You're Probably Making These Expensive Mistakes Around The House Without Even Realizing It

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Sometimes I wish I could be one of those people who clips coupons — you know, you see them on TV sometimes; they go in with their organized little folder and come out with two SUVs full of steaks and laundry detergent that they paid 26 cents for. Good for them, but I long ago realized that I’ll never get there. What I can do to save money, however, is eliminate some expensive household mistakes — and I bet you’re making them, too.

Little things like storing out-of-season clothes improperly, keeping pantry goods in non-airtight containers, and turning up the thermostat when it’s just a little chilly — all those things cost money that adds up over time. By fixing these mistakes, you could take that money and fill your SUV full of steak and laundry detergent. (Or go to Tahiti, or buy Bitcoin, or any number of more exciting possibilities.) That’s because saving money doesn’t just make sense, it makes cents. (See what I did there?)


Mistake: Letting Unseen Pet Stains Ruin Your Carpet

Solution: Using A UV Light To Track Them Down

You love your furry friend, but sometimes she makes mistakes on your carpet. You may not notice the scent, but guests might — and it’s ruining your carpet. With the help of a UV flashlight, this stain & odor eliminator kit helps you detect exactly where those stains are hiding, and then eradicates the odor with a best-selling spray that leaves behind a pleasant citrus scent.


Mistake: Not Protecting Your Clothes From Damage By Moths

Solution: These Odorless Moth Traps

When you put a lot of time, thought, and money into curating your wardrobe, you want to make sure that moths aren’t eating up your favorite pieces when they’re not in season. These moth traps protect your clothing without the unpleasant odor of those old-fashioned mothballs, and one trap can last for up to three months. Just hang one on your closet rod (simple as that).


Mistake: Tracking Mud & Dirt All Over Your Floors

Solution: A 2-Pack Of Grime-Grabbing Doormats

Whenever you come inside, you’re bringing in whatever’s on the bottom of your shoes, whether that’s dirt, mud, rainwater, or perhaps something more untoward. These doormats protect your floors from being subject to that mess. They’re absorbent, nonslip, and waterproof, and their durable, textured construction catches all the dirt and grime from your shoes.


Mistake: Turning Up The Thermostat

Solution: Cozying Up In A Warm, Plush Throw Blanket

You know how it goes: Some evenings, you’re sitting on the couch, watching a movie, and you’re just a little chilly — enough to crank up the heat... but don’t do it. Save on your energy bill and reach for this cozy throw blanket instead. Made from soft microfiber and plush faux sherpa, it’s incredibly soft and luxurious-feeling, just like a hug. (You’ll be toasty in no time.)

  • Available sizes: 8
  • Available colors: 23


Mistake: Storing Expensive Stemware & China Without Protecting It

Solution: These Padded Cases With Individual Compartments

When your beautiful stemware and china is stored without protection, it’s so easy for it to get broken — and not only are those pieces sentimental, they’re also expensive to replace. These padded storage containers provide individual quilted compartments for your wine glasses and coffee cups so that they can be stored safely between uses. A clear pocket window in front lets you label the contents. This brand also offers protective cases for plates and cups.

  • Available styles: 4


Mistake: Letting Your Vinyl Get Cracked, Scratched Or Broken

Solution: Storing Records On This Upright Stand

If you have a vinyl collection going, it’s important to store your records appropriately to keep them from getting damaged. Designed to hold up to 50 albums, this solid wood organizer is a stylish way to keep your vinyl organized, and the shatterproof acrylic end plates keep the albums upright while enabling you to flip through them —just like in the record store.

  • Available styles: 8


Mistake: Overcooking Your Steak

Solution: This Instant Read Meat Thermometer

Avid cooks know that the only guaranteed way to know the doneness of a piece of meat is with a thermometer. Whether you’re grilling or pan searing, this instant read meat thermometer should definitely be a part of your kitchen arsenal. It gives you a reading on its ultra-bright LCD screen in just two to three seconds, so you can be sure to never overcook that pricey filet mignon.


