Save Up to $5,000 on Your Tech Tools

Another option, Hulu.com, offers thousands of episodes of hundreds of different popular TV shows and it's free. You just have to watch a few commercials, just like ... when you watch TV.

Netflix now offers a $100 set-top box that allows you to instantly watch hundreds of movies and TV shows instead of waiting for the DVD in the mail.

Still clinging to your cable remote? Check out the Web site cancelcable.com. It has a show-finder tool to help you find a way to watch your favorite shows using one of the methods above.

So instead of paying the U.S. average of $60 a month for cable, you pay nothing.

Yearly savings? $720.

CDs and DVDs

So many people just download one song at a time these days, but there are times when you want to own the album, check out the cover art, see whom the band thanked. And there are certain movies people like to watch again and again.

So here's what you do. Check out sites like swapacd.com and swapadvd.com, where you trade with other people for the cost of postage. You get credits for whatever you send out, so you don't have to make a direct swap with another individual.

I turned in a Christina Aguilera CD, a Louis Armstrong CD, a CD that shall remain nameless because it was a gift that I hated and a couple of other really obscure ones.

In exchange, I got Coldplay, Rascal Flatts, The Wallflowers and a Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald duets album. Fabulous!

For DVDs, I unloaded two movies that I had already watched and got Season 1 of "Grey's Anatomy," as well as "Erin Brockovich" and "Sleepless in Seattle."

If you were going to buy all this music and these movies new, it would cost you $88.

By swapping, I paid $8.

That's an $80 savings.

Video Games

Amazingly, many librarians across the country have gone over to the dark side. Yes, many public libraries now carry video games, including hip, modern ones such as "Guitar Hero" and "Call of Duty IV." So if you would normally spend $100 on two or three new games a year, you can play them for free instead, and master more games.

GRAND TOTAL

So what's our final tally? If you were able to put all these money-saving tips into practice, you could save $4,814.50 in a year.

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