Nowadays, every one of us is looking for ways to save money. Well, I've discovered some items in the home that are working against us, and we may not even realize it. And these are things that--in 2012--can be found in a LOT of homes.

So many of us have come to regard our computers as being as invaluable as the microwave or the toaster. And you could very well be reading this on yours right now. Of course, you may not be consuming a great deal of power at this moment, but if you leave it plugged in after you're finished AND you use a screen saver, you could be giving power plants a run for their money.

Add that to any game consoles you have in the house, and there's no telling how unpleasant an experience opening your utility bill will be. Again, though, turn it all the way off when you're done with it, and you're good to go.

Like the game consoles, I also don't have to worry about the energy sucking prowess of a plasma TV; I don't have one. And, I don't intend to get one. Plus, I doubt anyone would unplug his or her television after every use. Whew!

Then, there are the digital picture frames. These have become hot gift items of late. I can see why.

But, here's the deal:

To be enjoyed, they have to be left on all the time. And the Electric Power Research Institute says that if every American home had one, it would take five power plants to keep them going. That's a lot of power for an item that--let's face it--is not incredibly necessary.

And, finally, unplug any battery chargers when they are not in use, by all means. I'm going to try to remember these little tidbits.

With the air conditioner running all the time, every little bit certainly helps.