Mistake: Watering Down Your Expensive Whiskey With Ice Cubes

Solution: These Whiskey-Chilling Stones That Don’t Dilute Your Drink

You don’t buy expensive scotch or bourbon to drink tap water, right? So don’t water it down with ice cubes — use these whiskey stones instead. Made from natural, machine-polished granite, they chill your drink without watering it down. The whiskey stones come with a tray to keep them organized in your freezer, and make great gifts for any whiskey connoisseur.

  • Available colors: 4


Mistake: Getting Stains All Over Your Clothes While Cooking

Solution: Wearing A Restaurant-Grade Chef’s Apron

If you like to cook, bake, or grill, you know how messy making food can be. But once you get a good apron to protect you, you can stop worrying about ruining your clothes. This chef’s apron is crafted from commercial-grade fabric, with an adjustable neck strap and front pockets for cooking implements. This apron will have everyone around you instantly saying “Yes, chef,” while making laundry day so much easier.


Mistake: Throwing Away Money On Paper Towels

Solution: These Dishcloths That Are Washable & Reusable

Practically a cult craze on Amazon these days, these Swedish dishcloths will be the utility player you’ve been looking for in your kitchen, replacing paper towels for so many chores. You’ll love them for washing dishes, mopping up stains, and even scrubbing surfaces — they are literally good for everything. Replacing all those one-use paper towels with these miracle dishcloths is eco-friendly, too. Not convinced? They’ve earned 30,000 five-star reviews from buyers.

  • Available colors: 9


Mistake: Paying Extra At The Grocery Store For Veggie Noodles

Solution: Spiralizing Veggies Yourself

Everyone loves zucchini noodles, and now there are so many more veggie noodle choices — carrots, beets, cucumbers, kohlrabi.... everything’s a noodle. Don’t pay extra at the grocery store for your zoodles, though: Make them at home with this veggie spiralizer that’s fun and fast. It comes with five blades, so you can make everything from angel hair pasta to veggie chips.


Mistake: Leaving Your Grill Unprotected From The Elements

Solution: A Waterproof Grill Cover That’s UV-Resistant

If you’re a grill master and love to spend time cooking up delicious food outside throughout the year, it’s just not fair to leave your hardworking grill unprotected and open to damage from the weather. Get this grill cover that’s waterproof and crafted from double-layer, heavy-duty fabric that’s coated with UV protection. It’s available in a variety of sizes for a close fit, and has the additional benefit of a hook-and-loop closure to keep it secured on windy days.

  • Available sizes: 3
  • Available colors: 5


Mistake: Letting Grease From Fried Foods Splatter On The Wall

Solution: A Splatter Screen That Still Allows Steam To Escape

Fried foods are delicious, but they sure do make a mess. Fry up a pan of bacon, and it gets grease spatter all over the wall next to your stove, so you have a nasty and difficult cleanup job once breakfast is over. This splatter screen prevents all that, blocking oil while still allowing steam to vent. Crafted from premium stainless steel and available in four sizes, it cleans up easily in the dishwasher.

  • Available sizes: 4


Mistake: Piling Your Shoes On Top Of Each Other

Solution: Storing Them In This Hanging Organizer

If your shoes are all piled up in a corner of your closet, they’re sustaining wear and tear, even though they’re not on your feet — bending in ways they’re not meant to, heels from one pair of shoes jammed into the delicate suede of another... you get the idea. Get this hanging shoe organizer that puts a stop to that problem by organizing your shoes into 10 separate compartments. You’ll preserve your kicks, and be better able to find the pair you want when you want them.


