We as consumers wander the shiny aisles of electronic stores in search of products that can provide us with various benefits. We want items that are easy to use, convenient, and usually that provide a source of entertainment. But in our quest for material happiness we usually end up spending a lot of money on expensive stuff that doesn’t have much intrinsic value.
However there are some useful gadgets, the purchase of which will often save you time and money. In fact, there are some products that will actually save you more money than you’ve spent. These are usually items that have multiple uses or that work better then products you already own (Read: Make Your Life A Little Bit Easier With 9 Cleaning Gadgets).
Every day we are spending money, so how about spending it on gadgets that are actually going to save us some cash at the end of the month?
Here are ten nifty gadgets that are saving people money on a daily basis.
- Coffee machine. Most people own a basic coffee machine, and yet still find themselves going to coffee shops to get their caffeine fix. But think of how much money you could save by just drinking coffee at home. Maybe your machine is too basic and can’t make what you like. Well whatever is keeping you from using your coffee maker can certainly be found in another model. There are machines that can make macchiatos, cappuccinos, ristrettos, frappechinos, and just plain old coffee from the comfort of your home. They can get pretty pricey, but if you think about not having to spend $5 an average per day at Starbucks then the machine is easily worth its price and then some.
- Filtered water bottles. People who buy water bottles often know that they can become expensive when factored into the monthly budget. But they’re just so easy and convenient to use that people continue to purchase them. If you can’t live without having water in a bottle, then consider buying ones that come with filters. You only need to buy the bottle and then replace the filter every two to three months. Refill them on the cheap with tap water and they purify it, coming out tasting just as good as store bought water.
- Low flow shower heads. Your typical shower head releases water at 2.5 gallons of water per minute. No one needs this much water, and the longer your shower is the more expensive it will be. Instead of taking shorter showers, there are a number of low flow shower heads available for purchase which will remedy the situation. Even ones that put out 1.5 to 2.0 gallons of water per minute can save you a couple hundred dollars annually. Saving money will feel even more cleansing when you realize you are also saving the environment.
- Compact Fluorescent Lights. Most people turn on and off lights without giving it a second thought. However, in the push for greater environmental awareness people are beginning to realize that the type of light bulb can make a big difference. Old fashion energy-suckers are out, and in their wake is a wave of new bulbs. Leading the pack of money-saving energy efficiency is the Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL). These bulbs are a little more expensive than regular light bulbs, however they are will last about six times longer, use less energy, and end up saving you $100 or more each year off your energy bill (Read: 7 Home Improvements That Can Save Big Money On Energy Bills).
- Cable alternatives. Paying for cable is one of the larger electronic investments that people make each month, especially those who want High Definition and thousands of channels. Luckily some people are coming up with creative ways to circumvent the need for cable. A subscription to a media service like Netflix or Hulu Plus is $8 a month and gives you access to all kinds of television shows. Add in a media streaming box like the Roku and you’ll be watching HD TV on your big screen for a fraction of the cost of cable. [Read: Ways to Watch Your Favorite Shows Without Cable]
- Shopping apps. People try very hard to save money when buying products, but this article is showing that buying can actually lead to saving later on. Well what’s even better is getting something for free that saves you money with no charge. Free apps, like ShopSavvy and Red Laser, are helping customers find the cheapest possible options for the products they want. Simply scanning a barcode with your smartphone’s camera will show you all other stores selling the item and how much they are selling it for. Never again will you have to wonder if you could be getting a better deal somewhere else.
- Smartphones. Of course, if you want to use shopping apps then you will need a smartphone. The latest models of such intelligent phones have become so high tech that they have many money-saving aspects outside of shopping. Those who aren’t concerned with having the highest video and audio quality can save money by just using the phone’s video and camera abilities. There is also a graphing calculator app, a GPS app, apps that show you were the cheapest gas is, and so much more. The money-saving potential will help in almost all areas of life.
- Cloud computing. If you own a computer, chances are you have important files you would like to back up. Or you might have the need for easily transporting your files. Traditionally people have bought USB keys and other external hard drives to store their information in a safe and transportable manner. Though these devices have decreased in price the past few years, there is a newer option that is a cheap as cheap can be. Cloud computing is a free way to store files and information on the Internet, which means it is safe and accessible from anywhere. The only disadvantage is that most clouds cap the limit at 7 gigabytes, unless you pay for a monthly service that offers more.
- Rechargeable batteries. For as small as they are, batteries are quite expensive. And even with the latest advances in technology there are still many objects that run on them. Out of all your battery options, rechargeable ones are going to be your cheapest bet. The Eneloop line in particular is very efficient. These batteries cost more up front, but being able to recharge up to 1,500 times means you won’t have to buy them again for a very long time. Their long lasting life will ensure that you are saving money for years at a time.
- Recharging with solar power. Electronic products are great, but because you have to charge them they are costing you money even when they aren’t turned on. Fortunately there is now an exception to this. Solar power is becoming an increasingly popular way to recharge your electronic devices. Most chargers are small enough to fit anywhere in your house, car, or place of work and can recharge pretty much any type of device. Best of all, there is no additional cost to harnessing the power of the sun!