3 Great Home Gadgets That Can Save You Real Money

Home automation is very popular right now. Some gadgets are very pricey and more cool than useful, while other home technologies can actually save you a lot of money. Many of these gadgets can control utility usage, be controlled wirelessly, and even interconnect with each other. Check out these technologies if you want to make your home smarter and also reduce your monthly bills.


One of my favorite devices to use is Nest, which is a smart thermostat. We first purchased Nest three years ago. It was easy to install, and we saw savings immediately. We saw enough savings that first summer to justify the cost of the device.

Nest cooled and heated our home smarter, turning itself off if it didn't detect motion or if it was set to Away. The second year, our electric company offered incentives if customers had a Nest. We earned about $150 that summer just for allowing the electric company to have control over our Nest. They would simply have blackout hours which disabled Nest during high volume times. Usually, it was disabled for a few hours two to three times a month during the summer.

When we lived in our one-story 1,800 square foot home, our electric bill was rarely over $100. It was usually about $150 in the summer months. This was mostly due to smart usage, a well-insulated home, and of course, Nest.

Nest currently costs $249 through Amazon and is much more stylish and easier to use than a conventional thermostat. Depending on how excessively you use your air conditioning and heating, Nest could pay for itself in savings within a few months. Be sure to sign up for energy saving programs and rebates through your local electric company, too.

Rachio Sprinkler System

Rachio is a smart irrigation system that can be controlled through your phone. This irrigation system also connects with weather readings, so your sprinklers won't turn on when it's raining outside or when the rain is expected.

Before investing in a smart irrigation system, our water bill was routinely about $110 per month, and we rarely watered our lawn. Since we pay our water every other month, it was always a nasty shock to see our bill over $200, since we thought we were being conservative with water (and our lawn didn't look great).

The first smart irrigation system we bought helped reduce our water bill by $30–$40 right away. We then switched to the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller when we moved two months ago and now have more lawn to water. Our water bills are still predicted to be $70–$75 per month, or $150 per billing cycle in the spring/summer months. They might be lower, but California has a few conservation surcharges added to each bill. The biggest difference is that with the use of the smart irrigation systems, our grass stays green, despite not using more water.

The 8-Zone Rachio Smart Sprinkler costs $199.99 and many water companies will give you a rebate. Be sure to check for local rebates for the Rachio system. Even without a rebate, if the Rachio system saves you $30 each month, then you will have saved $360 for the entire year. Subtract the base cost of the Rachio from those savings, and you still pocket an extra $160 the first year of using Rachio.


While I think that home security systems are a great idea, they can be expensive. US News says, "Most companies will offer installation specials as low as $99, but startup costs for all the equipment could run between $600 to $1,200." After these initial costs, the monthly monitoring costs average $30 a month. Even if you get free installation and pay a very low $30 a month for home security, you will still end up paying $360 a year.

Canary is a good solution for tech-savvy individuals. The devices start at $166.94, and users can stream real time video in their home. Canary alerts your phone when it detects movement (there is an option to disable that feature when you come home). Once you get that mobile alert, you can instantly look through the camera and even sound a siren and alert the authorities. You can view the recordings for up to 24 hours, but if you need the video past that time, you will just have to pay a small fee.

Best of all, you don't have to deal with a pushy salesperson or need to get it installed. I love that you don't have to rush to a keypad to disable the alarm, either. You just plug it in and connect it to your secure Wi-Fi.

With the use of these three devices, I estimate that we save at least $1,000 a year. Not only do we save a good amount of money, but these three devices have made life much more convenient. If I want to check on my baby sitter and kids, I quickly check Canary. If I want to start cooling the house a few minutes before I get home, I just push a few buttons on my phone to activate Nest. If I want to change my watering schedule via Rachio, again, all I have to do is push a few buttons on the phone.

What smart home technology do you use in your home?

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3 Great Home Gadgets That Can Save You Real Money

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