French Press Coffee
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18 Things to Make Life Better and Save Money While Staying at Home

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French Press Coffee
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Money Savers

With so many of us spending copious amounts of time at home adhering to social distancing precautions and simultaneously looking for ways to cut household budgets amid a nationwide economic downturn, it seems appropriate to share our favorite items that not only make your life better but also save you money. From slow cookers to smart thermostats, here are 18 products that offer two benefits for the price of one.

Note: Prices and availability are subject to change, especially as demand has increased during the coronavirus crisis.

Slow Cooker
Wayfair

Slow Cooker

Price: $70 from Wayfair
Buy It
There are so many benefits to owning a slow cooker. For one, they make it incredibly easy to prepare a meal for a family and have it ready at day's end. It's one-step cooking, just throw all the ingredients into the pot and turn it on. Added bonus: With just one pot, there's a lot less cleanup. And finally, slow cookers use less energy than an oven — so it's a win-win-win. This 6-quart model is made by KitchenAid.

French Press Coffee Maker
Amazon

French Press Coffee Maker

Price: $30 from Amazon
Buy It
Skip the trip to Starbucks, save yourself some money and significantly up your coffee game with a French press coffee maker. These small-batch coffee makers are legendary for making java without scalding the beans, while also providing the utmost flavor extraction. This model from Bodum earns 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

Related: 10 Specialty Coffee Roasters That Will Deliver to Your Door

Battery Charger
Amazon

Battery Charger

Price: $19 from Amazon
Buy It
Stop buying new batteries and instead shift to rechargeable. Doing so is not only good for your bottom line, it's good for the environment.

Double Dutch Oven
Amazon

Double Dutch Oven

Price: $44 from Amazon
Buy It
Who doesn't love fresh baked bread? Skip spending money on store-bought bread and start making some mouthwatering homemade loaves with a double Dutch oven. These useful kitchen items operate like a compact oven. When purchasing, look for one with thick walls, which are better at maintaining heat retention and evenly browning your bread. Lodge Cast Iron makes its cast-iron products in the U.S.A. and stands behind those products for life.

Related: 20 Essential Kitchen Tools That Every Aspiring Baker Needs

Indoor Herb Garden
Lowe's

Indoor Herb Garden

Price: $20 from Lowe's
Buy It
Rather than constantly spending money buying herbs, which can be pricey, try growing them on your own. Herbs are among the easiest things to grow, and there's a variety of inexpensive starter kits to help you do this indoors. In addition to the cost savings, there's a health benefit here too. Herbs add healthy nutrients to your home-cooked meals including vitamins and antioxidants.

Motion-Sensing Light Switches
Home Depot

Motion-Sensing Light Switches

Price: $23 from Home Depot
Buy It
Trim your utility bill and make your house look more modern with motion sensing light switches. These switches rely on a sensor to automatically detect movement, turning on when you enter a room.

Smart Thermostat
Walmart

Smart Thermostat

Price: $210 from Walmart
Buy It
Speaking of smart home technology, a smart thermostat can also help save you money while making life at home slightly more comfortable and effortless. In addition to allowing for automating heating and cooling schedules, smart home thermostats can be controlled from your phone. The Ecobee smart thermostat is among the best rated for this technology.

Related: Best Cheap Thermostats

Food Freshness Extender
Amazon

Food Freshness Extender

Price: $12 from Amazon
Buy It
While we're all stocking up on food more than usual, it's easy for some of the extra food to go to waste. You can help prevent this from happening and avoid wasting the money you spent by purchasing a food freshness extender. Blueapple Produce Freshness Saver Balls, for instance, can extend the life of fruits and vegetables by absorbing ethylene gas, which causes fruit to go bad.

Related: 12 Easy Storage Tips to Keep Produce Fresh Longer

Water Bath Canner
Williams Sonoma

Water Bath Canner

Price: $100 from Williams Sonoma
Buy It
Reduce grocery bills by canning some of your own food. This is a particularly good idea if you've recently started a garden. And as an added bonus, canning your own food lets you select exactly the ingredients you want. Described as a good choice for beginners, water bath canning is incredibly straightforward and requires only a few items, (including the proper jars). Check out these Essential Canning Supplies You Need & Where to Order Them.

