35 surprising things you don't realize you're doing that are costing you money around the house

These quick fixes can save you a ton of dough in the long run.

Originally Published: 
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

There are some obvious things that cost you a ton of money around the house (like using way too many paper towels every day), but there are also a bunch of money-wasting things that are so easy to miss. You might not even realize that you’re using up a bunch of your budget with everyday tasks and things around your home.

Luckily, I’ve put together a list of little fixes, so you you won’t have to write out a completely new budget or even cut back on buying fun new home decor to save a bit of money.


Mistake: You leave a bunch of toothpaste or skincare the tube

Fix: A 4-pack of colorful tube squeezers that get out every last drop

These toothpaste squeezers save that last bit of toothpaste, creams, facial cleanser, and more, so you can avoid rebuying these pricey products for as long as possible. They’re super easy to slide onto all kinds of tubes, and each on has a hole on the top to hang them up, which can save you precious counter space.


Mistake: You do nothing to prevent drain clogs

Fix: These flexible hair catchers that won’t mess up your shower drain

This pack of five silicone drain covers is the easiest way to avoid a gross shower situation or needing to buy a drain cleaner. They sit right on top of your sinks or shower tile, so you won’t have to remove your drain cover or any hardware to use these colorful covers. Meanwhile, the fine holes let water through but keep hair and other debris out.


Mistake: You spend too much money on spray cooking oil

Fix: A precise mister to pair with cooking oil that’s already in your pantry

Skip the spray cooking oil every time you do a grocery run because this food-grade oil sprayer lets you spritz on the olive, avocado, sesame, or even vegetable oil that you already have in the pantry. This precise mister spritzes a quarter of a teaspoon on your baking sheet with every spray, which gives you more control than an unpredictable aerosol spray.


Mistake: You stick produce right in your fridge drawer

Fix: These reusable green bags that extend the life of your fresh fruits & veggies

Sticking your fresh fruit and veggies in these green bags will keep all of your produce fresh way longer than simply sticking them in your fridge and hoping for the best — and 16,000 five-star reviews on Amazon prove they work. They’re also washable, so you can use each one for up to 10 grocery runs.


Mistake: You give up on stained clothes or furniture

Fix: A professional-grade stain remover that even works on older spots

Keep this budget-friendly stain remover around instead of replacing stained clothing or linens all of the time. Instead of tossing that food-stained sofa, this pH-neutral formula will take care of every single spot — even older stains. Of course, you can also add this fragrance-free remover to your laundry routine to take care of makeup-covered washcloths or stained clothes.


Mistake: You reach for single-use dryer sheets or completely skip them

Fix: These reusable, natural wool balls that reduce dryer time

These reusable wool dryer balls can replace your single-use dryer sheets. The 100% natural set of six work to lift and fluff your clothes in the dryer, so they dry more efficiently — which reduces your electricity bill. Best of all, they come with a little canvas bag with easy-to-follow directions, so you can keep them tidy next to all of your detergent and stain removers


Mistake: You toss too many grimy sponges each week

Fix: These reusable, dishwasher-safe scrubbers with trendy patterns

Not only are these multi-surface scrubbers reusable, but they’re also covered in trendy fabric that you won’t mind displaying next to your sink. This printed fabric is scouring enough for tackling dishes, but it won’t scratch any of your favorite glassware. To make them even better than those grimy dish sponges, you can throw these colorful scrubbers in the dishwasher to use them over and over again.


Mistake: Your wooden cutting boards get dry & crack

Fix: This mineral oil to keep wooden cutting boards & spoons looking new

Keep this protective mineral oil around if you throw away cracked wooden cutting boards way too often because it will prevent dryness and cracks. Simply swipe on this food-safe oil every few months, and you won’t have to buy new cutting boards or replace cracked wooden spoons and spatulas. This restorative oil is also great for stainless steel, marble, and soapstone.


Mistake: Your doors are completely unsealed

Fix: A door draft stopper with quiet & cushioned memory foam

This door draft stopper is made of plush memory foam, so you won’t have to worry about it sticking or making an annoying noise when you open the door. The memory foam padding fits snugly around both sides of your door to take care of energy-sucking drafts and keep out bugs.


Mistake: You let half-used butter dry out

Fix: An easy-to-wash cover to save half-used sticks

This little silicone cover fits right over a partially-used stick of butter, so you won’t have to waste plastic wrap or bags — or let your butter go bad. It’s butter yellow, so you’ll always remember what it’s for, and it will look adorable on for a brunch setup. It’s also easy to wash this airtight cover after you finish the stick of butter.


