40 Expensive Mistakes You're Making Inside & Outside Your Home

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Owning a home or making a rental your own can be pricey, and you might be wasting money by making a few common mistakes around the house. From long-lasting lawn care to preserving furniture correctly, these 40 expensive mistakes you might be making inside and outside your home are completely avoidable — and the Amazon products listed will help save you some of that money.

When it comes to big-ticket items in your home like your mattress, couch, and flooring — it’s important to protect them. Simple, inexpensive solutions like mattress covers, cat-scratching shields, and furniture pads can make a huge difference and save you lots of money down the road. I’ve rounded up a list of highly rated and reviewed home and backyard items that will keep you and your wallet happy.

Put an end to the costly mistakes you’re making at home today.


Mistake: Storing Produce In Grocery Plastic Bags

Solution: These Reusable Food Saver Sheets

Quit making the expensive mistake of stashing your produce in plastic bags in your fridge. Keep your fruits and veggies fresher for longer with these reusable food saver sheets. The idea is simple: just place one of these sheets in with your berries, kale, or other produce to make it last up to four times as long. The thin design is made to put directly into your produce bowls or packaging from the store. It will reduce waste, which will save you time and money. Each sheet is reusable, biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable.


Mistake: You Keep Coffee In Cans Without Tight Seals

Solution: The Coffee Canister With A Scoop & Date Tracker

Keep your coffee fresh for a long time with a canister like this one and stop making the mistake of storing it in a can that lacks a solid seal. The 22.5-ounce, stainless steel container traps air out and even has a one-way CO2 valve to avoid oxidation. The top of the canister features a convenient date tracker and a side compartment holds the included scoop. It’s the perfect place to store flour, nuts, sugar, and of course, coffee beans.


Mistake: Letting Sponges Get Moldy

Solution: A Decorative Ceramic Stand For Sponges

Keep your kitchen sponge in this ceramic stand to avoid losing it or worse — letting it get moldy and having to constantly replace it. No one wants to clean their dishes with a less than clean sponge, but it can be hard to keep your sponges in tip-top shape. This durable stand holds the sponges horizontally, allowing them to fully dry while keeping your sink de-cluttered. The decorative design looks nice on your countertops as well.


Mistake: Keeping Pantry Items In Opened Boxes

Solution: Airtight Food Storage Containers In Every Size Under The Sun

Still stashing your pantry items in the boxes they came in? Big mistake. Uniform airtight containers will save you money while making your pantry look more organized, polished, and expensive. This pack of 14 BPA-free plastic containers is perfect for keeping pasta, snacks, coffee, and sugar fresh, plus they nest together, 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 includes labels and markers to organize your pantry while eliminating waste.


Mistake: You Aren’t Maintaining Wooden Kitchen Tools, Like Butcher Blocks

Solution: A Mineral Oil That Prolongs The Life Of Cutting Boards And Butcher Blocks

​​Extend the life of your cutting boards or butcher block countertops by properly oiling them with food-grade mineral oil. This colorless, odorless, tasteless option restores cracked or dried wood. Apply 1-ounce of the oil every few months to keep your kitchen tools in tip-top condition. It also works on stainless steel, marble, and soapstone and will restore and protect those surfaces for three months.


Mistake: Storing Glassware In Places Where It Will Shatter

Solution: These Quilted Storage Containers Designed For Wine Glasses

If you have sentimental or valuable glassware that you need to keep safe, but you’re storing it in any old container you can find, you’ll love these quilted storage containers. This pack of two comes with a stemware-sized container, as well as one for coffee. The storage dividers create safe, cushioned spots for your precious glassware to securely sit while you’re moving or just between uses. It zips close to keep the glasses free of dust and fingerprints. There’s a small window on the outside that you can label to make sure you never replace your favorite glassware. This $25 investment will save you money in the long run.


Mistake: Using Ice That Waters Down Drinks

Solution: These $15 Granite Chilling Rocks That Never Melt

Ice only lasts so long and, after it melts, you’ll be left with watered-down drinks. Keep your guests happy by serving the coolest drinks, featuring these cube chilling rocks. The dark, natural granite material is high-end and practical. Just stick the pack of six rocks, on their wooden tray, into the freezer to cool them down. Then pop them in your favorite cocktail or liquor to enjoy a glass that’s never watered down, but always chilled. These cubes make a great gift for whiskey lovers and come in four colors for less than $15.


