With the cost of just about everything continually rising, it pays to invest in items that can actually help you recoup a little money. While you might be thinking about things like Solar Panels, they are fairly expensive. It can actually take some time before you reap the rewards. You’re on the right path, but think smaller. If you look around your house at common items that have advanced technologically, there are simple things you can use that will end up to paying for themselves relatively quickly and add up to savings in the long run.
1) LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs are a cost-efficient way to save some money on your electric bill. Just one LED light bulb will cost you about $1.25 a year to run versus incandescent light bulbs which cost about $7.00 a year to run and need to be replaced much more frequently than LED’s, which last about 25,000 hours. They may cost a bit more initially, but you’ll save money on electricity and replacement bulbs. You’ll also forget about them once you install them, since they last an average of three years or more. You can even get energy efficient outdoor lights, such as flood lights, which are notorious for taking a lot of electricity even if they’re on a motion sensor.
2) Smart Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is easy to install and can save you up to 10% on your energy bills, both electric and oil or gas. Thanks to advances in Wi-fi technology and smart phone Apps you can control the heat levels in your home from anywhere. Keeping the temperature down during the day or when sleeping will save on heating costs. Even regular digital thermostats that let you set a timer don’t really save you any money. For example if you have the heat on a timer with a digital thermostat, it’s going to go on whether you are home or not. With a smart thermostat, you’ll be able to warm up the house on your drive home from work.
3) Space Heater
On the subject of heating your home or apartment, a good space heater can help you save some money by heating the room you’re in at night and allowing you to lower the thermostat in the rest of the house. All space heater manufacturers agree that space heaters should never be plugged into a power strip and should never under any circumstances be left on and unattended. There are some on the market that have a ceramic cooling element and also feature an automatic shut off for safety if the until tips over.
4) Wi-fi Controls
Wi-fi adapter plugs together with Smart Phone Apps are another home investment that will help shave some digits off of your energy bill. It’s a simple device that you can use on anything with a plug. It syncs to your home wi-fi router allowing you to control your home from anywhere. You’ll be able to turn on lights when it gets dark, music for pets, outside lights, etc. You can even use them with Alexa or Siri if you link them up.
5) Doorbell Camera
While we’re on the subject of money saving wi-fi devices, investing in a doorbell camera could end up saving you more than money. In recent years camera doorbells are being used more and more to discourage and even catch thieves or worse. The ability to answer the door from your smartphone from virtually anywhere can help you with anything from telling the girl scouts to come back or telling a porch pirate you’ve got their picture and the cops are on the way. It seems to be a trend that thieves are stealing packages. Once the package is delivered to your door, it’s generally your responsibility to retrieve it. If the driver can prove they delivered it, you’re out of luck and money.
6) Battery Charger
Batteries are expensive and chances are there are still plenty of things around your house that need them. A universal battery charger will cost around $20-$25 and can charge any brand of battery. A multi pack of batteries could cost that much alone, so a battery charger will pay for itself within the first few uses. Another advantage is you will be reducing your carbon footprint by not putting so many batteries in the recycle bin – or worse yet, the trash bin if your town or city does not recycle them. There are also battery charges that come with rechargeable batteries. Whichever you choose, you’ll be saving money by not having replace them nearly as often as you otherwise would without recharging them.
7) Knife Sharpener
Every chef or home cook loves the way a brand-new knife slices and dices their recipe items. After that new blade begins to dull is another story though. Rather than replacing your favorite knife or set of knives, simply invest in a hand-held knife sharpener. They’re very simple to use and you’ll enjoy your knife for years longer than you would if the blade gets dull. In the long run you’ll save money on replacement costs. Plus, with products on the market constantly changing, you may not be able to get that same favorite knife again. With a knife sharpener you’ll be sure to get the most out of your knives.
8) Wine Saver Set
This is something that’s designed to save leftover wine at it’s peak of freshness. Most sets come with a rubber stopper, or two, and a pump that attaches to the stopper to pump the air out of the bottle. So, rather than dump that half bottle of your favorite wine down the drain, you can save it as fresh as the day you opened it. With the prices of wine these days, especially if you have a refined taste for the finer wines, you’ll be saving money immediately by not having to replace the wine you might have otherwise poured down the drain, and the money you spent on it with it. So, go ahead and pop that bottle open, even if it’s just for a glass or two.
9) Reusable Produce Bags
Even though today’s refrigerators generally keep produce fresh longer than older models did, fruits and vegetables still have a finite shelf life. There are some products on the market which can extend that even longer. The first one, and cheapest, is reusable produce bags. These range in price from around $7 – $20 on average, depending on the type you buy. They come in multi-pack varieties and are made from different materials. A plastic mesh set of 12 bags will run under $8 and are washable so you can use them over and over again. There’s also an eco-friendly organic cotton variety. It’s recommended not to store various fruits with vegetables in the same bag. That’s why they come in a set with a variety of sizes. A package of 8 bags will run just under $20. There are also storage containers designed to keep produce fresh. These can be especially useful when your produce drawers are full and you need to store some things on the shelves.