How to Get a TV for Cheap – 7 Ways to Get Deals on a New Television

TVs and many other electronics are interesting because as quality has steadily improved over the years, prices have dropped. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price index for TVs decreased by 94% between 1997 and 2015.

In other words, TVs become more affordable every year despite continuous upgrades and new features.

However, if you’re buying a new TV, you still need to be somewhat price-conscious. The latest plasma or LCD TV models still set you back several hundred dollars or more. Like other major purchases, it’s important to ensure you buy the right TV that has the right balance between price and features.

Thankfully, there are several ways to get the best deal on a new TV to help keep costs down. As long as you give yourself enough time to shop and keep these strategies in mind, your next TV upgrade shouldn’t drain your wallet.

The Best Ways to Save Money on a New TV

Buying a new TV isn’t going to be cheap. Ultimately, screen size, features, and brand influence prices the most. If you’re set on a specific size and type of TV, your savings will only go so far.

However, there’s no reason to pay full price for a new TV, regardless of the size and type you buy. Implement one or more of the following money-saving tips the next time you decide to upgrade your TV to keep more money in your wallet.

1. Shop Online

It might seem daunting to buy a new TV online. After all, you probably want to see it in person to help visualize what it would look like in your home.

However, one of the easiest ways to save on a new TV is to buy online. Shopping online saves time, and if you use shopping browser extensions, it’s easy to comparison shop to ensure you’re getting the lowest possible price.

For example, extensions like PriceBlink tracks product prices across thousands of retailers. If you’re shopping for a new TV, PriceBlink notifies you if there’s a better deal on a different website for instant savings.

To take your savings further, use extensions like Capital One Shopping and Honey. Both extensions automatically apply coupon codes at checkout to help you save money.

Plus, you can earn free gift cards with both extensions for shopping at specific retail partners. If you’re buying a high-ticket item like a TV, a single coupon code can go a long way in your efforts to save money.

Finally, online tech deal sites are also worth checking to find low prices on TVs and other electronics. For example, websites like Newegg and SlickDeals often have TV discounts that can shave off a significant portion of your price tag.

Buying a new TV online is also less stressful if you do your research. Room size matters for screen size, so measure the area you plan to set up your TV to gauge if you’re buying the right size. TV buying guides can also help you decide on your screen size based on how far away your seating is from the TV and how crowded the room is.

Finally, read reviews for any TV you’re considering. If you’re concerned, you can also check out the TV you’re considering in-store before placing your order online.

2. Use a Cash-Back Credit Card

Buying a new TV is a considerable expense. Additionally, if your new TV purchase is part of a home improvement project or move, you probably have other major expenses alongside your new tech.

Using a cash-back credit card for everyday purchases is a savvy move. However, for large expenses, credit cards are even more lucrative.

Plus, credit cards often have introductory bonuses if you spend a certain amount of money within the first few months of becoming a cardholder. If you take advantage of a bonus while TV shopping, you’re making the most of your money.

Several popular cash-back credit cards worth considering include:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: No annual fee; earn $200 when you spend $500 within the first three months; 5% cash back at grocery stores; unlimited 1.5% on most other purchases; up to $500 in purchase protection for 120 days. Read our Chase Freedom Unlimited review for more information.
  • U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: No annual fee; earn $150 when you spend $500 within the first three months; 5% cash back up to $2,000 on two categories of your choice, which can include electronics; 1% to 2% cash back on everything else. Read our U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card review for more information.
  • Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi: Requires a Costco membership; 4% cash back on first $7,000 in eligible gas purchases; unlimited 3% cash back on travel and restaurant spending, unlimited 2% cash back on Costco purchases; unlimited 1% cash back on everything else; purchase protection against loss or damage for up to 90 to 120 days. Read our Costco Anywhere Visa Card review for more information.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is ideal if you want to take advantage of an easy $200 sign-up bonus. However, depending on how expensive your new TV is, 5% cash back from the U.S. Bank Cash+ card and sign-up bonus might earn more.

Finally, shopping at Costco to save money is already a smart move; if you do electronics shopping at Costco, sweeten the deal by signing up for their Anywhere Visa card to earn 2% cash back.

3. Tread Carefully with Extended Warranties

Extended warranties are protection plans you can purchase to cover damage and defects. You commonly find extended warranty plans for consumer electronics, vehicles, mobile phones, and even home warranty plans.

On paper, extended warranties might seem like they’re worth it. After all, if you buy a new TV or other expensive product, your first instinct is to insure yourself against damage and disappointment down the line.

However, according to Consumer Reports, extended warranties for electronics are almost never worth the cost. We tend to overestimate the likelihood our tech products will fail, and there are several other considerations to keep in mind:

  • Manufacturer Warranties. Tech products usually have some form of manufacturer warranty to protect against defects. Most warranties last for 90 days, which might suffice for protecting your purchase against defects and damage.
  • Store Policies. Big box retailers generally have lenient return policies that cover product malfunctions or defects. Some stores even let you return products without any real reason, provided they aren’t damaged. For example, Walmart lets you return TVs within 30 days and provides a refund for damaged or defective products. Therefore, extended warranties aren’t needed to protect yourself against out-of-the-box defects.
  • Term Length. Companies sell extended warranties to profit, which isn’t in customers’ best interests. Many extended warranty plans last one to two years, but the bulk of technical issues you encounter will probably occur long after this time frame. In other words, extended warranties on electronics is buying protection for the least risky period of ownership.

