45 weird mistakes you don't realize you're making that cost you money & make life harder

Mistakes were made.

weird mistakes you don't realize you're making that cost you money & make life harder
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You may not know it but you likely have habits and routines that create problems for you. Whether you are living in an unsafe home, contaminating food as you prepare it, or working too hard to do things a machine can do for you, you are stepping on your own toes. Here are 45 weird mistakes you don’t realize you’re making that cost you money and make life harder.


Mistake: Not deep-cleaning your washing machine

Fix: Running these cleaning tablets through your machine every few months

Your clothes still smell a bit off after you have done the laundry. A musty smell hits you when you open the washing machine. These are signs that you have neglected to clean the interior of the washing machine. Fortunately, this is easy to fix: Drop one of these machine cleaner tablets into the tub and run an empty load. Do that on a regular cadence. The machine will last longer, run more efficiently, and your clothes will get cleaner.


Mistake: Using expensive & wasteful paper towels

Fix: Switching to these reusable dishcloths that work so well

Paper towels are cutting needlessly into your grocery budget. They also create tons of garbage. Stop using so many of them and reach for these Swedish dishcloths instead to do many of the chores you have doing with single-use paper. Made of a blend of cellulose and cotton, they are like a sponge mixed with a paper towel. Perfect for wiping spills, cleaning counters, and so much more. They come in eight colors.


Mistake: Ripping open boxes you could be reusing

Fix: Using this box cutter to save boxes you might need

Don’t destroy those boxes that carried your Amazon order to you! Cut the tape with this mini cutter and lay them flat to use again. The retractable ceramic blade is sharp enough to make fast work of this chore but won’t cut your hands. It’s magnetic so you can stick it to the fridge.


Mistake: Throwing away food you could be utilizing

Fix: Sealing your sauces, fruit, & leftovers for later

Instead of tossing the remaining half of the tomato, orange, or lemon you didn’t need for lunch, cover the cut end with one of these reusable silicone food savers. They will keep it fresh until you want to eat it or need it for another recipe without it getting lost, taking up too much room in the fridge, or necessitating a hunt for a storage container.


Mistake: Paying painters to fix scuffs on your walls

Fix: Using these paint pens to touch-up scuffs & scrapes

You don’t have to choose between wall scuffs and the high cost of hiring someone to repaint. Load these brush pens with the paint color you used for your walls and trim and pull one out when a ding or scuff happens. They are easy to fill — like a syringe — and keep the paint fresh for years. “Love being able to touch up our walls and baseboards without the hassle and clean up of [bringing] out the big paint bucket,” said one reviewer.


Mistake: Letting food go stale in your pantry

Fix: Storing dry goods in airtight food containers

It’s so disappointing — and expensive — when you discover the snack you bought has already gone stale in the difficult-to-close package it came in. Stock your pantry with these airtight food containers and transfer nuts, crackers, and cereal into them. The locking lids are easy to close and open and they keep food fresh for a long time. They also keep bugs out. The stackable and nesting shape maximizes your cupboard space, too. They come in white and gray.


Mistake: Not regularly cleaning your makeup brushes

Fix: Using this easy electric makeup brush cleaner

Failing to clean your makeup brushes can lead to color confusion and skin breakouts. Make that chore easier, so you do it often, with this electric makeup brush cleaner. Fit one of the collars over the brush you want to clean and attach it to the rechargeable brush spinner. Then dip it into the bowl and spin it clean, then dry. Your skin will thank you.


Mistake: Letting stains sit too long before you clean them

Fix: Having this easy-to-use stain spray on hand

Speed is the secret to preventing stains from becoming permanent. The longer that wine or tomato sauce sits on that fabric, the harder it will be to get out. Keep some of this stain treater on hand so you can deal with messes when they happen. “This stuff is amazing and works so well!” said one reviewer. “It gets out everything.”


Mistake: Letting your nice cutting boards crack & dry out

Fix: Treating your wood cutting boards with mineral oil regularly

Your cutting boards go through a lot: sharp knives, hot water, and worse. They need a little bit of nourishment to keep on going. This cutting board oil is just what the doctor ordered and it takes only a few minutes to pour a dollop on the board and rub it in. It comes in three sizes.


Mistake: Throwing away clothes that need simple mending

Fix: Sewing on replacement buttons or patching holes in your clothes

When a button pops off, a seam opens, or a hem starts to droop, it might seem like that garment is down for the count. But this sewing kit will enable you to execute the common repairs that clothing needs to get back into rotation. It has needles, thread, spare buttons, and more. Keep it in your closet or dresser so small fixes don’t slow you down.


