$50 iTunes gift card for $42.50 shipped (15% savings)

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Update (8/26 4:45 PM): For our UK readers, Paypal is offering 25% off iTunes gift cards.

Staples offers a $50 iTunes gift card for $42.50 shipped (limit three). This is a savings of 15% and is a great opportunity to pickup some free iTunes money. This deal is scheduled to end on 9/1, however these could sell out before then.

iTunes Gift Cards are perfect for anyone who enjoys one-stop entertainment. Use these gift cards to save on the latest apps, new music or movie releases, books, and anything else sold in Apple’s digital marketplaces.

Check out our iOS games and apps deals to double up on your savings!

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Smart buys: our favorite back to school tech essentials


These tech essentials will not only help you survive college life, but maybe even help you land a spot on the Dean’s list (no promises). Even though the majority of our top picks are geared towards college students living in a dorm, we think they can help students of all ages.

All of the recommendations below have been shaped by my experiences while attending a four-year private University.

Entertainment

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The fall is not only back to school season, but also home to the baseball playoffs and the start of the football season. MLB.TV is expensive and NFL Sunday Ticket is a hassle. We recommend a Sling Media Slingbox to keep tabs on your favorite sports teams while away from home. The all-new SlingBox M1 was just released and is the most affordable Slingbox ever at just $149.99.

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 may be the flashy options for dorm room gaming, but we recommend saving a few bucks and opting for an Xbox 360 or Wii U. The Xbox 360 has a huge back super-smash-bros-wii-ucatalog of awesome games that are now priced to move. Plus, some next-gen games (like Mortal Kombat X), will also be available on 360 and PS3. The Wii U has had a rough run, but party games like Mario Kart 8 and the upcoming Super Smash Brothers make it an excellent choice for dorm room hang sessions.

Skip Blu-ray and DVD. The players will take up prime TV stand real-estate and it’s a hassle to find the movie you’re looking for and then physically pop it in a player (I know, first world problems). Instead, go with a Roku 3/streaming stick or Apple TV to stream your media from Netflix (free trial), Hulu Plus (free trial), and iTunes.

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It’s perfectly OK that listening to Norah Jones Spotify radio (student discount) helps you study, but don’t be that guy and play it out loud. A nice pair of headphones are key for school. If your budget allows it, then definitely upgrade to a set of noise-cancelling cans, like the Bose QC15, to drown out any background noise. Bust out a larger portable Bluetooth speaker like the Logitech UE BOOM (review) or Jawbone’s Big JAMBOX (review) when it’s time to party.

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Media: Captain America early iTunes release/3D Blu-ray deal, Chuck complete series on Blu-ray $67, more

Update (8/22 9:00am): Today only, Amazon has Stargate Atlantis – The Complete Series on Blu-ray for ($44.99)/DVD ($29.99), their best prices ever.

You can enjoy Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Solider three weeks before its official release thanks to an early release ($19.99) on iTunes.

But the biggest superhero fans are going to want to take advantage of Target’s current preorder deal. For just $22.99, you’ll get this film in the following formats: 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray and digital copy. It also includes exclusive “Behind The Lens” bonus footage.

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Amazon offers Chuck: The Complete Series on Blu-ray for $66.77 shipped. That’s 63% below the list price of $180 and the best deal we have ever seen. This set includes season 1-5 of this action-packed comedy TV series that has scored an 8.3 star rating on IMDB.

More Blu-ray deals via Amazon:

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Media: Blu-ray Steelbooks up to 45% off, Neighbors/Knocked Up iTunes movie bundle $20, MP3 albums $2, more

Sometimes the traditional plastic Blu-ray cases just don’t do your favorite films justice. That’s where Steelbooks come in. They are metal media cases that feature unique artwork. These are meant to be appreciated and displayed. Simply put, they are like a Cadillac for your favorite movies and games.

As part of its movies and TV deals of the week, Amazon offers up to 45% off hit Steelbooks on Blu-ray. All of our favorites are at their best prices ever:

Neighbors doesn’t hit Blu-ray/DVD until September 23rd, but it’s available at iTunes right now for $14.99. Better yet, download the Neighbors and Knocked Up movie bundle for just $19.99.

