35 surprising ways you're wasting money around the house

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Wasting money is oftentimes so much easier than saving it — and I’m not even talking about shopping. While buying a new tote bag can set you back a few pretty pennies, it’s the small things around the house that can really wind up putting a dent in your wallet. Accidentally letting food go bad or using cheap, flimsy glassware will eventually catch up to you. Luckily, I’ve gathered a variety of helpful products that can help you save money around the house.

But if you need examples, all those leftovers in your fridge are less likely to soil quickly if you store them properly inside of the airtight containers I’ve included. Or, if you’ve noticed your glasses have started to chip or crack, I’ve also featured a variety of shatterproof glasses that are nearly impossible to break.

And since all of these items are highly rated by Amazon shoppers, you can rest assured that you won’t be wasting money buying all these money-savers — keep scrolling for more.


How: Forgetting to turn the lights off

A solution: These LED light bars with built-in motion sensors

Has the idea of complicated wiring put you off from adding lights to your home? In that case, make sure to check out these LED light bars. Each one provides hours of light using just three AA batteries, which means there’s no wiring necessary when installing — just use the included adhesive to stick them right into place.


How: Wasting money on disposable mop pads

A solution: Making the switch over to these microfiber ones that you can use over & over again

Unlike wasteful mop pads that eventually wind up in the trash, these mop pads are washable so that you can reuse them hundreds of times. They’re also made from soft microfiber, allowing them to latch onto dirt whether they’re wet or dry — and the Velcro backing makes it easy to attach them to a variety of spray mops.


How: Storing your snacks in open containers

A solution: This sleek snack jar with an airtight lid

Not only does this candy jar have an airtight lid that helps keep your snacks from going stale, but it’s also made from sleek glass — not plastic. And if you aren’t into snacking? You can also use it to create some fun decor. Just fill it up with some fake succulents, a little sand, and voila — a stunning centerpiece for your dining table.


How: Buying disposable water bottles constantly

A solution: These reusable bottles made with stylish glass

Sipping from disposable plastic bottles can be such a waste, whereas these glass water bottles are an eco-friendly and stylish alternative. Each one comes with its own protective sleeve to help keep it safe from cracks, while a stainless steel lid helps prevent leaks. Plus, reviewers appreciated how they’re “easy to clean.”


How: Losing food in the back of your fridge

A solution: These storage bins that help keep your shelves organized

Your fridge doesn’t have to be a jumbled mess of produce, condiments, and soda cans — just organize everything into these bins. Their clear walls make it easy to see what’s inside, and each one even has a handle on the front so that they’re easy to pull out.


How: Spending money on batteries you already have

A solution: This protective battery case that helps keep them organized

From slim AAAs to clunky Cs, this organizer has space for all those loose batteries you probably have rolling around in a drawer. The clear lid lets you see where each one is — and you even get a battery tester with every order. You can also let it sit flat in a drawer, or mount it on a wall for easy access.


How: Replacing stained furniture with new pieces

A solution: This stain remover that works fast

Chocolate, tomato sauce, and more — this stain remover is so potent that it can remove nearly any type of stain, even if it’s been soaking into your fabrics for a while. It’s made without any harsh peroxide, chlorine, sulphates, or parabens, and it’s completely pH neutral.


How: Always buying coffee on the way to work

A solution: A travel mug that lets you bring coffee on the go

Don’t have time to make coffee before you head out the door? Not a problem — this travel mug features a reusable filter that lets you brew a cup of joe while you’re on the go. The filter is made from stainless steel, making it unlikely to rust. Plus, the insulated walls help keep your drink warmer for longer.


How: Forgetting where you put your wallet

A solution: This wallet that conveniently sticks to the back of your phone

You don’t have to carry around a bulky wallet when you’re out. Instead, transfer four of your most-used cards into this slim wallet. It sticks to the back of your phone so that it’s always within reach — all while RFID-blocking technology helps protect your information from electronic pickpockets.


How: Overcooking your meals by accident

A solution: A meat thermometer with a temperature guide on the handle

This popular, easy-to-use meat thermometer is such a smart buy because it can help prevent undercooked or overcooked meals. The backlit LCD screen is easy to read when you’re reading at night, and there’s even a helpful temperature guide printed on the handle.


How: Relying on disposable paper towels to clean up messes

A solution: These dishcloths that can absorb so much water

Are you still using disposable paper towels to clean messes around the house? Save some money by switching to these dishcloths. Not only can they absorb way more water than paper towels, but they’re also safe to use on delicate surfaces — including glass. Choose from 10 colors.