Mistake: Buying lunch out every day

Fix: Meal-prepping your lunch in this 8-piece lunch box set

Do the math! Buying lunch every day — even a cheap lunch — can quickly add up to a sum that approaches a car payment. Invest in this roomy, organized, eight-piece insulated lunch box set so packing a lunch is easy. It includes three leakproof food containers and an ice pack.


Mistake: Not protecting your expensive mattress from stains & spills

Fix: Covering your mattress with this waterproof protector

Right after the pet or progeny leaks onto that new mattress is not the best time to realize you should have put a mattress protector on it. Save yourself that moment of regret by doing it now. This one is waterproof, crinkle-free, and easy to wash. “The fabric these are made from is excellent quality... soft, no eeky, squeaky noises and very breathable as well,” said one reviewer.


Mistake: Letting your pet ruin the back seats of your car

Fix: Putting down this car seat cover to protect from shedding & stains

Don’t surrender the expensive interior of your car to the messy whims of your canine companion. You have the opposing thumbs in the family. Use them to install this car seat cover so you and your furry family can travel together without destroying the upholstery. It loops over the headrest and snugs around the seat so it stays in place and protects the entire back seat. It comes in two sizes and four trim colors.


Mistake: Letting your pup’s dental health get bad between vet visits

Fix: Putting this cleaning & whitening additive into their water

You may not have the motivation to get out a toothbrush and fight your way into an angry canine mouth to brush your dog’s teeth. But don’t ignore your pup’s dental care. It’s easy to add this water additive to their water and it will fight plaque and tartar while killing that nasty bad breath. No toothbrush or battle of the wills is required.


Mistake: Replacing old wood furniture that just needs a polish

Fix: Wiping this cleaner & polish on tired wood furniture

Don’t toss that piece of wood furniture because it looks old! Not until you have tried revitalizing it with this furniture polish. It can transform a piece that looks old and worn with nothing more than a microfiber cloth and a few minutes of massaging this stuff in. The lotion texture absorbs quickly and smells like almonds. “I used it on my kitchen table and it came out gorgeous,” said one reviewer.


Mistake: Ordering food delivery in when you could meal prep

Fix: Using this veggie chopper to easily have meals on hand

Sometimes making dinner seems like too much effort. But ordering food to be delivered is expensive. This vegetable chopper will help you skip the delivery by making the meal prep work so easy and fast that it takes less energy than deciding what to order. Drop an onion, potato, or zucchini on the blade and close the lid to turn it into pieces that are ready for your bowl or pan.


Mistake: Cross-contaminating your cutting boards

Fix: Having a designated cutting board surface for each type of food

If you use the same cutting board to slice raw chicken that you then use to cut tomatoes for your salad, you will make yourself sick from the bacteria on the meat. Use this bamboo wood cutting board set to designate a surface for raw meat and another for produce. It will help you keep garlic from tainting your fruit, too. The six flexible mats have icons to remind what each is for, fit neatly into the board, and can go in the dishwasher. It comes in two color schemes.


Mistake: Letting your shower drains clog so badly you have to call a plumber

Fix: Catching hair in the shower with this gadget that sticks to your shower wall

Don’t rinse those long strands of hair off your fingers and down the drain. Swipe your fingers through this hair catcher that attaches to the wall of your shower. You will prevent hair clogs and keep your shower clean at the same time. Also, it’s cute and easy to clean. “I used to spend SO much time getting the hair off of my hands in the shower,” said one reviewer. “[It] made my showers take way longer than necessary. With this, that problem has all but gone away!”


Mistake: Leaving your tub surface slippery & dangerous

Fix: Putting this nonslip bath mat down before you shower

Most accidents happen at home. And if your shower floor is slippery, you are just waiting for a nasty accident to happen to you. Drop this bath mat onto the shower floor surface and create some traction so you don’t fall and break something. It suctions on and is easy to remove. It comes in 20 colors.


Mistake: Misplacing your wallet or valuables

Fix: Switching to this wallet with a spot for an AirTag

How much time do you spend searching for your wallet? You have enough to worry about. Switch to this minimalist AirTag wallet and outsource that search to your phone. When you can’t find your wallet, open an app on your phone and track it down quickly and easily. The tag fits securely into the wallet, which comes in 11 colors.


Mistake: Getting locked out of your house

Fix: Keeping a spare hide-a-key nearby

Getting locked out of your house is scary, inconvenient, and completely unnecessary. Before that happens again, stash a spare key in the yard or garden in this fake rock. It will blend into the landscaping and always be there so you can get into your home. The key fits into a compartment under a sliding door. “Not like a lot of fake rocks, this one looks real,” said one reviewer. “I have my house key hidden in it amongst a bunch of other rocks and no one would ever know it was there.”


