How to avoid money-wasting mistakes around your home

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You’re probably wasting more than you realize, and it’s costing you. From preventing spoiled food to reusable paper towels, there are plenty of ways to make your money stretch and lower your costs each month. The solutions are simple: a few clicks on Amazon. Take notes, because I’m about to show you how to easily avoid these cash-draining errors around your home.

First, planning ahead is key. I’ve included plenty of hacks to help keep you prepared and at the top of your game, including a dry-erase calendar with a grocery list, a mattress cover that guards against spills, and a timed pet feeder. You’ll also find reusable swaps for your disposable products: paper towels, bamboo makeup remover pads, and an electric water flosser. Each of these home solutions is highly rated by reviewers, and will save you big bucks in the long run.


Mistake: Buying too much for meal prep (& having leftovers you don't eat)

Solution: Creating a shopping list on a dry-erase calendar

This magnetic dry-erase calendar is the best way to keep your family on the same page. This best-selling set comes with a whiteboard monthly calendar, grocery shopping list, and six dry-erase markers. Place it on your fridge, so you can easily add items to the grocery list as you run out, and plan meals around your schedule.


Mistake: Overcooking your meat

Solution: Get an easy-to-use digital thermometer

If you’re still trying to perfect your grilling skills, this digital meat thermometer is a wise investment. It gives you an instant temperature reading to help you grill and cook meat to perfection. The waterproof device has an easy-to-read LED screen and can easily be cleaned by running it under water. It works just as well on beverages, frying oil, bread, and candy. And cooking your foods to perfection means you’ll save money by not ruining expensive meat.


Mistake: Buying lattes at the coffee shop

Solution: Using a battery-powered milk frother

Who says you have to leave your house and spend $10 for a coffee treat? This battery-powered frother makes delicious barista-level drinks at home. It has an ergonomic handle and a stainless steel whisk that whips milk and transforms it into a light, fluffy foam. To clean it, just run it under hot water and turn on the whisk.


Mistake: Letting snacks & dry goods get stale

Solution: Storing food in airtight containers

Uniform airtight containers will save you money while making your pantry look more organized, polished, and expensive. This pack of six BPA-free containers is perfect for keeping pasta, snacks, coffee, and sugar fresh, plus they can be stacked, creating a small footprint. While this set comes with a variety of container sizes, all of the lids are universal, so there’s no frustrating mix-and-match game. This set comes with labels and markers to organize your pantry.


Mistake: Letting meals go bad before you eat them

Solution: Storing leftovers in airtight containers

Don’t let leftovers go to waste with this set of glass food storage containers. These glass food containers have hinged, locking lids that are grooved so they stack easily — meaning you can store more in less space. This three-pack is made with BPA-free borosilicate glass that is eco-friendly and resistant to cold and heat. It’s safe to put these containers in the dishwasher, microwave, and freezer.


Mistake: Leaving lights on & raising your electrical bill

Solution: Installing puck lights that turn off on their own

The cost of professionally installing motion-sensor lights in your home is prohibitive for many people, but these battery-powered puck lights have genius magnetic backings, as well as adhesive, so you can stick them anywhere. The lights are motion-activated, so you won’t waste energy, which will save on your power bill. Place them under cabinets, closets, pantries, or any areas where turning off the lights is commonly forgotten.


Mistake: Using & buying plastic water bottles

Solution: Switching to a reusable water bottle with an infuser

Buying cases of water is pricey and tough on the planet. By switching to one single reusable water bottle, you can save money while staying hydrated. This 32-ounce bottle includes an infuser for fruit or herbs to flavor your water. Durable and shatterproof, it’s outfitted with a nonslip handle and flip-top lid. Plus, it fits in a car cupholder.


Mistake: Letting coffee beans go bad

Solution: Storing coffee beans properly in an airtight canister

Real coffee connoisseurs know the secret to delicious coffee is fresh, quality beans. Don’t let your beans lose their flavor and aroma in a subpar container. This airtight coffee canister features a BPA-free rubber seal and a one-way valve to de-gas and keep oxygen out. The stainless steel canister even has a convenient date tracker on the lid to ensure you consume it in the prime freshness window.


Mistake: Not protecting your mattress from spills

Solution: Covering it in a waterproof mattress protector

Mattresses are expensive purchases, so protect your investment with a waterproof cover like this one. This best-selling mattress protector is made of soft, breathable cotton, and is waterproof to keep your mattress safe from spills, sweat, or accidents. It’s noiseless under your sheets and has generous pockets to fit mattresses up to 18 inches deep. This budget-friendly option has earned more than 221,000 reviews and a 4.6-star overall rating.


