Does it work to save money? These, in fact, do!

In a recent article I discussed some popular items that are raved to save money for their consumers; but when I tested them and critically analyzed what they had to offer, they provided almost no savings or, in fact, cost more! However, there was a silver outline to the impending doom the article may have given, I did find some products that do provide great savings for their owners. These items will be listed below, along with more info for you to do more research if you'd like to buy any of these items.

A New Blender-

A quality blender can save you tons of money if you are able to use it regularly. Newer ones that are on the higher end of the scale (think $45 and up) are great for grinding your own herbs, spices, coffee beans, pretty much anything you can throw into it. A regular user of this machine can make their money back on simply buying fresh herbs (or growing your own) and grinding them for storage. It's also great for making drinks, which I will be discussing in another article soon, and a good one won't wake the neighbors like the one you grew up with. Just remember that this will only really work out as long as you buy a decent one, not a junk.

Efficient Power Supply-

These will run you around $80-100, but these are great to not only protect you from electrical faults, but these also force your electronic devices that are plugged in to drain electricity at the minimum rate possible, forcing your electricity usage down. If you live in an older home or a home that seems like the power distribution is in any way questionable, this device is absolutely essential. Regardless of whether or not your power is normal, it should still save you money every month and pay for itself within a year.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL Bulbs)-

These are probably the most well-known energy saving devices on the market. I've been doing a LOT of reading about these regarding their environmental impact as well as the other issues people have been having with them, and I'll probably be putting out an article on this soon as well. These bulbs will pay for themselves in four months. Easy, right? Even the guys that complain about them burning out early can't argue with that. It seems like there are many factors in why they burn out quickly and unexpectedly as some people experience. A) Try not to touch the glass with your fingers; it puts weak spots in the glass and it is more likely that they will burn out in those places first and possibly prematurely. B) Make sure you get the right bulb; I've seen a lot of articles where people complained about their bulbs burning out and it turned out they were trying to draw a completely absurd amount of power from the source. Regardless, the savings factor is astronomical for such a cheap purchase. You will probably save about $1 every two months PER bulb. Plus, they look cool.

Efficient Shower Heads-

Most new shower heads that are energy efficient are between $15-30, although some extremely expensive ones run a bit more expensive. For the average guy trying to save money instead of getting 50 different massaging jets, the cheap model is good enough, right? These save money in two ways; you use less water, and you use less electricity (or oil) to heat the water. It's estimated that the average American home saves up to 15,000 gallons of water by using a high-efficiency shower head. Why not join them? I've heard people complain about water pressure, but from my experiences, if you've got decent water pressure before, you're going to after. It's nothing to be worried about.

Outdoor Solar Lighting-

These are those little lights you see lining people's driveways, patios, walkways, pools, etc. They light up pretty well and don't leave a mess of cords running through the grass and best of all-- they save you money! They light up things without being too bright, giving a nice feel to the outdoors and their designs are usually pretty cool. They've got dozens of styles now to fit any back yard setting. Within a season these will have paid for themselves.

Bulb Savers-

These are devices that regulate electrical current and fluctuation to make light bulbs last longer. These are tiny little devices that can't even be seen once they're installed, and they're mercury-free. They also help get rid of the shutter feeling that some cheaper CFL bulbs give, which is great to most people that get annoyed by the shutter of these bulbs. I've heard these make bulbs last up to 25,000 hours longer-- but I have data to support that length. But for 12 bucks for a 12-pack, who can complain if they last only 10,000 and get rid of the shutter?

Programmable Thermostat-
A programmable thermostat is practically essential in any home trying to save money. This is particularly true if you have central air conditioning. These little devices run from $20-40, but are great to give precise temperature control. These can be programmed to lower air conditioning and heat when you are not home; which is great so you can set it to crank back up 20 minutes before you get home. It automatically adjusts for you so you don't have to and you don't forget and waste electricity and money.

Efficient Space Heater-
I've talked about saving money on your heating bill before, but at $20, what's a better way to heat up your spare room or office for those rare times you need to use it? Not only this, but you can save some money! Keeping the heat off for 90% of the time completely and then just turning on the space heater 10 minutes before you need to use a room is a great idea; it works for the bathroom as well-- which eats up a huge portion of your heating bill because of the lack of insulation. You can even use it near your bed (but not too close-- don't start a fire!) and turn your heat down low in the house to cut back on your heat but keep yourself warm.

Disposable Razor Sharpener-
Save money by getting up to 45 shaves with your cheap disposable razor. These little guys work just like a knife sharpener; they get rid of the microscopic burrs that accumulate on a razor's edge that cause what seems to be dullness. There is not really any upkeep for these, and they're a one-time cost of $20.

Dance Dance Revolution-- but not really-
For $26-ish, you can buy a USB Dance Dance Revolution pad. Now if you go onto stepmania.com, you can download a program the exact same as Dance Dance Revolution, but free. You can also add your own songs, which makes it actually enjoyable to listen to the music. Beats the gym, and it's the cost of one month of a membership. Not bad, eh?

Well, hopefully this list does some good for you; it did for me. These items can be found or bought at many places, but the easiest seems to be online. I'm recommending that you do more research into the ones you feel would be best for you, because I don't know your lifestyle and I don't know what holds the best value to you. Hopefully in the end what I've produced here as a list of products that works to help you save money will, in fact, help you!

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