Mistake: Being unprepared for kitchen fires

Fix: Having this compact all-in-one fire extinguisher under your sink

A fire in the kitchen can happen fast. Oil gets too hot while you are distracted and the next thing you know, flames are licking the walls. If you don’t have a good way to stop a fire when it is small, it will get big. Keep this compact fire extinguisher handy. It can stop all sorts of fires in seconds, is small enough to keep by the stove, and is easy to deploy.


Mistake: Replacing clothes because you can’t find them in your storage

Fix: Using storage containers with clear lids so you can see what’s inside

How often have you decided you need new sweaters or shirts because the chaos in your closet made the ones you have invisible? Move your shoe collection, off-season wardrobe, and anything that isn’t in your current rotation into these two under-bed storage containers with clear tops so you can easily see what you have in reserve. It will make it easy to find things in your closet and to shop your collection when you want something different.


Mistake: Not cleaning your dryer vents regularly to prevent dryer fires

Fix: Attaching this hose to your vacuum to suck out dirt & debris

Cleaning the filters in your dryer after every load is a good start. But if you aren’t cleaning the vents regularly, lint will build up and create a fire hazard while shortening the life of your dryer. It’s easy to clean those vents with this inexpensive cleaner kit that attaches to your vacuum cleaner. It reaches deep into hard-to-access spaces and sucks out all the debris.


Mistake: Ruining the heels of your shoes by forcing them on

Fix: Using a shoe horn to get your foot in without damaging the heel

Crushing the back of your shoes to get them on seems easy in the moment but, in the long run, you will spend more money on shoes. Preserve the structural integrity of your shoes so they last longer by using a shoe horn. This three-pack of solid metal shoe horns makes it easy to stash one everywhere you keep your shoes, including — since one of them is travel-sized — your suitcase.


Mistake: Losing drill bits & small tools when you’re mid DIY project

Fix: Slipping on this magnetic wristband that holds everything secure

Next time you go into a DIY project, go prepared. Instead of putting all the small drill bits, screws, and washers in a bowl and losing them all halfway through, stick them to your wrist where they will stay and be easy to access. This magnetic wristband has 10 strong magnets sewn into it to keep all those bits and pieces secure and handy.


Mistake: Replacing items that fall behind your dryer or under your fridge

Fix: Retrieving them with this magnetic pickup tool

All is not lost if you drop your keys, tools, or other small items into a drain, crevice, or other inaccessible place. Pull out this telescoping magnetic pickup tool and retrieve it. You can send the flashlight 22 inches into that space so you can see where your stuff went and use the magnetic end of the light to grab it.


Mistake: Clogging your sink drain with food & debris

Fix: Putting a sink stopper in your sink to prevent clogs

Letting food scraps and kitchen debris clog up the sink is a bad plan for two reasons: It makes using your sink annoying. And it leads to clogged drains. Install this drain strainer and stopper to catch the debris. It makes it easy to pull out the mess and toss it into the trash, preventing both problems. It’s durable stainless steel and easy to install.


Mistake: Not composting your food scraps

Fix: Using this lidded compost trash can that clips to your counter

Composting kitchen scraps is good for the planet, your trash bill, and your garden. This compost bin makes it so easy and clean to do. Hook the bin to a cupboard (or mount it to the wall) so it’s easy to sweep scraps into it. It also stands on its own. A lid keeps the mess and smell contained and it folds flat when you aren’t using it.


Mistake: Having to call a tow truck when you need a jump

Fix: Keeping this instant jump starter in your trunk for emergencies

For the price of one call for a tow truck, you can keep this car battery charger in your car so you never have to place that call. It will start your car up to 40 times on a single charge, fits neatly into the trunk in its crush-proof storage case, and will act as a flashlight and power bank for your phone. Warning lights will tell you if you are using it wrong to start your car so you don’t do damage.


Mistake: Leaving dangerous candles lit around the house

Fix: Switching to these realistic-looking flameless candles

Nothing beats the ambiance of candlelight. But burning the house down will spoil the mood. Use these flameless candles to get the same effect without the hazard. The colored glass looks beautiful whether the real wax candles are illuminated or not. And you can turn them on and off — with the remote control — without getting up off the couch. They come in 10 colors and patterns.


Mistake: Leaving your home prone to mold & mildew

Fix: Checking your walls & rooms for moisture before the problem grows

Moisture can seep into anything. And once it is there, it encourages mold to grow. Check your walls and other at-risk areas with this moisture meter that reads deep into everything from wood to stone, detecting moisture. “After spending hundreds of dollars on unnecessary repairs to fix [...] water coming into our bathroom, [...] this tool ultimately [found] the real source,” said one reviewer.


Mistake: Having a hard-to-find house number during emergencies

Fix: Replacing your sign with this solar-powered lit house number

When emergency crew are looking for your home to provide assistance, don’t make them waste time driving around lost because they can’t see your house number. Mount these solar-powered house numbers in a prominent area. The big numbers are stylish and easy to read. And it will light up automatically — powered by the sun — at night.


