43 common mistakes that you don't realize are costing you money every day

These small, easy changes add up to save money in the long-term.

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When it comes to making money mistakes, most of us have heard all about buying too many lattes or too much avocado toast, and are familiar with big-picture issues like student loans or credit card debt. What doesn’t make as many headlines, however, are the everyday mistakes you don’t realize are costing money that many of us are guilty of making (myself included). These are the little things like burning extra energy in our homes, overlooking opportunities for reusable instead of single-use products, or not always extending the life of our products when possible.

It turns out, there are a number of things that many of us can fix around our home and small changes we can make around our regular, everyday routines that add up and save money in the long-term. Some of these you’ve heard of before — bringing versus buying your lunch or filling a water bottle before you leave the house, for example — but included on this list are products that will actually make them easy to do, as opposed to just thinking about it. And the best part? Not only are many of these ideas budget-friendly, but they'll help you cut down on waste, too.


Mistake: Using an inefficient washing machine

Solution: These tablets that help your washing machine work better & get your clothes cleaner

If your washing machine has seen better days, you may want to give these washing machine cleaning tablets a try. They're meant to dissolve during your machine's cleaning cycle, freshening up the drum and many of the internal parts of your machine. Plus, the manufacturer is climate-pledge friendly, so you can trust that the ingredients are safe for the environment.


Mistake: Letting drafts affect your temperature control

Solution: This door draft stopper that'll keep the cold (or heat) out

Not only does this door draft stopper keeps your AC or heat inside your home, it also keeps the elements out of it. It comes in a pack of two, and there are four neutral colors to choose from so you can match your doorframes. Plus, it's easy to cut to size, and comes with adhesive backing to keep it in place.


Mistake: Letting produce go bad

Solution: These produce savers so your fruit & veggies stay fresh longer

When you store these produce savers with your fruits and veggies, they absorb ethelyne gas, slowing down the ripening process. Each package comes with eight packets that last up to 90 days each, along with two reusable apple containers, so you'll be set for roughly one year.


Mistake: Turning on all the lights even for small areas

Solution: These battery-powered LED lights that don’t use electricity & last longer

Unlike incandescent bulbs, these energy-efficient LED puck lights run for 100 hours without needing new batteries (use rechargeables for even more bang for your buck). Just tap to turn them on or off, and install them in seconds with the included adhesive, or go with screws (also included) if that’s your jam.


Mistake: Tossing kitchen sponges constantly

Solution: These long-lasting silicone kitchen scrubbers that have the scent of peaches

They might look like sponges, and they might do the work of sponges, but these peach-scented silicone kitchen scrubbers don't absorb sink odors the same way. According to shoppers, they even keep their fresh smell after multiple uses. They come in a pack of three, and you can wash them in the dishwasher so you'll have months of use from each.


Mistake: Buying lunch every day

Solution: A bento box so you can bring a tasty meal from home

This bento box is available with two or three compartments, including a removable tray that you can use for portioning or for eating. It's made with stainless steel, making it durable and practical, and it's top rack dishwasher-safe, so it'll be easy to maintain for years to come.


Mistake: Constantly buying disposable plastic baggies

Solution: These silicone food storage bags so you don't have to buy plastic

These reusable food storage bags take the place of single-use plastic and other disposable containers, saving you money and preventing excess waste. Plus, they're leakproof and dishwasher-safe, and they're available in a range of colors and sizes so you can use them for meal prep, too.


Mistake: Spending too much on AC

Solution: A set of blackout curtains that cut down on energy use

A pair of blackout curtains is not only good for blocking sunlight from entering when you don't want it to, but they also give you an extra layer of insulation, saving you money on your energy bills. This set comes in more than 20 colors and in 10 sizes, fitting all kinds of windows.


Mistake: Relying on disposable dryer sheets

Solution: These wool dryer balls that help speed up the cycle

A set of reusable wool dryer balls circulates and softens laundry while it's tumbling, so in addition to replacing disposable dryer sheets and liquid laundry softeners, they can shorten dryer cycles and cut energy costs, too. Even better, they can be used over and over again.


