40 expensive mistakes you don’t realize you're making during the winter

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Winter is a tough season to get through. The cold, snow, and ice make everything from walking your dog to driving your car a little bit more difficult. But there are tons solutions to the woes of winter, and you’ll find many of them in this list — from handy tools to hydrating skincare.

There are plenty of storms in the winter that can knock out your power, and these rechargeable backup lightbulbs can help you be prepared so you’re not caught in the dark. Also, you might think that sunscreen is only necessary during the warm sunny days of summer, but it’s just as important to keep your skin protected during the winter — and this SPF 50 moisturizer can help. Winter can also be a time of heavy lip balm use, and this handy keychain makes it easy to always have lip balm at hand.

Whether you want an easy way to protect your vehicles from the weather or an easier way to prepare dinner for the week without facing the winter elements, this list is full of solutions. These products will save you time, energy, and of course, money.

01

Mistake: Forgetting to clean your dryer vent in between uses

Solution: This cleaning kit that helps remove lint efficiently

If you choose to use your dryer more in the wintertime instead of air-drying your laundry outside, this dryer vent cleaner could be good to have. When too much lint accumulates in your dryer vent, it can become a fire hazard. This kit attaches to your vacuum hose and helps clean all the hard-to-reach areas where your lint might be hiding. There are two suction control settings, so you can adjust it based on your dryer.

02

Mistake: Letting cold drafts enter your home from under the door

Solution: This door draft stopper that keeps the chilly breeze outside

If you have a gap under your door, it might be letting out valuable heat in the winter — or even worse, letting cold air in. This door draft stopper closes that gap and helps keep your home insulated. It has a removable cover that can be thrown in the washing machine for easy cleanup, too.

03

Mistake: Leaving your outdoor faucet uncovered in cold temperatures

Solution: This cover that protects your faucet with insulation

This insulated cover helps prevent your outdoor faucet from freezing in the winter, and it’s lined with thick styrofoam and a padded seal. It even has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon — and one reviewer wrote, “The product is easy to install works well on the house or on the ground.”

04

Mistake: Sliding your decorative rugs around after walking inside

Solution: These grippers that help keep your rug in place

You can keep your rugs from sliding around and moving with these rug pad grippers. These pads adhere to your rugs with a vacuum-tech feature that helps prevent air from escaping while keeping the grippers in place. Use them on large area rugs or smaller kitchen rugs; each pack comes with four rug pad grips.

05

Mistake: Not being prepared when the power goes out

Solution: These compact, battery-powered lanterns that are weather resistant

You never know when the power will go out, so it’s important to be prepared with these compact lanterns that are equipped with 30 bright LED lights. The battery-powered lanterns are collapsible for easy storage and can withstand weather, including rain, snow, and even a 10-foot drop. They’re also great to have for camping excursions.

06

Mistake: Not having a source of backup light in a snowstorm

Solution: These rechargeable lightbulbs with backup batteries

When the power goes out, so do your lightbulbs — unless, of course, you have this handy lightbulb with a rechargeable backup battery. This lightbulb has a battery that should automatically charge when the power is on, so you’ll still have light if the electricity isn’t working due to winter weather.

07

Mistake: Using unsafe snow-melting products

Solution: This salt-free ice melt that can be used around pets

This salt-free ice melt is specifically formulated to be gentle on your pet’s paws and the earth while still effectively melting snow and ice in subzero temperatures. The biodegradable ice melt is also free of chloride — and one reviewer wrote, “We've been using Safe Paw Ice Melter for two winters now and really find it to be a good option.”

08

Mistake: Letting your hands freeze while scraping snow off the car

Solution: This snow-scraping mitt that keeps your hand warm

Snow can be a beautiful thing — until you have to scrape it off your car while your hands freeze. This scraping device is attached to a mitten, so your hand can stay warm and insulated the whole time you’re scraping ice and snow. The insulated mitten is waterproof and the scraper is removable for easy washing.

