While it is fun buying gadgets and gizmos that will help save the environment, it is even more fun when you can spend a dollar to get two dollars in savings. These items below will do just that. And for most people, they will pay for themselves within a year!
1. "SmartStrip" surge protector
Working as a full-time blogger, I spend a lot of time at my desk and have all kinds of peripheral devices being powered by a single surge protector. The SmartStrip is indeed very smart. When you power off your computer, it automatically powers off all the other devices plugged into it. It only costs $35, and for anyone who uses a computer on a regular basis at all, this will easily pay for itself in a year.
2. Water heater blanket
If you have an old water heater, you might want to get a new one. As with most appliances, newer is normally much more energy efficient. But a way to cut your energy bill without buying a brand new water heater might be to buy a water heater blanket. Depending on your water heater, the blanket could save you 10 percent or more on your energy bill each month. You can pick one up for around $20.
A quick way to tell if you might benefit from one is to just go touch your water heater. If you can feel the warmth from it, then getting a blanket will be a worthwhile – and money-saving purchase. Of course, you can also increase your energy savings by lowering the temperature on the water heater as well.
3. Battery charger
Battery chargers have come a long way. If you remember 15 to 20 years ago how terrible they were, you might be scared off from buying one. Thankfully, the technology has improved quite a bit and now they are a worthwhile investment for many families. You can get a charger for as cheap as $10 and if you or your kids use a lot of gadgets, the charger will be paying for itself very quickly!
4. Programmable thermostat
If you are looking for an easy way to lower your heating and cooling costs, a programmable thermostat is the way to go. Think about it: Why should your house be sitting at 72 degrees for 8 to 10 hours each day when no one is there? By pulling it down to 60 degrees or so when you are gone (or asleep) you can save a ton of money each month. You can find programmable thermostats as cheap as $20, and at that price, the little gadget should pay for itself very quickly.