How to save money buying computer software and video games

By , last updated January 13, 2016

Computer enthusiasts get to buy a lot more computer equipment and video games than any other people.

Sometimes our passion costs huge amounts of money. The last time I spent almost 2 thousand dollars on new hard drives for my pet-PC at home. My wife wasn’t really too thrilled about spending those amounts on hardware, so what she did was to try and minimize the expenses.

We made an agreement that everything she manages to save is hers and will be transferred to her “diamond ring”-account. She really loves shiny and bright rocks… I was really overwhelmed by how much money she got saved so here I’d like to talk about some of the options of saving money while shopping for PC-stuff:

Price match hunting

There are several good services out there that propose to match prices for given products. Just google “price match” or “target price match” and get a ton of links that offer the cheapest match. We bought our disks in Norway and used thus saving almost 200 dollars on brand new 6 TB disks, compared to my favorite store.

Many big online stores like Amazon and others do that already themselves. You just get them to match prices for their biggest competitors online and get the cheapest one.

And a special tip for Steam games – buy them on Amazon!
buy steam games on amazon


Coupons are tickets that can be redeemed for some fixed discount. When you purchase something at one store, you get often coupons and other deals from the store as they will try to make you buy more. Manufactures can also issue coupons for their products.

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There are many special websites specializing in giving you discount coupons. Check out the ones specializing in software, like and you will almost always find something for you.


Vouchers are bonds that have some value and can be used to redeem some of the cost of a purchase. Almost all stores have vouchers of some kind. You can also check out special voucher sites and browse deals in many stores at the same time.

A good advice I got from one of my friends is to check Ebay for PC game vouchers before buying them for full price. Although be careful and remember that you purchase at your own risk. EBay and PayPal don’t have buyer protection when the purchase is a voucher. You could end up with a dud / fake and no way to get your cash back.

Demos and free trials

When it comes to computer software and video games – try to download demos instead of buying full games. Especially if you have young children.

Our son enjoys playing games a lot, but he usually doesn’t get very far before the game becomes too difficult and he loses interest. So, I just download demos for him to play. He will play the same demo levels over and over. This approach won’t work for every kid, and not for every game, but it can be a good way to save some major money.

Shop the sales

Check out different sales in stores, especially after big holidays or just check your favorite stores regularly. Stay informed to save big.

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Another good idea – buy things from last season or model, f.ex buy Windows 7 after Windows 8.


If you have some spare email account where you can gather all the spam at than you can often sign up for newsletters and get many promotional deals from that. They are also good in telling you about sales deals. Although I don’t personally like that type of activities and never sign in on spam letters.

Buy used

Watch out for what you are buying though. Used hardware is always a gamble, unless you’re buying firsthand and are able to test it. Even then, there’s still a chance of failure and you’re stuck with used parts and no way to get your money back.

I wouldn’t go for used hard disks, but used video games can be a really good deal.

Refurbished electronics

These are the items that have been returned to the manufacturer or vendor for various reasons. The main difference between refurbished and use is that refurbished is tested and fixed, while simply used may be a defect and non functional.

Other tips:

  • Make a budget. The best way to control your purchases.
  • Differentiate your purchase. If you are buying several things at the same time, than it’s seldom wise to buy everything together at one place. Although it can be easier, it’s also a business strategy for sellers to sell something really cheap and other items not thus getting what they want as a result.
  • Pay attention to shipping costs. Buying in many different stores may result in big shipping costs. Pay attention to that and try to pick up most of the items by yourself. Another possibility is to take advantage of price matching and pick up all the items at one store (for example by providing them information about the cheapest prices at other stores.
  • Do you really need that thing? Thoughtful is better than expensive. Many of us buy a lot of video games that either never play or don’t enjoy. Read some reviews about what you are going to buy – you can sometimes save up to 100% by not buying what you don’t need!
  • Want to get your PC fixed? Use google, most problems are already somewhere with a solution.
  • Upgrade your hardware instead of buying a new PC
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