Mistake: Every Time You BBQ You Burn The Steak

Solution: The Easy-To-Read Meat Thermometer For Perfect Meals

If you’re still trying to perfect your grilling skills and are burning your meat as a result of your cooking mistakes, 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 underwater. It works just as well on beverages, frying oil, bread, and candy. And cooking your foods to perfection means you’ll save money when you don’t have to toss them away and buy new meat.


Mistake: Running Through Paper Towels Is Costing You A Fortune

Solution: An Eco-Friendly Pack Of Reusable Dish Cloths

Paper towels are costing you — switch to this reusable option that works just as well. These odor-resistant Swedish dishcloths are super versatile to clean spills, wash dishes, or even scrub the bathroom. They’re made of compostable wood pulp cloth and cotton, so they’re natural, biodegradable, and chemical-free. They are super absorbent and can be used for up to eight weeks without picking up odors. And when it’s time to clean — just toss them in the washing machine. You can wash them up to 200 times — saving money and the environment.


Mistake: You’re Wasting Energy By Leaving Appliances Running

Solution: A 30-Minute Timer That Turns Off The Outlet

Give yourself the gift of peace of mind with this plug-in timer that automatically shuts up any plugged-in device after 30 minutes. That means the next time you worry you made the big mistake of leaving your hair straightener on, you will be comforted by the fact that this timer turned it off for you. The easy-to-use push-button is safe to use in any indoor outlet and conserves energy. Use it for cell phone chargers, lights you want to turn off at a specific time, or coffee pots. Best of all? It’s $12.


Mistake: Your Windows Are Poorly Sealed

Solution: A Window Sealing Tape That Prevents Drafts

If your windows aren’t properly sealed, your HVAC system needs to work overtime in both winter and summer as it struggles to heat and cool your home, resulting in some serious gas and electric bills. This 30-yard roll of window tape is here to help cut down on the cost by helping you to seal your window seams (and cracks around any in-window AC units). It provides an airtight seal in temperatures as low as 1.4-degrees Fahrenheit, so even the coldest of drafts are stopped in their tracks.


Mistake: Packages Are Being Taken From Your Porch

Solution: A Security Camera & Floodlight Combo

To anyone thinking of swiping something from your stoop, even the sight of a security camera can be enough to think twice. Plus, when motion is detected, this 2K security camera begins to record and an alert is even sent to your phone. It is also equipped with a built-in floodlight and is waterproof, and it has two-way audio and 355-degrees of vision for a near perfect view of your entire space. An SD card for recording video is not included.


Mistake: Paying An Arm & A Leg For Simple Window Washing

Solution: A Window Squeegee & Scrubber With Extended Reach

If you have a DIY spirit and your windows have seen better days, you’re a perfect candidate for this window washing tool with a scrubber, squeegee, and extendable pole to reach second story windows. It has multiple locking adjustment points so you can reach your windows at just the right angle and is available in three sizes reaching up to 12, 24, or 30 feet at their maximum height. The included chenille scrubber can be run through the washing machine and dryer, and the set comes with three interchangeable squeegee sizes.


Mistake: Cold Winters Threaten Your Outdoor Faucets

Solution: A Pack Of Insulating Foam Faucet Covers

Winterizing your home can be a daunting task, and it can be expensive to fix pipes that have frozen and burst. This set of two foam outdoor faucet covers are simple to install and come with all of the gaskets and non-marking components you’ll need to affix it to the side of your home to keep your faucets warm enough all winter long — and year after year. While there’s no minimum temperature reported by the manufacturer, one reviewer reported success with temps below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.


Mistake: Your Cute Kitty Is Destroying The Sofa

Solution: These Transparent Shields That Keep Them From Scratching Furniture

If you have a pet that loves to scratch the side of your furniture, these scratch deterrent couch shields will save you money. 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 onto the sides of your couch, table legs, or other places your cat likes to claw. The protective layer is strong enough to protect your furniture yet flexible enough to wrap around the edges and blend into your home decor.