Mistake: Storing Pantry Staples In Non-Airtight Containers

Solution: Using Airtight Containers That Fend Off Staleness & Pests

Pantry goods like flour and sugar must be stored in airtight containers to preserve their freshness — and also to ensure that they’re safe from pests. With the cost of groceries on the upswing, you’ll definitely feel it in your wallet if you have to discard anything. These three airtight food storage containers ensure that your food stays fresh and pest-free, and as a bonus, your pantry looks stylish too. The set comes with labels and a chalkboard marker.


Mistake: Leaving Your Off-Season Clothing Vulnerable To Mildew & Moths

Solution: These Vacuum Storage Bags That Are Protective

When you switch out your clothes for the season, how you store your off-season clothing really does matter. If you’re just putting them up on the top shelf of the closet, you’re leaving them open to damage by mildew and moths — plus, they take up a lot of space. These vacuum storage bags solve all of those problems: Just fill the protective bags with your off-season clothing or linens, then use a vacuum or the included pump to remove the air and compress the contents down to a fraction of the original size.

  • Available sizes: 3


Mistake: Ruining Makeup Brushes With Residue & Bacteria

Solution: Regular Washings With This Electric Brush Cleaner

When you don’t clean your makeup brushes regularly, not only do they retain your old makeup, but they can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria. Keep them clean and in top shape for long-term use with this electric makeup brush cleaner. The electric mechanism rotates quickly to thoroughly wash bristles, then spins them dry. The set comes with a variety of adapters to accommodate brush handles of all sizes.


Mistake: Buying Trash Can Liners

Solution: Reusing Your Plastic Grocery Bags

Everyone’s trying to reduce-reuse-recycle these days, and if you’re getting plastic bags at the grocery store, one way to do that and save some money at the same time is to use those bags as liners for smaller trash cans. This plastic bag saver will help you keep those bags organized, so they won’t overtake your kitchen. Made from brushed stainless steel, it mounts easily to a wall.


Mistake: Damaging Nonstick Pots & Pans With Metal Utensils

Solution: These Silicone Cooking Tools That Are Safer

When you make an investment in expensive nonstick cooking pans, it’s important to treat them with care, especially with respect to the utensils you use when whipping up your masterpieces. This set of silicone cooking utensils is the perfect choice: The BPA- and PVC-free utensils won’t scratch your pots and pans, and even the handles are coated with silicone, so they’re heat-resistant. The set includes everything you need, and they clean up easily in the dishwasher.


Mistake: Using Hangers That Create “Hanger Horns” On Your Shirts

Solution: These Hangers That Won’t Stretch Out The Shoulders

Don’t you hate it when you take one of your favorite shirts off the hanger, only to see it’s developed hanger horns? (You know, those bumps that stick out from the shoulders where the hanger stretched them out?) These no-shoulder-bump hangers are brilliantly designed to keep that from happening. Constructed to hold up to 18 pounds each, they’re coated with velvet to keep items from sliding off.

  • Available colors: 7


Mistake: Leaving The Lights On & Wasting Energy

Solution: Using A Smart Bulb To Set Schedules

Your electric bill takes a big chunk out of your budget. Cut that back by using this smart bulb that lets you set schedules and control your lighting from anywhere in the world via a free phone app. It also works with your Alexa device, so you can turn your lights on and off and even dim them by using simple voice commands.


Mistake: Failing To Protect Your Floors From Pet Accidents

Solution: These Washable & Reusable Dog Pee Pads

Hardwood floors and carpets are expensive, and you work hard to keep them clean. Protect your floors, and give your accident-prone pupper someplace to go with these dog pee pads that actually look like stylish area rugs. They’re super absorbent, and help you save even more money, since they’re washable and reusable.


Mistake: Throwing Away Money On Cheap Charging Cables

Solution: These Cables Made From Durable Braided Nylon

Charging cables are kind of like potato chips: One is never enough. That’s partly because they wear out so quickly — if you’re buying the flimsy ones that is. Get these durable iPhone charging cables instead and stop wasting all that money on replacements. These braided nylon cords are super long-lasting, and you get three in a pack for a budget-friendly price.


