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9 Ways to Use Technology to Save on Technology

Cut your tech costs and use your smartphone to do it

  • Photo by Sam Kaplan

    1. Don't overpay for cables

    En español | Michael Calore, Wired Senior Editor
    Shop at or at AmazonBasics to buy off-brand phone chargers or connector cables. They work as well as those from Apple or other brand names.

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  • Photo by Sam Kaplan

    2. Don't throw away money on inferior earbuds

    Cut-rate listening devices produce poor sound quality, causing people to turn up the volume and potentially damage their hearing. Good earbuds can be found for $30, but serious music lovers might want to invest more on headphones. 

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  • Photo by Sam Kaplan

    3. Get expert budget picks

    Websites like, and review home tech gear. Along with their top-rated items, they usually include a budget pick.

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  • Photos by Sam Kaplan

    4. Know the best time to buy tech

    TVs, Blu-ray players and cameras go on sale during the year-end holidays. Computer prices drop in late spring. Older Apple products often get discounted when new versions hit the store, usually in the fall.

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    5. Don't buy a 4K TV yet

    Prices have come down for these super-high resolution televisions, but they still cost $1,500 and up for top models, and there is still too little content available for watching. Instead, buy a quality HDTV for $500 to $800. 

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  • Photo by Sam Kaplan

    6. Book last-minute hotel rooms via your smartphone

    David Pogue, Founder of Yahoo Tech. Rooms will be cheaper than reserving through a personal computer, as hotels deeply discount a few days in advance to lure in mobile guests.

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  • Photo by Sam Kaplan

    7. 911 always works

    You can call 911 on any cellphone, even if it has no cellular plan. Those who want a cellphone just for emergencies can use a phone that is out of service. Just keep it charged. 

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  • Photo by Sam Kaplan

    8. Keep ink flowing

    An ink-jet cartridge that you think is empty might just be blocked with dry ink. Remove the cartridge and heat it with a hair dryer, then see if it works.

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  • Photo by Sam Kaplan

    9. Free music "speaker"

    Insert your cellphone—speaker first—into a mug and enjoy the increased volume and richness.

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Video: Save 50% or More on Smartphone Accessories

Michael Calore, Senior Editor of WIRED Magazine, share his favorite tip for saving money on smartphone accessories like chargers and cables.

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