Everyone makes mistakes. If you’re anything like me, many of those mistakes are centered around household care and maintenance. Try as I might, housework is an uphill battle. Thankfully, I don’t have to go at it alone — there are a ton of products out there that streamline a variety of chores (including the ones I’m likely to fumble). Even better, getting a handle on some of these household tasks can
also save money, too.
That’s where this list comes into play; the items here can help fix common household mistakes — including ones that you don’t realize are costing you a sh*t ton of money every day. Read on for quick and simple fixes to optimize your overworked appliances, simplify your storage, and even reduce waste.
Mistake: Using Expensive Professionals To Groom Your Pet’s Fur
Solution: Brushing And Caring For Their Coat In Between Appointments
If your pet’s haircuts are more expensive than yours, then consider this
pet hair brush and dryer to keep their fur clean and healthy in between grooming visits. It features two levels of heat and air settings, plus a 6-foot cord that makes it easy to reach and adjust for your dog or cat.
Mistake: Relying On Coffee Shops & Cafes For Your Daily Fix
Solution: A Stove Top Espresso Maker That Brews Delicious Coffee At Home
This stove top
French press coffee and tea maker makes delicious coffee once you get the hang of it, according to happy reviewers. Constructed with borosilicate glass and stainless steel with a non-slip silicone base, it makes up to 34 ounces of coffee at a time — while keeping the grounds separated, of course.
Mistake: Thinking That Only Baristas Can Handle Lattes & Cappuccinos
Solution: A Handheld Milk Frother That Gives You Perfect Foam In Seconds
milk frother is a cinch to use with one easy on/off push button to control to make your favorite latte at home. It’s battery-operated, so you never have to fuss with a cord or charger, and it comes with a sleek metal stand for display. That’s right, you can grab it, use it, and start enjoying your drink in under a minute’s time. Choose between black, pink, or blue colors.
Mistake: Constantly Purchasing Paper Towels For Everyday Use
Solution: A Pack Of Trusty Kitchen Towels That You Can Reuse
Use these versatile
cotton towels for all your kitchen and household needs — they’re absorbent, attractive, and reusable, so you’ll save money by not buying paper towels, and you’ll reduce waste and packaging around your home. Choose between six sets with striped and solid towels.
Mistake: Not Sorting Your Laundry
Solution: A Hamper That Allows You Easily To Pre-Sort Your Loads
Why make laundry harder than it needs to? You can use this
folding double hamper to pre-sort and keep your clothes separated by color, washing needs (like delicates vs. linens), or even the room they belong in. Then, when it’s not in use, you can break it down for easy storage, too.
Mistake: Tossing Out Food That’s Not Cooked Properly
Solution: A Cooking Thermometer That Gives You A Precise Read
Not only is undercooked food unappetizing, but it can make you and your loved ones sick. This
cooking thermometer takes the guesswork out of food prep, so you know exactly how well done your food is. It’s super easy to use, with a large display, a probe with a 44-inch cord, and audible alarms when food reaches temperature.
Mistake: Letting Residue Or Grime Affect Your Washing Machine
Solution: A Cleaning Tablet To Freshen It Up
If your clothes smell less-than-fresh after a wash cycle, you may want to consider these
washing machine cleaner tablets. Use one every 30 or so washes to tackle grime and residue in parts of the machine that you can see, and those that you can’t. And yep, they work with most brands and styles of washers.
Mistake: Not Protecting Floors From Pet Food Messes & Damage
Solution: Placing Pet Dishes On This Secure Silicone Mat
Keep your floors clean and let this
silicone pet food mat take the brunt of spills and messes. At 21.5 by 14 inches, it’s large enough to hold food and water dishes, and it features a slightly raised edge that keeps leaks at bay. Plus, it’s easy to clean and can even be washed in your dishwasher.
Mistake: Letting Smudges & Smears Settle On Your Screens Or Lenses
Solution: Maintaining Your Important Devices With Easy, Disposable Wipes
If you suspect your glasses and screens probably need some attention, these
lens wipes and cleaning cloths will do the trick. Along with six microfiber cloths for dry use, each set comes with the 200 individually wrapped wipes featuring an isopropyl solution that promises to dry quickly and without leaving streaks.