Mistake: You reach for paper towels for every little thing

Fix: This aesthetic 5-pack of reusable, absorbent cloths

These reusable cloths are just as easy to reach for as paper towels, and you can use them several times a day (every day). Each one has a trendy modern print that’s easy to style in your kitchen or your bathroom. Each can be used and washed 50 times, and the thick cellulose/cotton blend are soft when wet for wiping up spills yet scouring enough when used dry to do deeper cleaning.


Mistake: You keep everything plugged in & on all the time

Fix: A smart power strip with individually controlled outlets

Go ahead and leave all of your things plugged in if you have this smart plug power strip. You can use the app, Amazon Alexa, or the little buttons on top to turn each individual plug on and off or set timers. You also get two USB slots that are always on to charge your phone without checking if the port is turned on.


Mistake: You let stray shower water get all over the floor

Fix: These thick, trimmable door sealers that keep water in

Not only will these shower door sealers save you from washing your bath or hand towels way too often because you won’t have to wipe shower water off of your bathroom tiles everyday, but they can also prevent pricey floor damage. The trimmable and universal fit sticks right on the bottom of your door and seals all of that stray water inside of the shower.


Mistake: You keep hall & stair lights on all night

Fix: These battery-operated, low-profile stair lights that stick right to the wall

Instead of falling asleep with the hall or stair lights on (just in case you have to go to the bathroom), stick on these adhesive and super low-profile stair lights. With their motion sensor design, they’ll cast a warm glow when you come out of your room. After you walk past, the battery-powered lights turn off after 30 seconds.


Mistake: You just stick bread in your pantry

Fix: A minimalist bread box & linen bag that keep baked goods fresher for longer

It’s worth putting all of the sourdough and muffins you grab on your grocery runs into this linen bag and bread box, because this minimalist duo will keep baked goods fresher for longer than standard packaging. The box has ventiliation holes on three sides, which allows in the optimal amount of air, while the linen bag preserves freshness without making the bread too soft. As if this box wasn’t sleek enough, the bamboo lid doubles as a functional cutting board.


Mistake: You grab a napkin every time you eat at home

Fix: This stylish pack of cloth napkins that are easy to refresh between meals

Stop using flimsy, single-use napkins or pricey paper towels for mealtime and invest in these durable, cotton-blend napkins instead. With an 18-inch-by-18-inch size, these oversized napkins can stand up to sauces and spills. Plus, you can stick them all in the wash after dinner, and whatever trendy color you choose (of the three dozen available) won’t fade after washing.


Mistake: You run your dishwasher when it’s clean because you forgot

Fix: An easy-to-use magnet that simply reads clean or dirty

Grab this clean or dirty dishwasher magnet because it’s the easiest way to avoid re-washing your dishes when you forget if you already ran your machine. If your dishwasher isn’t magnetic, this little magnet comes with an adhesive plate for your magnet to stick to.


Mistake: You forget to turn things off

Fix: This stick-on switch that you can control 3 different ways

Stick this adhesive button pusher right onto whatever device you tend to leave on all day and simply use the app or Amazon Alexa to set up timers or control it remotely. Though it can be used for anything with a button or with a rocker switch, reviewers especially love using this to turn on their coffee maker in the morning.


Mistake: You throw away the last bit of hand soap & pantry essentials

Fix: This bottle-emptying kit with its own dispensing valves

This bottle-emptying kit saves you from buying new dish soap, lotion, or sauce before you actually need it because they let you get the last bit of that pricey product. These little caps come with color-coded adapters to fit on top of all kinds of bottles to hold them upside down and dispense every single drop.


Mistake: You use tons of hot water for laundry day

Fix: These nearly perfect-rated Tide pods that work best in cold water

Yes — you can completely skip the pricey hot water on laundry day with these Tide pods because they completely dissolve and clean all of your clothes with only cold water. These super-concentrated pods protect all of your colorful pieces and effectively remove stains without you separating laundry or firing up the water heater. And with a 4.8-star rating on Amazon after 90,000 reviews, you know they work.


Mistake: Your fridge door doesn’t always close & your groceries spoil

Fix: An adhesive door alarm that won’t look bulky on your fridge

This compact alarm won’t look too bulky on your fridge, and it will save you from accidentally leaving the door open and wasting groceries. It lets you know after only one minute of the door being open and continues to let you know again after two minutes, and after three minutes, there’s a constant beep, so you’re sure to hear it and remember to shut the door and keep your food cold and fresh.


Mistake: Your trash can has way too many single-use mop pads in it

Fix: The reusable mop pads that are made from a gentle yet durable fabric

Not only are these mop pads durable enough to take care of dirt, dust, and pet fur on your floors, but they’re also reusable. The extra-thick microfiber fabric is designed for scrubbing every surface (wet or dry), so you won’t have to deal with those flimsy single-use mop pads tearing or ripping.