Mistake: Your Dog Tears Apart New Toys Instantly

Solution: A Dog Toy Kit Designed For Teething Pups

If you’re tired of making the mistake of buying dog toys that claim to be indestructible, only to have your four-legged friend rip them to shreds, then you need these tough dog toys. This pack of toys is designed specifically for aggressive chewers and dogs who are teething. The 10-piece set comes with a little bit of something for everyone: two plush toys, two ropes toys, three rope balls, a rubber bone, and some squeaky toys, as well as a carrying bag with a shoulder strap. The toys are made with thick cotton rope and strengthened joint connections to withstand your dog’s chewing. They’re great for keeping anxious and high-energy pups entertained while cleaning their teeth and gums.


Mistake: Every Time The Wind Blows Your Doors Slam & Chip

Solution: These Durable Doorstoppers In A Pack Of Six

Letting doors slam shut every time the wind blows is going to result in a lot of broken, chipped doors. Here’s the affordable solution: doorstops that will stay in place — regardless of your flooring. That’s why they’ve earned more than 15,000 reviews on Amazon. This durable pack of six plastic and rubber doorstops will secure a door on concrete, carpet, stone, tile, linoleum, and even hardwood. If the door is a bit tall, you can stack two of these doorstops on top of each other to hold it open. This pack also comes with an adhesive holder for the doorstop that can be fixed to the door itself.


Mistake: Ignoring Lingering Odors In Your Home That You Can’t Locate

Solution: A UV Black Light To Spot Stains

Are you detecting lingering pet smells in your home, but you can’t figure out where they’re coming from? Don’t make the mistake of sleeping on smells. You need one of these LED black flashlights that detect stains and urine — even after they’re dry. This powerful flashlight features 100 LEDs to identify stains, as well as things like bed bugs and leaks. This budget-friendly tool will ensure your home is clean and help you avoid big costs in the future.


Mistake: Moving Chairs Around Without Protecting Hard Floors

Solution: These Non-Slip Furniture Pad Grippers

Hardwood floors can be expensive to maintain, and shuffling chairs and furniture around is a mistake that can result in scratches. Luckily, tools like these non-slip furniture pads can preserve them. These felt core pads come in multiple pre-scored sizes, but they can be cut to your exact dimensions. Stick them to the bottoms of your couch legs, chair legs, and beds so they slide easily when they inevitably get bumped or moved. They’re made with anti-slip rubber that grabs the floor and furniture without any glue or nails.


Mistake: You Aren’t Protecting An Expensive Mattress From Everyday Stains

Solution: A Best-Selling Mattress Protector That’s Waterproof

Protect the investment you’ve made in your mattress with a protective cover. This best-selling mattress protector is made of cotton and can keep your mattress protected from spills, sweat, or accidents. It’s noiseless under your sheets and has deep pockets to fit mattresses up to 18-inches wide. This under-$40 option has earned more than 225,000 ratings, too.


Mistake: Your Heating & Cooling Bills Are High Because Of Drafty Windows

Solution: The Insulated Curtains That Trap In Heat And Cool Air

Replacing drafty windows may not be in the budget right now, but it’s a mistake to continue letting them leak air. This insulated curtain set not only blocks light from waking you up, but it also works to regulate your room’s temperature. In the summer, it seals off your windows, keeping cool air in and heat from the sun out (and saving you money in the process). This pack comes with two panels of 100% blackout curtains that each have a black liner sewn in to further help block UV light. This set has earned more than 89,000 reviews and is available in more than 35 colors and 19 sizes to fit your space.


Mistake: Assuming A Dark Yard Requires Pricey Custom Lighting

Solution: These Waterproof Solar String Lights

No need to spend thousands on custom outdoor lighting that may or may not hold up against the elements when you can opt for an outdoor set of string lights that’s under $20. The solar-powered lights give off a warm white glow (and are also available in blue) and feature eight different lighting modes. After a full day of sun, these lights will run for up to eight hours to light your backyard BBQs and summer night fun. This waterproof set is 72 feet long — a total steal — so you can decorate your entire backyard for less than you think.


Mistake: You’re Buying Extra Furniture For Clothing Storage

Solution: A Space-Saving Rolled Clothing Hanger

There’s no need to buy an extra little dresser for more clothing storage when you can simply get this under-$20 hanger that holds up to 24 rolled leggings, T-shirts, or other small clothing items. It has clear compartments which allow you to see exactly what you have stored, and it is available in five colors. It comes with a convenient strap that attaches to the top, as well as over-door hooks — so feel free to tuck it over a closet rod, hanger, or behind your door.


