We developed a heuristic method for determining the ground-state degeneracy of hydrophobic-polar (HP) lattice proteins, based on Wang-Landau and multicanonical sampling. It is applied during comprehensive studies of single-site mutations in specific HP proteins with different sequences. The effects in which we are interested include structural changes in ground states, changes of ground-state energy, degeneracy, and thermodynamic properties of the system. With respect to mutations, both extremely sensitive and insensitive positions in the HP sequence have been found. That is, ground-state energies and degeneracies, as well as other thermodynamic and structural quantities, may be either largely unaffected or may change significantly due to mutation.