Mistake: Relying On Disposable Products For Cleaning
Solution: These Reusable Organic Cotton Towels
reusable certified-organic cotton towels take over where traditional paper towels leave off, making it easy to clean up spills or splashes but without adding to landfills — each towel promises to replace up to 130 rolls of paper towels (not a typo). The waffle-weave texture is also super soft, absorbent, and pleasant to boot.
Mistake: Not Optimizing The Space Under & Around Your Furniture
Solution: Using Risers To Create Room & Protect Floors
What’s better than a ton of new storage space in your home? A ton of storage space created by
furniture risers that also protect floors. Designed to safely hold 6,800 pounds of weight per leg, they’re available in sets of four, six, or eight, and in either black or brown to match your space.
Mistake: Letting Your Energy Bills Spike By Not Insulating Your Windows
Solution: These Temperature-Controlling, Room Darkening Curtains
Turns out, room-darkening curtains aren’t just a good idea for blocking light when you’re trying to sleep. The insulation that
styles like this one provide also helps with temperature control and noise, too — so the air conditioning or heat you pay for isn’t lost to drafty windows. Choose from dozens of colors and sizes and know that over 72,000 shoppers have given these five stars.
Mistake: Overspending On Prepackaged Popcorn
Solution: Preparing Your Own Snacks & Controlling Your Ingredients
silicone popcorn popper makes it super easy to prepare — you guessed it — popcorn in the comfort of your home. What’s more, you have complete control over your ingredients, flavors, and portions (unlike the pre-bagged versions). The bowl comes in 12 bright colors, so everyone in your family can have their favorite.
Mistake: Buying Bottled Water For Home Or On-The-Go Drinking
Solution: An Easy-Peasy Water Filter For Fresh-Tasting Water Whenever You Want
It’s happened to all of us before; you’re on the go and feeling super thirsty, so you have no choice but to buy a plastic bottle. With a
water filter pitcher at home, you’ll be better set to pour and pack water when you’re out, and you’ll be helping the environment, too. The versatile size holds up to 10 cups of water, so you’ll find yourself refilling it less often than smaller versions.
Mistake: Replacing Clothes With Stains That You Can Actually Remove
Solution: Keep A Reliable Stain Remover On Hand
Show me someone who’s never spilled wine, and I will show you a mannequin. For the rest of us, there’s this
red wine stain remover. The biodegradable formula works on clothes, carpets, and upholstery, so rest assured that your next dinner party won’t end in a mess. It works on new and set-in stains, and there are multiple bottle sizes available.
Mistake: Calling In A Plumber For Issues That Are Preventable
Solution: Use A Drain Protector To Prevent Clogs Before They Start
Few things are more unpleasant than clearing a clogged drain pipe, which is why this nifty
drain protector is a wise choice for anyone looking to avoid such a fate. It first right into your drain to catch hair or other debris, and it’s easy to empty, too. Choose a subtle color to match your tub, or pick a bright one that you’ll remember to clean. It’s backed by over 75,000 five-star ratings.
Mistake: Not Preventing Door Drafts That Counteract Your Hard-Working Thermostat
Solution: A Handy Door Draft Stopper That Blocks Outside Air
If you’ve ever cranked up your heater only for your house to still feel cold, you may need a
door draft stopper. Sized to fit smoothly under and around your door of choice, it blocks the cold or heat depending on the season. Ten colors and styles are available so you can pick an attractive choice for your home.
Mistake: Replacing Furniture Because Of Small Dents Or Scratches
Solution: This Set Of Furniture Repair Markers & Crayons That Extends The Life Of Your Furniture
If all you see are scratches when you look at your tables or chairs, you might not actually need new furniture; you just need this
furniture repair kit. It comes with six markers and six crayon-shaped wax sticks in versatile wood-toned colors, plus a sharpener. Your furniture will look new again for a fraction of the cost.
Mistake: Over- Or Underwatering Plants
Solution: A Sleek Self-Watering Planter That Gets It Right
Whether you’re a seasoned plant parent or first timer, this
self-watering and self-aerating pot will be a welcome addition to your windowsill, bookshelf, or desk. It’s a versatile choice that comes in multiple sizes and colors with a lifted shape designed to keep roots healthy. If plants could talk, yours would thank you.
