While many complain about the high cost of some consumer electronics today, many of them can save you money, both in the short term and the long run.
Bah humbug, you say? Sure, sometimes an initial investment is required, but other cases offer completely free alternatives to paid software or services.
Three shopping apps that we mentioned earlier this year are still good ways to save. Here are a handful of other tech ways, both hardware and software, to ease the tension on your wallet.
Save on electricity; help the planet
You can save money on your home's utility bills all year round while also adding comfort, convenience and control.
• LED lighting. Replacing your incandescent or florescent bulbs with LEDs can greatly reduce the amount of power your home consumes. They sip rather than gulp electricity and have decreased in price since they first came on the market.
An LED equivalent in lumens, the brightness of a light, to a 60-watt incandescent bulb might need only 6.5 or 7 watts of power. The familiar “watts” that we've used for so long to make sure we have a bright enough light for reading are really a measure of energy used, not amount of light.
A bonus: LEDs can last considerably longer, which saves you even more money. Your local home-improvement store stocks a two-pack of dimmable A19 LEDs for less than $7. Those particular bulbs have an estimated 15,000 hours of life, more than five years if you use them eight hours a day.