09

Mistake: Not having your devices charged when the power goes out

Solution: An emergency radio that also charges your devices

Be prepared when the power goes out during a storm with this emergency radio that has a power bank to charge your devices. The radio also comes equipped with a flashlight, a weather alert system, a spot to plug in headphones, and other useful tools to help you out in a pinch. It can also be charged by solar power or with a hand crank.

10

Mistake: Not insulating your windows in cold temperatures

Solution: This window kit that provides extra insulation

If you live in an apartment or house with older windows and want to add more insulation, this window insulation shrink kit can help keep the heat inside (and the cold air outside). The kit comes with adhesive installation tape, and you can use a hairdryer to shrink it and create a stronger seal.

11

Mistake: Allowing cold air to come through your windows

Solution: These blackout curtains thick enough to help keep cold air out

These Amazon Basics blackout curtains not only help keep your room dark in the morning, but they also can provide extra insulation. They can even be useful in the summer for blocking heat of the sun, and they’re available in many shapes as well as sizes. Not to mention, they have a 4.5-star rating and over 6,000 positive reviews.

12

Mistake: Dropping your phone in the snow (or freezing your fingers while texting)

Solution: These touch-screen gloves with silicone palm grips

These anti-slip knit gloves have silicone grips on the palms and fingers so you can more firmly grip your phone while still staying warm. They’re also designed to let you be able to use your phone’s touchscreen while wearing the gloves, so you won’t have to remove them in order to type in freezing temperatures.

  • Available sizes: Medium, Large, X-Large

13

Mistake: Letting your food get cold on your morning commute

Solution: This insulated lunch box that keeps your food warm

This lunch bag helps maintain your food’s temperature — even on your morning commute through the cold. In fact, it can keep your food warm for over four hours (thanks to its layered structure, including an aluminum foil lining). “It's lightweight but has plenty of room,” wrote one reviewer.

14

Mistake: Turning up the heat & increasing the electric bill

Solution: This electric blanket that heats up when you’re chilly

Turning up the heat in your whole house can be expensive, but you can save energy by wrapping yourself in this heated blanket. The double-sided polyester throw — which is lined with sherpa- and fleece-like material — can be plugged in for power. There are five heat settings to choose from, along with a three-hour auto-off setting.

15

Mistake: Forgetting to turn the heat down when you leave the house

Solution: This smart thermostat that you can control via phone app

If you often forget to turn the temperature down when you leave the house, this Amazon smart thermostat can give you a hand. It lets you control the temperature through an app on your phone or by using Alexa’s voice commands. You can also program it to automatically adjust the temperature at certain times of day.

16

Mistake: Not using lip balm and getting dry, chapped lips

Solution: Using this heavy-duty lip repair that works for 8 hours each application

This barrier-building lip-repair balm can help relieve dryness or cracking on your lips that might happen during the winter, and it should keep you lips moisturized for up to eight hours each time it’s applied. “I've tried every lip balm and chap stick out there. This stuff is the only thing that keeps my lips healthy,” praised one reviewer.

17

Mistake: Forgetting to moisturize your skin in dry weather

Solution: This moisturizing lotion that’s recommended by dermatologists

In the winter, my house goes through large containers of lotion. This CeraVe moisturizing cream helps keeps your hands from getting dry (but without feeling greasy). It’s even made with hyaluronic acid as well as three cermides that’ll help repair your skin. The lotion even also has a 4.8-star rating on Amazon, along with over 60,000 five-star reviews. One reviewer even called it “a miracle moisturizer.”

18

Mistake: Ruining your shoes with snow, rain, or salt

Solution: This water & stain repellant that helps protect your shoes

Protect your prized sneakers from oil, grass, and dirt stains with this CLOUT repellent, which is free of silicone. The water-based sneaker protector works on leather, suede, nylon, and other shoe materials. One reviewer wrote: “I sprayed this repellent on my shoes and boots (suede). It does a great job of keeping the moisture and winter salt stains from building up.”

19

Mistake: Getting the bottom of your jeans wet in the snow

Solution: This hem tape that makes it easy to shorten your pants

This double-sided fashion tape — which is available in a 50-strip pack — makes it easy to shorten your jeans so they won’t take a dip into the snow when you walk outside. The tape doesn’t require any sewing or ironing, and it can even be used on shirts, socks, and more.

