I wrote recently about how our family purchased a couple of computers inexpensively. Although they were a great bargain, they did not arrive with a Microsoft Office Suite loaded. Additionally, my husband’s computer at work and one of our other computers had outdated Microsoft Office subscriptions.
I have learned that software purchasing is not quite done the way it once was. Apparently now, software companies can capitalize upon successful programs by requiring a subscription. That is, simply purchasing the program once will not give you access for an unlimited time period.
I began searching for the Microsoft Office Suite both online and in stores. I learned, in my search, that Microsoft now offers subscriptions at a reduced price for students and faculty -- especially at the university level -- who have email addresses ending in “.edu”.
Unfortunately, as a homeschooling family, our email addresses are just like yours. There is no “.edu” at the end of our email addresses. I inquired at Microsoft about whether this rule allows exceptions for schools where a .edu e-mail address is not provided. Sadly, the answer was no.
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The Microsoft representative recommended a particular version of the software he felt would best fit our family’s needs. However, this Office program with a one-year subscription was more than $120 for the number of computers on which we needed to install the software.
I decided that was probably not the best deal available. Fortunately, my suspicion was correct.
I began looking online more extensively. I found several places where the Microsoft Office Suite was available at a much better discount than even the .edu category provided.
In the end, I purchased the software for five computers, for a one-year subscription, for less than $80! Despite having some Mac computers and some PC computers for which the software would be used, only one purchase was necessary. The package I purchased worked for both types of computers.
When school began again, my high school student began taking French. Having taken Spanish in high school and college, I am very little help to him when it comes to pronunciation and such. We found several free (or free for a short period of time) language programs online.
However, having read and heard such fantastic things about the Rosetta Stone program, we decided to look for it online. We began by finding it for about $90 for Level One of the French program. Because he will have to take two years of French, I did not think that Level One would give us all the lessons and assistance necessary to grasp the French language.
I kept looking -- and was glad I did! I found Rosetta Stone on Groupon for only $179 for all four levels of the French program. What a better deal than the Level One purchase that I could have made. To make the deal even better, I used a $20 referral discount I earned with Groupon and was able to apply that discount to the purchase.
Additionally, because the purchase was over $100, Groupon did not charge any shipping fees! In the end, I received all four levels of the French program for only $70 more than I would have paid for the Level One program that I found at first glance.
Both of these examples just go to show how important it is to look carefully online before making a purchase. In both cases, I was able to get a much better deal -- more levels, more subscriptions, etc. -- simply because I did not buy the first option I found!
Keep looking! Better deals are in sight!
Contact writer Rachael Mercer at email@example.com.