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5 things that will be cheaper in 2014

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Things that were all the rage in 2013 are likely to be yesterday's news in 2014 -- and cost considerably less. If you can handle a little deferred gratification, you could save a fortune by waiting until next year to buy these five items.

3-D printers

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If you've been hankering to make little plastic toys or machinery with your very own 3-D printer, there's good news. As the technology becomes more pervasive and the competition ramps up, you're likely to see big price cuts in these costly machines, according to DealNews.com. 

Indeed, while 3D Systems was advertising its Cube printers at a whopping $2,500 last week, Solidoodle was peddling a starter 3-D printer for a mere $500. The printers are not that easy to use, DealNews adds, but those who master the technology just might be able to save some serious change by making their own, say, garlic presses, the site says. 

Gaming systems

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Both Sony and Microsoft brought out new versions of their popular gaming systems -- the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One -- this holiday season. And the feeding frenzy sent the prices to buy them through the roof. 

Indeed, while the retail price of the PlayStation is just $400 and the Xbox $500, many entrepreneurial consumers had anticipated a holiday shortage and were selling them for as much as $900 on eBay and Craigslist. But once the holiday rush dies down, you're going to be able to pay retail prices for either system. And chances are excellent that there will be discounts available before next holiday season.

Computers

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It's a familiar story. Every six months, personal computers get more powerful and less costly. Prices have been coming down since the 1980s. Expect more of the same in 2014, but for new reasons. Tablets are increasingly replacing desktops and laptops, making the market for personal computing all the more competitive. 

That's likely to bring down prices for all but the most popular brands and models -- and even those top brands are likely to provide more memory and speed for either the same price or a little less. 

Smart phones

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If you were among the millions of consumers determined to get the latest smart phone when Apple brought out the 5S and 5C models this year, you paid a premium price. Discounts on iPhones were paltry even over Black Friday weekend, when everything else was getting marked down dramatically. Other smart phone brands are often offered "free" with a two-year service contract. But since those service contracts will cost you, that's rarely a bargain.

The better bet for the consumer with a little restraint is to get last year's top smart phones for a fraction of the price by buying "unlocked" used phones. Today, you can get a contract-free iPhone 4S for about $100 at sites such as USell and NextWorth. (Go to Apple's site and an unlocked 4S will cost you $450.) Better yet, the same sites can also help you offset the amount you do pay by buying your old phone.

Linens

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Two things happen in January -- football and white sales. That means all the linens you might need, from towels to duvet covers, are at their lowest prices of the year. If you have been hankering to re-do that guest room or refresh the tattered sheet sets that you've had since your wedding shower, there's no better time. Happy shopping.
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