Stretching Your Holiday (Gaming) Dollars

Who isn’t looking to save a buck this holiday season—or stretch the almighty American dollar to its absolute limit?

To do so doesn’t mean you have to cut corners or pretend you’re going out of town so you can take advantage of post-holiday sales to buy presents for friends and loved ones. But with the National Retail Federation reporting that the average shopper will spend almost $750 on holiday shopping, every little bit helps.

Here are some ways to save that you may not have considered:

•    Subscribe to retailers’ discount apps, coupons and newsletters. Most of your favorite retailer’s offer special mobile apps that you can download for exclusive discounts and offers on specific items, as well as your whole purchase. Others have e-mail newsletters that you can sign up for that include weekly coupons. By having them sent to your phone, there’s no need to print out paper copies.

•    Use the old to buy the new. If you haven’t considered selling or trading in your pre-owned electronics or video games, you’re sitting on easy money. A website like www.BuyMyTronics.com will pay you by PayPal or check for products as old as a clunky Sidekick, while the gaming retail giant GameStop (www.gamestop.com) gives you cold, hard cash or trade-in credits for popular video games and systems, as well as iPods, iPads and iPhones for you or someone on your list.

•    Build a basket. With CNN Money noting that even the wealthy are not above shopping at discount stores, consider hitting the racks and creating a basket of beauty filled with body butter, oils and a thick loofa. The thoughtfulness behind a custom-made basket is sure to go a long way, especially in the wallet.

•    Take advantage of exclusive deals for gamers. GameStop has a special that lets you score any new $59.99 video game—including the latest “Call of Duty: Ghosts”—for just $9.99 by swapping two eligible ones you’ve already beaten, like “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” Check out www.gamestop.com/trade2 for details.

“We believe in giving gamers the opportunity to expand their entertainment experiences, says Ashley Sheetz, the company’s chief marketing officer.

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