smart home gift guide

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If you’ve followed this blog during the holidays in years past, you are probably well aware that my family makes a tradition out of Black Friday. Often, I use Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday to get the things I’ve been otherwise saving for the rest of the year, like a new TV or washer and dryer. This year, I don’t have a lot of big ticket items on my need-to-have list, so I thought it might be better this time around to give you guys a head’s up on the stuff worth scooping up as smart home upgrades (either for yourself or as a gift… to yourself).

And, since picks like these can quickly become outdated, I’m also adding a big list that will populate in the future so you can do more smart home shopping after 2017 sales are long over. Just scroll a little further down to see that big list or click here to jump to that section. Oh, and I’ve also got some general savings tips on ways to save online right here.

powerbeats wireless in-ear headphones

Powerbeats In-Ear Headphones

I’ve been planning on doing several gift idea roundups this year, one of which includes gifts for runners. I’m not a strong runner, but I do run with lots of people who do marathons and I’ve learned quite a lot from them in addition to my own preferences. The Powerbeats Wireless In-Ear Headphones were/are going to be on that list, but with Black Friday starting up early right now, I’m jumping ahead of that later-planned list and telling you to scoop them up while the gettin’s good. I use these when I’m working on outdoor projects in the heat as well (they handle sweat like a champ). They have a long charge, a Bluetooth connection that automatically syncs with my phone when I turn them on (I love that I don’t have to go into Settings to connect), and they stay put, even if I’m getting jostled around on a backhoe. They come in several colors, but I have the bright yellow-green ones, which are really easy to find when I’m looking for them.


Amazon Echo and Echo Dot

So, I don’t actually own either of these products, but I’ve been reading reviews like mad, and I think I’m going to buy one or both of these this weekend. A bunch of stores are selling these items for the same price, so you can either try to rush out and get one from the store or order online (though I recommend the one that comes to you).


Nest Learning Thermostat

I don’t have this one in my house, but I have helped install a Nest thermostat before, and they are really easy! I love that they sync to your phone and other devices (including Alexa, which is what the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot connect to above as well, so that makes for a pretty smart home system). The Nest indoor security camera is on sale as well, which I’ve also seen before but I’m not really recommending for the sole reason that they have an outdoor one and that seems like a better option to me (the Nest Cam Outdoor isn’t on sale, but it probably will have a Black Friday discount.


TILE Bluetooth-Enabled Trackers

I got this as a regift for my birthday (a used regift, actually), and even though that person is forever deserving of a good punch to the crotch for their misdeed, this thing is awesome and a top-recommended product for how many times it’s saved my butt. What it does is work as a key/phone/anything finder that you download as an app on your phone and then attach Bluetooth-enabled trackers to your most-used stuff, like your remote, your keys, and your purse. They now have a slim one that you can stick in your wallet and mini versions as well, which make great stocking stuffers because it’s a universal truth that everyone misplaces their stuff. The best deals are if you get them in combo packs (which, bonus for you, means you can keep one or two for yourself).

I’m going to add these items to one collective group, along with whatever else I find. I’ve got to get out and go grab a few things myself, so I’ll leave it at that for now!

Top Picks for Smart Home Gift Ideas

Also, just for savings in general…

More Savings Tips

I have several things I use on my computer and phone that help me to save on discounts and rebates during the year. Just for the sake of making sure you’re aware of those too, I’ve included some referral links to the stuff I like most (usually by signing up via the referral code, it gives us both an incentive, like a free $5 or whatever).

Honey – this installs in most major browsers and can save you a LOT of time in searching for discount codes. On Amazon, it also has a little button that confirms if this is definitely the cheapest price it can find or will suggest a different seller. Basically, it searches the internet for all of those promo codes and coupons and lets you search and apply them with one click. If it can get you a better deal at checkout, it most definitely will. It also occasionally gives cash back. I’ve saved additionally (5-10%) on big-ticket items and even food orders just by using this thing.

Happy shopping!

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  1. For a larger house, I researched immensely and decided upon the ecobee 3 rather than the Nest, so that I could put remote sensors in the less central rooms that we use often, and it has been really, really awesome and kept the house over all so much more comfortable.

    1. Great advice! I have a smallish house so the Nest is probably still where I’m at, but I’ll keep that in mind if I get asked about bigger spaces!

  2. Great information! I’m curious with the Nest if you had to call customer service? I’ve heard that it can be hit and miss. Also, do you think you liked it enough to buy?