20

Mistake: Allowing snow & ice to accumulate on your car

Solution: An all-weather car cover that helps keep your ride protected

Scraping snow and ice off your car is a pain (not to mention, it can get your car dirty). This waterproof car cover will help keep your vehicle protected during all seasons, including during snow or rainstorms. There are 12 size options to choose from depending on the type of car you have. “I'm so excited that I found a cover that fits so well without having to pay hundreds for a custom cover,” wrote one reviewer.

21

Mistake: Letting your bike rust outside in the snow

Solution: A cover that helps protects bikes from the elements

To help prevent possible rust from snow and rain exposure, this waterproof bike cover is a great buy. It’s made with Oxford polyester and can cover three bikes while protecting them through all four seasons. Many reviewers have also reported that the cover is big enough to fit over electric bikes.

22

Mistake: Not using sunscreen because it’s winter

Solution: This SPF-50 sunscreen that’s also moisturizing

This Dermalogica sunscreen moisturizer with SPF 50 helps keeps your skin from drying out while protecting it from the sun’s harsh rays — even in the winter. It’s designed for all skin types and uses hyaluronic acid for extra hydration. Plus, it has an impressive 4.8-star rating on Amazon.

23

Mistake: Your wine going bad before you finish it

Solution: These vacuum-sealing wine stoppers that’ll prolong the life of your bottle

If you ask me, winter is the perfect time to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine. This pack of vacuum wine stoppers slows down the oxidation process and keeps your bottle of vino fresh for up to a week, so you can enjoy it longer. They’re designed to be used with the included Wine Saver pump.

24

Mistake: Not moisturizing your hair enough in the dry weather

Solution: This shampoo & conditioner set infused with agran oil

You can keep your hair from getting dried out with this moisturizing set of shampoo and conditioner. Made with reviving ingredients like argan oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter, these hair products will help keep your hair nourished and strong through the cold, dry months. “I couldn't stop touching my hair after I used this product,” wrote one reviewer. “My hair was soft and shiny and if felt like healthy hair.”

25

Mistake: Ordering takeout because it’s too cold to leave

Solution: The storage containers that make meal-prepping easy

Sometimes, it’s harder to make yourself go to the grocery store or pick up food when it’s cold out — so it’s tempting to order in. You can save yourself money by meal-prepping with these airtight Rubbermaid storage containers. The containers come in a pack of five and have latched closures that make it easy to seal in any liquids. They’re also easy to stack in your cabinet or fridge.

26

Mistake: Being too tired to cook a meal after a long, chilly day

Solution: This slow cooker that does the cooking for you

It can be hard to muster up the energy to start cooking after you’ve already worked a full day — especially when it’s freezing outside. This slow cooker lets you throw ingredients for chili, soup, or other dishes into the pot and walk away. It essentially does cooking for you — so at the end of the day, you have a hot meal ready and waiting.

27

Mistake: Forgetting to blow out your cozy winter candles

Solution: These flameless candles that you can control via remote

These flameless candles give off the same warm, gentle glow as real candles — but without the flame. They’re battery-powered and remote-controlled, and you can decide whether you want them to flicker or hold a steady light. You can even set timers and control the brightness.

28

Mistake: Letting your cuticles & nail beds dry out

Solution: This cuticle oil with a moisturizing formula

If your nail beds get dry in the cold winter weather, you can keep them moisturized with this cuticle revitalizing oil. Made with hydrating ingredients like safflower oil and Vitamin E, along with milk and honey, this oil helps keep your nail beds soft. “I love how lightweight the oil is but it is still hydrating on my hands,” wrote one reviewer.

29

Mistake: Not protecting your eyes from the sun

Solution: These polarized sunglasses that come with a carrying bag

Sunglasses may feel like a summer accessory, but the sun still shines in the winter. You can help protect your eyes with these polarized sunglasses that have a retro vibe. These glasses come in a pack of two, so you can keep one in your car and one in your bag so you’re always prepared. They also come with a carrying bag to help prevent scratches.

