When it comes to saving money in the long run, a small investment today can sometimes go a long way. In fact, some products could pay for themselves over time1.
From cooking devices to thermostats, here are 12 products that could save you money over time:
1. Slow cooker
Slow cookers are convenient, easy to use and can save you both time and money. In addition to using less energy than a stovetop2, they can help save you money through meal planning, cooking in bulk and much more. Slow cookers can also be great for saving time because the food can cook throughout the day and be ready to eat by dinner time. There are also a variety of low-cost and healthy slow cooker recipes to keep your meal options economical and diverse.
2. Reusable water bottle
Drinking bottled water can cost nearly 2,000 times more than drinking tap water3. Instead of buying a new bottle every time you want clean, refreshing water, the one-time purchase of a reusable water bottle can pay off time and time again. There are many types to choose from including glass, stainless steel and BPA-free plastic.
3. Reusable travel mug
Are you a coffee or tea drinker? If so, buying a reusable travel mug could reduce your daily beverage costs by influencing you to start brewing your coffee or tea at home. In addition to drinks, some mugs are also great for storing soup, chili and other liquid meals on the go.
4. Vacuum food saver
If you’re looking for a way to extend the freshness and shelf life of perishable foods, a vacuum food saver could be an option. This method of food preservation works by placing the food in a bag and vacuuming out the excess air4. Once this process is over, the bag is melted shut and the natural moisture of the food is sealed in4. You may need to purchase additional bags depending on your usage and storage needs but reducing your food waste over time could make it a cost-efficient purchase.
5. Water-efficient showerhead
Water-efficient showerheads can save you money in two ways. First, they reduce the amount of water used per minute which can lower your water bill 5. Second, your hot water heater won’t need to work as much which can lead to lower energy costs5. In total, you could save up to 2,900 gallons of water and more than 370 kilowatt hours of electricity per year using a water-efficient showerhead 4.
6. Energy-saving power strip
When you turn off certain appliances, such as your TV or surround sound, they may demand “standby” or “phantom” electricity currents. Energy-saving power strips help save money on energy costs by preventing electronics from drawing these currents when off or not in use6. There are several power strip options to choose from with convenience features including timers, activity monitors and remote switches.
7. Coffee maker
If you buy a $5 cup of coffee every day, that adds up to $35 per week or roughly $140 per month. There are a variety of quality and budget-friendly coffee makers you could purchase for less than that amount and still have money left over for filters and grounds. You might also enjoy trying new kinds of coffee at home and perfecting the art of making your own special brew.
8. LED light bulbsAccording to the U.S. Department of Energy, energy-efficient light bulbs last 3-25 times longer than traditional incandescents and use between 25-80% less energy7. For example, in order to provide 25,000 hours of light, you would need 21 incandescent bulbs compared to only one LED bulb8. Furthermore, if you replace the five most frequently used bulbs in your home with LED bulbs, you could save up to $75 per year9.
9. Drying rack
Drying racks can help you save money by reducing your electric bill and preserving the life of your shoes and clothing. Whether you buy one or make your own DIY drying rack, you’ll save money every time you use it instead of your clothes dryer.
10. Reusable food containers
According to research by the American Chemistry Council, the average household throws away $640 worth of food each year. By utilizing reusable food containers, you could help reduce your food waste and save money by storing leftovers and keeping your produce fresh longer. These containers might also influence other money-saving habits such as packing your lunch for work which could save you money on dining out10.
11. Programmable wall timer
Whether you lead a busy lifestyle or prefer the comfort of predictability, programmable wall timers allow you to schedule when your electronics turn on and off. By setting a time schedule based on your daily routine, you can minimize the amount of wasted electricity throughout your home. From modern units with motion detectors to the classic switch bound timer, there are many types of wall timers to choose from to meet your needs.
12. Programmable thermostat
If you have central air in your home, a programmable thermostat can help you set a daily schedule for your heating and cooling. This can be especially useful if you don’t need to heat or cool your home when you’re at work or on vacation. With proper use of the pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat could save you up to $180 per year on energy costs11.
Savings you can count on
Saving money in the long run can sometimes require investing money upfront. By identifying opportunities to save and taking action now, you could reap the benefits for years to come.
4http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-does-a-vacuum-sealer-work 5https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/products/showerheads.html 6https://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/choose-right-advanced-power-strip-you 7https://energy.gov/energysaver/how-energy-efficient-light-bulbs-compare-traditional-incandescents 8http://www.thesimpledollar.com/the-light-bulb-showdown-leds-vs-cfls-vs-incandescent-bulbs-whats-the-best-deal-now-and-in-the-future/
9https://energy.gov/energysaver/how-energy-efficient-light-bulbs-compare-traditional-incandescents 10http://www.moneycrashers.com/money-save-bring-lunch-food-work/ 11https://www.energystar.gov/products/heating_cooling/programmable_thermostats
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of OneMain. The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else. The author was compensated by OneMain for this post.