Saving Money on Board Games

Board games are a great source of frugal entertainment for the whole family. Finding ways to save money when you buy them is even better. This is a guide about saving money on board games.


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March 20, 2009 Flag

Tips and ideas for saving money on board games as suggested by the ThriftyFun community.

Check Thrift Stores

My kids love board games. I have a great thrift shore/resale shop in my neighborhood, where we can buy (nearly) brand new board games for about $4.00. Once its been played and they get bored with it, we return it back!

By Jenny

A Deck of Cards

The cheapest and most versatile game you can buy is a simple deck of cards. There are hundreds of games that can be played: solo, two players or a whole group. The games can range from simple to extremely complex. It takes no electricity or batteries and no other pieces are required. However, if you raid your piggy bank, penny poker is a great party game.

By Jess

Look at Dollar Stores

The Dollar General has been carrying a lot of brand board games for under 10 dollars. I found a Mancala game there this Christmas for $4, which is now one of our family's favorite games. Sometimes you can also find rebate slips from Milton Bradley in the store used with purchasing certain games.

By Wendiesioux

Recreate Your Favorite Game in Wood

My family enjoyed a particular board game so much that we had worn out three game boards playing it and decided to make the board out of wood and put the two sides together with a piano hinge cut to size. We used different colored marbles and colors on the board and background color and I bought larger colored dice to match the marbles than the original game, but the game played the same. Since then, grandchildren have played this game and enjoyed it, so we made them their own board game to take home and play with their friends.

With a bit of acrylic paint and imagination, you can paint your board in any color and when dry use a gloss clear acrylic sealer over it to give it that shiny effect and protect the undercoat of paint from chipping. Do not close the board or cover over until the paint has cured or else it will lift the paint off. Also, you can buy large sticky back sheets of felt to put on the backside of the board to keep from scratching.

By Lorelei

Board Games at Garage Sales

Garage sales and rummage sales are great place to find board games. Just make sure they all the pieces for before buying them. If you have a board game that's missing some pieces, try to find the same board game for cheap. Then you'll have back up pieces.

By Lewis

Editor's Note: Here is a tip about making your own board game:

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March 18, 2009 Flag

A great family bonding activity, is for each family member (or pairs) to make a board game. I taught school for over 30 years and had my students, (grades: 2, 3, 4, and 9) make their own board games, complete with cards.

The board games can be made using plain file folders, markers, colored pencils, pens, magazine pictures, etc. Buttons or beans can be used for the player's "marker".

Old dice/math cubes can be used to roll, to see how many spaces the player can move if they answer the question on the playing card correctly.

The individual or team must come up with a Title/Theme, such as "Find the Buried Treasure", "Don't Go Over the Cliff", "Shop 'til You Drop", etc. Do all work using a regular pencil. Later markers, colored pencils, etc. can be used to spiff up the game. Open the file folder, and use a pencil to draw the "trail(s)" dividing the "trail(s)" into sections/spaces. In some of the "spaces", phrases such as "Miss a Turn", "Go Back to Start", "Go Ahead 2 Spaces" etc. can be written. Make sure you have a place labeled "Start", and an "End"point on your board game.

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Next, use plain paper, another file folder, recycled paper, etc. to make the "Playing Cards". Decide ahead of time what will be written on the playing card, such as: Riddles, Trivia Questions, Math Facts, States/Capitals, etc. Fold and cut the paper or folder into rectangles or squares, and write what you decide on each card. Note: Make sure you know the answer to what you write on the card.

On the front of the folded file folder print the Game's Title and the directions, such as the following: "Each player selects a playing piece. Whoever rolls the highest number on the die, starts first. That person rolls again, picks the top card, reads what is written and answers accordingly. If he/she answers correctly, he can move his playing piece the number of spaces according to what is rolled with his die. Take turns moving clockwise around the table. The person who gets to the "End" first is the winner".

Complete the game by embellishing the board game with graphics, designs, ribbon, pipe cleaners, etc. Store the cards, dice, and players' pieces in baggies. Attach the baggie with a clothespin or paperclip to the folder "Board Game".

This is a great project that may take more than 2 sessions to complete. When all the board games are finished, the family will have a nice variety of games to play, on rainy days, family night, special times, "No TV Night", etc.

Possibilities are endless! Enjoy! :-)

By Nancy from Jacksonville, FL

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July 27, 2011 Flag

When looking for board games, you can find them at yard sales for next to nothing. I had found them in excellent condition from $.25 to $1 at the most.

By Carol from Beverly, Mass.

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March 20, 2007 Flag

You can make your own checkers game by saving plastic milk bottle caps. You need two different colors, 12 checkers for each player. If all your bottle caps are the same color, color the top of half the caps with permanent marker.

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October 16, 2007 Flag

How do you make real game boards with cards?

Ryan from Ireland

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October 18, 20070 found this helpful

Are you designing your own game? If so there are a couple of ways to make a game board. You can take two pieces of foam core board and cut it in two and then lay both pieces on a piece of Duc Tape leaving just a little gap in between so the board will fold in half. Another way is to use a piece of cloth or plastic and use stickers and labels to make your board this can easily be folded or you can use the foam core board and not do any thing to it but lay out your game. I make card games all the time using Word. You can find templates to make playing cards on the Microsoft Word site. These are free. Or you can free form your own starting with a border and then adding a text box in side to put your writing in. Hope this helps you and good luck on your game.

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