Irish Daily Mail
NIFTY & THRIFTY GADGETS THAT COULD SAVE YOU A FORTUNE
The robot that checks for leaks, a digital piggy bank, a dashcam deal ... the gizmos that help stash your cash
AS TECHNOLOGY becomes increasingly affordable and easy to use, you no longer need to be super-rich or a technical wizard to experience the benefits. ROSIE TAYLOR looks at the new smart devices that could save us thousands of euro on everyday living costs . . .
LEAK-DETECTING ROBOT THAT CLIPS TO PIPES
LEAKBOT is a device that clips to your mains water supply pipe and detects leaks by sensing changes in water temperature. If it spots a leak, it will alert you and provide instructions on how to find and fix it. One in three of us experience a water leak at home each year and the average leak costs €730 to repair. A number of insurers offer discounts on home insurance policies if a Leakbot is installed and some will provide the device for free, depending on your policy. It is €172 to buy directly from leakbot.io. SAVING: Around €730 for every prevented leak.
WARNING LIGHTS FOR WATER USE
THE Hydrao shower head uses water more economically than a standard model and also features lights which change from green to red when you’ve used 50litres. The average fiveminute shower uses 60litres of water, while Hydrao uses just 20litres. It costs €69.90 plus shipping. SAVING: Up to €140 per person per year on energy bills.
PLUGS TO GIVE YOU REMOTE CONTROL
SMART plugs, such as the €13.90 Tapo plug from Harvey Norman, save money and energy by allowing you remotely to turn on and off appliances such as dehumidifiers, fans or electric heaters. You can plug any device into them but they are internet-connected and controlled through a smartphone app.
They could save you 40 cents per day by preventing high-energy appliances running when not needed. SAVING: Around €146 per year.
PAN-SIZED OVEN TO ROAST A CHICKEN
THE Remoska oven can roast a chicken while using just a fifth of the energy. At €192 from
Lakeland, it costs 8 cents an hour to run, while a conventional electric oven costs between 35c to 40c per hour. SAVING: €23.37 per year on cooking a weekly Sunday roast.
SNIFF TOOL STOPS MEAT SPOILING
THE FOODsniffer is a handheld device that ‘sniffs’ otherwise undetectable gases given off by raw meat and fish as they deteriorate and warns you if they are starting to spoil.
At €110 (plus shipping from the US), you would need to eat a lot of meat to get your money back — but the average family wastes €800 worth of food every year by letting things go off in the fridge after a trip to the supermarket.
For a cheaper option, Nanology’s Fruit Freshness discs (€10.50 from Amazon) claim to up to triple the shelf life of fruit, vegetables and salad by absorbing ethylene gas which speeds up decomposition. SAVING: Up to €700 per year.
DIGITAL PERSONAL TRAINER
SAVE money with a virtual personal trainer. The €99.90 Honor Watch ES uses interactive animations to guide you through 12 workouts. Pricier FitBit watches cost €159.95 to €299.95 and come with three workout programmes installed. With the average faceto-face session costing €50 per hour, you could easily make your money back. SAVING: €1,800 over a year.
NEVER RUN OUT OF PRINTER INK
WITH so many of us working from home, printing costs can quickly add up. A smart ink subscription service will automatically detect how much ink is left in your printer and send more in the post before it runs out. Epson’s traditional cartridges work out at 12c per page to print, compared to its ReadyPrint service, which costs from around 6c per page. SAVING: €28 for every 350 pages.
ADD UP YOUR SMALL CHANGE
A DIGITAL jam jar adds up all your small change as you put it in. Smarthitech Digital Saving Money Box (€10.99, Amazon) can hold up to 1,000 coins. SAVING: Holds up to €20 that could be lost otherwise.
INSURANCE DEAL WITH DASH CAM
DASH CAMS stop arguments over who is to blame for an accident. Insurers like this because it reduces their administrative burden and saves money. Some insurers, such as AXA, are now rewarding motorists who own dash cams by offering discounts of up to 10 pc.
Depending on your policy, you may need to pay for your dash cam to be professionally fitted. SAVING: Up to €85 per year on the average annual premium.
THERMOSTAT TO DETECT DRAUGHTS
INTERNETconnected thermostats can help you save on energy bills because they only put your heating on if it’s needed, help you keep an eye on your usage and let you control radiators remotely.
At €235.95, the Tado wireless thermostat, which can be installed without an engineer, uses motion sensors to heat rooms only when someone is home and automatically shuts heating off if it detects a window has been left open.
It promises yearly savings of up to 31pc in your first year or your money back. SAVING: Up to €175 per year on average gas bill.