How: Using cheap wine glasses that break easily

A solution: These insulated stainless steel wine tumblers that are shatterproof

Don’t worry if you accidentally drop one of these wine tumblers; the tough stainless steel walls are completely shatterproof as well as resistant to rust. The insulated walls work to keep your drinks at their ideal temperature, and each tumbler even comes with a sipping lid that helps prevent spills.


How: Accidentally letting food go bad in the fridge

A solution: These glass food containers that help keep meals fresh

Whether you’re packing lunch or storing leftovers, the leakproof lids on these airtight food containers will help make sure that your lunchbox and fridge stay clean from spills. Each container is made from sleek glass, and they’re even safe to use in the oven.


How: Brewing a new batch of coffee when your mug turns cold

A solution: This stainless steel coffee mug that helps keep it warm

There’s almost no need to worry about this coffee mug breaking if you bring it with you camping, as the stainless steel walls are completely shatterproof. Each mug comes with a spill-resistant lid — and the insulated walls also help keep your coffee warmer for longer. “These cups are lightweight and the handles are wide and very comfortable,” wrote one reviewer. They continued, “They do keep my drink colder/ hotter compared to a regular cup.”


How: Losing track of your tools during DIY projects

A solution: This magnetic wristband that holds onto them for you

Don’t start that next DIY project until you have this bracelet to help you out. Strong magnets on the inside hold onto all your nails, nuts, and bolts, keeping them easily within reach until you need them. Plus, the breathable mesh fabric shouldn’t leave your skin feeling smothered.


How: Sipping through disposable straws

A solution: These reusable silicone straws that work with tall tumblers

Unlike some reusable straws, these silicone ones are long enough to be used with tumblers up to 40 ounces and can even be tossed into the dishwasher when dirty. Or, if you prefer a more thorough clean, each order includes a cleaning pipette so that you can give them a scrub from the inside out.


How: Leaving the fridge open by accident

A solution: This alarm that lets you know when it isn’t closed

Leaving your fridge open can lead to spoiling food, so why not save yourself some money by grabbing this door alarm? It goes off every minute that your door remains open — and if you have trouble hearing, the volume is also adjustable so that it can be heard throughout your home.


How: Leaving open cans of pet food in the fridge

A solution: These lids that are designed to fit onto nearly any can

If your pet doesn’t eat that entire can in one sitting, you can use these lids to close them up so that their next meal is as fresh as it can be. They’re universally designed to fit onto most cans. Plus, the food-grade silicone material shouldn’t crack or warp over time.


How: Letting your unfinished bottle of wine sit open for too long

A solution: The bottle stoppers that help keep open bottles fresh

If you’re planning on having a glass of wine and then revisiting the bottle another night, you can use these bottle stoppers to cork it back up for later. The vacuum pump helps remove any air that’s inside the bottle, allowing your red and white wines to stay fresh for up to a full week. Each order includes four stoppers.


How: Leaving the lights on when you aren’t home

A solution: These smart bulbs that connect to your phone

Ever wish you could control your lights using your voice? Simply pair these smart bulbs with Alexa or Google Home, and you’ll be able to use voice commands to turn them on and off. They also give you the choice of more than 10 million colors when setting the mood — and if you don’t have a smart assistant, you can also control them using the free downloadable smartphone app.


How: Ruining delicate clothes in the dryer

A solution: This portable rack you can hang your clothes on

Hanging your clothes to dry is an easy way to run the dryer less while protecting delicate outfits, making this clothes rack a smart investment in any home. There’s enough space for up to 36 hangers, and the wide base helps keep it from tipping over when full. The best part? The foldable design makes it easy to stash away in a closet when you aren’t using it.


How: Cleaning your cast iron using soap & water

A solution: The chainmail scrubber that’s safe to use on cast iron

Instead of washing your cast iron pan with a soapy sponge, opt for this chainmail scrubber that doesn’t need any soap to get rid of any stuck-on burnt bits or grime. And there’s no need to fret about it getting wet, as the stainless steel metal is resistant to rust. One reviewer wrote that it’s “a fast and efficient way to clean cast iron and never needs re-seasoning.”


How: Setting your dish sponges down in the sink

A solution: A sponge holder that helps them dry quickly

This sponge holder — which has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon — features an aerated design that allows air to flow through, helping your scrubbers dry out quickly so that they don’t get ruined. Stick it to the side of your sink using the suction cup on the back, and it’s ready to go.


