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Saving Money On Your Electronics and Personal Entertainment

Your kids probably want the latest and greatest gadgets, but do they really need them? Most kids want to own the latest smart phone, the best iDevice, a computer that is way too powerful for just gaming and checking email, and a fancy MP3 player. It’s best to teach your kids to be content with what they can afford, and it’s important for you to teach them how to economize on their personal entertainment and electronics.

What can you do to save money?

Find Coupons — Amazon, Overstock, and Google will allow your kids to save a small fortune on their entertainment choices, as they can find great deals at a discounted price. It can be pesky finding coupon codes, but if you look hard enough, there are many sites that will offer you these codes. Simply Google “coupon codes for (site of your choice)”, and you will be able to find a wide range of deals on the merchandise sold on these sites.

Never Buy Retail —If you walk into Best Buy or Wal-Mart, you’ll usually end up buying electronics, movies, DVDs, and video games at highly inflated prices. Buying at retail prices is just silly, so it’s best to avoid buying at these high costs. Look for bargain buys, or walk into bulk-buy stores like Sam’s Club or Costco. Shop online at websites like Amazon.com, and look for the used or refurbished items. Never buy items at retail price, as the cost is usually grossly inflated.

Consider Trading In — Some electronic goods retailers will offer you the option of trading in old electronics for new ones. Not all companies will do so, but there are many national and online electronics stores that will offer you a discounted price if you trade in your old computer, iPod, iPad, or MP3 player. You will be able to get a gift card or voucher towards new items, and you’ll save a lot of money while giving away an old item that you don’t use or need.

Check Craigslist — It may sound silly, but Craigslist can be one of the best places to find used and new electronics at a great price. Many people sell only through Craigslist, and they make a brisk business selling new items at a discount. You can find used items that will be in great condition, though you have to be careful to check out the products before you buy them. Shopping around in your city via Craigslist’s classified ads can be an excellent way to save money on your electronics.

Always Consider Used — Too many teenagers want the latest and greatest, but do they really need it? Used items are often just as good as brand new ones, but the price of these previously-owned items will be much lower. Get your kids accustomed to the idea of spending less money for something that is used, and teach them how to find the best deals on pre-owned electronics.

About Teri

Teri Hardy is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined as well as the founder of Mom Powered Media. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She loves to write, doodle & go, go, go. Control freak, master multi-tasker and shopaholic. Ms. Hardy has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

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  1. Never mind the kids, I want it all!!!!!

  2. rochelle haynes says:


  3. I’m so glad that mine are grown up. Things were expensive enough then!

  4. I will have to keep this in mind for myself since I am hoping to purchase a new laptop for myself soon. The one I have is very slow :(

  5. Maddie K. says:

    Ya know, I never think to look at Craigslist for much of anything, but the kid that lives near me just broke her beloved MP3 player and her parents don’t have the money to purchase her another one. I thought I had an extra one around the house, but alas I cannot find it. Maybe I should check CL to see if I can get her one for not too much money. Good call!!!!

  6. saminder gumer says:

    thanks for the tips. i try to save where ever i can and this will help.

  7. Nice post. Thanks for all the great tips! Electronics can add up quickly

  8. md kennedy says:

    I find great deals on e-bay – never used, maybe one generation behind, and boxes unopened so you know they are OK. Who needs the latest and greatest with all the problems they can have?

  9. Maria Iemma says:

    I’ve encouraged my older kids to tell me in advance what they would like to have so I have time to find a good deal on e-bay or Craiglist

  10. sheila ressel says:

    Thank goodness I don’t have teenagers. I couldn’t afford to buy them all the new gadgets.

  11. Keno Moore says:

    I am using an Big black Dell desk top right now.

  12. Robert KabirClark says:

    I have an old HP clunker. Need an upgrade

  13. christina flynn says:

    Thank you for the useful info! I am always looking for ways to save some money!

  14. I always forget to check Craigslist! Thanks for reminding me.

  15. Alice Cuevas says:

    I’m always trying to find ways to save money but electronics are the hardest for me. Thanks for giving me some tips to save

  16. Chelsea r says:

    We use swagbucks to earn giftcards and always search for online discounts.

  17. cortney walls says:

    These are some really great tips. My son is only 4, so he hasn’t reached the phase where he wants the newest and best of everything yet, but he has special needs, and his teacher encouraged us to get him an ipad this year. We did consider getting a cheaper tablet, but the apps he needed weren’t always avalible, so we went with the smaller (and cheaper) ipad mini.

  18. Susan E. says:

    Great post! We’ve gotten excellent prices on refurbished items. Not just tech but household items as well. And they’ve been just as good as brand new ones.

