and your wallet. These eco-friendly towels are machine washable and can be used up to 120 times before you need to throw them out. One roll replaces six months of traditional paper towels and they’re compatible with sweeper mops, too.
Mistake: Not Blocking Hair And Debris From Getting Into Drains
Solution: A Protector That Fits Inside Drains
Hiring a plumber is going to cost you a pretty penny, but you can keep your drains as clean and clear as possible by using this popular
hair catcher that nestles inside of your drain, so it won’t pop up and float in your tub. The TubShroom won’t block water flow and boasts nearly 100,000 reviews.
Mistake: Forgetting To Water Your Plants
Solutions: These Watering Stakes That Do The Job For You
You can love your plant babies and still forget to water them enough (because life gets busy). These
plant watering stakes are made of terracotta and deliver water slowly to plants and flowers, ensuring they are hydrated without getting overwatered. The stakes come with six in a pack.
Mistake: Your Herbs Go Bad In Days
Solutions: The Herb Keeper That Airs Out Produce
Take those fresh herbs and veggies out of plastic bags and invest in a few of these
herb keepers that will allow air to circulate and keep them fresher for so much longer. You’ll find yourself making fewer trips to the grocer to spend money and the keeper comes in two sizes and can easily store on a fridge shelf or door.
Mistake: Throwing Out Excess Product
Solution: These Narrow Spatulas That Get Every Last Drop
Every time you throw out a peanut butter jar, cleaning solution, or eye cream when there’s still some left in the bottom, you’re just throwing away money. These
flexible spatulas fit into any bottle or container, so you can get every last drop. The five-piece set comes with a large spatula, two 12-inch spatulas, one 9-inch spatula, and one 6-inch spatula. They’re all BPA-free and made of food-grade silicone.
Mistake: Your Coffee Is Stale Before You Can Finish It
Solution: An Airtight Canister With A Date Tracker
Keep your coffee fresher, longer with an
airtight canister like this one. The 22-ounce, stainless steel container keeps air out and even has a one-way CO2 valve to avoid oxidation. The top of the canister has a date tracker and a side compartment to hold the included scoop. It’s the perfect place to store flour, nuts, sugar, and of course, coffee beans.
Mistake: Letting Produce Go Bad
Solution: These Produce-Saving Balls That Extend Freshness
Keep your fruits and veggies fresher for longer with these
produce saver balls — which will cut back on trips to the grocery store and money spent. These gadgets look like blue apples and work by absorbing ethylene gas in your fridge that prematurely turns your produce. Just place one in your fridge and change it out every three months.
Mistake: Using Bulbs That Burn Out Quickly
Solution: These Efficient LED Bulbs
Not only do these
bulbs save you money on your electrical bills, but they also last up to 13 years before they need to be replaced — talk about value. These energy-efficient LEDs are prime substitutes for standard 60-watt incandescent lamps and give off 750 lumens. This pack of 24 bulbs is all soft white light that can be used indoors or out.
Mistake: Damaging Your Floor In Order To Secure Your Rug
Solution: These Residue-Free Grippers
You want to secure your rugs to avoid tripping or unwanted shifting, but at what cost to your floors? This is the safe alternative. These
rug grippers use a vacuum-tech design to grip any type of floor, yet they’re thin enough to not add bulk to your rug. Just stick these adhesive grippers to any rug that’s always slipping or curling at the corners. When you peel them up, you’ll forget they were ever there.
Mistake: Leaving Lights On All Day
Solution: These Motion-Actived Plug-In Lights
motion-sensor lights in areas of your home where you could use a bit more light without the expense of installing a new electrical system. This pack includes two lights that plug into AC outlets and automatically come on when motion is detected within 15 feet. They give off a soft warm glow and have three modes: constantly on, off, or auto (the motion-activated option.) The light automatically turns off after 20 seconds of inactivity to conserve the battery.
Mistake: Allowing Lint Build-Up To Make Your Dryer Inefficient
Solution: This Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit
Keep your dryer at peak efficiency with this
dryer vent cleaner kit that includes a hose attachment for your vacuum that’s designed to clean vents. The hose is 33 inches long and flexible to reach between appliances, especially your dryer vent. It attaches to most vacuum hoses to make cleaning a breeze. Not only will cleaning the lint out of your dyer help dry your clothes faster, but it can help prevent a serious fire hazard.
