There are three big expenses that we all seem to spend too much money on: gas, electricity, and water. You may not realize it, but some of your home products are costing you more and more over time. So you end up not only paying the initial cost for the product, you then have to pay additional costs for a less efficient or effective job. There are some things you can buy though that will seem more expensive initially, but will save you plenty the more you use them.
1. Hybrid Cars
The mother of all energy efficient products is definitely the hybrid car. These cars can cost anywhere from $22,000 to $55,000, though the luxury models can sometimes be twice as expensive. Luxury aside, these cars will save you loads on gas, considering that the most efficient ones get 50 mpg.
2. Solar Panels
If you really want to cut some costs and you have $10,000 burning a hole in your pocket, a solar panel for your roof could be the perfect solution for you. These solar panels can completely cut the need for normal electricity in some households. The panels work best in sunny areas and on homes with a south-facing roof. There are even tax incentive programs so the cost can be cut down to around $7,000.
3. Composting Toilets
This product is surprisingly expensive but also surprisingly cost effective. The cheaper models run around $1,600 with the fancier ones costing as much as $5,000. These toilets do not use water or require a septic tank. Don’t worry though, the home models are much better smelling than the widely used public model (the type you’ll find at parks or areas with no water supply). Keep in mind that people with composting toilets claim to pay 20 - 50% less on their monthly water bill. This adds up to hundreds and potentially thousands of dollars a year.
4. Wood Pellet Stoves
Heating bills in the winter can get out of control pretty fast. To save on your gas or electric bill, you can invest in a wood pellet stove. These little stoves are convenient because they run off of a small amount of electricity and burning wood pellets. They give off such little smoke that it’s not even necessary to have them attached to a chimney. Depending on the size and style, wood pellet stoves can cost anywhere from $900 to $3,100.
5. High Efficiency Washing Machines
To save money on water and electricity, you can purchase a high efficiency washing machine. They will also help you save money on laundry detergent. These range in price from $600 to $1,000. You will easily see lower water bills early on. These machines end up paying for themselves in under a year.
6. Rain Barrels
This is one of the cheaper options to save money, although it can still seem a little expensive or labor intensive. Rain barrels will collect water during those flash summer rain storms. You can then save this water to use during dryer times or perhaps if you live in an especially dry area, during times when you aren’t permitted to water your lawn. If you make your own rain barrel, it can be as cheap as $20. However, there are some nicer ones that will blend in with your yard better that cost around $200. Some roofs can work better with rain barrels than others. Those with EPDM roofing membrane or fiberglass help to capture the water better.
About the Author
Melanie Hargrave is a wife and homemaker whose pride and joy is her family. In addition to spending time with her husband and daughters, she loves being outdoors, playing sports, and sharing her experiences with others.