If you’re finding it hard to meet the cost of household bills, there may be a gadget or two that could help you save money.

You might think that you’ve explored every option available to drive costs down, but there are a few devices that you might not have considered that could give you greater control over your bills, and potentially reduce your outgoings.

Here’s our rundown of some of the top money-saving gadgets for your home.

1. Smart plugs

Smart plugs

You could save around £35 a year by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode, according to the Energy Saving Trust, but how many of us remember to do this? If you regularly forget to turn off lamps, or your TV’s power supply, for example, then a smart plug could be a good option for you.

A smart plug is a type of power adapter that connects to your wifi, enabling you to remotely control the power to devices that are plugged into it. So, if you’ve gone out for the day and realised that you left the radio on, you can use your smart plug’s app to switch off the power remotely.

However, smart plugs are only really a cost-effective solution if you often forget to turn things off, or want to ensure they are only used for a certain amount of time each day. For example, you may want to set your smart plug’s timer for your living room lamp to come on for a few hours in the evening (or when you’re out to deter burglars, which is another common use for this device).

A smart plug typically costs from £10 upwards to buy and you can buy multipacks of them. As they are technically left “on” and controlled by the app they do draw a small amount of energy at all times, which could cost you anywhere from £3-£5 per plug per year.

Some smart plugs will also let you know how much electricity a specific appliance or item is using, which can be useful if you’re trying to reduce your energy bills. You might, for example, be able to use your smart plug with different appliances to see how much each of them costs to run and you can make a decision over how vital they are to use.

2. Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats have boomed in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. While most traditional thermostats allow you to set a schedule for your heating, a smart thermostat enables you to control your heating remotely, along with a clear view of how much energy to potentially help you to save money.

The way smart thermostats work is similar to a normal thermostat, but the key difference is that they connect to your wifi. This means that you can turn your heating on or off from anywhere in the world through an app on your phone, tablet or another device. 

A number of smart thermostats also offer an array of additional features, such as: 

  • The ability to create heating zones – you can buy smart radiator thermostats that connect to your smart thermostat to only heat specific rooms in your home rather than your whole property.
  • The use of ‘geofencing’ – this means that your smart system works out when you’re home and when you’ve gone out and will automatically turn off your heating when you leave the house, or back on when you return.
  • Winter-proofing features – some smart thermostats will work with weather apps to make sure your home is heated to certain temperatures during the winter months to prevent your heating system and pipes from freezing.

The downside is that if you’re interested in investing in a smart thermostat, they aren’t cheap. Most smart thermostats cost from £120 to £225 for the unit itself, and you’ll usually need to pay for an engineer to install it, which can cost between £30 and £80 on top, according to Checkatrade. The total cost will almost certainly be hundreds of pounds. 

The most popular smart thermostat brands include Nest, Hive, Honeywell and Tado, but there are a range of other options available too.

3. Energy monitor plugs

Energy monitoring plug

If you want transparency on how much an appliance costs to run, then an energy monitor plug could be worth trying.

Energy monitor plugs measure the amount of energy an appliance uses and if you enter the amount you pay per kWh, the plug can let you know how much it’s costing you. They’re incredibly easy to use. You simply programme it with your energy cost per kWh, which you can find on your electricity bill, plug it in at the wall and then plug in your appliance. When you use the appliance it will then tell you exactly how much energy the appliance is drawing and the cost.

Most plugs have a memory function too so can add up the cost of the appliance over an extended period of time. Energy monitor plugs cost between £10 and £15, so they’re an inexpensive energy-saving tool that could help you minimise your costs.

One thing to bear in mind is that a lot of energy monitor plugs need an appliance to draw a certain amount of energy before they can start registering the cost. So if you leave an appliance on standby, the draw might be too low for the plug to register it, but you’ll still be paying for it in your energy bill.

4. Eco shower heads

Many of us take a shower at least once a day, and although you might assume that showers are a cheaper option than a bath, some modern showers could be costing you more than you think.

As the name suggests, the aim of an eco shower head is to reduce the amount of water you use, which also means you might be able to cut the cost of using your shower.

Most eco shower heads save water through a process known as ‘aerating’, which essentially blends the water with air to make larger droplets, or by simply regulating the flow. 

While the exact amount of water you’ll save depends on your water pressure and the type of eco shower head you choose, most state that you could reduce your water use by up to 30%. This means you’ll also pay less to heat the water you use, increasing your savings. 

There are a wide range of eco shower head options available, ranging from standard options to those that promise additional features, such as the ability to soften your water with ceramic beads. Prices for eco shower heads vary dramatically, from around £6 to hundreds of pounds.

5. A shower timer

A shower timer

If you take long showers, or other household members typically do so, then you could potentially save money by shaving a few minutes off time spent in the shower. You may be familiar with the hourglass-style timers that are meant to help you limit your shower time, but there’s a new technology that can help you ease into the habit of shorter showers.

The On3 Energy Saver is a nifty little shower monitor that is designed to help you to develop more efficient showering habits. You place it in the bottom of your shower and its timer will start once the water starts flowing over it. The first time you use the On3 Energy Saver, it will time the length of your shower and will use this as a benchmark to improve on. Every shower you take after this, the On3 Energy Saver will give you a timed countdown, through a traffic light system, to indicate when it’s time to get out, gradually reducing your shower time over a number of uses.

At £9.99, it’s a relatively cheap option that could help you to develop a money-saving shower habit to reduce costs over time.

It’s also worth looking at the SaveWaterSaveMoney website to see whether you can get any water saving devices for free, such as water-efficient shower heads, or shower timers. All you need to do is enter your postcode and it’ll provide a list of gadgets available to order at no cost to you in your area, if there are any.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, using a four-minute shower timer could save around 30 litres of water a day, cutting around £95 a year of typical annual energy bills, and £60 off water bills, if metered.

6. Shower flow regulators

Most people enjoy a powerful shower, but if you’re lucky enough to have high water pressure, your shower is likely to be using substantial amounts of water. This means you’re probably spending more money on your water supply and heating the water, so looking at ways of reducing your water pressure could save you money on both fronts.

Flow regulators are one way you can reduce the amount of water pouring through your shower head. They usually consist of a small disk with a series of slots in it that help to reduce the amount of water that passes through it. They’re relatively cheap, costing around £5 for a multipack, and they’re really easy to install yourself. 

Bear in mind that most showers with what’s considered good pressure will use over 15 litres of water per minute, but reducing this to between 10 and 15 litres is still an acceptable level of water pressure that could save you money in the long run.


If any of these gadgets have got you thinking about other ways you can save money, there are other devices that could help you to cut energy costs. Have a look at our articles 12 best slow cookers for low-cost meals 2024, 13 best air fryers 2024, 6 best electric blankets to keep you warm and Best heated clothes airers for drying laundry 2024 for some of the most popular money-saving items on the market.

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