Skip to content

9 Ways to Use Technology to Save on Technology

Cut your tech costs and use your smartphone to do it

  • Dont overpay for cables.
    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.

    1 of 10
  • Cheap can be a mistake. Cut-rate ear buds or headphones produce a poor quality sound,
    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. 

    2 of 10
  • Budget recommendations from the pros. Websites such as and
    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.

    3 of 10
  • Know the best time to buy Tech.
    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.

    4 of 10
  • Seven Ways to Save More - pay with cash

    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. 

    5 of 10
  • Book last minute hotel rooms via smartphone.
    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.

    6 of 10
  • 911 always works. You can call 911 on any cellphone
    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. 

    7 of 10
  • Get more life out of inkjet cartridges.
    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.

    8 of 10
  • Free music speaker. If you listen to music on your phone but don¹t want to buy an amplifier to boost the quality of the sound, use a cup
    Photo by Sam Kaplan

    9. Free music "speaker"

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

    9 of 10
  • 99 Great Ways To Save. Tips from 23 Experts that can save you thousands of dollars.
    10 of 10

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.

Spend less on your daily expenses, car, travel, insurance, taxes, groceries, shopping and more

AARP In Your State

Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.