Filtered Water Bottle
Amazon

Filtered Water Bottle

Price: $40 from Amazon
Buy It
Not only will investing in a filtered water bottle save you money (you can finally stop buying bottled water week after week) many filtered bottles substantially improve the quality and taste of the water you're drinking at home. With health being top of mind for nearly everyone these days, you can take comfort in the fact that many of the best filtered water bottles remove bacteria, sediment, and more. (It's also worth noting that despite the Safe Drinking Water Act, tap water may still contain lead, chlorine, arsenic, pesticides, and more.) This 20-ounce filtering water bottle from Astrea is certified to reduce common tap water contaminants.

Battery Organizer
Amazon

Battery Organizer

Price: $15 from Amazon
Buy It
If you already have batteries stuffed in drawers and closets all over your house, this gadget can help you get organized and save you money by freeing you from buying still more batteries when you can't find the ones you previously purchased. (That is, if you haven't already decided to switch to rechargeable batteries to save even more money).

Smart Power Strips
Amazon

Smart Power Strips

Price: $27 from Amazon
Buy It
There's a big difference between mere power strips that are designed to do nothing more than expand the number of electrical outlets in your home and smart power strips, which help reduce your electric bill. When items like printers, computers, and televisions are plugged into an ordinary power strip they often keep drawing power even when not in use. This is referred to as phantom power. Smart power strips are designed to address this issue by shutting down power to such products when they're in standby mode. In addition to four power outlets, this Meross smart power strip with Wi-Fi surge protector also has four protected USB ports.

Printer
Best Buy

Printer

Price: $130 from Best Buy
Buy It
With so many people working from home these days, investing in a printer should be a no brainer when it comes to hacks for making life easier. What's more, having a printer at home will also save you time and money by eliminating the need to make trips to your local copy center (if it's even open.) The popular HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 Wireless All-In-One printer can also work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Related: How to Create a Home Office From Ikea Under $200

Sparkling Water Makers
Amazon

Sparkling Water Makers

Price: Starting at $69 from Amazon
Buy It
Carbonated water is quite the rage these days. And rather than buy bottle after bottle of Perrier, or cans of LaCroix, do the planet and your bottom line a favor by investing in a SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker or one of the many other options currently on the market.

Herb Keeper
Amazon

Herb Keeper

Price: $27 from Amazon
Buy It
If you're using herbs, you might want to also invest in preserving them to keep the grocery bill savings and health benefits going even longer. Many herbs quickly wilt, particularly when laid flat, but this herb keeper holds them upright in a shallow bath of water, keeping them fresh until you use them.

Related: The Best Food Storage Containers You Can Buy, According to Amazon Reviews

Smart Notebook
Amazon

Smart Notebook

Price: $21 from Amazon
Buy It
This is a gadget all the cool kids started buying last year. While you're cooped up at home, it can help you cut down on paper usage, saving you the expense of having to buy paper notebook after notebook. Many smart notebooks can be reused over and over simply by microwaving them, which clears the pages. But before doing that, the notes you've jotted on the pages can be saved on cloud services like Google drive, Dropbox or Evernote.

Electric Toothbrush
Target

Electric Toothbrush

Price: $40 from Target
Buy It
With many dentists around the country only open for emergency services, do yourself a favor by investing in an electric toothbrush. Yes, this will be a bit of an investment up front, but it will improve your dental hygiene routine at home and should save you money over the long run through reduced dental bills. The highly rated Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Rechargeable electric toothbrush has a built-in pressure sensor to make sure you don't brush too hard (which could lead to gum loss) and an alert to tell you when it's time to replace the brush head.

Temperature-Controlled Ceramic Mug
Amazon

Temperature-Controlled Ceramic Mug

Price: $75 from Amazon
Buy It
How does this gadget save you money, you ask? It will keep your cup of Joe warm so you aren't constantly dumping the coffee out once it gets cold (during all of those back to back Zoom meetings). The helpful Smartshow Smart Temperature Control ceramic mug also allows for setting its temperature for different kinds of drinks, and it helpfully goes to sleep when the mug is empty and wakes back up when it's filled with liquid. Talk about making your home life just a little easier.