I make it no secret that I love video games. Now I don’t believe in letting a love of video games become an addiction. I’ve known plenty of video game addicts in my time and I can tell you it’s not healthy. But the Mister and I love gaming together, and keeping it in balance with rest of life. It’s recreation and together time and we keep it that way.


Part of keeping everything in balance is also being thrifty with our gaming. Video games and systems are not cheap! It’s not responsible to break the bank for something that is meant only for recreation. So here are my tips for keeping gaming thrifty.


1. You don’t need that new game system right away! Seriously you don’t. We almost never buy anything right when it comes out. In fact we often buy a game system only after the new version has been released. It’s not about having the newest and coolest toy! By waiting for the next version you can take advantage of the price plunge on the old one. An added bonus: you get to see all the games that came out for the old system and decide if you even want to play them. A system is only worth buying if you want to play the games that come out for it. So wait!    


2. Wait for a sale and don’t be afraid to price match. We wait for a sale and strike while the iron is hot. And here’s a tip, use a stores price match system! If you find a great sale but the store is sold out take the ad to another store and have them price match it. We once got Pokemon Rumble Blast for the 3DS for ten bucks. Yep that’s right, a $40 game for $10. One store had the amazing sale and, no surprise, sold out right away. We simply took the circular ad to another store and got the same deal. Lot’s of stores have price matching. Target, Best Buy, and Walmart are our three top picks.


3. Buy used. I am a fan of second hand for just about anything. We have scored some amazing deals buying used games at thrift stores and pawn shops. We also have the added bonus of having a used gaming store close by. We also check the pre-owned section at GameStop before we ever look at the new ones. Why pay more for the same game? Especially if it’s a game you’re not sure you will like. Just be careful that what you are buying is in good condition. And always check the used price against the new price to make sure you are getting a good deal.   


4. Splurge once in a while! Sometimes there is a game or a system you are super excited for and you know you will love it. We did not wait when we found the limited edition Pikachu 3DS, we bought that puppy! It’s also nice to have something new and shiny. (Seriously, bragging rights are fun.) The occasional splurge can also make it easier to be thrifty. It’s ok to treat yourself, just make sure it really is just once in a while and not a habit. Don’t spend money you don’t have for something you don’t need. If you splurge make sure you have the money to do it and you are in agreement with your family. No game or system, no matter how amazing it is, is worth a fight or going into debt.             

Thrifty Gaming

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