12 Gadgets That Help You Save Time and Money
If you buy a lot of soft drinks and sparkling water, a home soda maker will likely pay for itself in short order. Although the suggested retail price for the cheapest SodaStream machine is $79.99, you can find it on sale or hold out until Bed Bath & Beyond sends a 20-percent-off coupon (which is fairly often).
Long gone are the days of juggling four remotes as you try to turn on the sound system while switching inputs and wondering, "Wait, what's this one for?" A top-notch universal remote, such as Logitech's popular Harmony line, can cost $60 or more, but it really can control everything. And you don't need to have a line of sight to the receiver for the remote to work.
The ScanGauge II ($140) provides useful information generally found only on high-end vehicles: fuel consumption, coolant temperature, average speed, and more. When the check-engine light comes on, this handy gadget displays the trouble code, allowing you to look up the problem online and fix the issue if it's something small. That feature alone can save a costly trip to the mechanic -- although if that's all you’re interested in, a code reader costs about $20.
Financial experts often point to a gourmet-coffee-a-day habit as an unnecessary expense. But can you really be expected to go without your daily vice? Save money by brewing at home and save time with a high-tech programmable grind-and-brew machine. You'll have a freshly ground cup ready every morning. If you're a latte lover, look for a fully automatic espresso machine with a grinder, although they're hard to find for under $600.