Finances & Money

And you thought I was cheap! Guess what we bought

For those of you reading my various articles such as Frugal Lunch, Not So Frugal Lunch, and Using Less Shaving Cream, I want to say that I’m willing to spend on something I’ll enjoy. What did we buy a couple weeks ago?

A Nintendo Wii

I was actually surprised that Stacie suggested we get a Wii for our anniversary present, because honestly she gets bored with gaming very quickly (board and video games). However, we’ve had so much fun playing various Wii games with Nick like Mario Party 8 and Super Monkey Ball, that we knew we liked the system. Neither of us are gamers, so the Playstation and Xbox systems aren’t for us (just too many stinkin buttons). Nintendo really got it right with the Wii.

We spent $335 on the purchase, including tax. The system was $250, and we got an extra nunchuk for $20. And thanks to Trent (A Frugal Man and his Wii), I knew to buy the Wii Play pack to get the 2nd controller and 9 more games for not much more than a single controller.

Justifying the Wii

I think Trent’s article explains most of our reasons for buying the Wii. Yes, it is a waste of time, sort of. Stacie isn’t the most coordinated of folks (sorry honey), and playing the simple sports games will help her. I wanted to watch less TV and exercise my brain more, so when I’m not reading for my masters classes, I’ll be renting and playing some of the puzzle games. I’ve already clocked about 16 hours playing Super Paper Mario since Saturday, but very little television.

Ongoing Cost

Games are expensive, yes. But the Blockbuster across the street stocks about 20 Wii games, and each 5 day rental is $8. Once I beat a game, I don’t see a point in keeping it, so why buy it? For party-type games, we can rent one when friends or family visit, but we’d need to plan in advance to make sure the store has one in stock. Lastly, for games I know I’ll take more time on, like Final Fantasy or Tiger Woods Golf, I’ll probably buy it.

Outside of game rentals and purchases, what’s another cost? Well, I think I’d like a nice 50″ flat screen to play the Wii so Stacie can watch TV on the 27″ CRT. Will I get one? I highly doubt it. I’m trying to watch LESS TV, not entice myself to watch more. We don’t have cable anyway, so why would I need to watch The Antiques Road Show on a giant screen?

So for all you haters out there, I’m not cheap. I’d just rather spend my money where I think I’ll get the most enjoyment or value. I do eat out at the food court for lunch most of the week, but I have a method for that as well, and I end up saving about $2-3 compared to my coworkers.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • We recently invested in the Wii as well. It really is revolutionary. I’ve always been a gamer but just like you’ve noticed, it’s gotten everybody in the family playing, including folks that never play video games.

    I also like the pseudo-exercise that kids get instead of just vegging on the couch or in front of the computer screen all day.

  • Dan, thanks a bunch for the link. A classmate mentioned a site, but didn’t know what it was, so Gamefly must be it.

    I don’t think it’s a right fit for us just yet until we find out our playing patterns, so I’ll probably just rent for $8 from Blockbuster when we know we’ll have time to try out the game. It means tacking on $8 to the purchase price if we decide we want to own it, but it could seriously save money and disappointment if we just bought a game because we thought it would look fun.


  • CONGRATS on a great purchase. We love the wii but find our self buying way too many games.. They’re all just so fun to play.

    You can also rent games from if you think it will take you longer than the 5 days to beat it.

    Its a bit more expensive but you get to keep the game as long as you want.

  • […] Dude reviews their family’s recent purchase of the Wii gaming system.  I have to say that I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the Wii as we have one […]

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