Mistake: Losing Your Security Deposit Because You Hung Art

Solution: This Tool That Repairs Small Wall Holes

You’re moving, but when you take all your art and photographs down, what’s left behind are a ton of tiny holes. This small hole repair kit is an all-in-one wonder worker. Inside the tube is a primer-enhanced spackle, while the end of the tube serves as a putty knife, and the top of the cap has a sanding pad, so you can do the finishing work.


Mistake: Letting Your Outdoor Furniture Fade In The Elements

Solution: This Sun- & Water-Protective Spray

Your outdoor furniture was likely a big investment — don’t let your cushions and patio umbrella fade from exposure to the elements. Use this protective sun and water shield spray from trusted brand Scotchguard. This convenient, odorless spray blocks the sun’s UVA and UVB rays and repels water, too, so your outdoor setup will stay in good condition for a long time.


Mistake: Not Maximizing Your Dryer’s Efficiency

Solution: These Dryer Balls That Look Like Cute Cacti

While they may look like (adorable) cacti, these dryer balls are actually the key to helping your dryer run more efficiently. Throw them in with your laundry, and they’ll promote greater air circulation, which helps your garments dry up to 50% faster — helpful for your energy bill. Plus, the tiny spikes fluff your laundry to prevent wrinkling.


Mistake: Throwing Away Expensive Produce Because It’s Gone Bad

Solution: These Produce Saver Sheets That Extend Freshness

It’s so easy to lose track of fresh produce, but then you open up your crisper drawer to a bunch of stuff that looks like the Swamp Thing. These produce extenders are made with organic botanicals that help keep your produce fresher, longer. The pack comes with eight sheets, and each one works for up to one month.


Mistake: Letting Your Dishwasher Get Scale & Residue

Solution: These Easy-To-Use Dishwasher Cleaning Tablets

Have you ever opened up your dishwasher and gotten a whiff of something truly awful? That’s your dishwasher telling you that it’s time to give it a wash — which you can easily do with these cleaning tablets. Simply throw one in an empty dishwasher and run a cycle to remove all of the limescale, mineral buildup, and gunk you can’t see. That skunky smell will disappear, so you won’t want to replace your dishwasher any time soon.


Mistake: Leaving The Last Spoonful In The Jar

Solution: This Scraper That Gets Every Last Bit

Now you can get the very last bite of those expensive curries, chutneys, and nut butters, thanks to this jar scraper that reaches every last drop. Made from silicone, it’s ultra-flexible and heat-resistant, with a curved head to scoop, and a flattened back to spread. This is great for frosting cakes, too.

  • Available styles: 6
  • Available colors: 4


Mistake: Losing Heat & A/C Through Your Windows

Solution: These Thermal-Insulated Curtains

The power company can take a big bite out of your monthly budget, and even with blinds or curtains, heat can flood in through your windows during the summer, and cold air can invade in the winter, jacking that bill right up. Available in a wide array of colors and sizes, these thermal-insulated curtains keep heat and air conditioning from escaping, so your HVAC system will work more efficiently, and they’ll block out the light when you’re trying to sleep, too.

  • Available sizes: 17
  • Available colors: 38


Mistake: Letting Mildew Take Hold Of Closets, Pantries & Bathrooms

Solution: This Mini Dehumidifier

If that mildewy smell in your laundry room or bathroom just won’t go away, you don’t have to just throw your hands up or buy a pricey, hulking dehumidifier. Try this rechargeable mini dehumidifier instead. The non-toxic silica gel absorbs 6 to 8 ounces of moisture, and when the teardrop window in front of the unit turns green, you can plug the whole thing in to reset it.


Mistake: Spending Money On Cleaning Fluids

Solution: Using Steam Power To Deep Clean & Sanitize

It’s amazing the power that steam has to clean troublesome messes and sanitize surfaces. With this deluxe steam cleaner from trusted brand BISSELL on your side, you won’t need expensive, smelly cleaners for your chores. It tackles dirt, grime, and germs, and comes with multiple attachments to clean upholstery, countertops, counters, and more.


