Reducing the costs of media

I love media. I read lots of books and watch a ton of movies. I’m always looking for ways to save on these. Here are some tips to get your media at a lower cost:

Check out your local library. It’s amazing the stuff they have. I’ve borrowed best sellers, new DVD releases and even books on tape. Our local library even has audio books available for download online. Some libraries are definitely better than others but most libraries have an inter-loan program, so if they don’t have the book you are looking for, they’ll get it for you from another library. If there is a best seller you just have to read and the library doesn’t have it yet, some libraries will allow you to purchase it for the library (usually at 50% off list price). You get to read it first and you can write off the donation. It’s good for you and the library.

Check out online rental services like Netflix, Blockbuster Online and GameFly. We subscribe to Netflix and it saves us a ton of money. Before we subscribed we purchased a ton of movies. Since getting the subscription over two years ago, we’ve only purchased a handful of DVDs. We’ve also found that we go to the movies less since we have a big screen TV. We just wait for it to come out on DVD.

Join a swap group. I’m a member of Paperbackswap.com. I listed all my old books and put up a list of books I want to read. When a member is looking for a book, you get an email and mail them the book. You get credits for each book you mail. You can use the credits to get books from other members. Paperbackswap also has two sister sites, CDswap and DVDswap. Both work on the same premise. With paperbacks costing at least 7.99 each, I’ve saved a lot of money on this site.

Tag sales and flea markets are also great ways to pick up media. People sell books, CD’s and DVD’s for a small fraction of retail.

If you must purchase new, it’s almost always cheaper to buy online. I never pay full price for books I must have. Sites like amazon.com and overstock.com are great places to pick up books, movies and more. I never go to the bookstore anymore.

How do you save on your media purchases? I’m always looking for suggestions.

EDIT: I forgot a great source for books: used book stores. My husband reads a lot of books on ancient cultures and art. These books are really expensive to purchase new. Over the weekend we purchased three books with a retail value of approximately $200 for $37. It’s also a great place to find unique books.

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