Mistake: Using An Improperly Maintained Dryer
Solution: A Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit That Keeps It Working Properly (And Safely)
If your dryer is performing any way other than preferred, you may want to try a good cleaning before you call in the pros. This
dryer vent cleaning kit for your vacuum gets into the deep corners and crevices of your machine, clearing out lint and dust to help it work optimally. It’s also great for reaching other tough parts of your home, like under the couch or behind the fridge.
Mistake: Fully Replacing Your Tile With New Ones
Solution: Using A Repair Kit To Help What You Already Have Look New Again
tile repair kit promises to repair and restore tile damage like cracks, scratches, dents, and more. Included in the set are repair putty and lacquer, plus eight paint colors you can blend to match your existing tile. As one buyer said, “you’ll need some patience, but it’s a lot less work than new tile…I will definitely use this product again in the future.”
Mistake: Using Extra Energy Around Your Home Instead Of Preserving It
Solution: Manage Your Power Usage With Smart Plugs
smart plugs for more options with your appliances or electronics. The brand’s app gives you the ability to control your outlets from anywhere with service — so you can turn on a lamp from across the street, or across the globe. Or, use voice control with the help of Amazon Alexa.
Mistake: Letting Mats & Tangles Go Until A Groomer Or Vet Is Needed
Solution: Regularly Brushing & Detangling Your Pet’s Fur
If you have a dog or cut with fur that needs some attention, this
dematting comb could be a game changer. It features long blades with both sharp edges and rounded ends for safe yet effective combing of tangles and mats, along with an ergonomic grip and thumb rest for a comfortable and effective hold.
Mistake: Constantly Buying & Replacing Single-Use Plastic Bags
Solution: Keeping A Set Of Reusable Food Storage Pouches On Hand
Stop cringing at the plastic baggies piling up in your trash bin, and use these
reusable food storage bags instead. They’re washable, reusable, and versatile, and not only will you help your wallet by not buying disposable bags all the time, you’ll help the environment and prevent waste, too. Different sets are available with gallon, sandwich, and snack sizes.
Mistake: Only Using A Dryer To Dry Your Clothes
Solution: A Clothesline For Gentler, Energy-Saving Air Drying
Using a dryer for clothes not only adds to your energy bill, but it can also be tough on clothes. This
retractable clothesline pulls out when you need it and takes up barely any space when you don’t. Plus, it provides you with an easy, electricity-free method to dry your clothes. The best part? It holds up to 40 pounds of weight.
Mistake: A Headboard That Scratches Your Wall
Solution: These Protective Stoppers That Prevent Damage
If you have a creaky or squeaky headboard, or one that’s prone to bumping your wall with even the slightest of shifts, then these
adjustable headboard stoppers are for you. With adhesive on one side and cushion on the other, they’ll remain in place and help your furniture do the same. Use them with couches, desks, tables, and shelves, too.
Mistake: Letting Dust Or Streaks Affect Your Devices
Solution: A Screen Cleaning Kit That Helps You — And Your Devices — Work Efficiently
When you want to keep you screens squeaky clean without the effort (or waste) of opening up a single-use wipe every time, try this
screen cleaner spray kit. One buyer raved, “This screen cleaner is outstanding. My laptop screen was covered in well over a year’s worth of dust and grime and, but this cleaner immediately cut through it to restore it to crystal clarity.”
Mistake: Taking Clothes To The Dry Cleaner
Solution: A Wool & Cashmere Laundry Shampoo For At-Home Cleaning
When your pile of clothes that need to be dry-cleaned starts to get tall, it may be time to consider another option, like this
wool and cashmere shampoo. Use it to keep your dry clean only clothes smelling fresh and clean like white cedar. The 16-ounce bottle can handle up to 32 washes.
Mistake: Losing Products In The Depths Of Your Cupboards & Pantry
Solution: Adding these LED Lights To See Better In The Dark Corners Of Your Home
With an included remote, plus all the necessary batteries, these warm white
LED lights are an instant upgrade. Install them with either screws or adhesive (they come with both), and enjoy the easy tap or remote buttons — they feature timer and dimmer options, too.