If you want to maximize your savings when buying a new TV, you should almost always skip the warranty.

4. Consider Older Models

Like most tech products, TVs improve every year with the release of new models. Resolutions of 4K become 8K, screen sizes get larger, and picture quality sharpens. For true technophiles and cinema lovers, the latest models are undeniably a cause for excitement.

However, part of TV shopping involves considering the diminishing returns on your spending. Do you really need the latest TV model, largest screen, and sharpest resolution that’s on the market? Depending on your room, viewing habits, and budget, buying an older TV model is often how you get the most value.

Even buying a year-old model can make a significant difference on price. Plus, modern TVs have come a long way compared to their heavy, clunky predecessors. Smart TVs that are a few years old still work with streaming services and devices.

Until a truly revolutionary line of TVs release, slightly older models will suffice for most viewers — and can save you hundreds of dollars.

5. Shop at The Right Time

For major purchases, timing sometimes means a significant difference in savings. Retailers price products differently based on demand and season, and TVs are no different. Therefore, if you’re planning to spend a few hundred dollars or more on a new TV, it might be best to hold off.

Historically, TV deals are most popular during two events: Black Friday and the Super Bowl. Black Friday is especially popular for TV shopping because almost every major retailer will offer a discount on electronics. Super Bowl deals are less common, but they’re worth keeping an eye on.

The best way to take advantage of a sale is to research presale prices at least a few weeks before the sale begins. Retailers are crafty, and sometimes your sale price is actually the same or more expensive than regular pricing because retailers first raise the base price to make a “sale” seem more appealing.

If you shop on Black Friday for the holidays, this is especially important because these faux sales are rampant. Following the price of the TV you want in the month leading up to Black Friday can help you spot a real bargain.

If you’re buying from Amazon, you can use the CamelCamelCamel extension to track Amazon prices and view price history for millions of products. Similarly, Honey and Capital One Shopping let you set up price tracking alerts on products to receive notifications when a product you’re interested in drops in price.

New TV models usually release in spring, so this is another ideal time to buy older TV models. Ultimately, if you give yourself enough runway, you can buy a new TV at a low price point for easy savings.

6. Use Reward Websites and Apps

Comparison-shopping websites or daily deal websites are useful for finding discounts. However, sometimes cash-back reward websites offer the greatest chance to save.

Rakuten is one popular option that pays you cash back for shopping at their partners. Creating a Rakuten account is free, and you simply visit Rakuten before shopping online to find opportunities to earn cash back.

In terms of TVs and electronics, notable Rakuten partners include:

  • Best Buy: Up to 1% cash back
  • TV Store Online: 7.5% cash back
  • Staples: 2% cash back
  • Office Depot: 2% cash back
  • Overstock: 4% cash back

Cash-back rewards are subject to change. Luckily, Rakuten partners with thousands of retailers, and there’s always an opportunity to earn cash back on your next electronics purchase. Rakuten also has online coupon codes, although cash back is where the platform shines.

If you can’t find deals on Rakuten, various reward apps are also worth trying. Apps like Drop pay you in free gift cards for shopping through the app at specific partners. Drop partners with plenty of big box retailers, making it easy to find TV deals.

Similarly, Dosh is another rewards app that automatically pays you cash back for shopping through its partners. Once you link your credit and debit cards to Dosh, you never have to worry about preselecting offers before shopping, and Dosh also partners with plenty of major U.S. retailers.

If you combine these rewards with shopping at the right time of year and other savvy tricks, you can get a new TV for much less than full price.

7. Consider Cheaper Brands

With electronics, you largely get what you pay for. Whether you’re shopping for noise-canceling headphones, a laptop, or a new TV, going for the cheapest option sometimes has consequences for performance and longevity.

If you’re buying a new TV for your home theater or family room, spending more on a premium brand and model might be worth it. However, if you just need a TV for watching the hockey game in your garage or for sending with your kid back to college, you don’t need to splurge on a leading brand.

Cheaper TV brands like Vizio and Insignia can get the job done without draining your wallet. You can also shop for refurbished electronics if you find a reputable seller and understand the warranty that comes with the TV.

Final Word

Like most electronics, TVs feel like something we need to update every few years. New models come out, screen sizes get larger, and it seems like upgrades are an inevitability.

There’s nothing wrong with buying a new TV or even splurging on a recent model with the latest specs. However, you should never pay full price for a new TV, especially if you’re on a tight budget and are trying to maximize your savings rate.

Additionally, consider the diminishing returns on your spending before making your next upgrade. New TVs are a luxury, but there comes a point at which spending more doesn’t necessarily increase enjoyment.


