Looking to cut costs around the house? Invest in these money-saving gadgets— they'll pay for themselves in no time!
Spend a fortune on fizzy drinks? You’re not alone. The average family of four consumes 2,400 sodas annually―totaling nearly
$1,080. With a home fountain machine, you can save money and have fun making everything from soda water to diet root beer.
After purchasing a startup kit, you buy refill canisters of CO2 and syrup. A liter of sparkling water is 21 cents, compared
with $1.50 or more for the store-bought variety, and flavored soda costs roughly 25 cents per 12 ounces.
Since TV went digital, you no longer need cable to receive local broadcast network HDTV channels. For static-free reception,
all that’s required is a digital antenna (and a converter box if your TV is analog instead of digital). To find out which
antenna will work for your location and which channels you’ll receive, simply enter your address at antennaweb.org. Although
you won’t get paid cable channels anymore, you may be amazed at how many HDTV channels are free (the number varies based on
With XLink, you can gab all you want―at home―without having to pay a monthly landline bill. Just route your cell phone calls
to a regular phone through the Xlink console (via a Bluetooth signal). Your cell phone’s caller ID and voice mail will transfer
over, too, and you don’t even need a landline for the console to work.
The average household spends a whopping $1,000 per year on home energy, and much of that cash goes toward heating or cooling
when you’re asleep or away from home. One smart solution: a programmable thermostat, which you set to power-down energy consumption
during low-use periods. Look for one that allows different settings for week and weekend schedules.
When ALL YOU asked readers for their favorite money-saving purchases, FoodSaver vacuums were a hit. Just put your food into
one of the reusable bags, seal it with the vacuum, then store it in your pantry, refrigerator or freezer to extend freshness
many times over.
Few things are more irksome than family members leaving a room and neglecting to turn out the lights (hello, huge electric
bill!). To cut costs, install motion-activated sensors in place of regular switches, then program them to turn off automatically
after a set period of time. If you want to settle down for a quiet read, you can override the sensor manually.
The amount of power frittered away when home electronics (computers, televisions, kitchen appliances) are plugged in but not
in use can reach up to 22 percent of all appliance consumption. Rid your house of such “phantom loads” by bundling AC cords
into a power strip. New models allow you to turn off some devices and leave others on (so you can turn off the TV without
losing the settings on your cable box, for example).
Why anybody still uses alkaline batteries is a mystery, since eco-friendly rechargeables last longer and are simple to use.
Be sure to get pre-charged ones, which boast an even greater life span.
When you plug the MagicJack into a telephone and your computer’s USB port, your calls (in the U.S. and Canada) are absolutely
free, using your high-speed Internet connection. The service also comes with call waiting, voice mail and caller ID, at no
Typical showerheads use nearly 40 gallons of water in a five-minute shower. Install a low-flow showerhead and you can save
8,000 gallons per year. Aerators, which also thin out flow, are a cheaper alternative―they cost as little as $5, while low-flow
showerheads start at $8.