9 Money Saving Gadgets That Will Pay For Themselves

gadgets that save moneyThis post may contain affiliate links to products that I recommend. Check out my disclaimer for more info.

When you’re looking for ways to save money, let’s be honest, buying new tech isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. I absolutely love gadgets. A new toy with lots of features can keep me entertained for days. The thing is, I’m also a card-carrying cheapass who must get the best deal on everything I buy.

So how do I deal with these conflicting interests? It’s simple really, as often as possible, I buy gadgets that will save me money in the long term. Fun fact – this also makes tech purchases much easier to justify to my wife.

If you have the money to spend up front, every one of these devices can save you money over time. Of course some of them are going to take longer to show a return than others, you’ve got to be willing to play the long game.

Below is a list of nine tech gadgets that can save you money, while adding real value to your life and in some cases, helping out the environment out as well.

1. OBD2 Scannermoney saving tech

You may or may not be familiar with this one, but it’s an awesome tool for saving money. An OBD2 scanner is tool that plugs into the OBD2 port of modern vehicles to give you all kinds of information about how your car is running. Once only found in automotive shops, OBD2 scanners are not abundant on Amazon and other sites in wired and wireless wifi and bluetooth models.

How it will save you money

Ever had a check engine light come on? While sometimes that light indicates something more serious, it can sometimes be triggered by something as simple as an improperly tightened fuel cap. How lame would it be to go to the mechanic and pay $50+ in diagnostic time just to find out that your vehicle has a super minor issue that you could have fixed in your driveway?

Even if the problem with your car is more serious, you can check which codes triggered the check engine light at home and bring that information to your mechanic. When you show up with some solid info about the issue, they’re going to see you as a little more car-savvy and be less likely to try and sell you services you don’t want or need.

Sample model – ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner

2. Smart Home Thermostat

Smart home thermostats are just that – thermostats that are smart. They learn your preferences and habits over time and adapt your home’s temperature to your preferences based on data.

How it will save you money

Kids only seem to know how to use a thermostat in one direction – up. My kids will turn the heat on in every room of the house and then promptly walk away and forget. With a smart thermostat, you have the option to set the heat manually, but you’re less likely to need to as it learns your preferences over time. I know that since we bought our home we have spent hundreds on heat just from leaving it on when we’re not in the room or worse, out of the house.

Sample model – Nest Learning Thermostat

3. Universal Battery Charger

Thanks to grandparents that get sick pleasure from buying our kids the noisiest, most brightly-lit toys they can find, we have at least a dozen of them around here. Add in remote controls, flashlights and other miscellaneous gadgets we have, it’s fair to say we use a lot of batteries. A universal battery charger is a great gadget to help you save some cash and help out the environment by not throwing away disposables.

How it will save you money

Buying a universal battery charger and some common rechargeable batteries (AA, AAA, etc.) will save you money over time in battery costs. Recharging also keeps batteries out of the landfill which is nice. Even if you buy your batteries in bulk from Costco, Amazon or Ikea, this will be cheaper over time. How long it takes to see your money back will depend on how many toys you have.

Sample model – Eastshine S2 Smart Charger

4. Electricity Usage Monitor

Everybody should have one of these. Electricity usage monitors show you exactly how much power is being consumed by a device when it’s on or off. Yes, many of of your electronics will continue to use power even after you’ve switched them off.

How it will save you money

Once you know where you’re wasting electricity, you can take steps to stop the power drains, saving you money on your electricity bill. You can turn devices off, unplug them, put them on a switched power bar or just not use them anymore.

Sample model – Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

5. LED light bulbs

I’m not sure why everybody doesn’t use LED light bulbs. Where I live, you can’t even buy low-wattage incandescent bulbs anymore. LEDs are barely more expensive than incandescents, and don’t require special methods of disposal like CFLs. They’re a better product in every way.

Related Post – 26 Budgeting Hacks That Will Save You Money

How it will save you money

LED bulbs use around 10% of the energy that incandescents do. That’s a huge amount of savings. Standard bulbs however, don’t use a huge amount of electricity to begin with (40-60w average) so it will take a while to see your money back on this one. When I changed mine over I bought a package of 60w equivalent LEDs every time I went to Costco. I had my entire house changed over in about a year.

Sample model – TCP 100W Equivalent LED Bulbs

6. Electric Transportationcheap electric scooter

If you live fairly close to work and are ready to start saving some serious cash you should consider electric transportation. You don’t have to buy a $40,000+ electric car necessarily, for a few thousand bucks you can get more modest electric transportation. There are many different styles of electric scooters, electric skateboards, electric bikes etc., and the laws that govern their use can vary from place to place. Make sure you check your local laws before making the leap and buying small, electric transportation.

How it will save you money

Let’s see: GAS, insurance, maintenance, repairs etc. Cars are stupid expensive to own and if there’s a way that you can practically get around it, you’ve got yourself a money-saving goldmine.

7. Freshness Extender

Even when we plan our meals weekly and buy the appropriate produce, we still seem to throw out quote a bit of it. Stuff just doesn’t last that long in the refrigerator. Enter the freshness extender. Put this awesome little device in the crisper drawer of your fridge and it will help keep your produce edible for longer. This can save a lot of money in the long-haul, especially if you eat organic.

How it will save you money

Helps prevent food waste, saving you money on groceries.

Sample model – Bluapple Freshness Extender

8. On demand hot water heater

If your family doesn’t use a lot of hot water, or you are home infrequently, you should look into getting an on demand water heater. An on-demand heater replaces your hot water tank and heats water as it passes through on the way to your shower or sink. They are definitely more costly to purchase and install than a tank but in certain situations, it can save you a bundle of cash.

How it will save you money

Your hot water tank is constantly heating, holding and reheating the water held within it. If you don’t use much hot water for some reason, it’s more efficient to use an on-demand heater so that you’re not constantly paying to store hot water that you’re not using.

Sample model – Stiebel Eltron Tempra Tankless Water Heater

Related Post – 45 Brilliant Ways To Save Money Right Now

9. Dash Cammoney saving gadgets

Ok, I saved my favorite money saving gadget for last, the dash cam. More and more people are picking up dash cams these days and for good reason: it’s cheap insurance. With a dash cam, everything that happens while you’re driving is recorded. This can save your butt big-time if you’re involved in a collision with no witnesses. I recently installed dash cams in both of our vehicles and it’s already proven a good investment once!

How it will save you money

Having video evidence in the case of a collision is going to go a long way toward proving your case if somebody else is at fault. Many cameras also have a feature where they will turn on and record for a predetermined length of time based on shock/movement or motion detection. This can help you identify the guilty party and hold them accountable if your vehicle is damaged or vandalized while parked.

Sample model – AUKEY 1080p Dash Cam

There you have it – you can actually buy gadgets to save money. You just have to make sure to plan it out and get the the right ones.

What electronics gadgets, tools or apps do you use to save cash at home?

 

money saving gadgets

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