How to Keep Your Budget in Check this Holiday Season

Ah, the holidays. Amid the cheer, festive gatherings with loved ones, and stress from the inevitable craziness, if not careful, they could put a serious dent on your credit cards. While it’s certainly not news that the holidays happen every year, they do have a way of unexpectedly creeping up on us.

However, with a bit of prep, you can avoid those cringeworthy “overspend” moments, and avoid suffering from holiday debt hangover. Here are some ways to keep your spending in check this time around:

Create a Holiday Spending Plan

You may have a budget, or spending plan, for your your day-to-day living expenses. Create a spending plan for holiday-related expenses to see how much you’ll need saved up. This may include traveling to see family, gifts, cards, gift card, party attire for get-togethers, and pet or kid care while you’re out.

Next, estimate how much you roughly need for each expense. I have an spreadsheet just for gifts. For each person I’ll note a few gift-giving ideas plus my spending limit. That way I don’t buy something nilly-willy, and in turn spend more than you I can ultimately afford.

Reduce the Obligations

The holidays are oftentimes a mix of obligations and stuff you enjoy doing. For instance, purchasing a gift for that less-than-pleasant relative you only see once a year, or attending your company party when you’d rather nest at home, feel like obligations. But if you love to bake, then making pound cake for your coworkers is a delightful task.

Jot down what are things you feel you need to do, and things you need to do. You could separate them into “fun” and “no fun” lists. Then go over the “obligations” list to see what you can appropriately nix. If you can’t forgo the obligation completely, figure out a way to bump down the investment of time or money.

For instance, do you really need to buy individual gifts for your uncle, aunt, and their five kids? Or will a single gift for the entire family do? Or do you have to attend every holiday-related gathering, or can you be more selective?

Over the years I’ve set a no-gift rule for my friends. Instead, we plan to get together for a low-key gathering. And I’m trying to gently nudge my family to skip gift-giving altogether (swapping gift cards or cash is kind of silly) and go on a day trip instead. Not only does this save you money, but it cuts down on the stress.

Side Hustle

If you expect an end-of-year-bonus or cash gifts during the holidays, consider taking on extra work. This is only if you have the time and energy to do it. The end of year is usually a busy time, so if moonlighting will only stress you out even more, don’t do it. In the past I’ve catsat and test proctored in December, which boosted my income by $600 or so. While it doesn’t seem like a huge amount of money, it helped me stay out of holiday debt. Plus, when I was catsatting I was still about to do a lot of my work and get my holiday tasks taken care of.

If you decide to side hustle during the holidays, think of low-stress, easy, and fun jobs you could take on. For instance, if you already have kids, maybe watching another kid or two at your home won’t feel like that much extra work. Or if you love animals, take on pet sitting gigs.

Start Your Shopping Early

If you can, try to finish before Black Friday, recommends Kristen Ricupero, a financial coach and owner of Financial Fitness Coaching. “Black Friday deals tempt you to buy things you don’t need, for yourself at a time we should be giving,” says Ricupero. “If you watch carefully, there are generally just as good sales running September to Thanksgiving.”

My mom, the expert deal-spotter she is, swoops in on deals all year long. And by November she has gifts for almost everyone on her list accounted for.

Get Resourceful

There are a plenty of ways to save on your holiday spending without making major lifestyle changes. Shop in your closet, and see if you can add a fresh spin on a fancy dress or holiday party-appropriate suit. Sometimes all it takes are fun earrings, a festive tie pair of cufflinks to breath new life into an initially drab ensemble.

I also am a big fan of using craft paper and holiday ribbons in lieu of standard holiday wrapping paper. And this year I plan to bake up a storm instead of purchasing gifts for my coworking friends and neighbors.

Host a Stuff Swap

Organize a gathering where you can swap unwanted items. You never know, you might find some great stocking stuffers, gift wrap, cards, or decorations that will save you some dough. I’m part of a local Time Bank, where we offer help in exchange for hours, and a Buy Nothing Project group, where we give things away to our neighbors.

Involve Your Family

If you have a big family, do a White Elephant exchange where each family member brings a gift that’s no more than twenty dollars, suggests Amy Schultz, financial coach and CEO of Financial and Female. Holidays with my extended family resemble that of a daycare operation—there are about 20 kids, plus a swarm of pets running around.

“If you feel the need to buy for all the littles in your life, decide what the total amount you want to spend, then divide by the number of kids,” says Schultz. “If it ends up being five dollars per kid, get creative! You want to avoid setting a budget of $30 per kid only to realize you’ve spent $500 on every kid you know.

Drum Up a Plan for Credit Debt Repayment

If you’ve done all you can to keep your holiday spending in check, but fear you might still need to accrue a bit of credit card debt, first off, accept it. Don’t beat yourself up over it. While it’s not ideal, it’s worse if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing and go hog-wild. But if you’re going to put a few purchases on your credit card, set a limit, and commit to a repayment plan after the holidays.

By preparing now, you can avoid going overboard with the spending. And what better way to ring in the new year than by being free of holiday debt?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Intuit Inc, Mint or any affiliated organization. This blog post does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.
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