In order to manage your money effectively, you’ll need to make wise decisions and spend your money on the right things. We talk a lot about ways to save money and reduce spending, but sometimes spending a little bit of money will actually allow you to save more in the long run.
This article features more than 40 different products that may help you to save more money in the future. You’ll find a wide variety of products here, so there’s certainly something that you can put into action today to improve your financial situation in the future.
Products that Can Save You Money in the Long Term
So let’s get started and look at some specific products and services that are likely to wind up being a great purchase.
1. Someone Else’s Unwanted Gift Cards
One of the easiest ways to save money is to buy gift cards at below face value. Raise is a website where you can buy gift cards that other people don’t want to use. The amount of the discount will vary from one store to another, but you might be able to buy a $100 gift card for $90, or even less.
Many restaurant gift cards are for sale on Raise at 10-20% discounts, and some even higher than that. I started buying gift cards on Raise a few years ago and it quickly became one of my favorite ways to save money. Raise offers a one-year money-back guarantee on all purchases, so you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off.
There are also some other sites like CardCash and CardPool that are very similar to Raise. The guarantee at CardCash is only 45 days. CardPool has a one-year guarantee, but the selection at Raise tends to be a lot better, at least based on my experience.
2. Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can help you to save a lot of money on heating and cooling costs. You can set the temperature to be warmer or cooler when you’re away at work or during the hours when you’re normally asleep. You’ll benefit from improved efficiency and the thermostat can pay for itself pretty quickly.
3. Energy Monitor
An energy monitor will show you how much electricity an appliance or device is using. It’s usually a guessing game to know what is using the most electricity in your house, but for just a few dollars an energy monitor can give you information that you can use to save money. Once you know which appliances, electronics, and devices are using the most energy, you can find opportunities to reduce your electric bills.
→ Related reading: 33 Realistic Ways to Save Money on Electricity
4. Smart Power Strip
A smart power strip can help to save money by cutting off power to electronics and devices that go into standby mode. Normally these devices would still be drawing electricity even though it isn’t needed. The smart power strip cuts off that power so it’s not wasted.
5. Outlet Timer
Outlet timers can be used on lamps and other devices that you want to turn off at a certain time. Rather than leaving some lights on the entire time you’re away on vacation you can use a timer so the lights are only on during specific hours.
6. LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs are more energy efficient and they last much longer than the older style of light bulbs. You pay more for them up front, but in the long run they can save you a lot of money by not needing to be replaced as often.
7. OBD II Scanner
An onboard diagnostic (or OBD II) scanner can save you money on unnecessary trips to have your car checked out or repaired. The OBD II scanner will work with any car made since 1996 to diagnose problems. That “check engine” light in your car could be something very serious, or it could be caused by something simple like a loose gas cap. With an OBD II scanner you can check for yourself and avoid trips to the garage if it is a minor issue or something that you can take care of on your own.
8. Universal Battery Charger and Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable batteries and a universal charger can save you a lot of money since you won’t need to constantly buy batteries. I know the number of batteries we use in our house shot through the roof after having kids.
9. Space Heater
A space heater is a great way to warm up a certain room or part of a room without heating other parts of the house. If you have a room that is always cooler than the rest of the house, try using a space heater in that room rather than increasing the temperature throughout the whole house.
Just like a space heater can help you to heat up specific areas of your home, a fan can help to cool down certain areas or rooms. You can use a box fan, window fan, or ceiling fan. All will use less electricity compared to air conditioning.
11. Hair Clippers / Scissors
Cutting your own hair, or the hair of other people in your family, is a great way to save money. Depending on your hair style it could be really easy, or it could be more involved. You can get clippers and scissors for very cheap, probably less than the cost of a single haircut.
12. Clothes Drying Rack
Simply letting clothes air dry instead of running the dryer all the time will save a noticeable amount of money in electricity or gas. You can either use an outdoor clothesline (when the weather is nice), or get a drying rack that you can use inside any time.
13. Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls can replace dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener. The dryer balls last longer, save money in the long run, and they eliminate the chemicals that you would be using with fabric softener.
14. Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
With a good microfiber cloth, like the e-cloth, you can clean with just water. You’ll save a ton of money in cleaning products and also reduce the chemicals that are used in your house. You can also use a microfiber cloth instead of disposable paper towels, which saves a lot of money over time. Read this comparison of the two leading brands of microfiber clothes.
If you have enough freezer space you can buy food in bulk, stock up when things are on sale, and even prepare and freeze your own food. Several years ago we bought a freezer so we could buy meat in bulk from a local farmer. It’s been a great way to save money on groceries, plus the meat is a much higher quality than we would get at the grocery store.
16. Crock Pot or Slow Cooker
17. Instant Pot
18. Toaster Oven
A toaster oven is also a great choice for cooking smaller meals, rather than running a full-size oven. There a lot of situations where you can use a toaster oven to save time and money.
19. Glass Food Containers
Glass food storage containers can be used over and over again, saving money on things like plastic bags and disposable storage containers. Another benefit to glass is that it doesn’t have the same chemicals that can be present in plastic.
20. Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags
Reusable snack and sandwich bags can pay for themselves over a period of time by eliminating the need to buy disposable sandwich bags. This will also cut down on waste.
21. Reusable Lids
With re-usable lids you can cut back on the need for plastic wrap.
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22. Skoy Scrub and Skoy Cloth
23. Water Filter Pitcher
With a Brita, or other water filter pitcher, you can get better drinking water without the need to buy bottled water. Over the course of a year you can save a lot of money by simply using a water filter.
24. Reusable Water Bottle
With a reusable water bottle you can cut back on buying bottled water. Most Americans spend a lot of money on bottled water each year, and this is an easy way to reduce that amount.
25. Coffee Maker
Instead of buying coffee at a coffee shop every day, make your own at home and take it with you. Coffee makers are relatively inexpensive and this purchase will pay for itself and start saving you money very quickly if you’re a frequent coffee drinker.
A thermos or insulated mug will keep your coffee or other hot drinks hot, and your ice water or other cold drinks cold.
You can easily save a lot of money by packing your lunch instead of buying lunch every day. A good lunchbox or bag will make it more convenient and more realistic for you to pack your lunch.
28. CSA Membership
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to save money and get fresh, high quality produce. A CSA membership will often give you a box or bag of produce each week. You’ll often wind up getting better prices than you would at the grocery store, and it will be fresh and locally grown. Check LocalHavest.org to find a CSA near you.
29. Freshness Extender
How much money do you think you waste on produce that goes bad before you can eat it? For a small price you can buy a freshness extender that will help fruits and vegetables to last longer.
30. Low-Flow Shower Head
A low-flow shower head will reduce the amount of water used by a shower, and in many cases you won’t even notice the difference. The low-flow shower head will more than pay for itself by saving you a lot of money on water and heating that water.
→ Related reading: 30+ Easy Ways to Save Big Money on Your Water Bill
31. Water-Saving Toilet
A water-saving toilet will use less water every time it is flushed. Over the course of a year you’ll use much less water and save money. When it comes time to replace your toilets, I recommend looking for a water-saving toilet.
32. Faucet Aerators
An aerator will reduce the amount of water that flows out of a faucet. Many kitchen and bathroom faucets already have aerators, but if yours does not, you can pick one up for just a few dollars.
33. Solar Powered Exterior Lights
Many people like to leave some lights on outside their house at night. One option is to get some solar powered lights that won’t take any electricity.
34. Solar Panels
Having solar panels installed on your roof or on your property can be a big expense, but in time it can save you a lot of money. See this article on Mr. Money Mustache about a DIY solar panel setup.
35. Amazon Prime Membership
If you do a lot of shopping online there is a pretty good chance that you are already an Amazon Prime member. If not, you may want to consider it. The free two-day shipping is a major selling point that can save you a lot of money, but there are plenty of other perks that make it a great way to save. As a Prime Member you’re eligible to get 5% cash back on all Amazon purchases using the Prime credit card. Depending on how much you shop on Amazon, this may be able to cover the cost of your prime membership. You’ll also get access to stream thousands of movies and TV shows as well as music. And one of my favorite perks, you get free backups for an unlimited number of digital photos.
36. Wholesale Club Membership
Depending on your shopping habits, membership to Sam’s Club, Costco, or BJ’s may allow you to save some money. We had a BJ’s membership for 5 or 6 years, but now that we are thankfully not buying diapers or baby wipes we decided to let the membership lapse.
37. TV Antenna
Cable TV is a big expense each month, but fortunately it’s something that you can avoid. We got rid of cable TV about 5 years ago and I’ve never missed it. We replaced cable with a few different things, including a digital antenna. For less than $50 you can get a pretty good antenna.
How many channels it gets will depend on where you live. In general, if you live closer to a city you’ll get more channels. The nice thing about digital antennas is that the picture is high quality HD, not a fuzzy picture like you got 20 or 30 years ago with and old school antenna.
38. TV Streaming Device
A device like the Roku or Amazon Fire Stick will also help you to replace cable. During football season I get a Sling subscription and watch it through the Amazon Fire Stick. You can also get access to many other streaming services.
A Netflix subscription is also a great alternative to cable TV. Over the past few years Netflix has added a lot of TV shows and movies to its streaming options, and it provides a great value at a fraction of the price of cable.
40. Discount Cell Phone Plan
One of the easiest ways I’ve saved money was switching to a discount wireless provider. I use Cricket Wireless and I’ve been extremely happy with the service and price. My bill is less than half of what I used to pay with one of the leading carriers.
41. Phone Screen Protector
Screen protectors are inexpensive and can help to prevent your screen from getting scratched or cracked. Replacing or fixing a screen is expensive, so you’ll probably wind up just getting a new phone if that happens. For just a few dollars you can prevent it.
42. Phone Case
A phone case will protect the phone itself, not just the screen. If you have a habit of dropping your phone you should have a case.
What About You?
Which products do you buy to save money in the long run? Please feel free to leave a comment on the post. I’d like to update this article in the future, so your suggestions may be featured in an updated version of the article.
Take a few moments today to scan through this list and see which products may be a good fit for you right now.
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