Hello everyone! As you all know, gaming is a big part of my life and I love experiencing stories through this medium, while also enjoying games that are more about gameplay and don’t necessarily focus on a story (but usually feature a story mode of some kind). This year I’ve challenged myself to never buy a game at full price and I wanted to share why and how I do this.
How the #BuyNothingNew Challenge inspired me
This year my fiancé Bren challenged herself to not buy anything new, sans essential things that you can’t get second hand. But stuff like clothing, plant pots, etc, she’s buying second hand. I really admire her for accepting this challenge and it really isn’t easy either. Her accepting this challenge got me thinking: “What can I do to not only save myself some money, but also the environment?” Because that’s what this challenge is really all about.
So much new products are produced every year, while there’s already so much stuff around that is still perfectly usable and this is an enormous problem for our planet. As people just keep buying new stuff, discarding them much quicker than before and just keep on consuming. It’s one of the big challenges we face as Humanity if we want to live in a sustainable way and Bren is doing her share by not consuming newly produced items.
How to game on a budget
You probably know this scenario when you’re an avid gamer, or reader. Your wishlist is long and your backlog is continually growing and you just keep buying new stuff. Some of these games you will spend great deals of time on, while others may never even be booted up. You just bought them because “You really want to play them somewhere down the line.” My initial thought was that I wouldn’t allow myself to buy any new games until I finished one or two from my backlog. This is something I’m still doing, but no matter how small or big your backlog is, sometimes there’s just nothing there you’re in the mood for and a new game you’ve been eyeing could fill a certain gaming need. If you’re in the mood for an RPG and your backlog only features Metroidvania’s, or puzzle games, you just really want to get your hands on a good RPG. So, how do I know where to look for the best bargains? There is really only one answer, if I’m being honest and it’s a great website!
One of the very best methods if you’re a Nintendo Switch owner is to check Deku Deals. Ever since I heard of this website, I’m a regular visitor. If you create an account you can add all the games you have in your collection and you can create a wishlist. It then sends you notifications whenever an item on your wishlist is on sale. This website has saved me a TON of money. On the other hand Deku Deals is also a bit tricky, because whenever you look up a game it also lists suggestions and this has caused my wishlist to grow exponentially. On the other hand, this also gives you a lot of options to get games dirt cheap.
Especially the Nintendo eShop has been known to give deals with discounts going all the way to 95%! For instance, one of the games I bought dirt cheap was This War of Mine which only cost me € 1.99, thanks to a 95% discount. I never would have known about this game without Deku Deals and I never would have known about this website if it wasn’t for my favourite Nintendo related news website Nintendo Life, which has been a regular daily visit for me since it started!
Of course, there are other options for getting games cheap. It’s always good to Google your most wanted games and check webshops that are known to have good prices on games. For instance, here in the Netherlands one of my favourite videogame shops is Nedgame. They offer most new games at a lower price than the standard retail price and they often have sales too. Bol.com also has good deals on games if you keep an eye on their sales. I recently bought Metroid Dread for only 33 euros, which is a hefty discount for a Nintendo game.
Thank you Samus, for helping me hunt your latest game down for such a good price!
Another good method is looking at second hand games. A lot of people will sell off games they finished and typically you can find games that have been released only a couple of weeks ago a lot cheaper second hand. Personally, I don’t do this very often, but it’s definitely a good way of getting relatively new games. I am doing it to complete my collection, however. The problem there is that most of the older games are a lot more expensive, rather than cheap, because they’ve become collector’s items by now. Which is why I am trying to get my hands on as much 3DS and Wii U games as I can, with the closure of their eShops looming next year in March 2023. I remain a collector at heart!
Saving money is a fun sport
Besides having more money left over to save and still getting a fair share of new games in my collection, I’m really finding it rewarding to hunt down the best deals and bargains for videogames. So much so that it’s become a real sport by now to find a hidden gem at a low price. Especially when it’s a physical game I often feel a sense of accomplishment when I get my hands on a new game. As I mentioned before the fact that I managed to get Metroid Dread for only 34 Euros felt like a major victory to me. Nintendo isn’t known to discount their own games and apparently I just got lucky with a company who wanted to get rid of their stock. Patience pays when it comes to hunting down a good deal and knowing when to strike and that in itself is a wonderful game 😉
By the way, one of the best features of Deku Deals is that it shows you how much your collection is worth, but most importantly how much money you saved! Since the Nintendo Switch released 5 years ago, my average spending on videogames is about € 323,70 a year, which comes to about € 26,97 a month. That’s not a lot, right? 😉
I hope this blog was of use to you and hope you find inspiration to save yourself some money. Do you have any tips for me? Please let me know in the comment section below!
Categories: Columns, Mindset, videogames
Jeffrey, Your “Gaming on a Budget” is most admirable!!! And I like the connection to you & Bren approaching purchasing second hand things when possible as part of your effort to save our environment! Phil
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Hi Phil! Bren and I are both looking not only to save the environment, but also save ourselves some money while we’re doing it. We consider it a big win if we can do both 🙂
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