Six gadgets that can lower your bills

Banu Ibrahim
March 26, 2018

Story highlights

  • From smart thermostat to multi-cooker, these gadgets can save money
  • You'll save on monthly bills and day-to-day expenses like takeout dinners

Whatever your money-saving mission is, there are tech gadgets that can help you along your way, especially when it comes to your home.

These devices range from a smart thermostat, which can turn off the heat or AC if it senses you're not home, to a powerful slow cooker that will make your dinner while you're at the office, eliminating the need for takeout. The idea is to save some change on day-to-day spending as well as regular expenses like electricity.

Many of these products will pay for themselves in a pretty short time-frame. It's proof that sometimes spending money will help you save money in the long run. Ahead, we've rounded up six gadgets that do just that.

Note: The prices below reflect the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.

Nest E Smart Thermostat ($169; walmart.com)

Looking to save big on your electricity bill? Look no further than Nest. Its most affordable smart thermostat, the Nest Thermostat E, learns your behaviors and can sense when you're out of your home and then turn down your heating or cooling, so you're not wasting energy on an empty abode. You also can control the thermostat via an integrated app on your smartphone or tablet. Nest estimates that on average, users save more than $145 annually, meaning the gadget almost pays for itself in the first year.

Crock-Pot 5-in-1 Multi-Cooker ($149.99; crock-pot.com)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average American spends more than $3,000 every year on dining out. That's a good reason to cut back on your restaurant meals and takeout, and instead dine at home. To make your meal prep less labor-intensive, consider Crock-Pot's 5-in-1 Multi-Cooker. With it, you can brown, slow cook, roast, bake and steam your meals with just a touch of a button. Simply load up the device with your meal, set your cook time -- and then come home to a hot and delicious meal. The cooker is dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze. And thanks to its large capacity, the cooker can make up to seven servings.

Tonbux Wi-Fi Smart Surge Protector ($30.99; amazon.com)

Like the Nest thermostat, Tonbux's Wi-Fi-enabled surge protector can help you stop wasting electricity when you're not home. The gadget features four power outlets and four USB ports to juice up all your devices at once. It can connect to both your Amazon Echo and smart devices through its Smart Life app, so you can control your lights, appliances and more with either the touch of a button or simply by speaking to Alexa. For a paltry $30, its a simple (and cheap) way to save money on your monthly bills.

Lutron Maestro Sensor Switch ($18, originally $29; amazon.com)

Rounding out our list of electricity-saving devices is the Lutron Maestro Sensor Switch. The device can detect motion in a 900-square-foot area to turn your lights on and off -- so you'll no longer have to wonder while you're out whether you left the lights on at home. The device works with a number of bulb types, including fluorescent, incandescent and LED, and has been given a seal of approval by over 1,400 Amazon customers. And at $18, it's affordable enough to install in most rooms in your home, to increase the money-saving potential.

Panasonic Precharged Rechargeable Batteries ($12.48; amazon.com)

Unlike your typical rechargeable batteries, Panasonic's precharged rechargeable batteries can be reused up to 2,100 times. They maintain up to 70% of their charge after 10 years if they're not being used and have been stored properly. You'll never have to run out to the store again to buy batteries for your flashlights, remote controls, radios or other devices. Simply buy a pack of these AA or AAA batteries and once they run out of juice, charge them up with a compatible dock.

WaterHawk Smart Rain Shower Head with Water Usage and Temperature LED Display ($49.99; amazon.com)

It's hard to estimate just how much water you're using during your shower routine, which makes it challenging to conserve water for economical or environmental reasons. That's where WaterHawk comes in. Its Smart Rain Shower Head features an LED display that shows your water usage in gallons per minute in real time. The device is powered by water energy, so you don't have to worry about juicing it up with an external power source. The shower head also can measure water temperature and then adjust the water heater down. Reducing your energy costs and water usage sounds like a win-win to us.

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