Mistake: Your Wine Never Stays Chilled Outdoors

Solution: These Unbreakable, Insulated Wine Glasses

Warm wine is a crime — and broken wine glasses are a close second. Enjoy your vino outside without having to worry about spills or broken glass thanks to these unbreakable stemless wine glasses. These 12-ounce glasses are made of stainless steel and come in a convenient pack of four. They're insulated to keep drinks hot or cold for longer and have BPA-free lids and smooth sides that make them easy to hold and sip on the beach, at the pool, or on a walk. They’re available in five colors including turquoise and rose.


Mistake: Spilled Drinks Mean Ruined Patio Furniture

Solution: A Set Of Genius Outdoor Beverage Stakes

No more spilled drinks and ruined patio furniture, thanks to these genius steel beverage holders. Each one sticks into the ground and offers a cup holder wherever you need it. They’re ideal for backyards, beach trips, camping, or park days. The four-pack comes in an assortment of colors, too, to jazz up your outdoor space.


Mistake: Your Electric Bill Is Sky-High Because Of Electic Outdoor Lighting

Solution: Solar Lights That Illuminate Your Garden Without Breaking The Bank

Make the trek from the car to the front door easier for yourself and your guests by lining it with these solar-powered lights, which will save you so much money you’re currently spending on electric lights. The LEDs charge during the day and will last up to 12 hours throughout the night, which means you’ll save a ton more money on your electric bill when you make this simple swap. They automatically turn off when the sun comes up and on when the sun goes down. They’re weather-resistant and come in packs of eight (shown here) or six.


Mistake: Letting Your Landscaping & Outdoor Veggies Freeze

Solution: Plant Covers That Warm Them But Let Light Through

Plant covers have a myriad of uses. If you’re growing veggies, they can help you extend your growing season into the fall and early winter as well as protect them from pests in the summer. If you have some gorgeous landscaping and live somewhere where freezing isn’t a common occurrence, you can cover your plants only on the coldest of days to maintain them until spring. These covers also let a lot of light through so your plants continue to get all the sunshine they need. The protectors are available in three lengths, as well as in a “jacket cover” style for covering taller trees and bushes.


Mistake: You’re Watering Plants Too Little Or Not Enough

Solution: This Easy-To-Read Moisture Meter

Knowing when to water your plants and flowers can be a tricky task since most plants show signs of dehydration differently. But one sure-fire way to know if your plant needs water and not make the mistake of under or over-watering it is to use one of these moisture meters. Just stick it into the ground near your indoor or outdoor plants to see if the soil is dry, moist, or wet. The single probe meter is gentle enough not to affect your plant’s roots and instantly gives you a clear reading to empower you to better care for your plants.


Mistake: Your Grass Isn’t Growing — But Lawn Care Is Expensive

Solution: These Unique Lawn Aerator Shoes

Aerating your yard is key when it comes to growing healthy, happy plant life — but hiring a professional to do your lawn can be expensive. These clever lawn aerator shoes are a fun, budget-friendly way to improve your lawn’s health so you avoid the mistake of letting grass wither away. They strap around your shoes so you simply walk across your yard, aerating as you go. This aeration encourages plants to form deeper root systems, leading to healthier and visible greener lawns. This tool earned the #1 bestseller spot for “manual lawn aerators.”


Mistake: You Aren’t Taking Full Advantage Of Your Yard To Grow Veggies

Solution: A Garden Tool Set With A Comfy Bench

Growing your own garden has all kinds of benefits, one of which is spending less at the grocery store. But you’ll need the right tools to grow your own, like this garden stool set. The foldable garden seat is made of foam and collapses to be used as a seat or a mat to kneel on. The strong metal frame can support up to 300 pounds yet is shockingly lightweight. It comes with a tool pouch for storing tools, as well as gloves.


Mistake: Serving Food Uncovered So That Bugs Attack Your Picnic

Solution: These Mesh Screen Tents That Collapse For Easy Storage

Warmer weather brings more opportunities to barbecue and throw backyard picnics, but it also means ants, flies, and bees will make a literal beeline for all of that good food. The solution to the mistake of serving food uncovered is simple and affordable: this pack of 12 mesh screen tents costs less than $25 and will keep pests away from your delicious plates. The screens open like umbrellas to fit over plates and bowls and then collapse for easy storage.