Mistake: Losing spices in a crowded cabinet

Solution: Installing these wall-mounted spice holders

This pack of two mesh spice racks is the solution you’ve been looking for when it comes to kitchen storage, ensuring you’ll never double up on a spice at the store just because you can’t find it at home. They’re made of durable scratch-resistant steel, and mount to the wall to provide ample space for your most frequently used spices.


Mistake: Forgetting about eggs in the fridge

Solution: Storing your eggs in a transparent egg holder

Eggs are easy to miss in the fridge, but these clear egg containers are a simple solution. This pack of two comes with lids, allowing you to stack the bins and save space on the shelf. Each container has built-in handles that make it easy to lift in and out of the fridge.


Mistake: Tracking in mud & ruining carpets

Solution: Placing a coconut coir rug at your front door

Sometimes the smallest upgrades can make the biggest impact. This natural coir doormat looks good and protects your floors from tracked-in mud and dirt, helping to preserve your carpet. It has a heavy-duty rubber backing and a fun design that’s welcoming. This mat is also nonslip, easy to clean, and absorbs water quickly. The low profile is perfect for entryways and garages.


Mistake: Letting stains ruin carpet & furniture

Solution: Relying on a highly rated stain remover

Red wine spills do not have to be the final act for clothing, furniture, or carpet — quickly clean up any mess with this effective stain remover. Whether your stain is fresh or old, it lifts it without bleach or phosphates and leaves a fresh citrus scent behind. Use it for red wine, of course, but also to remove coffee, tea, pet accidents, blood, and paint. For stained clothing, saturate the problem areas with this solution for one to five minutes, and then launder. It’ll save you from having to buy replacements.


Mistake: Using disposable coffee pods

Solution: Making the switch to reusable coffee pods

If you love your Keurig, but you’re tired of spending money on K-cup refills, snag these cheap and highly rated reusable coffee pods. The coffee filters are the same shape as K-cups and fit into the machine perfectly, however, you can fill them with any coffee of your choice. This means you can buy coffee in bulk without giving up your single-use routine. These BPA-free filters are designed with durable stainless steel mesh for a smooth blend in every cup.


Mistake: Letting lint build up in the dryer & decreasing performance

Solution: Staying on top of dust with this vent cleaner kit

Keep your dryer at peak efficiency — and lower your energy bill — with this dryer vent cleaning kit that includes a hose attachment for your vacuum that allows you to suction out debris. The 33-inch hose attaches to most vacuums and is flexible to reach between appliances, but works especially well in your dryer vent. Not only will cleaning the lint out of your dryer help dry your clothes faster, but it can help prevent a serious fire hazard.


Mistake: Allowing fruits & veggies to go bad

Solution: Adding fridge liners to the shelves to extend produce freshness

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 they are free of BPAs, PVC, and phthalates. The set comes with four liners.


Mistake: Chairs scraping against the floor, leaving marks

Solution: Covering your chair legs with protectors

Don’t let your furniture damage your floors. Opt for these silicone chair leg covers that protect both your chairs and floors without ruining your aesthetic. The clear covers slip on over your chair legs and have felt bottoms that makes it easy to slide across floors without worrying about scratching or damage. This pack includes 16 covers and is available in several colors.


Mistake: Leaving furniture vulnerable to cat clawing

Solution: Protecting your furniture with cat scratch shields

If you have a pet that loves to scratch the sides of chairs and couches, these scratch-deterrent shields will save you money by protecting your furniture. The extra-large shields come in a pack of six and are transparent and self-adhesive, so all you have to do is cut them to size and stick them anywhere your cat likes to claw. The protective layer is strong enough to protect your furniture, yet flexible enough to wrap around edges and curves. Plus, cats dislike the sticky feel of the shields, which will help train them not to attempt scratching in the first place.


Mistake: Slamming cabinet doors & causing damage

Solution: Adding cabinet bumpers to soften closures

If every time you reach inside a kitchen cabinet to grab a cup, you accidentally slam that door shut, you’re slowly chipping away at your cabinet paint — which can be costly to fix and redo. But these simple cabinet bumpers adhere to cabinet doors so that each slam lands softly, protecting the wood finish. The translucent button-shaped bumpers come in a pack of 200. Not only do they protect the doors, but they also dampen any noise.