Mistake: Not Protecting Your Chairs Or Floors
Solution: These Stretchy, Clear Leg Covers
silicone chair leg covers protect both your chairs and your floors without ruining your aesthetic. The clear covers slip on over your chair legs and have a felt bottom that makes it easy to slide across floors without worrying about scratching. This pack includes 16 covers and is available in several colors.
Mistake: Leaving Toothpaste Behind In Its Tube
Solution: A Dispenser That Squeezes Every Last Drop
The fewer trips to the convenience store to stock up on toiletries like toothpaste, the better for your wallet. And one way to cut down on expenses is by using this
toothpaste tube dispenser that effortlessly squeezes out every last bit of toothpaste. You’ll get four dispensers in each pack, all in different colors, and you can repurpose them for items like face cream and medicine.
Mistake: Replacing Chipped Tiles With A Reno Project
Solution: A $15 Tile Repair Kit
Before you call in a contractor and change your entire bathroom over a few chipped tiles, take a step back and consider this $15 tile repair kit instead. The kit comes in more than 20 colors to match your tile and instantly fills in chips and cracks, as well as scratches on vinyl floors. It acts as a filler, sealant, and colorant, so there’s no need to make things messy by mixing it with other agents.
Mistake: Slamming Cabinet Doors Shut Until They Chip
Solution: These Cabinet Door Bumpers
If every time you reach inside a kitchen cabinet to grab a cup, you accidentally slam that door shut, those slams are going to add up to chipped cabinets that are costly to fix and replace. But these simple $10
cabinet bumpers adhere to cabinet doors so that each slam lands softly, protecting its wood finish. The translucent button-shaped bumpers come in a pack of 100.
Mistake: Buying New Pillows The Minute They Get A Tear
Solution: Mending Them With This Sewing Kit
Bring back the days of repairing snags and tears in items like pillows, upholstery, and clothing and save so much money with the help of this
sewing kit. The complete kit contains thread in every imaginable color, as well as scissors, pins, buttons, and more. This highly rated kit has more than 25,000 reviews.
Mistake: Ruining Your Stovetop With Grease And Debris
Solution: A Set Of Protective Burner Covers
As anyone who has spent time scraping food debris and grease from stovetops will tell you: the chore takes up major time you could be spending doing anything else and, if not done successfully, can lead you straight into the arms of the nearest brand new (expensive) stove. But you can protect stovetops with these
burner covers, which can be trimmed to fit your burner and come eight in a pack.
Mistake: Calling A Plumber To Deal With Clogs
Solution: The Safe Drain Clog Dissolver
There’s nothing that works as fast or is (arguably) as effective as treating your drains with a protective coat of this highly rated
drain clog dissolver, which removes debris like hair from drains so that you don’t have to call in a plumber. The biodegradable formula is safe to use in tubs, sinks, and toilets (it’s septic-safe) and two bottles cost just $22 — a fraction of what you’ll pay for a plumber.
Mistake: Replacing Tables And Chairs The Second They Get Scratched Up
Solution: Filling In Flaws With These Wood Markers
Wood chips — it’s a fact of home decor life. But if you were to run out and buy new pieces every time your old ones wear out a bit you’ll wind up spending a fortune. These
furniture repair kit wood markers and wax sticks come in a set of 13 in all of the colors you’ll need to find the perfect match for your tables, chairs, dressers, and wood floors. Simply fill in the flaws and your furniture and floors will look brand new.
Mistake: Letting Produce Rot In Plastic Bags
Solution: The Fridge Liners That Extend The Life Of Fruits And Veggies
Storing your fresh produce in plastic bags in your fridge is the fastest way to let it go bad far sooner than necessary. Your grocery bill will benefit from these
fridge liners that you can cut to size and place in fruit and veggie drawers to extend the life of your produce. The foam liners allow air to circulate, which keeps produce crisp, and are free of BPAs, PVC, and phthalates. The set comes with four liners.
Mistake: Grease Keeps Dripping Onto Oven Surfaces
Solution: An Oven Liner That Keeps Ovens In Tip-Top Shape
A clean oven is an oven that you’re more likely to keep around for longer — saving you the enormous expense of replacing your appliances. These non-stick
oven liners cost less than $15 for a pack of three and effortlessly capture spills and food debris from pans so that you can then easily wipe them away. You can trim them to fit oven racks and are dishwasher-safe.