Mistake: Your Inefficient Storage Makes Your Forget What You Have

Solution: Simple Yet Effective Shelf Organizers

The phrase “shop your closet” rings true only if you can actually identify what you have. Being able to clearly see exactly what sweaters, pants, and bags are at your disposal is a great way to prevent unnecessary purchases and make the most of your current wardrobe. This set of two shelf separators is perfect for a closet’s upper shelf, and they can affix to shelves up to 7/8 inches thick without any permanent installation needed.


Mistake: Moldy Fences & Decks Bring Down The Look Of Your Yard

Solution: A Powerful Wash To Rid Surfaces Of Gross Stains

If mold and mildew are doing a number on your fence and patio, you don’t need to replace them — you just need this powerful wash to rid surfaces of nasty stains and smells. The cleaning solution attaches to your garden hose and delivers a fast-acting wash that requires zero scrubbing. One reviewer described how well this wash worked on their neglected deck: “[...] After rinsing it off I went inside for the night. By morning my decks looked as close to brand new as they could. [...]”


Mistake: Pool Accessories & Outdoor Toys Are Scattered Around

Solution: The 30 Gallon Deck Box That Tidies Up & Protects Items

Just because they can exist outdoors doesn’t mean all of your pool accessories and outdoor toys should always be exposed to harsh outdoor elements like rain and UV light. Keep these expensive items protected in this resin deck storage box. The weather-resistant box holds 30 gallons (or up to 220 pounds) and has built-in handles for portability. You can easily assemble it without a single tool.


Mistake: Not Properly Protecting Wooden Outdoor Patio Furniture

Solution: A $12 Wood Furniture Protector Spray

If you’re leaving your wooden outdoor patio furniture to brave the conditions, you’re missing a key opportunity to protect it from serious damage. This $12 outdoor wood furniture protector spray repels moisture and can protect against liquid stains, while also combatting common problems like mold, fungi, and mildew. It works on all wood types and couldn't be more convenient to use — a spray here and there keeps damage at bay.


Mistake: An Out-Of-Control Mosquito Problem Requires A Pricey Exterminator

Solution: An Outdoor Bug Zapper That Works Up To 2100 Square Feet

Before you call an exterminator and spend a lot of money on an out-of-control mosquito issue, snag this $30 bug zapper for your patio or yard. Using electricity, it zaps mosquitos, gnats, flies, moths, and other flying insects and is powerful enough to cover up to 2,100 square feet. You can hang the portable zapper from a hook or place it on a table and cleaning it is as easy as removing and emptying the insect collection tray. You’ll finally be able to spend more time outdoors enjoying your space without the nuisance of pests.


Mistake: Leaving Your Air-Conditioner Exposed To Rain & Snow

Solution: A Waterproof Cover That Stays In Place

You can protect your air conditioner in between uses so that it stands the test of time (and survives the many drops of rain and snowstorms it will encounter) with this waterproof and dustproof air conditioner cover. It comes in four sizes and is designed with sturdy buckles to help keep it in place.


Mistake: Your Windows Haven’t Been Cleaned In Years

Solution: A Squeegee With An Extendable Pole

Can’t remember the last time you washed your windows? You’re not alone — the task can be daunting and it takes special tools to get the job done right. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune on those tools because this extendable squeegee costs $25 and has a telescopic pole that extends from 35 to 62 inches to reach all of your windows. It comes with four machine-washable cleaning cloths and features a rotating head for even easier cleaning.


Mistake: Your Grill Is A Sticky Mess

Solution: A Duo Grill Brush & Scraper That Makes Cleaning A Breeze

If you aren’t properly cleaning your grill every time you use it, both your BBQ and meat and veggies are going to suffer. The task doesn’t have to be a chore — this duo grill brush and scraper gets the job done in record time, thanks to super-thick bristles that work on all grill surfaces and a built-in scraper to get rid of food debris so that it doesn’t burn and muck up the taste of your next meal. The stainless steel tool has an 18-inch handle, more than 6,000 reviews, and costs less than $20.


Mistake: Failing To Protect Expensive Barbecues With A Cover

Solution: This Waterproof Grill Cover

Your barbecue was an investment, but leaving it vulnerable to rain, snow, and direct sunlight can cause it to rust and fade over time. This $17 grill cover is the simple solution: it has double layers of fabric to ensure it’s durable and is waterproof to protect your grill. The cover comes in three sizes and five colors, and it’s even coated with a layer of UV protection to protect against fading.

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