The following is adapted from a Nov. 2, 2006 entry on savings columnist Jeffrey Strain's blog, .

When it comes to saving money, most people immediately think that they must reduce their spending in order to do it.

This isn't always the case. There are a number of items that can actually save you money by purchasing them. These items may cost you some money upfront, but they'll ultimately more than pay for themselves in the savings they provide.

Here is a list of things you should buy to help you save money:

1. Programmable Thermostat

Manual thermostats usually cost households more money than the programmable variety, because of how people use them. When someone wants to heat or cool a room, they usually adjust the thermostat temperature beyond the true temperature they desired in hopes of making the house cool or warm more quickly. Unfortunately, this doesn't affect the speed at which the room temperature changes and the over-compensation means that the room ultimately gets hotter or cooler than it needs to be -- which costs extra money.

In addition to over-compensation of the desired temperature, manual thermostats also are adjusted more often to get the room to the desired temperature. People increase the temperature when the room gets a little cold, then decrease it when it gets too warm. These manual adjustments are rarely as effective, and can automatically be done more efficiently with a programmable model. The constant manual adjustments cost a great deal of money over time, which a programmable thermostat can help save; it pays for itself in a few months.

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