25 Gadgets That Actually Save Money

Over at The Simple Dollar they have a list of 25 gadgets that, along with being cool, actually save you money. The neatest part about this list is that the author has broken it down and figured out how long you’ll have to use each item to justify its purchase. Some of the math is a bit suspect, but still very cool. Some examples of money saving gadgets: a smart power strip that powers your peripherals on and off with your computer…and keeps it from sucking standby power; Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs; and an energy efficient scooter.

25 Gadgets That Actually Save Money [Simple Dollar]

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  1. JT says:

    Whats with the Vespa ?!?

    $4,200 scooter? Thats a little steep for 150 cc’s of put put power. How fast would you make the purchase worth it if you got a $1,200 scooter.

  2. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    The break even on the scooter makes it even less appealing. A Vespa is more style than substance. You would get a better break even on a used Honda Elite or Metropolitan scooter.

    I use rechargeable AAA batteries for my MP3 player and it definitely saves money in the long run. The playback times are shorter than using regular alkaline batteries, but I only use it for the gym anyways.

    Agree on the coffee. You can buy a really good quality coffee maker for under $70, and a bag of coffee grounds for under $9.

    The other items on the list are debatable. I don’t like those compact fluorescent bulbs. They give off an awful color of light, and they tend to burn out quickly or make buzzing noises.

    Hybrid car, maybe. I don’t think most people can justify the price. You’d save more money up front and break even sooner, from buying a used Honda Civic HX.

    Efficient computer PSU, no. Modern power supplies are fairly efficient to begin with. Switching over to an “efficient” model will only save you pennies per year. I leave my computer on standby all the time, and it’s not breaking my bank account.

    The list should have included LCD monitors and television sets. They use less electricity and produce less heat than CRT models. Also, LED lighting is slowly making its way into the home. LED bulbs also use less electricity and produce less heat than standard bulbs. They produce a clean and bright enough light for most home lighting situations.

  3. homerjay says:

    I agree, lather. A lot of these are sketchy at best. I’m gonna run right out and pick me up a windmill so I can save some money in 8 years running at peak efficiency which never happens.

    Looks like someone spent a little too long staring at the pages of Smarthome catalog.

  4. Pelagius says:

    - Save counter space and ‘zombie’ power drain by ditching the electric coffee pot and grinder in favor of a manual grinder and stovetop espresso maker

    - Live somewhere warm and dry? Why the heck do you have a clothesdryer? Get yourself a hills hoist instead

  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I am actually interested in that windmill.

    Then again, if I had the money to burn on a windmill, I doubt I’d be concerned with saving money.

  6. acambras says:

    The coin roller is unnecessary and the break-even time is too long. I still roll coins the old-fashioned way — once the jar is full I dump it out, sort the coins, and roll them by hand. My only costs are for the wrappers and my time (negligible since I do it while watching tv or talking on the phone). If you have kids, you can get them involved and have them help sort, count, and/or roll coins.

    Every now and then, I think about dropping $20 on an automatic coin sorter, but I guess I’m cheap. I’ve never used CoinStar because I don’t want to pay that much for something I can easily do myself.

    Here’s a gadget they forgot — a handheld can opener. Cheap, durable, and doesn’t take up counter space. Also works during power outages. Great if you don’t have a ton of cans to open.

  7. CMPalmer says:

    My bank (actually a credit union) has a CoinStar type sorter that you can dump your change into and it will count it and add it to your bank account. Of course, they charge something like 6% or so for the convenience factor (if you bring in your own rolled coins you have to write your name and account number on every roll).

    The neat trick (at least with my bank) is that if your kid has an account there, there is no surcharge for using the coin counter. So, you can either give your kid his or her allowance in spare change OR you can use their account to launder your money – count the coins into their account then transfer the money into yours.

  8. Starfury says:

    I don’t see the need for an electric coin sorter. I picked up one that sorts the coins as they roll down a chute. Found it at a thrift shop for .25 and it works fine. My bank will give me the empty wrappers. When the hoppers fill up, I roll the coins and put them in a box. When the box is full I’ll cash in the rolls and buy myself something. Usually $200 by the time I’m done.

  9. acambras says:

    Ooh, Starfury! I hadn’t thought of a thrift shop. I’ve seen some of the chute-type sorters in WalMart, Staples, etc., but they’ve always been more than I wanted to pay. 25 cents sounds perfect.

  10. aka Cat says:

    Scooters are fantastic — it’s so much more fun to ride to work than to drive!

    However, the cost of replacing the tires every 5k or so and the drive belt every 15k, could equal the amount saved on gas.

    So unless you currently pay for parking (two wheel parking is often free), only buy one to reduce gas consumption or to have fun.

  11. MeOhMy says:

    My Commerce Bank has an auto coin sorter that is free. Don’t quote me on this, but I think it’s even free if you don’t have an account there.

    I agree that some of these are out there. I would say attempting to kick your caffeine addiction is a better financial solution than buying an espresso machine. Buying an espresso machine exposes you to either getting lazy and never using it, or becoming a coffee hobbyist and spending a lot more on roasting equipment, grinders, better brewing equipment, etc.

    I love the windmill idea, but they are just too expensive.

    This list might better be titled “Get Your Wife To Go Along With These Gadget Purchases By Convincing Her You’ll Save In The Long Run.” Especially things like Tivo and a new laptop.

    If someone ever comes up with a way to pitch Kate Spade purses as a long-term money saver, I’d probably have to push my wife out of the comic strip frame. Don’t blame me, I learned it at K-Mart.

  12. pestie says:

    LatherRinseRepeat, I don’t know if you’ve tried compact fluorescent bulbs lately, but they’re a lot better than they used to be. My whole house is full of those things. They come on quickly, they don’t buzz, and the light they give is way more like that from incandescents than it used to be (I have used old/cheap CF’s that made you want to shove a fork in your eye, they were so bad).