Mistake: Throwing away toothpaste when there’s some left

Solution: Using a toothpaste squeezer to get every 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 squeezer that effortlessly squeezes out every last bit You’ll get three squeezers in each pack, all in different colors, and you can also use them for items like face cream and medicine.


Mistake: Letting AC or heat go out the door

Solution: Adding a door gap cover to block drafts

These weather-stripping door draft stoppers fit onto the bottoms of your doors to keep the temperature regulated in your home. The dual-layer seal keeps cool air in during the summer, and frigid air out during the winter, effectively lowering your energy costs. Installing it is as easy as cutting it to size, peeling back the adhesive tape, and sticking it onto your door.


Mistake: Stocking up on batteries when you have perfectly good ones at home

Solution: Keeping a battery tester handy

Quickly test a variety of batteries at home with this universal battery checker. You can see how much juice is left in batteries, so you won’t be tempted to simply throw them away and buy new ones. The tester has an LED screen that’s easy to read, and gives you a percentage of remaining charge using bars.


Mistake: Constantly buying disposable paper towels

Solution: Switching to reusable paper towels

Stop throwing paper towels away and spending a small fortune restocking at the store — this pack of reusable towels is better for the environment and your wallet. They're soft absorbent, tough, and conveniently machine-washable, so you can reuse them again and again. Made from organic cotton and bamboo, each towel measures a generous 10 by 12 inches.


Mistake: Stocking up on disposable floss

Solution: Using a water flosser

Everyone knows you’re supposed to floss, but it’s not always easy to remember — and in fact, stocking up again and again can be costly. Skip the disposable floss and opt for this cordless flosser instead. It shoots water between your teeth to remove food and plaque. The rechargeable flosser has four modes and comes with five different heads, including three jet tips, a tongue scraper, and an orthodontic tip.


Mistake: Not getting all the detergent out of the bottle

Solution: Storing detergent on this angled pedestal

Odds are you’re tossing your laundry detergent before it’s completely empty. That last little bit is tough to get, but it’s costing you money. Use this angled pedestal to store your detergent in the optimal position. This makes it easy to get all of the detergent without any annoying shaking. It even includes a tray to hold the detergent cup directly below — i.e., no more dripping..


Mistake: Using too much soap to wash your hands

Solution: An automatic dispenser that doles out a set amount

Turn your bathroom into a luxurious hotel-inspired space with this soap dispenser with an infrared sensor that prompts it to dole out soap when you wave your hand in front of it. Battery-operated, it holds 12 ounces of soap, and you can adjust the volume it dispenses, which means you can cut down on waste. Plus, it’s a great way to avoid germs on surfaces, since it’s completely contactless.


Mistake: Turning on your AC constantly

Solution: Staying comfy at night with this cooling blanket

This cooling blanket absorbs body heat to keep you comfortable while you sleep. One side of the blanket is made with a specially designed mica nylon, which is a temperature-regulating fabric that releases body heat, and the other side is made from breathable cotton. For convenience, the blanket is machine-washable, although the manufacturer suggests laying it in the sun to dry. Now you can avoid jacking up the air conditioning, and save money on your power bill.

  • Available sizes: 3


Mistake: Taking your makeup off with disposable wipes

Solution: Making the switch to reusable rounds

Just one of these reusable cotton rounds (which come in a pack of 20) can replace as many as 1,000 disposable rounds — and that’s a lot of savings. They work just like regular disposable cotton balls but can be washed and reused for years. They are made from a highly absorbent and super soft bamboo and cotton blend that gently removes makeup with a little bit of cleanser. Just toss the used facial pads into the included mesh laundry bag, and machine wash them with your clothes or towels.


Mistake: Using too much of a spice or ingredient while cooking

Solution: Upgrading to a magnetic measuring spoon set

Don’t waste ingredients in your recipes ever again, thanks to this measuring spoon set. It comes with seven spoons and a level, so you can get a precise measurement every time. They’re made of stainless steel and magnetize together to store compactly, and you won’t have to fumble with a ring.


Mistake: Using too much dish soap

Solution: Keeping your sponge on this unique dish soap dispenser

You don’t need as much dish soap as you probably think. This unique soap dispenser holds your sponge and, when you push down, dispenses just the right amount onto your sponge. It also makes washing dishes faster and more convenient, since you don’t have to pause to pick up a detergent bottle. It holds 13 ounces of soap and is compact enough to keep by your sink.