How: Letting your bar soap sit in a puddle

A solution: This soap dish that drains away excess water

Most of the time, letting bars of soap sit in puddles of water will cause them to break down faster — so why not grab this soap dish? The channel in the front lets puddles drain away into your sink, helping your bars of soap last longer. Plus, there are also four raised slats that keep your bars lifted away from leftover water in the dish.


How: Ironing clothes that should be steamed

A solution: This clothes steamer that smooths wrinkles fast

My clothes are always wrinkled whenever I pop open my suitcase after a flight, which is why I like to bring this fabric steamer with me on vacation. It has a long, 9-foot cord to reach whatever I’m steaming, and its compact size doesn’t take up too much room in my suitcase. However, the water reservoir is large enough to provide up to 15 minutes of steam.


How: Using dispoable dryer sheets when doing laundry

A solution: These wool dryer balls that can even reduce drying time

Toss these wool dryer balls into the dryer with your wet clothes, and they’ll help aerate them as they tumble, allowing them to dry faster than they would with regular dryer sheets. The result? You might notice your utility bill is a little lower this month than usual — and unlike dryer sheets, these balls are reusable.


How: Buying disposable plastic bags every month

A solution: A reusable food bag that’s leakproof & dishwasher safe

Consider this food baggie the ultimate upgrade from flimsy, disposable plastic bags. It’s made from tough silicone and can be sent through the microwave and dishwasher, and it can even be used for sous vide cooking. It’s also oven-safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and comes in a variety of sizes — from small snack bags up to a half-gallon.


How: Cleansing away makeup with cotton rounds that wind up in the trash

A solution: These soft, reusable cotton rounds that are eco-friendly

Whereas regular cotton rounds are disposable, these eco-friendly ones can be washed and reused hundreds of times, making them a smart investment. Each order includes 250 rounds, as well as a small dispenser that helps keep them protected from dust. One reviewer wrote, “I like them better than cotton pads because they have a texture to them that helps lift off makeup.”


How: Leaving your electronics on while you’re not home

A solution: These smart plugs that can connect to your phone

As long as you have Google Home or Alexa, you can still control your tech using voice commands or your phone if you plug them into these best-selling smart plugs. Setup only takes a few quick minutes, and you can even set timers that control the plugs while you’re on the go.


How: Running the dishwasher all the time

A solution: An expanding dish rack that lets water drain into your sink

Unlike many standard clunky dish racks, this one can expand from 11 out to 19 inches, making it great for cramped kitchens that are short on counter space. It also features a channel out the side that allows water to drain away into your sink, eliminating the need to clean drip trays — and the stainless steel frame is unlikely to rust over time.


How: Letting food spoil in the back of your pantry

A solution: The transparent storage drawers that are perfect for getting organized

No matter how you’ve decided to decorate your vanity, these storage drawers are basically guaranteed to match, as they’re made from clear acrylic that easily meshes with any style. While each one stands on its own, you can stack them on top of each other to save space if needed. Plus, the shatterproof design is unlikely to break if dropped.


How: Throwing away jars when there’s still food inside

A solution: This jar scraper that can help you get every last drop

Still have some peanut butter stuck to the inside of the jar? This scraper is designed to retrieve every last drop, which can help you save money over time. The flexible silicone head contours to the shape of your containers so that nothing gets missed, and each one is also completely BPA-free.


How: Letting your charging cables fray

A solution: This wireless charger that works through your phone case

This wireless charger can help eliminate the need for charging cables, because it’s designed to power up nearly any phone that’s placed on its platform (from iPhones to Samsung devices and even Airpods). LED indicator lights let you know when your phone is properly connected, all while short-circuit feature offers protection.


How: Overcooking meals until they’re inedible

A solution: These kitchen timers that you can stick to your fridge

Stick one of these timers to your fridge, and it’ll always be there when you need to keep track of how long something has been simmering on the stove. The strong magnets keep them held firmly in place until you need them, and there’s even a memory function to help you save time. Plus, there’s even a retractable stand on the back — just in case you want to set it out on your counter.


How: Cleaning your ears with disposable cotton swabs

A solution: These silicone swabs that you can wash & reuse

Not only is this “cotton” swab reusable for hundreds of ear cleanings, but the silicone head is also soft (yet effective). The best part? Each one comes with a case to help keep it protected when you aren’t using it — and they’re simple to clean with soap and water.