Mistake: Leaving Wads Of Hair To Clog Drains
Solution: A Set Of Drain Snakes With 10,000 Reviews
You don’t need the skills of a trained plumber to remove everyday clog-draining culprits like hair and beard clippings. These popular
drain snakes are long and flexible enough to reach deep into drains and their spiked design captures debris and lifts it up, saving you the expense of calling in a professional. The set comes with six clog removers, five plastic drainer tools, and one stainless steel cleaner.
Mistake: Wasting Energy By Plugging In Devices In Every Outlet
Solution: An Energy-Saving Surge Protector With Seven Outlets
Surge protectors cut down on the amount of energy you use and can save you money on your electric bills — not to mention they can prevent power surges. This energy-saving
surge protector features seven outlets to accommodate many of your appliances and devices and is designed with a surge circuit indicator light.
Mistake: Every Time Your Bed Moves Your Wall Suffers
Solution: Anti-Shake Tools That Protect Walls
Not only does a moving bed disrupt your sleep, but its movement can slam into the wall behind it, which means you’ll eventually have to spend money to repair chipping paint. Here’s a $12 solution:
anti-shake headboard tools that attach to your bed frame with an adhesive that keeps it in place and provides an EVA cushion barrier to protect walls. These smart tools, which have nearly 5,000 reviews, are adjustable and simple to install, according to reviewers.
Mistake: Leaving Lights On All Day And Night
Solution: A Money-Saving Motion Sensor Light Socket
Turn any ordinary light bulb into a motion sensor light that only switches on when you’re in the room (and saves you a ton of money) with this
motion sensor light socket. The socket has an adjustable auto on/off control and detects movement within 12 feet by sensing your body temperature. Instead of leaving lights on all day and night, and wasting a won of money, this socket will get your electrical spending under control.
Mistake: Wasting Paper Towels On Cleaning Day
Solution: Switching To These Reusable Swedish Dishcloths
Not only are these
Swedish dishcloths more effective at absorbing dust and dirt on cleaning days than ordinary paper towels, but they are so much more eco-friendly and cost-effective in the long run. A pack of six cloths costs just $14 and absorbs 20 times more liquid than its weight, so one cloth will last you a long time. They’re made from sustainable materials like cotton and cellulose wood pump (which makes them ultra durable) and are free of plastic. They come in 10 colors and packs of 10, as well.
Mistake: Letting Your Kitty Friend Claw The Couch
Solution: These Cat Scratch Deterrents
In a pure and perfect world, you’d let your favorite kitty friend go to town and scratch up everything their little kitty hearts desire. But in reality, that would mean your sofas suffer big-time and will need to be replaced way sooner than necessary. These
cat scratch deterrent shields can be cut to size to fit the sides of your furniture and they stay in place with a peel-off adhesive that sticks to the furniture. The protectors are clear, so they won’t ruin your aesthetic, and they’ll gently persuade your cat to move their scratching needs over to the lovely scratching post you provided them.
Mistake: Allowing Humid Rooms To Become Moldy
Solution: A Mini Dehumidifier To Absorb Moisture
Humid basements, attics, and other rooms are more prone to mold and mildew — which presents a very expensive problem to treat in your home. Keep these issues at bay with the perfect preventative measure: a
mini dehumidifier that absorbs up to eight ounces of moisture and is totally cordless (but can be plugged in when you need to renew it). This pick offers a 10-year life span.
Mistake: Slippery Tubs That Can Result In Accidents
Solution: Anti-Slip Shower Stickers
Dangerous slips in slippery tubs can result in expensive medical bills. This pack of 24 anti-slip
shower stickers actually look aesthetically pleasing in your tub, aren’t susceptible to mold and mildew like mats, and can keep you standing securely in place in the shower. The highly rated stickers come in six colors, including translucent.
Mistake: Throwing Out A Couch When Its Leather Splits
Solution: A Leather And Vinyl Repair Kit
The minute the leather or vinyl exterior on your sofa gets worn out it can make your entire living area look old and in need of an expensive update. Don’t throw out furniture so fast — this
leather and vinyl repair kit comes with a variety of compounds in different colors that you mix together (all of the tools you need are included) to create a perfect complementary piece of backing fabric that you’ll then apply to worn-out spots on your furniture that need a little love and attention. Once you restore your pieces you’ll be less eager to find pricey replacements for them.