Mistake: Leaving your exterior house lights on all night

Fix: Switching to these solar-powered & motion-activated flood lights

You don’t have to light up the yard all night to have light when you take the trash out or go to the shed after dark. These solar flood lights turn on when they sense motion. Choose from three lighting modes and enjoy the bright, wide-beam, adjustable illumination. Four light heads make it easy to blanket your porch or walkways with light.


Mistake: Not having a way to track your beloved pet

Fix: Putting an AirTag collar on them so you can easily find them

If your dog gets lost, don’t rely on chance or the kindness of strangers to help get your bestie back. Attach this AirTag dog collar mount to that collar and put a tracker on it. It is easy to install and keeps the AirTag safe from doggy activities like swimming so that it will work when you need it to. “Waterproof and very sturdy but unobtrusive,” said one reviewer. “I can track them down to almost inches.”


Mistake: Using sharp knives without protecting your hands

Fix: Putting these cut-resistant gloves on before you use a knife

Don’t end up in the emergency room because you decided to use your mandoline or shuck oysters! Wear these cut-resistant gloves when you work with sharp blades. They allow your hands to move freely but they stop a blade from doing any damage.


Mistake: Leaving your fruit & veg vulnerable to germs

Fix: Plugging this germ guard into an outlet near your produce

Leaving your fruit out in a bowl is pretty and puts healthy snacking within reach but it can expose your food to germs. Plug this germ guardian into an outlet nearby and let it clean the adjacent air. It removes germs, bacteria, and pet dander so it doesn’t land on your snack before you eat it.


Mistake: Resting a spill-prone drink on your expensive couch

Fix: Putting this sofa side table on the couch arm to protect your furniture

The temptation to rest a beer or coffee cup on the couch while you reach for something to read or the remote is high and can lead to upholstery-damaging spills. Clamp this sofa side table to the arm of the couch instead and give yourself a safe place to set that drink as well as a snack and that remote or reading material. It has a rotating phone stand and comes in six colors.


Mistake: Letting fruit & plant flies ravage your home

Fix: Putting this sticky fly trap in plants or fruit bowls

You are not helpless against that infestation of fruit flies or the soil gnats that rode in on your new houseplant. They are simple to stop. Stick a sticky fly trap into your plant's soil or hang one over the fruit bowl. The bugs will get stuck to it. Once stuck, they can’t irritate you or increase their population. The traps are cut into cute, decorative shapes. There are 20 options.


Mistake: Overwatering your lawn

Fix: Setting your sprinkler on a timer

Watering your lawn by hand leaves the grass at the mercy of your routine and availability. You will inevitably vacillate between over- and under-watering. This sprinkler timer will turn that into a science. It will also allow you to water just before dawn to minimize evaporation and save water. Attach it to the spigot, attach the sprinkler to it, and set the timer. You and your lawn will be so much happier.


Mistake: Not finding water leaks & floods until it’s too late

Fix: Putting this smart sensor near your water heater or pipes

One burst water heater or pipe, if it happens when you aren’t there, can wreak havoc on your home and cost a fortune. Set this water sensor wherever there is a potential for water leakage in your home and it will alert you — wherever you are — to leaks. Connect it to your Wi-Fi and it will send alerts via text, email, or app notification.


Mistake: Letting your outdoor lights & appliances run unnecessarily

Fix: Switching to this smart outdoor outlet you can control in an app

Instead of trying to remember to turn the outdoor lights, fountains, and appliances off and on, plug them into this smart outdoor outlet and put them on a timer. It has three plugs, works with Alexa and Google Assistant or its own app, and is completely weatherproof.


Mistake: Going to the grocery store without a list

Fix: Writing down what you need on this grocery list on your fridge

Wandering through the grocery aisles without direction leads to impulse purchases and the need to return to the store for things you forgot. Hang this grocery list magnet pad on the fridge and make it easy to add items to your list as you discover you need them. Then grab the page as you leave for the store. It has many items already categorized and typed in and lines for you to write things in.


Mistake: Replacing shoes that are scuffed or stained

Fix: Spot-cleaning your sneakers & shoes with magic erasers

That pair of scuffed or dirty shoes may not look good enough to wear but you don’t have to toss them. Clean them up with one of these magic erasers. They can take off almost any stain. “My white shoes have never looked better,” said one reviewer. “All you have to do is wet the sponge and swipe away.”


Mistake: Forgetting to water your beloved houseplants

Fix: Put these self-watering plant bulbs in your potted plants

Don’t let your houseplants suffer because you got busy or forgetful. Fill these watering bulbs with water, stick them in the soil, and buy yourself some time. They moisten the soil as needed and last up to two weeks. They look beautiful in your plants, too.