First off I have to say “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” I hope all of you out there enjoyed your holiday. I know many people (and probably some of you) have New Year’s Resolutions. I have to admit that this is something that I don’t do. Let me explain. I constantly have a list of things I want to do or aim to complete at any given time so New Year’s Resolutions would just be redundant for me as I have my constant list of things that is ongoing.

So, saying all that, one of the things I wish to improve on this year is our household efficiency and at the same time save $. One way I hope to do that is to invest in household items that will save my family $.

1. Bread Maker

If your family is anything like mine you can go through several loaves of bread in any given week. I am constantly telling my oldest to take it easy on the bread! I love the breadmaker, which I received from my Mom (she is a smart lady). I not only make loaves of bread of every flavour but I can make pizza dough and dough for cinnamon buns and sweet breads, yum, yum. I still buy the sliced bread for convenience but this is a good back up if or when you run out of the store-bought stuff, or better yet the store-bought can be your back up!

Coffee2. Personal Coffee Pod Machine (Tassimo/Keurig)

I have not had the pleasure of owning one of these (even though it was on my Christmas list) but I have used both. If you are a hot beverage drinker either of these two machines are worth the investment, especially when you are entertaining, as all of your guests can choose from various beverages which include specialty coffees to hot chocolate. The best feature is that everything is made to cup size so you are not left with half a pot of coffee after everyone has gone home.

3. Rain Barrel

Once again, this is another item I have not had the pleasure of owning, but this is not because of lack of effort. When the Region is selling these at their cut rate price they don’t last very long (and I never get to pick one up on time) and the stores sell them at double the price, so I will just keep on trying. Anyhow, the cost of utilities continue to go up and if you want your yard and garden to have “curb appeal” you will need to water and this could save your lawn through those drought times that we seem to experience every summer.

4. Good Quality Blender

BlenderYes, a blender! This may seem like a simplistic addition to this list but do not underestimate the power of this machine! A good blender can replace: a coffee grinder, food processor, chopper, and the list goes on. I don’t recommend you purchase just any ‘ol brand or model. Look for one that fits the needs of your family and won’t need replacing in a few short years (ie. Cuisinart, Kitchenaid, etc…). This one machine will save you the $ you would use purchasing all the other machines it can replace as well as items you would need to purchase that cost more because of processing (ie. chop fresh herbs and freeze or dry them for future use, grind your own coffee beans that is if, like me, you are still Keurig-less!) The list is endless and perhaps to be included in another blog post!

5. Battery Charger

Another simple item but pays for itself over and over again. If you have kids who have toys then you NEED one of these! I think it goes without saying that this item can save you hundreds of dollars on replacing batteries by using rechargeable batteries and there are chargers that can replace all types of batteries. Another upside is sparing our environment with all the batteries that won’t end up in our landfill!

6. Indoor Grill

george-foreman-grill-001367348Awhile back a certain famous boxer attached his name to a product that seemed kinda fly-by-night; lucky for him it wasn’t! The George Foreman grill has quite the group of followers and has spawned a multitude of spinoff’s. I am lucky enough to own not one but two George Foreman grills. Living in Canada we all know that it is just not practical to bbq 365 days of the year, so this is a way to still get grilled food in the winter months. Also (here comes the savings….) grilling on a surface that has two hot plates above and below your food speeds up the cooking time and reduces the amount of electricity that would otherwise be used on the stove top or in the oven.

Not on the “official” list but worth mentioning is getting those little cracks and holes on the roof fixed before they escalate into a bigger damage. When it comes to deciding what to do, homeowners will need to decide between attempting to repair or do a complete roof replacement.

I will continue this list and keep my eye open for more money saving innovations throughout this year and keep all of you posted on what I find. Anything that you have or have tried that you think should be added to this list, let me know.

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Until next time.