Mistake: Tossing fresh herbs before you get to use them

Solution: An herb keeper that keeps them fresher for longer

Available in small and large sizes, this herb keeper allows you to store herbs upright and in a healthy amount of water to keep them fresh for longer. The inner basket is removable, so you can get the portion you need without disturbing the rest. Some buyers even report their herbs last up to two weeks.


Mistake: Letting your dry goods get stale

Solution: An airtight canister that keeps your products fresh

This airtight canister comes with a scoop and has a hinged lid, so it's not only perfect for coffee, it also works well for flour, sugar, and other dry ingredients. The stainless steel container comes in 16- and 22-ounce sizes, and in five colors to suit most kitchen styles.


Mistake: Buying a daily cold brew

Solution: This cold brew coffee maker so you can easily make it at home

A cold brew maker is a great choice for iced coffee aficionados who like to have their fridge stocked. Made of BPA-free plastic, it's a durable pitcher with a fine mesh sleeve that you can fill with your favorite grounds. It comes in one or two quart sizes, and with your choice of black, white, or gray lid.


Mistake: Tossing avocados that go bad

Solution: These avocado savers that keep your fruit from browning quickly

An alternative to plastic containers or wrap, these avocado savers are made to perfectly secure avocado halves and limit air exposure and oxidation. They're made with BPA-free plastic and the attached strap is rubber. To clean them, you can just pop them in the top rack of your dishwasher.


Mistake: Overusing the dryer

Solution: A clothes rack that dries laundry without power or damage

Whether you want to save energy or save your clothes from the wear and tear of a dryer, this drying rack can help. It offers 24 feet of coated steel drying line to hold clothes, and it folds down when it's not in use for easy storage.


Mistake: Not being aware of how much energy your household consumes

Solution: A programmable thermostat that tracks your energy use

This touchscreen thermostat has features like a large, lighted display for easy reading and comprehension, and energy usage stats so you can keep track of what your household is consuming so you can make any necessary adjustments. Plus, it's easy to install, according to reviewers.


Mistake: Not maintaining precise control of your appliances

Solution: These smart outlets that monitor your power consumption

Whether you like to control your lights and appliances with your voice, with your phone, or with a schedule that you've pre-set, Kasa’s smart outlets have you covered. This version also keeps tabs on appliance energy usage, and according to buyers, is easy to install and sync up with your devices.


Mistake: Buying disposable paper towels

Solution: These reusable bamboo kitchen towels that replace dozens of rolls of paper towels

These bamboo towels are packaged and perforated just like regular paper towels, except you can wash and reuse them dozens of times each. Plus, each towel measures 11 by 12 inches, giving you more surface to work with than most paper towels. One set is meant to take the place of 60 rolls of paper towels.


Mistake: Using disposable cotton rounds

Solution: These makeup remover pads you can use again & again

If you cringe at the collection of cotton pads piling up in your trash, and the plastic wrap they come in, then consider switching to these reusable makeup remover pads. Made of bamboo cotton, each pad in this package of 20 can be washed and reused for years. Plus, when you're finally done, they're biodegradable.


Mistake: Needing to call a plumber for clogged drains

Solution: A drain protector that prevents clogs before they happen

The cost of calling in a plumber can be daunting, but you may be able to prevent it with a little foresight. This drain protector catches hair and other potential clog-causing items before they reach your pipes. It's easy to clean and wipe between uses, and it comes in five colors so you can choose one to blend in (or stand out).


Mistake: Over or underwatering plants so they aren’t healthy

Solution: These watering stakes that streamline your plant care (& keep them alive for longer)

These watering plant spikes save you from over- or under-watering your plants, and keep them watered even when you're away. They're just over 7 inches in length, and they're made with terra-cotta, so they're a subtle and simple addition to your planters. They can even be used both indoors and outdoors.


Mistake: Constantly use cleaning products after cooking in the kitchen

This splatter screen that prevents your stove & counter from getting covered in grease

A splatter screen keeps your stove and counters (and self) clean and free of any wayward grease when cooking. This screen comes in four different sizes to accommodate most pans, and is made of durable stainless steel. It has a 4.6-star rating after over 30,000 reviews so really gets the job done.