Mistake: Neglecting plants when you're away

Solution: Investing in self-watering planters

If you haven’t quite mastered the art of taking care of plants, these self-watering pots will basically save the life of your lovely plants, with minimal effort on your part. (After all, you probably spent good money on that greenery at the garden center.) Overwatering and under-watering are common mistakes, and these durable pots take out all of the guesswork by releasing just the right amount of water, a little at a time. Each set comes with five pots in varying sizes.


Mistake: Over-feeding or under-feeding your pet

Solution: Set timers on this automatic, portioned pet feeder

Now you can schedule pre-portioned meals for your cat or dog with this pet food dispenser. It works with dry and semi-moist food and has five portions, meaning it can serve one meal, while storing four more. This is a great way to guarantee you don’t accidentally double up on meals because you can’t remember if you fed your furry friend. The BPA-free tray is dishwasher-safe and can be scheduled to feed your pet even if you’re away for the day.


Mistake: Painting without painter's tape & having to do touch-ups

Solution: Using a tape applicator for precise paint lines

Get a clean paint job by using painter’s tape — which is made even easier to affix with this applicator tool. It applies the tape in one continuous strip to outline trim, baseboards, windows, and door frames, so you don’t have to waste money or time going back and doing touch-ups. The circular applicator is easy to hold, so you can secure the tape with a tight seal.


Mistake: Calling the plumber for drain clogs

Solution: Doing it yourself with these drain snakes

Get a handle on the plumbing in your home before you need to call in a professional with this pack of drain clog removers, which are made to go deep into sinks or showers to clear out gunk, debris, and hair. It comes with five flexible snake-style clog removers that are nearly 20 inches long and two stainless steel cleaners that measure 24 inches long. Safely clear your drains in just minutes — no plumber bill involved.


Mistake: Ruining floors with drips & crumbs that fall between the stove gap

Solution: Installing these silicone gap covers

If you’re prone to making a mess in the kitchen, these stove gap covers can help. The nonslip silicone covers prevent crumbs or spills from getting in between your oven or dishwasher and your countertops, so you don't have to move these heavy appliances to give your kitchen a good cleaning. This two-pack is a cinch to install, can be cut to size, and stays put, thanks to their silicone construction that conforms to the shape of your counters.


Mistake: Burning your food because your oven timer sucks

Solution: Using a magnetic digital kitchen timer

Is it just me or are stove timers super finicky? Never burn food again with these digital timers. This set of two kitchen timers rings up at a budget-friendly price, and has earned more than 25,000 reviews. They’re battery-powered, and feature a loud mode and a flashing silent mode. For convenience, they’re backed by magnets, so you can stick them on the fridge or oven.


Mistake: Leaving half-eaten food in the fridge

Solution: Wrapping cut produce in food huggers

How many half-eaten avocados have you tossed because they’ve turned brown? Probably too many. These silicone food huggers keep produce halves fresh until you’re ready to finish them, and they’re suitable for everything from onions to lemons to tomatoes. This set of five, which is dishwasher-safe and BPA-free, includes a variety of sizes.


Mistake: Re-running the dishwasher

Solution: Sticking a clean/dirty indicator on your machine

Did you know that high energy usage times — like when everyone is awake and showering or doing laundry — can sometimes cost you more on your power bill? Make sure everyone in the house is on the same page and knows to run the dishwasher at night with one of these magnets. The sliding sign indicates whether the dishes are clean or dirty, so you’ll never run a double cycle. No more wasted energy re-running clean dishes or washing them at inefficient times.


Mistake: Not getting the last of the condiments from jars

Solution: Use a condiment scraper to get every drop

Every time you throw out a peanut butter jar, cleaning solution, or eye cream when there’s still some product left in the bottom, you’re just throwing away money. This flexible spatula fits into any bottle or container, so you can get every last drop. It’s BPA-free and made of food-grade silicone.


Mistake: Paying for a stronger internet network when you don’t need it

Solution: A wallet-friendly W-Fi extender

If you work from home, your internet connection is your lifeline. You don’t need to bust the budget by upgrading your internet service just yet. Instead, invest in this Wi-Fi range extender and automatically benefit from a strong connection that covers up to 1,000 square feet and 15 devices. It has the backing of more than 71,000 reviews, with reviewers saying it’s a “godsend” and “very helpful.”