Some products that you purchase can actually save money in the long run, if you can get over the initial sticker shock—not to mention these investment products occasionally come with other perks like less energy usage or landfill waste. But when do these products start paying you back?
Here’s when you will recoup your costs from these popular items:
Filtered Water Bottle
Purchasing a water bottle a day at the grocery or convenience store adds up to many dollars spent and a lot of plastic waste. Filtered water bottles are an investment that quickly pays off. Individual bottles of water cost about $1.29, which means you’ve recouped costs after about 9 bottles of water.
Put down the paper towels and pick up a microfiber cloth. It can clean almost any surface in your home including stainless steel, glass, marble and wood. While you can get them for much less than $8, brands like e-cloth come with a 300 machine wash guarantee. Plus, they claim to remove 99% of bacteria with just water, eliminating the cost of cleaning products. A package of six paper towels costs about $8. Microfiber cloths will last much longer than a six-pack. So, you recoup that cost after using the first 6 rolls.
You’ve heard it before—buy in bulk, stock up on sale items, and you will save in the long run. That is certainly true, but not if you can’t properly store the items and they go to waste. A vacuum sealer like a FoodSaver says it will keep food for up to five times longer with no freezer burn. After one grocery store trip of stocking up on sale items to freeze, you may easily recoup the cost.
Starting at around $40, toaster ovens are a good way to cook small items (like a personal sized pizza or a half dozen cookies) without using a ton of energy. They take less time to preheat and use a fraction of the energy. According to the Sierra Club, using a 1,000-watt toaster for 10 minutes a day would cost about $7 per year in electricity at 12 cents/kWh. And, like the name implies, it doubles as a toaster, so that’s one less appliance you need to worry about buying.
Family Museum Membership
Museums that participate in a reciprocal program give you free or discount membership to hundreds of others. If you’re always looking for a weekend activity or travel often, this is your ticket. A single museum visit can easily cost a family of four around $40. After two visits, you can recoup your investment and enjoy countless family outings for “free” thereafter.