High utility bills are the most frustrating and difficult bills to lower, mostly because electricity, phone, and water are things you just can't go without! With these handy gadgets, you can reduce your use of these utilities and maximize efficiency, which will save you money in the end.
Save Money on Water
A low flow showerhead keeps a modest, steady, rate of water flowing no matter what the water pressure in your home is. This prevents you from using more water than you need. Another way to do this is with a shower timer, which will remind you to get out of the shower after a few minutes have passed.
Have you ever set the sprinkler on the lawn and forgotten it was there? A water timer will take care of that problem for you. Simply tell it when to water your lawn, and for how long, and it will turn the sprinkler on and off for you.
Save Money on Long Distance Calls
If you have a land line and your long distance bill is high, look into VoIP -- Voice Over Internet Protocol. A VoIP adapter will allow you to make free phone calls using your computer and internet connection.
Save Money on Heating and Cooling
A programmable thermostat ensures that your home is the temperature you need it to be, when you need it to be. If you're away at work during the day, for example, you can set it to begin heating or cooling your house an hour before you get home, rather than running all day long. Some models even let you customize the temperatures in different rooms of the house.
Save Money on Electricity
It's estimated that up to 10% of your electricity bill comes from electronic equipment that is turned "off." This is because even after you hit the off button on a computer, stereo, video game console, or DVD player, it continues to draw power from the outlet. A smart power strip will automatically shut down the electronics you're not using. You'll be surprised at how much money you save!
If you want to know exactly how much energy each of your appliances is using, the Kill A Watt meter will tell you what the operating cost of each appliance is. This will help you decide how often to use that appliance, or if it's time to invest in a newer, more energy-efficient model.
Another simple way to reduce electricity use around your home is to switch all your light bulbs to compact flourescent bulbs or LED bulbs. They are more expensive than traditional bulbs but will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Finally, the simplest solution to saving electricity is to invest in a clothesline. Air drying your clothes will make them last longer too!
What are your favorite gadgets to save money? Share them with us in the comments section below!