Mistake: You just toss produce in your unorganized fridge

Fix: These fridge organizers with produce-saving drain trays

These stackable and leakproof fridge bins tidy up all of your fruit and veggies, so you know how many lemons or bunches of kale you have left — so you know to use them. They all have vent holes on top, and two of them even have drain trays, so your produce will last for longer, saving you even more money.


Mistake: You go through hand soap so fast

Fix: These refillable soap dispensers to pair with bulk hand soap

This set of glass soap dispensers will make your kitchen and bathroom sinks look chic and more put together, and they work with whatever your favorite foaming hand soap is (or you can use one part standard hand soap and five parts water). They’re completely refillable, so you can save some money and grab the bulk bottle of hand soap every time you run out.


Mistake: You constantly stock up on expensive coffee pods

Fix: This reusable coffee pod & scoop set to pair with your favorite bag of coffee

With this reusable coffee pod set, you can go ahead and buy your favorite bag of coffee instead of stocking up on pricey pods. The set of two stainless steel mesh pods pop open, so you can quickly fill each one by using the super easy 2 tablespoon scoop. Then, just use like normal in your Keurig — no need to remove any part.


Mistake: Your busy schedule makes you forget about turning off the lights

Fix: These color-changing LEDs with easy-to-setup routines

These LED light bulbs are way better than remembering you left the lights on after you’ve already left the house. You can use Amazon Alexa to create a routine for these long-lasting lights, so they’ll turn on and off with your unique schedule. To make these even better, you can also control their brightness and choose from a ton of vibrant colors to change up the vibe.


Mistake: You buy takeout because you forgot ingredients

Fix: A magnetic grocery list with a menu section to remember every meal

This magnetic grocery list comes with a weekly menu planner built-in, so you won’t forget about any breakfast items or dinner ingredients before you head to the grocery store. There’s a spot to date it, and you can tear off the entire sheet (or just the little grocery list section) to take with you.


Mistake: You don’t protect your mattress from stains & pests

Fix: A waterproof mattress protector that you can refresh on laundry day

With this waterproof mattress protector, you can keep your mattress feeling as clean as your sheets and duvet cover because you can simply throw this protector in with your bedding and pillowcases. In between washes, this hypoallergenic cover will feel breathable and keep dust mites and spills away from your expensive mattress — extending its life.


Mistake: You use single-use bags for leftovers

Fix: A set of sealable, transparent reusable bags to organize your leftovers

It won’t matter if your box of single-use food bags is empty, because these reusable leakproof bags are perfect for putting away leftovers. They have a classic seal on top that’s durable and airtight enough to store ingredients in the freezer. They’re also transparent, so you always know which leftovers you put in each one of these BPA-free bags.


Mistake: You hang out in the shower for a bit too long

Fix: A shower clock with an easy-to-use suction cup & timer settings

This shower clock has an oversized suction cup to pop it on your tiles so you can keep up with how long you’ve been in the shower. It comes with timer settings that are super helpful if you tend to use way too much hot water. It also comes with an optional stand, and, of course, it’s water-resistant for your shower.


Mistake: Your oven is on way too often for your favorite sheet pan dinners

Fix: A compact, fast-acting air fryer to completely skip the oven

This 2.6-quart air fryer saves you from keeping your oven on for a long time every weeknight for your go-to sheet pan dinners, warming up your house and using pricey gas or electric. It’s easy to operate with two dials: one for temperature and one for time, and it is so compact that you won’t mind keeping it out on the counter.


Mistake: You run water, waiting for it to be cold

Fix: An oversized dispenser that you can keep in the fridge

Pop this oversized water dispenser on your fridge shelf, and have cold water without running the tap for minutes or buying single-use bottles. The filter lasts for up to 2 months, so you won’t have a ton of upkeep with this BPA-free dispenser. Plus, you can fill it with 27 cups of water and avoid refilling it for days at a time.


Mistake: Your dryer is your go-to on laundry day

Fix: A foldable drying rack to keep your clothes nicer for longer

Fold up this durable drying rack next to your washing machine, so you’ll remember to reach for it instead of throwing everything in the dryer. It’s completely waterproof, so you can toss all of your clothes straight from the wash onto this multi-tier and stain-resistant rack, which holds up to 32 pounds at once.


Mistake: Your coffee goes bad quickly

Fix: An airtight coffee container to keep beans fresher for longer

You won’t have to constantly rebuy overpriced coffee if you store your favorite coffee beans or grounds in this airtight canister. It keeps everything fresh and comes with a little built-in scoop on the side, so making your coffee will actually be so easy.


Mistake: Your home gets way too warm or super chilly

Fix: These insulated blackout curtains to keep your home comfy

Instead of messing with your thermostat multiple times a day, add these insulated blackout curtains to all of your windows. Use them to stop the sun from warming up your space too much or block out any chilly air. Plus, this easy-to-hang set also helps out with sound and light insulation.