Style > Best Bargains Package
A Bite Out of Apple
The online Apple store, at apple.com, sells refurbished Macs, most for up to 30 percent below list price. A MacBook 13.3-inch laptop was $849 refurbished; a similar model sells for $1,099 retail. Refurbished computers come with the same software, manuals, cables, and one-year warranty as new Macs.
More Savings That Compute
Mac owners can join Washington Apple Pi (wap.org) for advice. You can even take your misbehaving Mac to a WAP Tuesday-night clinic and a volunteer will repair it. A donation of about $25 an hour is expected. Windows users can get similar help by phone from the Capital PC User Group, cpcug.org.
Saving on Software
Home-computer users often buy software more sophisticated and complicated than they need. Check out products designed for personal rather than professional use. For example, Photoshop is essential for professional designers, but Photoshop Elements or Acorn or Pixelmator all cost less than $100 and work well for the casual user.
Tuning in a TV Deal
TVs come in so many makes and models that it’s hard to figure out what’s a deal. PriceGrabber.com compares prices on the same model from different Web retailers; the site also includes reviews of the TVs and the retailers. Most prices include free shipping.