Sign up for our twice-monthly Your Health newsletter for the latest on the coronavirus pandemic and more.
Living on a Budget
by Joan Rattner Heilman, AARP Bulletin, October 27, 2009
Want to know how much you could save by turning off your computer at night or getting rid of that second refrigerator in the basement?
Check out affordable energy monitors that give you real-time data about the amount of power your home or business consumes and let you know which appliances or electronic devices use the most.
One of the gadgets, Black & Decker’s Power Monitor ($99.99), has a wireless sensor that attaches to the electricity meter outside your home. It monitors your entire home’s power consumption in kilowatts or dollars and transmits this information to a handheld monitor. Then you can watch consumption and cost go up and down as you turn lights and appliances on and off.
Another power monitor is Kill A Watt EZ ($49.99) made by P3 International. You plug the device into a wall outlet and plug an appliance into the device, which then displays consumption in kilowatt hours. By punching in your cost per kilowatt hour (found on your electric bill), the monitor will compute how much that appliance is costing to operate.
Once you know the real costs, you may decide to unplug that extra fridge and save yourself a piece of change.
Joan Rattner Heilman is the author of “Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can’t Get Unless You’re Over 50”.
Featured AARP Member Benefits
See All >
WayForth Home Transition Management
Free consultation and follow-up plan
Personal Loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
No-fee personal loans
Members can save monthly on qualified AT&T wireless plans
Members can save 50% on prescription lenses
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age.
You can also manage your communication preferences by updating your account at anytime. You will be asked to register or log in.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at