Mistake: Neglecting To Deep Clean Every Inch Of Your Home
Solution: A Multi-Tasking 10-In-1 Steam Mop
There’s a good chance professional cleaners would get your home in tip-top shape — and far more spotless than you ever could. But when a cleaning team is not in your budget, don’t get discouraged: This multi-tasking
steam mop cleaner can deep clean everything — from floors and carpets to areas you usually forget like windows, mirrors, upholstery, and drapes. It has more than 30,000 reviews and is considered an Amazon #1 bestseller.
Mistake: Replacing Floor Tiles Because Of A Crack
Solution: A Tile And Stone Repair Kit
Floors chip sometimes — there’s no need to replace tile just yet. Make a fast, inexpensive repair with this
tile repair kit that works on stone, ceramic, and marble surfaces. The kit includes different colored putty options to get the right match and will easily conceal flaws on floors as well as tubs and shower stalls. The best part: it costs less than $30 and will make your home look brand new.
Mistake: Upgrading Your Internet Plan With A Pricy One
Solution: A Wi-Fi Range Extender So You Can WFH From Every Room
If your WFH situation is less than desirable thanks to an internet connection that seems to drop every time you move from one room of the house to another, don’t spend a bundle to upgrade your Internet service just yet. Instead, invest in this $39
Wi-Fi range extender and automatically benefit from a strong connection that covers up to 1000 square feet and 15 devices. It has the backing of more than 68,000 reviews.
Mistake: Hiring Expensive Painters Because Of A Hole In The Wall
Solution: An $11 Hole Repair Compound
Accidents happen. And if one resulted in a hole or two in your wall, you will be tempted to call in expensive painters to repair and repaint the wall. Save your money: this
hole repair compound fills in holes in just minutes and replaces vinyl sparkling. It won’t shrink, crack, or sag and doubles as primer — add a touch-up of paint over it and, voila, it will be like nothing ever happened.
Mistake: Wasting Water With Low-Efficiency Shower Heads
Solution: A High-Pressure Shower Head That Feels Like A Spa
Is there anything better than outfitting your shower with a
high-pressure shower head that not only feels like a fancy spa but can save water up to 30% (thereby also saving you money)? Replace that inefficient shower head with this pick, which features three modes: rainfall, massage, and jetting spray. It has multi-later filtration to remove chemicals from hard water, which means it’s also kinder on your skin and hair. The cherry on top: it costs less than $20.
Mistake: Not Protecting Furniture From UV Exposure
Solution: Blackout Window Shades That Are A Cinch To Install
Over time, UV light exposure can fade furniture, while a constant stream of sunlight pouring into rooms may provide the opposite effect of what you were hoping when you ran your air conditioner on high to cool down your space. Instead of buying new furniture or increasing your energy bills, filter out UV light and gain a bit more privacy in rooms by installing these affordable
blackout pleated shades. The shades come in two sizes and can be installed without a single tool — you won’t even need a cord to lift them up and pull them down (something you can simply do manually). They have more than 17,000 reviews and come in a pack of six.
Mistake: Wasting Power With Outdated Switches
Solution: A Power Switch That Turns Off When It’s Not In Use
Did you know that appliances left plugged in can still generate power, even when they’re not in use? That means you could be paying more on your electric bill for a coffee machine or microwave even when you’re not brewing a cup or warming up lunch. This
energy-saving power switch is the $19 solution: it completely shuts power off when the appliance or device is not being used. Simply flip a switch on it to power electronics and devices on and off as you wish.
Mistake: Assuming A Kitchen Reno Is The Only Way To Upgrade Your Space
Solution: No-Commitment Peel-And-Stick Marble Paper For Counters
You’re staring at a hopelessly outdated kitchen island or counters and thinking: I guess it’s time to spend $40,000 on a kitchen renovation or just deal with what I have. But there’s a super-sweet middle ground and it can be found in this
marble peel-and-stick wallpaper, which you can use on so many surfaces like cabinets, backsplashes, and tables. The vinyl paper comes in four sizes and is a cinch to wipe clean. And if you get tired of the design and want to swap it out, it comes right off without ruining surfaces.