We think of gadgets as toys - things we may want but probably don't need. But as technology advances, many products now exist that can save us money on the bills we pay every day.
Paul Hochman of Fast Company magazine joined Carmen on Wednesday's show from the Consumer Electronics Show to break down the best 'recession gadgets' that can make our lives easier.
1. Kodak printers: The new inexpensive ESP 7 uses 70% less ink so you can save money on toner cartridges, which are where the big expenses are in the printer world. Hochman estimates the average user will save over $150 a year in toner costs with the ESP 7, which sells for $199.
2. XLink: A device that allows you to get rid of your landline, the XLINK lets you answer any phones in your house when your cell phone rings. If you throw away your home phone at $30 to $50 per month, the XLink could save you up to $600 a year.
3. Ooma: Another way to cut down on your landline expenses. The Ooma is a box that connects your landline to a broadband internet connection (VoIP). For $200, you can make calls over the web, receive voicemail and get rid of your old home phone.
Watch the web-exclusive video below for two more 'recession gadgets,' including a way to power your various electronics using only the sun.