Mistake: Opening Yourself Up To Food Spoilage With An Open Fridge Door
Solution: An Alarm To Alert You When It Needs To Be Closed
No one wants their food to spoil, which is why a
door alarm is a great addition to your fridge if there isn’t one built in. Escalating alerts at one, two, three, and four minutes give you ample warnings to keep your food safe. Choose between white, black, or grey alarms to blend in with your kitchen.
Mistake: Hiring A House Sitter To Check On Plants When You’re Away
Solution: These Watering Stakes That Keep Plants Hydrated
plant watering stakes into your pots or planters, place a nearby water source within reach of their tube, and keep plants healthy and thriving. You can buy as few as three or as many as 50 at a time, and you’ll never again worry about your plants when you’re away.
Mistake: Not Weatherproofing Your Windows
Solution: This Crystal Clear Film That Offers An Extra Layer Of Insulation
insulating film to your windows for added protection against heat, cold, and frost build-up. Each kit contains five sheets (good for up to five 3- by 5-foot windows), plus tape to attach them. They work with a variety of window types including aluminum, painted, or varnished wood.
Mistake: Throwing Away Unfinished Wine Bottles At The End Of The Night
Solution: Using A Vacuum Stopper To Preserve Remaining Wine
Opened a new bottle of wine and didn’t finish it? Now you can keep it fresh for another day. This
wine saver and vacuum stopper set removes and keeps excess air from bottles, so it’ll still taste great another night. Five colors are available, and they make a great gift, too.
Mistake: Keeping Gift Wrap Loose In Between Uses, Opening Up The Chance For Loss Or Damage
Solution: Safely Storing It With A Perfectly-Sized Container
wrapping paper storage container keeps your rolls of gift wrap safe in between uses, so no more digging through closets to find those rolls you swear you packed away last year. The clear plastic container also allows you to see your collection, so you don’t have to remove everything to find what you need. It can hold up to 20 rolls.
Mistake: Tossing Out Snacks Gone Stale
Solution: Resealing Their Packages To Help Them Stay Fresh
bag resealers over your plastic snack bags and enjoy a new, airtight seal in seconds. It’s a cinch to use since it’s lightweight and heats up quickly, and comes in multiple colors so you’ll always be able to spot it in your drawer. Plus, with a pack of two, you can keep one at home and take one with you for travel.
Mistake: Wasting Food Or Product At The Bottom of Your Containers
Solution: These Super Slim Spatulas That Help You Reach Every Last Drop
Never again throw away a container with usable product at the bottom. Great with beauty products, makeup, condiments, and more, these
Spatty Last Drop Spatulas are ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to be wasteful (so, all of us). The two-pack contains both a 6- and 12-inch spatula.
Mistake: Letting Food Go Bad In Your Fridge
Solution: Keeping Better Track Of Your Groceries With These Transparent Containers
food storage containers can turn a cluttered fridge into a tidy display, making it easy for you to keep track of ingredients and keep them within reach. Plus, they feature vented lids and drain trays for produce, so fruits and veggies stay fresher for longer.
Mistake: Buying Expensive Dryer Sheets
Solution: Tossing These Reusable Wool Dryer Balls Into Your Dryer Instead
Not only do these
wool dryer balls keep your clothes soft and help your laundry loads dry faster, but they’re each reusable for up to 1,000 loads. They also contain no additives, so they can be a good substitute for someone with sensitive skin, too, and you can use them with or without essential oils.
Mistake: Damaging Delicate Clothes In Your Washing Machine
Solution: These Mesh Laundry Bags For Gently Washing Items
Keep your delicates safe and protected while they’re in the wash, thanks to these
mesh laundry bags. Multiple styles and shapes are available, sized for small items like masks or bras up to larger sweaters. Buyers sing their praises, with many noting that they’re useful for keeping track of socks, too
Mistake: Worn Out Floors From Furniture Scrapes
Solution: These Silicone Chair Leg Covers That Prevent Scrapes & Scratches
Slip these silicone and felt
chair leg covers over the legs of your chairs or furniture, and keep floors pristine and pretty. A variety of colors and sizes are available to match your decor, and they promise to stay in place without the need for tools or adhesive.
Get Even More From Bustle — Sign Up For The Newsletter
From hair trends to relationship advice, our daily newsletter has everything you need to sound like a person who’s on TikTok, even if you aren’t.
This article was originally published on
June 19, 2022