The well-known adage ‘you have to spend money to save money’ really does ring true when you consider this list of five gadgets that will save you money and, quite possibly, the planet.
If you have five remote controls around your house, plus an electric shaver and toothbrush, or maybe a few small torches, smoke alarms or any gizmo that needs AA, AAA or 9V batteries, then you’re mad not to invest in a battery charger. Sure, the initial outlay for the charger and batteries will cost you more than single-use batteries, but not by that much really. For example, a Duracell single-use AA battery costs around A$2.50 per unit, and a Duracell rechargeable AA costs around A$6.98 per unit. So after three charges, the battery cost has been covered, saving you money and reducing harmful, toxic landfill.
Filtered water bottle
We all know we’re supposed to drink about two litres of water each day. Many Australians are happy to drink tap water, while others will actually purchase bottled water. Either way, there are health benefits to using a filtered water bottle that include the elimination of nasties, such as chlorine, viruses and bacteria. The other benefit is that within 180 days of daily use, you’ll start saving money, because you’ll no longer need to buy bottled water (and you may even have less visits to a GP).
Smart power strips
You may not realise it, but your entertainment system is one of the biggest power guzzlers in your house. Turning off your television when it’s not in use will save you some money but, unless you turn off everything at the power point, your other equipment – including VCR, DVD or BluRay player, amplifier, set-top box or powered speaker system – all use quite a lot of power, even in stand-by mode. It’s called ‘phantom charge’, or as I like to call them ‘power parasites’ or ‘voltage vampires’.
Smart power strips will help to eliminate this problem, and should set you back between $50 and $80. Simply plug your television set into the ‘master’ outlet on the power strip, and when you turn of your telly, all connected gadgets will turn off as well, saving at least 10 per cent off your annual power bill. This also applies to your computer and peripherals.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs and LED bulbs
According to www.energyrating.gov.au, one 10W LED bulb would cost you around $39 to buy and operate for 10 years. Two 12W CFL bulbs will cost you $48 to buy and run over the same period. To light your room for the same amount of time, you’d need five 42W halogen globes at a total purchase and running cost of $148. Need we say more?
Efficient shower heads
Your daily shower can save you money, simply by using an energy-efficient showerhead. According to www.yourenergysavings.gov.au, a WELS three-star rated showerhead will use as little as seven litres of water per minute, whereas a standard showerhead uses up to 25 litres of water per minute. So you’ll save money on water and, even better, some water supply companies are still offering a free showerhead in exchange for your old one, so you may not even need to spend to save!
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Do you know of any other money-saving gadgets? Why not share them with our members?