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Steam
The Steam website is one of the best online one-stop shops for most PC games.
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updated 2/22/2011 4:04:03 PM ET 2011-02-22T21:04:03

Entertainment can be expensive. Going to the movies, keeping up with new video games that come out in droves every month, and picking through more Blu-ray and DVD releases than you could possibly watch in your lifetime all drain your wallet.

Video games and movies don't have to kill your budget, though. Let's check out some easy ways to save a little cash on your favorite entertainment.

Video game deals
Shopping cheap for video games is easier than ever, thanks to the Internet. Back in the day, you'd have to troll around looking for newpaper circulars or electronic store ads to find the best deals on video games. I don't want to knock the old circulars — they are still easy ways to find some pretty great deals. But nowadays, we have extra ways to save some money.

Cheap A** Gamer (CAG for short) is a great blog that calls to the thriftier side of our minds. Comprehensive and frequently updated, CAG points readers to the best video game deals of the day. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better price than what it shows. CAG has a pretty great track record. Act fast, though, since most deals are limited in quantity or duration. CAG sorts its deals by store, so you can always find the best deals for the retailer closest to you.

Amazon.com has always been a great place to price check the next video game in your purchase queue. Sometimes you can find the game cheaper and with free shipping from Amazon. Amazon sometimes offers bundles of games that other retailers aren't apt to do, making an Amazon shopping experience unique. Check back often, since you never know what deals will happen each day. Saving some money is sometimes about being in the right place at the right time, and Amazon is a great place to do just that without even leaving home.

Steam is the best online one stop shop for most PC games. Over the past few years, Steam has risen to take the mantle of digital distributor for all sorts of games from tons of publishers. In fact, Steam is so well-designed and easy to use that you can find yourself getting lost in all of the choices, spending a couple bucks on a game you never thought you'd play and having the time of your life.

What makes Steam so great is that its deals come frequently. Any given day can be a gangbusters-savings moment for any game on the service, sometimes even fairly new releases. Steam isn't shy with the deals, and if you're a PC gamer, you aren't going anywhere without your Steam ID handy. A game like Magicka, an action-adventure from Paradox Interactive that only costs $10, delivers some great PC gaming fun.

Conveniently, your Steam purchases are tied to your account, meaning that if for some reason you lose your game's installation data, you can easily redownload the game from the service instead of purchasing a new copy. The system knows that you've bought it once — no need to repurchase if you lose the game. Everything is digital, baby!

DVD and Blu-ray deals
Buying DVDs is another way that money can seem to magically teleport out of your wallet and into retailers' hands. However, DVDs and Blu-rays don't have to be a huge monetary hit.

Back in the day, I remember Deep Discount as the premiere place for cheaper DVDs. Nowadays, Deep Discount sells a whole lot more than DVDs and Blu-rays, but it still has some of the best prices around for the original product that made it big. I usually check Deep Discount before going to any other site for DVD and Blu-ray purchases, just to make sure I'm not completely overpaying.

Amazon.com is another great DVD and Blu-ray spot, especially with Amazon's perpetual sales and bundle deals. Spending enough time on Amazon looking for movies and then checking out people's recommended lists and titles will set you way back in terms of movies you've got to see. Getting Netflix seems like a great idea again, huh?

Finally, eBay, the online auction house of yore, is a great venue for previously owned or new-in-package DVDs and Blu-rays. You're always bound to find a DVD still in its wrapping from a seller listing the product a couple of bucks under retail. Just watch out for shipping costs, and even see if you can get free shipping from certain sellers or retailers if you buy multiple movies at once.

There are tons of deals out there, just waiting to for you. Video games and movies can be expensive sometimes, but that doesn't mean you have to settle on paying retail. Newer releases at the big box stores are always discounted their first week or two, so shop early and you might be pleasantly surprised with the fiscal outcome. Trust in the Internet to save you some cash.

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