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If you’re big into board gaming with your family and friends, you likely have quickly come to the conclusion that this can be one expensive pastime. Monopoly and Risk are games of the past. People want to play different games now, and it’s not uncommon to hear people excited about the newest $70 release at their local Barnes and Noble.
But if you can’t swing another $70 every month on a new board game, what are some ways that you can still add some zest to what you’re playing without breaking the bank?
Here are a few ideas that may help out your board game closet on a budget.
Expansion packs can add variety to a stale game.
It’s a money-grabbing move that board game companies have been wise to cash in on, but it helps you out too. Let’s say that you’ve played Settlers of Catan to the point that things have grown stale. You don’t have $60 to drop on a new game either, though.
If this is where you find yourself, virtually every modern game that is released is soon followed by a myriad of expansion packs that alter the way how the game is played. Deck builder games such as Here to Slay will use new cards to expand the scope of the game.
Other board games like Carcassone will add new rules and pieces that will shake up how things play. (For Catan, I recommend Seafarers. It’s my favorite.)
Most expansion packs are priced right around the $20 mark as well, meaning you can satiate your board game hunger without actually going hungry.
This game was revolutionary within the world of board games. Pandemic is a great game as it is, but Pandemic Legacy is what I recommend if you’re on a budget but want something that won’t get played out anytime soon.
Pandemic Legacy is something akin to a video game or choose-your-own-adventure book in that every decision you make impacts every future decision that you will make. But it’s more than just impacting the rest of the decisions for the current round of gaming that you’re playing right now with your friends after dinner. The decisions you make for this current game will impact what happens when you play the game a month from now.
Every play of the board game impacts every future play with the story unfolding and new depth being added each time.
This game is not only awesome, but it can easily be found for right around $25. You can play this game over and over, it’s very easy to teach to a new player, and the strategy involved with it is a lot of fun. It’s pretty much the board game version of a jigsaw puzzle. I’m a huge fan of the game, initially learning how to play without the farmer. I think that this is a mistake. The farmer is what adds strategic depth to the game.
And after you feel as if you’ve played Carcassone to death, there are a number of expansion packs that can really help to add new variety to the game that are right around $16.
There’s a thriving market for used board games that will help you to find whatever it is that you’re looking for $20-30 cheaper than you would actually pay for brand new. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of other board gamers out there who are in the same boat that you are: they really want to play new games, have a bit of money invested in their current games, and some of them they’ve played to death.
So, they sell the old to buy the new. I’ve noticed that a lot of used book store/cafes have used board games for sale. It may be the same in your area. If you don’t see one of these in your areas, there may actually be a designated board game café nearby. These are great places to work out trades or buys for used games with other people in the area. If you’re looking for an online method, I recommend checking out GeekMarket, Game Nerdz, or Noble Knight Games.
Of course, there’s always the stock online sources such as Facebook Marketplace and eBay out there as well.
Playing board games can be expensive, but there are workarounds.
If you follow the above, you’ll be able to build a pretty cool collection of board games to play through with your friends and family for a long time without making yourself broke in the process. Just remember that there are typically Frugalite-friendly alternatives to most of your favorite hobbies.
However, there may be some ideas that I missed out on mentioning above. How do you save money on games? Is this a pastime you enjoy? If you see any glaring omissions or have had good luck in the past with the above methods, let us know in the comments section.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.