Mistake: Losing Energy Through A Power Strip

Solution: A Smart Surge Protector That Saves Energy

Even a power strip plays a role in your resulting electricity bill. This energy-saving surge protector features outlets that use special current-switching technology to power your electronics and devices in the most efficient way possible. It’s a simple upgrade with a potentially big payoff.


Mistake: Wasting Expensive Avocados Because They Go Bad So Quickly

Solution: A 2-Pack Of Avocado Savers That Prevent Browning

Avocados can be like gold at the supermarket — so expensive. When you only need one half, the other half can quickly get slimy and go brown. Stop losing that second half to food waste with these avocado savers. They’re purpose-made to preserve the life of that avocado half by fooling it into thinking it’s whole again, thanks to a patented design that ensures an airtight seal to prevent oxidation. The savers are top rack dishwasher-safe.


Mistake: Replacing Your Throw Pillows

Solution: Investing In Some Wallet-Friendly Covers Instead

One of the fastest ways to change up the look of a room is to switch out your throw pillows. But don’t spend money on expensive new pillows when you can just buy these throw pillow covers that are much more cost-effective. The super soft covers feature zipper closures, and come in a wide variety of colors, like rust, khaki, and indigo blue.

  • Available sizes: 5
  • Available colors: 17


Mistake: Replacing Wood Furniture When It Gets Water Rings

Solution: This Water Mark Remover Cloth

It’s such a shame when beautiful wooden furniture gets marks and rings, but there’s no need to retire favorite heirlooms or throw out a table. This water mark remover quickly and easily removes marks and haze left behind by water and heat, and even gets rid of latex paint, permanent marker stains, and many other common blemishes, restoring wood to like-new condition.


Mistake: Failing To Clean Your Cast Iron Pans Properly

Solution: This Chain Mail Cleaner That’s Gentle & Effective

Cast iron pans are heritage items; you’ve probably received one or more from a beloved family member, and if not, you might be looking forward to passing one down to someone you love. If not properly cleaned, though, all that love can go to waste, because properly seasoned cast iron pans must be cared for delicately. This cast iron cleaner is crafted from stainless steel chain mail to quickly and effectively remove food particles without disturbing the seasoning of your pan. It makes a great gift, too.


Mistake: Leaving The Last 20% Behind In Your Squeeze Bottles

Solution: This Bottle-Emptying Kit

Get the very last bit of everything from soaps to syrups to honey, and save so much money in the process, with this bottle-emptying kit that ensures no liquid is left behind. Use it to transfer the remnants of your liquids from one bottle to another, or simply get the last drops out, so you’re not wasting anything. Designed to fit most bottle threads, you can opt for a two-pack or six-pack — depending on how many bottles you want to tackle at a time.


Mistake: Calling In A Plumber When You Can Remove Clogs Yourself

Solution: A 6-Pack Of Flexible Drain Clog Removers

Plumbers can be one of the most expensive household helpers to call in, so the next time you get a stuck drain, give these drain clog removers a try instead. The kit includes six flexible clog busters that have jagged edges to grab hair and food waste, so you can pull it back up out of your drain. The set also includes a stainless steel cleaning tool with a claw on the end that allows you to grip blockages from open drains.


Mistake: Constantly Restocking Your Supply Of Plastic Wrap

Solution: These Airtight Lids That Stretch To Fit Over Anything

Food waste is a huge problem for me, both with takeaway leftovers and with food I’ve cooked myself, but keeping a steady supply of plastic wrap on hand is also expensive. These silicone stretch lids solve both of those problems: They fit over almost any container, bowl, or plate, enabling quick and easy food storage. Plus, the clear silicone design means you won’t forget what’s stored inside.