Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How to do Christmas on a (very) tight budget: Think used

"A book always keeps something of its owner in between its pages." (Cornelia Funke, Inkheart)

It won't come as a surprise to you that I love books. I come by it genetically, my grandmother, mother, father and sister all love to read. My father started reading to me when I was a child, and I almost always ask my sister to read to me while we drive alone. What can I say, we are a family who loves books!

Today's Christmas shopping on a (very) tight budget is: think used. There are many places were you can get used books: Amazon.com and Half.com are two online retailers that sell used books for a much lower price than new books. There are also used book stores scattered around everywhere; here we have Half-priced Books which is a very nice, very large used book store! Today I bought three books for my sister and only spent $5!

Now, this tip is not recommended for people who are picky about their books. You can often find a used book that is in very good (like new) condition, but I have found that more often than not it is obvious that they are used. My sister couldn't care less, and I couldn't either, but some people might take offense to this, so be careful.

Books aren't the only thing you can buy used, however. My sister loves TV shows, and collects them on DVD. However, have you ever bought a drama on DVD? They typically go for between $40-50! This is a little steep for me, so I like to look for them on Amazon.com too! I get a list from my sister (make sure you know which seasons they need if you are going this route!) and for half that price I can get one, maybe two seasons of her favorite shows. It's the same with movies. If you are worried about your DVDs skipping, buy them from a seller on Amazon that guarantees they will play. Often these are larger sellers who make sure their DVDs are playable before selling them. And don't forget the video games for your video game lovers out there! GameStop is an excellent place to buy used games.

How about you? Have you ever given someone a used book, DVD or game?

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