Other Seth Rogan and Zac Efron movies are also on sale for $9.99 each: 50/50, Superbad, This Is the End, Pineapple Express, more

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Amazon has marked down a bunch of popular albums down to just $1.99 each. Artists include Nirvana, Eminem, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and more. Aditionally, Google Play has several hit songs available as free downloads.
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Media: IMAX Ultimate Collection (20 discs) on DVD $35, Gaslight Anthem iTunes First Play, $5 Blu-rays, more

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Update (8/9 8:45am): Bond 50: 23 Film Collection w/ Skyfall [Blu-ray]: $99 shipped (orig. $300)

Update (8/7 11:15am):

Groupon offers the IMAX Ultimate Collection on DVD for $34.99 with free shipping. This collection is several years old now, so the list price of $109 certainly isn’t a fair comparison, but it is worth noting that this is within a couple dollars of the best deal we have ever seen. It includes 20 discs, which boils down to less than $2 per film.

From the maiden voyage of the world’s first space shuttle to extraordinary Antarctic animal populations, these films bring the big-screen adventures to home theaters, expanding viewers’ knowledge of the world.

Major Hollywood actors such as Morgan Freeman, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, and Kiefer Sutherland have lent their voices to some of the included films.

iTunes deals:

Blu-ray deals via Amazon:

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Best prices ever for the Breaking Bad complete series: Blu-ray $102.49 (Reg. $231), DVD $72.49 (Reg. $161).

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Media: Vivitek Qumi Q5 projector (refurb) $289, iTunes SciFi comedies $10 each, Hunger Games eBook $2, more

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Update (8/1 9:45am): Best prices ever for the Breaking Bad complete series: Blu-ray $102.49 (Reg. $231), DVD $72.49 (Reg. $161).

Update (7/30 9:30am): Today only, Amazon has up to 55% Off Pacific Rim Collector’s Edition and the Predator Bundle:

To start off this week’s Media roundup, recreate a cinema experience in your basement or media room with this refurbished Vivitek Qumi Q5 for $289 shipped from BuyDig with coupon code EDUSEG30K at checkout. As a pricing comparison, Amazon and Best Buy are currently charging nearly $550 for this unit in new condition.

It casts your favorite movies, tv shows, and games up to 90-inches (diagonal) and features a 720p resolution with DLP Link technology that creates a 3D effect. Rated 3.8 out of 5 stars from Amazon reviewers.

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Sci-Fi comedies for $9.99 each at iTunes: Zombieland, Space Jam, Spaceballs, more
Blu-rays under $10
at Amazon: Inside Llewyn Davis $9.99, The Bourne Legacy $6.96, Pacific Rim $9.99, more

Today only, get The Hunger Games Kindle book for $1.99 (Reg. $12.99) and add Audible narration for another $1.99.

Chromecast streaming media player plus 3-months of All Access (more info) for free $30 ($55 value)

More Blu-rays from Amazon:

Classic TV collections on DVD:

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Media: Man of Steel Blu-ray set w/ figurine $15, Eric Clapton free iTunes First Play, American Hustle $10, more

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Update (7/25 8:00am):  Today only, Amazon has the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled (10-Disc Limited Edition Six-Movie Collector’s Set) for $129.99 shipped (Reg. $219). That’s the best price ever by $10. Best Buy offers a selection of DVDs/Blu-rays starting at $4.99 each. Titles include: Marvel movies, Rescue Me seasons, Doctor Who, Kill Bill, Harry Potter, and more.

Update (7/23 8:30 AM): Newegg offers the Energy Power Bar Elite Sound Bar System for $197.99 shipped with coupon code EMCYTZG723 (orig. $599.99). Newegg includes a Scosche Bluetooth Home Receiver with the purchase of this sound bar. The Power Bar Elite Sound Bar comes highly rated, Amazon customers have given it 4.5/5 stars.

As part of its Blu-ray deal of the week, Amazon offers the Man of Steel Figurine Limited-Edition Giftset for $14.99 with free 2-day shipping for Prime members (free trial). All other buyers will need to spend at least $35 (pad your order w/ deals below) to sidestep shipping costs.

This deal is 75% below list and the best price we have ever seen by a few bucks. In addition to Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD copies of the film, you’ll also get a Superman and General Zod “1:16 scale figurines from DC Collectibles…”

More Superhero action from Amazon’s Deal of the Week:

  • Man of Steel Collector’s Edition [BR 3D + BR + DVD + UV Combo Pack] $24.99 (Reg. $60)
    • Includes: “The theatrical version of the film in 3D HD, HD and SD, and … a limited release metal “S” glyph with acrylic glass stand.”
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition [Blu-ray] $38.99 (Reg. $100)
    • Includes: Batman Begins / The Dark Knight / The Dark Knight Rises

iTunes media:

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Eric Clapton & Friends – The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale) is now available to stream for free as an iTunes First Play. It’s scheduled to be released July 29th and the preorder is currently priced at $11.99.

