10 everyday items that pay for themselves

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We're always on the lookout for new and creative ways to save money. That's because we like saving money and, in turn, helping you do the same. Sometimes it's things like how to better manage your credit, because good credit can ensure you get the best interest rates on everything from credit cards and auto loans to mortgages.

In fact, a great credit score can, over time, result in more consistent returns than investing (compared to the amount of money a bad credit score would cost you). If you don't know where your credit stands, you can get two free credit scores, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

This time, however, we're looking at how simple everyday purchases can help you save money. Actually, a LOT of money. That's because the savings on these items accrue over time, making the purchase pay for itself and then some.

Here are ten everyday items that pay for themselves (and then start paying you!).

1. Crock Pot

Crock pots have been referred to as a miracle for people who can't cook. For as little as $30 (less if you're willing to go to your local thrift store and buy a vintage model), you too can join the legions of folks throwing some ingredients into a pot in the morning and coming home to the smells and tastes of a delicious meal at night. It's actually kind of amazing what you can make. Plus, it's cheaper and often healthier than takeout or delivery, and you don't have to tip your crock pot.

2. LED Lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs cost quite a bit upfront, but when you consider that many of them now last as long as 10 years, the cost can definitely be worth the long-term investment. Be sure to do your research, though, because there are many different types of bulbs emitting varying hues of color, plus costs can vary widely.

If you have a store in your area dedicated to lightbulbs (such as national franchise Batteries+Bulbs), it could be worth your time to go in and have one of their knowledgeable sales people walk you through the multitude of options.

Bottom line: As with any product you'll be using for a long time, do some research before buying.

3. Cable Modem

Instead of letting your Internet provider charge you a fee for renting theirs each month, buy a good quality modem. Depending upon how much you spend (costs vary widely by brand and speed, so doing some research here is a must), a new cable modem could easily pay for itself in a year.

Also see the things you should always buy brand new:

12 items you should always buy new
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12 items you should always buy new

1. Bike helmets

Check out the best helmets on Amazon here 

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2. Car seats

Check out the best car seats on Amazon here 

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3. Mattresses and pillows

Check out the best mattresses on Amazon here 

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4. Bathing suits

Check out the best bathing suits at Nordstrom here

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5. Underwear and bras

Check out the best lingerie at Nordstrom here 

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6. Makeup

Check out the best cosmetics at Nordstrom here

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7. Beauty & hair products

Check out the best hair products at Nordstrom here

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8. Hats

Check out the best hats at Nordstrom here

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9. Running shoes

Check out the best running shoes on Amazon here

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10. Blenders

Check out the best blenders on Amazon here

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11. Laptops & other electronics

Check out the best laptops at Best Buy here

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12. Tires

Check out the best tires on Amazon here

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4. Window Insulating Kit

Want to save some serious money on heating costs this winter? A window insulating kit can pay for itself many times over, especially if you have older windows that don't completely seal.

5. A Taxi, Uber or Car Service

When you're drunk or overly tired, the last thing you should do is getting behind the wheel. That $30 fare tonight could end up saving your life or someone else's. It's also a lot cheaper than the costs of a DUI if you've been drinking, plus you won't end up with a felony charge. Win, win and win.

6. A Good Desk Chair

If you work from home or spend a lot of time sitting for a hobby or pastime, an ergonomically correct chair can not only save you pain but possibly keep you from spending money on medical treatments for relief. Again, it's a good idea to do your research and shop around to find the best chair option for you.

7. A Vegetable/Herb Garden

We've written before about how much growing your own vegetables can end up saving you on your grocery bill. Whether you have room for a window box, hanging pots, or a small raised bed in your yard, growing your own vegetables and herbs can really reduce your costs for items you use a lot, such as tomatoes or carrots, especially if you have a large family.

8. Dashcam

A what? Yes, a dashcam. Not only could you end up capturing the next great viral video on your camera, you could also end up saving yourself some serious money. There have been many reports of people with dashcams who have avoided paying costly insurance deductibles, fines and even legal settlements due to traffic accidents. That video evidence of what really happened can make a huge difference in determining who is really at fault.

9. Clothes Drying Rack

Not only is drying your clothes in the fresh air better for the environment (which automatically makes you a better person), but it can end up paying for itself after just a few months of use, especially if you're presently using a laundromat. It's also easier on your clothes and can make them last longer.

10. AAA Membership

Being a member of AAA isn't just about tows and roadside assistance. There are also great discounts you can get on restaurants, hotels, theme parks, and many other places that can end up paying for the cost of membership.

You can find the full list of everyday items that pay for themselves on Credit.com.

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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

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