30

Mistake: Buying pre-made popcorn for movie nights

Solution: This reusable, collapsable bowl that makes microwavable popcorn

You can’t have movie night without popcorn — and, in my opinion, the best popcorn is freshly made. This collapsable, microwavable popcorn bowl constructed with silicone makes it easy to make homemade popcorn. “Yes it makes good popcorn, but it also folds down so it can fit in your kitchen drawer,” wrote one reviewer.

31

Mistake: Losing your winter socks in the laundry

Solution: A laundry tool that keeps your socks together

This sock organizer helps keeps your pairs of winter socks together so that they don’t get separated. The SockDock can be used in both the washer and dryer, and can be hung in your closet once the shocks are dry. It’s also available in five colors.

32

Mistake: Losing track of your winter hats

Solution: This rack that helps organize your beanies

It’s always tricky to find ways to organize your winter accessories. This hanging hat organizer has wire racks designed to hold beanies and other hats so you don’t end up losing them. It can also be used for other accessories like scarves or purses, and it’s easy to hang since no tools or drills are required.

33

Mistake: Overcooking your homemade meats

Solution: This digital-read meat thermometer that’s waterproof

With this digital-read, waterproof meat thermometer, you can be sure that your meat is cooking to the right temperature — but not too far over. This thermometer has a built-in magnet so you can stick it to your fridge or grill, and it can also be used as a candy thermometer.

34

Mistake: Losing track of your lip balms

Solution: This keychain that holds your lip balm nearby

I never want to be without lip balm in the winter, which is what makes this Balm Buddies keychain so handy. Each of these balm holders have a metal clip to hook onto your keychain, and they come in an array from fun patterns and colors. “No more searching for your chapstick in your purse,” praised one reviewer.

35

Mistake: Losing your gloves in between uses

Solutions: These clips that attach your gloves to your jacket

Never lose track of your gloves again with these mitten clips made with elastic and stainless steel. The clips attach your gloves or mittens to your jacket so that they don’t fall out of your pockets, and they can be clipped onto other pieces of clothing (like pants or a backpack).

36

Mistake: Ruining your carpets by tracking snow in the house

Solution: This door mat that scrapes off your boots

Take off the layer of mud and snow caked onto the bottom of your shoes with this boot scraper doormat. Made from an eco-friendly coconut fiber, this mat uses tough fibers and steel frame make it easy to wipe off your shoes before entering the house. Plus, the mat is small so that it doesn’t take up much room.

37

Mistake: Buying new winter-scented candles each year

Solution: These winter-scented essential oils with cozy scents

Instead of spending a lot of money on winter-scented candles, you can invest in these affordable winter fragrance essential oils. With scents like gingerbread cinnamon and frosted fir, the set of six essentials oils can be used with a fragrance diffuser to scent your own homemade candles.

38

Mistake: Letting the air in your house get too dry

Solution: This humidifier with a built-in essential oil diffuser

If the air in your house gets too dry in the winter, this humidifier can be a good addition to your decor. It even doubles as an essential oil diffuser, so you can add some relaxing scents to your home. The humidifier can run for six to eight hours of intermittent mist, or three to four hours of continual mist — and it also glows like a nightlight.

39

Mistake: Sitting your coffee down & letting it get cold

Solution: This mug warmer that keeps your drinks hot

It always feels like coffee and tea are too hot until suddenly they’re too cold, but this mug warmer makes it easy to keep your drinks at the ideal temperature. Just set your mug on the device, power it on, and it’ll keep your drink warm. It’s also small enough that you can keep in on your desk or at the office.

40

Mistake: Buying disposable hand warmers whenever you’re cold

Solution: This reusable hand warmer that’s also rechargeable

Hand warmers are a beautiful invention, but they’re usually disposable. This rechargeable hand warmer can be used over and over again to keep your hands warm. It has three adjustable heat settings and uses a rechargeable lithium battery. It’s great for taking with you on a walk in the cold, or using when you get home to warm up.