  • Alt Rock albums $6.99 each: Jack White, MGMT, Killers, Imagine Dragons, more
  • RoboCop in HD $9.99
  • The Twilight Saga in HD: $9.99 each

More Blu-rays from Amazon:

Sony BDP-S1100 Blu-ray Player (wired) w/ streaming apps: Refurbished w/ 90-day warranty for $32.99 shipped (orig. $90 new) | Secondipity via Amazon

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Media: last chance to watch all South Park episodes for free, dozens of hit iTunes albums for $8 each, more

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Update (7/16 12:15pm): Amazon has a slew of digital albums for $5 each: Imagine Dragons, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Eminem, Drake, and more

Everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed kids have moved exclusively to Hulu as part of a blockbuster 3-year deal reportedly worth more than $80 million dollars.

Up until September 24th (the premier of Season 18), the entire back catalog of South Park episodes will continue to be available for free for Hulu members and at South Park Studios. After this date, only Hulu Plus members ($8/month) will have access to older episodes. However, both Hulu and South Park Studios will offer free next-day access to new episodes and a revolving selection of classics.

The bottom line is that if you don’t want to pay for a Hulu Plus membership or buy the Blu-rays/DVDs, then you only have until late September to get your fill of South Park for free.

iTunes deals:

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  • Chart Topper $7.99 albums: Frozen soundtrack, Justin Timberlake, Foster the People, Bruno Mars, Lorde, Black Keys, Beyonce, Michael Jackson and MUCH more

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Media: Futurama complete on DVD $64, James Bond Blu-rays $5 each, iTunes albums from American Icons $8, more

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As one of its movie deals of the week, Amazon offers Futurama: The Complete Series for $63.99 with free shipping. That’s 68% below the list price of $199.98 and by far the best price we could currently find from any retailer.

IGN reviewed it late last year and found that the “beautiful presentation” and an abundance of extras help make this set a worthwhile investment for fans. It includes 27 discs and is only available on DVD.

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Barnes & Noble is taking 50% off hundreds of movies from the Criterion Collection. These unique Blu-rays and DVDs “benefit from a curatorial approach to packaging, pairing superior bonus materials with discs cut from the best available prints. It’s the movie lover’s label.” A best bet from this promotion is A Hard Day’s Night on Blu-ray for $19.99.

- Select James Bond Blu-rays/DVDs for $4.99 each
– iTunes $0.99 rental of the week: Generation Iron

More Blu-ray deals from Amazon:

Music:

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Media: free movie money for new Transformers/Planet of the Apes flicks, Fandango $14 voucher for $7, more

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The Michael Bay produced summer blockbuster, Transformers: Age of Extinction, hits theaters this Friday. Best Buy will give you free Hollywood Movie money worth up to $8 towards a ticket for this film with the purchase of select Blu-rays. Many of the eligible movies are currently on sale for $9.99, including the previous Transformers movies, World War Z, and the classic Top Gun. Opt for in-store pickup to get your movie money in time for opening weekend.

Best Buy is also running a similar promotion for the upcoming film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Get up to $8 Fandango Cash with the purchase of select Blu-rays and DVDs. Buy the Planet of the Apes DVD for $5.99 to get the best deal.

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Amazon Local offers $14 towards a Fandango movie ticket for just $7. Check out the listing for more information regarding theater locations and promo specifics.

More Blu-ray deals from Amazon:

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Media: LEGO movie combo pack $18, iTunes comedies $10 each, Breaking Bad DVD seasons 1-4 for $10 each, more

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Update (6/19 11:15am): AMC Theatres has announced its $3 summer movies. Check your local showtimes here.

The LEGO movie finally hits store shelves today and Amazon has the Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet combo pack for just $17.99. That’s a savings of 50% compared to the list price of $36. Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett star in this animated film that’s amassed an IMDB rating of 8.0/10.

If you don’t mind heading out to your local Target store, then you can try to price match Amazon and get Target’s $10 LEGO credit offer.

It’s also now available as an iTunes rental for $4.99.

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iTunes has dropped dozens of outrageous comedies down to $9.99 each. Most HD downloads typically cost $19.99, so this sale offers a savings of 50% per film. Standout titles include Ted (unrated), Bridesmaids (unrated), 21 Jump Street, Superbad, and We’re the Millers.

More Blu-ray deals:

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Breaking Bad complete seasons on DVD for $9.99 each (orig. $27 each): S01, S02, S03, S04.
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