10 Cool Gadgets That Put Money Back in Your Pocket

There is an old marketing adage that insists that for a business to make money it has to spend money. There’s truth in that for business, but when it comes to personal money management don’t count on it unless you have a clear strategy. That’s exactly what these inexpensive yet handy gadgets offer—clear strategies reduce the high cost of energy—your home’s electricity, water and gas.

 

Jeans pocket with 100's bills sticking out

 

Don’t get me wrong—I am not saying that you cannot reduce your energy consumption without buying a gadget to do it, but the following ten such gadgets sure do make the job a lot easier, which means you’re more likely to carry through to see the net savings!

Outlet Sealers

Electrical sockets and switch plates on exterior walls can be hidden sources of drafts that may lead to high heating and cooling costs. Socket sealers are really easy to install and act as a buffer between your home’s inside and the outdoor air, helping to keep conditioned air in and outside air out. The Duck Brand 283333 Socket Sealers Variety Pack comes with 16 outlet sealers, 6 switch plates and 2 decorative covers, gadgets that save money.

Window Shrink Film

Chilly winter or hot summer weather can send the home heating/air conditioning bill through the roof. But a little insulation goes a long way. You can cut a chunk out of your power bill by making your home your home more energy efficient when you install window shrink film. It’s easy, using a conventional hair dryer with film like you can get in a Duck Brand 281506 Indoor 10-Window Shrink Film Insulator Kit. This particular kit will insulate the equivalent of ten 3’ x 5’ windows.

Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer

Keeping your refrigerator and freezer cooling at the proper temperature ensures that  you aren’t wasting energy by keeping it too cold, but not wasting food either by keeping it not cold enough! A monitoring thermometer like the Rubbermaid Commercial Refrigerator/Freezer Monitoring Thermometer is a very cost effective way to make sure your temps are just right.

Surge Protector/Auto-switch

Stop for a moment and think about all of the electronics you have plugged into your home outlets. Can’t remember? Take a walk through the house tonight after dark and check out all the little green electronic “eyes” staring at you. They’re using energy 24/7. Stop the phantom power drain with a surge protector that automatically turns off power when not in use. That one move will reduce your power bill by saving energy. The 7-Outlet Smart Strip SCG-3M Energy Saving Surge Protector with Autoswitching Technology (you may need several to accommodate all your stuff) is just the ticket.

Power Conserve Switch

What about your coffee pot, electric grill, clothing, heater and electric fans that are plugged in all over the house? Rather than a large multi-outlet power strip, use individual power conserve switches—one per electrical item. The Conserve Power Switch completely shuts off power including standby power to your electronics and appliances with the flip of a switch. Take a look at this Belkin Power Conserve Illuminated Switch. Easy to use and a great way to bring your electricity bill down month after month.

Kill-A-Watt

With this handy gadget, you can easily figure out which of your appliances are actually worth keeping plugged in. Simply connect these appliances to the Kill A Watt EZ, and it will assess how efficient they really are. The large LCD display will measure consumption by the kilowatt-hour—the same way your local utility figures it—letting you calculate your cumulative electrical expenses and forecast by the day, week, month, even an entire year. With the amazing P3 International Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor you’ll know (get ready) watts killing you!

Shower Head

A really good low-flow shower head will radically cut your water consumption per shower without giving the person showering any sense of deprivation, but your water bill will certainly show the difference. This Niagara 1.5 GPM Chrome Shower Head is spectacular with its 9-jet adjustable turbo massage that easily rotates from a gentle needle spray to a forceful jet.

Faucet Aerator

A faucet aerator saves water and energy by producing forceful streams in kitchen and bathroom sinks at a reduced flow rate that minimizes the amount of energy needed to heat hot water. Save energy two ways—heating the water and the amount of water used to get the job done. This 0.5 GPM Low Flow Dual-Thread Faucet Aerator 0.5 GPM Low Flow Dual-Thread Faucet Aerator for kitchen and bath comes in a 6-pack.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can save you up to 33 percent of your energy bill, if used as directed. You set it up to adjust the temperature when you are away or asleep—times when you don’t necessarily need to heat or cool your home to optimum comfort—and your HVAC equipment runs less. Plus, your heating or cooling comes back to the comfort level you desire before you come home or wake up. This Honeywell 5-2 Day Programmable Thermostat is super easy to install and comes pre-programmed for your convenience.

Motion Activated Solar Lights

Solar-powered motion activated light can provide your home, yard, walkways, driveway and garden with free power to light your property for both security and safety. Garden Waterproof Wireless Security Bright Motion Sensor Solar Lights are brighter than other similar lights on the market with high-powered LEDs of up to 80 lumens! Extremely cost-effective in a 4-pack.

First published: 6-16-16; Revised & Updated 7-26-19


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6 replies
  1. Cathy
    Cathy says:

    Regarding outlet sealers, you probably should use them on ALL your outlets and switches, not just the ones on outer walls. Inside walls aren’t usually insulated and if your outer walls aren’t properly sealed, the air can travel through inner walls and enter through the outlets on inside walls.

    Reply
  2. Deb Westmoreland
    Deb Westmoreland says:

    The belkin power illuminator switch’s don’t come up from your thread, I can’t seem to find them by that name on Amazon…

    Reply
  3. Kirk
    Kirk says:

    I’m glad you mentioned the Kill-A-Watt. We’ve been hearing for years that electronics on standby are energy hogs. A Kill-A-Watt will help you objectively determine how much of a hog it is. For some electronics, a $26 power strip will take decades to save you $26 on your electricity bill. Of course, if your motivation is environmental rather than financial, than that’s a completely different story.

    I recently used a Kill-A-Watt because I have a network hard drive with a cooling fan that runs almost constantly. I was going to replace it with a fanless option to save electricity, but I found out it was going to have to run for about 20 years to break even on the cost of a new drive.

    Our library has Kill-A-Watts available for checkout. If you can get your hands on one for free, then any money it saves you is pure profit!

    Reply
    • VALENCIA WHITEHEAD
      VALENCIA WHITEHEAD says:

      Great info–thanks! By the way, where’s your library?? That’s so cool that they allow checkout of this product!

      Reply

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