Giving someone money for Christmas is weird, unless they're your kid. So it's better to do it indirectly. If someone you know is struggling financially this year, there are five Christmas presents that will save them money and here they are:
#1.) A Filtered Water Bottle. It purifies regular tap water while you drink from it, and they go for about $15 at Target. If the person you give it to normally buys one bottle of water a day, your present could save them hundreds of dollars a year.
#2.) The Belkin Energy-Saving Power Strip. TVs and computers suck up power even when they're turned off. And unlike normal power strips, the Belkin Energy Saver prevents it from happening.
--It costs about $40, which is a lot for a power-strip. But it can reduce your electric bill by about that much every year. On the downside . . . you're giving someone a POWER STRIP for Christmas.
#3.) An Electronic Thermostat. They cost $30 at Home Depot, and they're programmable, which means the person can set it to automatically adjust the temperature when no one's home.
--And according to the Alliance to Save Energy, replacing an old thermostat with a PROGRAMMABLE one can shave 10% off an average person's heating or air-conditioning bill.
#4.) A Half-Decent Coffee Maker. If the person you're buying a gift for goes to Starbucks every morning, a nice coffee-maker can save them in the high hundreds over the course of a year.
--Plus, the regular coffee they make at home will have a fraction of the calories that lattes and mochas have. You can get a cheap coffee maker at Wal-Mart for around $15, or a nice one for about $100.
#5.) The Roku. It's a little box that plugs into your TV and lets you watch thousands of HD movies online for free. They start at about $70 and go up in price. But if the person loves watching movies, it'll help them save on rentals.
--Just make sure it's not a waste of money, because if the person has a Playstation 3, an Xbox 360, or a Wii, they can already access the same movies. And the BIG catch is, they need to have a Netflix account to watch most of the free stuff.
--If you want to be extra nice this year and sign them up for Netflix TOO, subscriptions start at $8 a month, which is about $100 for a full year.