Mistake: Buying disposable water bottles

Solution: A water filter so you always have fresh H20 at the ready

Available with white, turquoise, and red lids, this 5-cup water filter pitcher from Brita doesn't take up too much room in your fridge, and still offers the same benefits as the larger versions. It's just under 10 inches tall, so it's lighter and easier to pour, too. An electronic indicator even reminds you when to change the filter.


Mistake: An underhydrated pet

Solution: This pet dish that limits spills & helps your pet drink slowly

This water fountain for pets helps encourage the foraging nature of cats and the like, while aerating the stream for added freshness. It runs silently and features activated carbon to remove bad taste and odor, along with ion exchange resin that can soften tap water. A medical stone removes heavy metals and releases trace elements, and non-woven fabric helps filter hair and impurities.


Mistake: Buying plastic wrap to store your food

These reusable food wraps so you don't have to buy single-use plastic

These reusable food wraps are made with organic cotton, beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin, so you can make and take your favorite sandwich without thinking twice about how you're packaging it. Three wraps in different sizes come in each package, and multiple prints are available to choose from.


Mistake: Grabbing things willy-nilly at the grocery store

Solution: This meal planning notepad to help you avoid impulse buying

A meal planning notepad not only keeps you organized for the week, it helps you stick to your shopping list, too. This magnetic pad has 60 sheets, giving you more than a year's worth of meal-planning space. It comes in yellow, mint green, and pastel green.


Mistake: Underutilizing coupons

Solution: A coupon organizer so you can keep track of discounts & deals

If you think of "coupon" as a verb, then this coupon organizer might be a game changer. It features 20 pages with a variety of transparent slots for coupons of differing shapes and sizes. Plus, larger pockets on each of the inside covers can hold mailers and other ads, so everything you need for errands and shopping is within reach.


Mistake: Buying loads of iced coffee for gatherings or meetings

Solution: This large-capacity cold brew pitcher & dispenser with enough for everyone

Supplying a group with tasty cold brew is a pricey proposition. Not so, though, when you incorporate this 12-cup cold brew maker and dispenser into the mix. It features a high-quality stainless steel mesh filter to prevent ground bits from getting into the brew, and has a tightly-sealing lid that keeps coffee fresh for up to two weeks. A dispenser spout lets you easily access that joe to fill many cups.


Mistake: Letting coffee go bad before its time

Solution: A durable, airtight canister that keeps beans & grounds fresher longer

This 22.5 ounce stainless steel coffee canister looks nice, sure. But it also helps prevent precious coffee from going stale thanks to its airtight seal (with an ergonomic closure). It’s made of durable, rust-resistant stainless steel, has a nonslip base, and a little coffee scoop and holder right on the side.


Mistake: Buying tasty drinks when you’re out & about

Solution: An insulated water bottle so you can bring beverages from home

If you need help remembering to hydrate, a sleek, insulated water bottle may do the trick. This stainless steel option comes with two lid choices, in five colors, and in sizes ranging from 18 ounces to 64 ounces. The best part? It can keep drinks cold or hot, so it doubles as a coffee tumbler, too.


Mistake: Letting your spatulas get destroyed from heat

Solution: This set of silicone spatulas that doesn’t melt

These sturdy silicone spatulas are heat resistant up to 540 degrees — no melting or warping even when cooking with high heat (or sure, when forgetting they’re resting on the pan). The range of sizes and the food-safe silicone material make them ideal for all kinds of kitchen tasks, and they’re gentle on delicate nonstick surfaces.


Mistake: Tossing stale snacks

Solution: A bag resealer that keeps food fresher, longer

When chip clips aren't cutting it, a bag resealer might be your next upgrade. This gadget uses heat to seal bags in just seconds, from chip bags to larger bags of pet food. The heat seals the bag with five sealing lines, ensuring those tasty snacks stay fresh. Compact in size, the sealer also has a hook so it can hang on a wall of your kitchen or fridge.


Mistake: Not knowing what’s in your cupboard

Solution: These stackable storage containers that give you full view of their contents

This set of seven storage containers with airtight lids can be stacked together or stored separately, giving you plenty of options when it comes to organizing and keeping food fresh. Reusable chalkboard-style labels are included, too. The bins are transparent, and you have three choices for lids colors: white, gray, or black.


