I am a die-hard media consumer. For me, the Internet is a never-ending source of information on any topic that catches my interest at the moment. But I also love to read books, magazines, and newspapers. I have a soft spot for apps and music as well. My husband is a movie lover. He’ll watch just about anything once, even if it looks like it cost $100 to make and is subtitled in English. The movies he loves, he’ll watch dozens of times. For our family, media consumption has the potential to be a real budget buster. If you’re a media consumer, here are a few tips to help you save some cash while feeding your need.
Tips for Saving Money on Books, Magazines, Newspapers, and Movies
- The number one tip for saving money on any type of media is to visit your local library. Even without a library card, you can read books, magazines, and newspapers for free in the comfort of your local library – for free. With a library card, you can check out and request nearly any title if your library participates in an exchange consortium with other libraries. You can download just released music albums (for free), listen to an audio book on your iPod or MP3 player, or access the Internet from your own laptop or use a library-provided PC without paying a penny.
- If you’re a big book reader, and don’t mind reading digital texts, the Amazon Prime membership is a deal that can’t be beat. Among other benefits, Amazon’s Prime membership allows you to download thousands of books to your digital device without paying for the content. If you prefer printed books, a Prime membership gives you special discounts on shipping as well. You also get a free subscription to the Wall Street Journal, if newspapers are your thing. You also get access to streaming movies for free from Amazon’s website. For $79 a year, it’s a great deal.
- If you have an eBook app on your smartphone or tablet, you can find several apps for finding and downloading free eBooks. Both the Kindle and iBooks apps have selections of eBooks for free.
- Share a subscription with a friend or neighbor. If you don’t want to spend a small fortune on the local newspaper, consider sharing a subscription with a trusted friend or neighbor. Split the cost, and read the paper when the other is finished. It’s also a great excuse to see your friend, which will deeper your relationship with the person you’re sharing the subscription with.
- Subscribe to an online edition of your favorite magazine or newspaper. You can often get these subscriptions for less than print editions, and some publications also online versions for free.
- Create a media co-op in your neighborhood and swap books, movies, and magazines with others to refresh your library for less.
- Check resale shops and pawn shops. These stores often offer new or like-new DVDs for $2-3, and often carry fairly new releases. You can even pick up an MP3 player, tablet, or eBook reader for far less than you would pay for a new device (just make sure it works before leaving the store).
What’s your favorite way to save on books, movies, music, apps, magazines, and newspapers?