  19. Ashley Parks says:

    You are right about the need to teach children to be content with the computer/electronics they have. I have wondered why my 7 year old nephew needs his own ipad and why my, then, 10 year old nephew needed his own iphone (which he took to school and lost a week after getting it… and was bought a new one after that)! I do feel like it is important in our technology-based society for children to know how to use the technology around them… but, often I don’t understand why they “need” the lastest and greatest thing out there.

  20. Karen Glatt says:

    I have gotten really great video games on Craig’s list some brand new at cheap prices. I have also found video game systems at yard sales for barely any money. I always look around to find the cheapest deals!

  21. Nancy Hilderbrand says:

    I have to agree with kids being happy with what they have. Have them take care of their gadgets and they can buy more when they make money.

  22. Mary L Cottingham says:

    I find the best deal on tech toys is the points program on my credit card. The GCs for Best Buy have a relatively low point to value conversion rate… and it is not money out of my checking account.

  23. Kelly Powell says:

    Thanks for the tips!!!

  24. Charlene says:

    I would love to have all the latest gadgets but even buying at a discount I can’t afford it. Then you have to pay to have the ability to use the internet. It’s just too much.

  25. md kennedy says:

    Although e-Bay is a good place for deals, you know what? Kids don’t need the latest and greatest, andneither do adults. We need to set the example!

  26. Craigslist is one of my favorite places to buy used anything. Prices tend to be better than eBay or other similar sites, and you don’t have to worry about paying shipping.

  27. My kids already use all of your ideas to save money but I’m glad your giving this information to others.

  28. Laura Lane says:

    Parents need all the help they can get with kids and gadgets!

  29. Marisa King says:

    Great tips, will try to use them.

  30. Thanks for these tips, I found them really useful. :)

  31. Deborah D says:

    These are really great tips. Some I thought of others are brand new.

  32. Good call on the coupons. There is almost always a coupon when buying online! I always check Retail Me Not before making a purchase, and then do a good ol’ Google search :)

  33. Kimberly Frazee says:

    The tips here are remarkable on how to save money on your lil ones needs. Id never known that some companys allow tradins and even that google, amazon or overstock.com would except coupons. I love these tips and will help so much in the future Thank You

  34. crystal smith says:

    I completely agree with all of your tips; Ive bought a couple of refurbished electronics (my last cell phone was refurbished) and they worked (and looked) perfectly. I didn’t realize that places like Sams Club and Costco also offered electronics at a better price- I’ll have to check them out!

  35. Susan Smith says:

    Thanks for the tips, I buy electronics on Ebay and always get a good deal.

  36. Krystal Waters says:

    Thanks for the great tips, I’ll have to search for coupons codes. I saw an advertisement for Target that said they are taking a trade in on some electronics.

  37. Michelle S says:

    My husband thinks I’m weird and rolls his eyes, but why pay full retail price in the first place when you know the price will eventually go down.

  38. I second craigslist, but also suggest reaching out to facebook friends, etc. I am usually surprised who has an item I need that is willing to sell it to me on the cheap.

  39. Maureen G says:

    I agree – consider buying used. Its like buying cars – let someone else incur the big costs,

  40. Nichole miller shamblin says:

    I love saving money with coupons, buying used, clearance and online freebies!

  41. Michelle McCulloch says:

    Thanks for the information..most of it i already knew but its always good to have a reminder.

  42. We’ve been buying used electronics items for a couple of years now. It’s a wonderful way to save money and I was happy to see it on your list.

  43. Thanks so much for the wonderful tips!

  44. mary ortiz says:

    loved reading all these ideas on this article of spending money on electronics for kids. Make sure they know how to appreciate it before you purchase something expensive so they learn the lesson of responsibility.

  45. These are some wonderful tips. As a family we decided a few years ago that we were always going to buy used, unless we HAD to do otherwise. The kids seem to deal with the fact that they don’t have newest gadgets or game systems, which is great for me since they seem to update each year. We have been able to save a lot of money purchasing from garage sales, thrift stores, freecycle in our home town, etc. The quality has never suffered. I would never have thought about looking on Craigslist, so I appreciate the new avenue.

  46. Sherry Compton says:

    For things like video games, buying preowned is often the best choice. New games are coming out all the time. Kids want them but often don’t know what they are really like. It’s best to either rent them first or try to get a good used one. This way you don’t waste a lot of money if they find out it wasn’t what they wanted.

    I always try to watch for discounts and quick deals. Amazon has a lot, but watch for prices – they change often on sale items.

  47. Erica Ardali says:

    I am a believer in shopping on Amazon, I find great deals every time I shop there

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