Mistake: Drilling a bunch of holes in the wall when hanging things

Solution: A magnetic stud finder tool that helps you find & mark wall studs

This easy-to-use, compact stud finder comes with two magnets that release and stay behind when they connect to a stud, helping you avoid extra marks and unnecessary holes in your walls, making DIY all the more possible. It's also designed with a divot so you can mark with a pencil if you prefer.


Mistake: Wasting the toothpaste at the bottom of the tube

Solution: This toothpaste tube squeezer that lets you get every ounce

Available in bright colors and in animal designs, these toothpaste squeezers help you get to the bottom of your tubes without twisting and tugging. They come in a pack of four, and work with other products, too, so your favorite lotions, food pastes, and craft supplies can also be used to the last drop, too.


Mistake: Letting cables get frayed

Solution: These cable protectors that extend the life of your cords

If you're tired of replacing frayed charging cords, these cable protectors can help. They come in a set of eight, and they're the perfect size for USB cords and other small cables. They're less than 1.5 inches long, and you apply them by simply twisting them around your cord of choice so they're easy to put on.


Mistake: Foregoing coffee from home because the mug is unwieldy

Solution: A collapsible coffee cup so you don't have to deal with extra clutter when you're done with your drink

Switching to a collapsible coffee cup makes it super easy to bring your drinks from home, and it means there's less clutter and bulk when you're done. Two sizes are available that, when expanded, can hold 12 or 16 ounces of liquid. There are nearly 20 colors and styles to choose from.


Mistake: Injuring yourself when cooking or doing outdoor work

Solution: A pair of cut-resistant gloves with a coated grip for working outside

Available in sizes from small to extra large, these ultra strong work gloves provide primo protection for hands no matter how tough a task you’re tackling. They’re designed to fit tightly for ultimate dexterity and control, with an anti-slip Nitrile coating. Not your grandpa’s work gloves, they’re also light, cool, and breathable.


Mistake: Buying too many bathroom products

Solution: A space-shaving shampoo & shaving bar in one

This plant-based shampoo and shave bar combines multiple products into one, and eliminates most of the packaging required, too. Choose from 12 colors and scents (including kiwi, unscented, and mint), and they're great for replacing bulky bottles at home or packing in a bag for travel. The manufacturer is climate-pledge friendly, too.


Mistake: Constantly buying disposable cotton swabs

Solution: These reusable cotton swabs that cut down on waste & clutter

Each of these reusable ear swabs is meant to replace roughly 1,000 disposable ones (and save you from their packaging, too). It comes with a color-coordinated storage case, and there are six colors to choose from. You can easily clean it between uses with soap and water.


Mistake: Not taking proper care of your teeth

Solution: A tried & true electric toothbrush for better long-term habits

A rechargeable electric toothbrush is a quick upgrade from a traditional, manual toothbrush. This option from Oral-B includes a two-minute timer so you can hit recommended brushing times, along with a sensor that indicates if you're applying too much pressure. Plus, it's compatible with a variety of the brand's brush heads.


Mistake: Paying for a monthly gym membership

Solution: A set of resistance bands so you can exercise at home

Bring the gym home with these versatile resistance bands which can be used in a variety of ways. You can use a single band for 10 pounds of resistance, or use them together for up to 150 pounds. Each band is labeled, and they come with a carrying case and accessories including handles and ankle straps.


Mistake: Damaging the bathroom floor with uncontained shower leaks

Solution: This universal shower door seal that prevents leaks from reaching the bathroom floor

Enjoy dry bathroom floors after showering thanks to this easy-to-install, universal shower door seal. There’s no need for tools — just pop off your old, leaky seal and snap this bad boy to the bottom. Durable PVC sturdily grips the glass with no adhesives required, while the lower fins are made of soft PVC to create a powerful water barrier.


Mistake: Broken wine glasses at home or on the go

Solution: A set of stainless steel wine glasses that won’t break

This set of four unbreakable wine glasses will be your new best friends when it comes to sipping chilled reds or whites. They’re made of fine gauge stainless steel that helps retain beverage temperature and allow wine to breathe. Most importantly, they’re ergonomic in the hand and they won’t break whether you’re camping, picnic-ing, or relaxing at home.