A cheap TV makes a great gift idea for kids and cheap doesn't have to mean poor quality

These days, kids and teens have come to expect that they must have a personal TV in their bedroom. However, the new flat screen televisions may cost a bit more than you can afford for this indulgence.

If your kids have been dropping thinly-disguised 'hints' for their own TV, there's a way to make this happen without busting the budget. While they still have access to the nice, big family flat screen TV in the living or family room, a cheap TV is quite satisfactory for watching in their bedroom. So where can you find a quality cheap TV?

You have a few options. If you're looking for a new cheap TV, go to the discount electronics store and look over the selections. There are the small, four inch screen TVs which operate on either electricity or batteries. Kids think these are really cool, probably because they're accustomed to all the tiny electronic gadgets they already have.

These are also a good remedy for boredom when there's a power outage. This type of cheap TV will run for about 4 hours on batteries. If you live in an area where winter power outages happen frequently and may go on for days, the cost of batteries can add up. In my rural location, this is a problem. If you're in a metro area, this isn't usually a concern. This type of cheap TV solution is also good for camping or fishing trips. You might want to wrap up an 8-pack of batteries with this gift and let the kids know they are responsible for future battery needs.

The battery-electric TV also makes a good gift idea for Dad, if he's into fishing or camping adventures.

Another cheap TV option may be found at the thrift shops. Yes, indeed, if you have two or three kids, vying for the personal TV, this can be the way to go. Check out the selection at the Salvation Army or Goodwill type stores. They usually have several on hand, in a variety of sizes, often at unbelievably low prices. For example, you can probably pick up a 19 inch TV for about $25! Now that's a cheap TV. For less than the price of the new, battery or electric powered TV, all three kids can have a TV in each of their rooms. The thrift store clerk will plug the TV in so you can see the picture quality and be sure it works. If the tag says sold as is, it's probably not a good choice. Sometimes, it may be marked as such because a dial or knob is missing, or the antenna is broken. If you can make the repair, it might still be a good deal. If not, move on to another.

Another place to find a cheap TV is through the classifieds or at garage sales. These can be great deals. The seller might have recently upgraded to a fancier model, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with his old one.

So there you have it. Your kids will be happy and you'll have saved a ton of money!

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