You’ll pretty much always save money when you switch to vaping. But even with that general rule, there can be a lot of variation. If you buy every shiny new mod that hits the market and chain-vape on a cloud-chasing setup, day in and day out, you’ll end up spending a lot more than a vaper who sticks to one or two basic devices and vapes in a more discreet way. So if you’re on a tight budget, what’s the best advice for getting a good vaping experience without spending more than you need to? Here is a brief guide to saving as much as you can while you’re vaping.
This is a simple point, but there are many advantages to buying your vape gear online compared to at brick-and-mortar stores. Even if you have a lot of vape stores in your area, checking prices across different sellers is way easier online, and you’ll probably have a much larger selection at your fingertips too. Find a few reliable and cheap online vape stores to use and you’re almost guaranteed a lower price for anything you buy.
Choose Cheaper Devices
Even online, the higher-end mods and tanks are often more expensive than they need to be. Like getting clothes made by a big-label brand as opposed to a similar but off-brand alternative, you’ll spend more money if you go for high-end vape mods over equally capable cheaper options. Really, most of the well-known vaping companies – such as Wismec, Eleaf, Smok and Innokin – have very affordable and capable mods on offer, but there are also many devices that raise the price due to the perceived prestige of the brand.
Focus on what a mod can do, and make your comparisons on the basis of the features and what you’re likely to need. For example, if you’re considering two devices with TC functionality in addition to VW mode, but one offers 200 W and the other maxes out at 100 W, you need to really think about the wattages you’re likely to use and what the price difference is. The SX Mini G Class 200 W, for instance, is over $200, but you can pick up the (100 W) iTaste MVP4 for less than $60. Unless you’re looking for serious cloud-chasing and quality is super-important to you, there is really no benefit to choosing the more expensive device. You can get awesome mods for as little as $50, so don’t spend more than you need to.
Minimize the Need to Upgrade
The last point needs to be balanced with some forethought, though. There is no point getting a basic vape pen to save money when you first start if you’ll just want to upgrade in a few months. If you’re committed to vaping, it’s worth picking up a mod that you’re likely to stick with for longer, even if it doesn’t make too much difference to you right away. Most vapers upgrade eventually, so you shouldn’t hesitate to spend a little more to get something with more capabilities.
This is something you can really only answer for yourself, but our advice would be to get a mod with TC (temperature control) functionality that can put out at least 70 W. If you can get a 100 W device, you’ll only need to upgrade if you’re looking for some serious clouds when you vape. This will use more e-liquid than lower-wattage vaping anyway, so it’s not exactly advised if you want to save money. If you really don’t think you’ll need even 70 W, you might find a vape pen that can do enough for your needs, but realistically the extra cost to get an affordable mod (and remove all doubt) usually isn’t that much.
The Downsides of Internal Batteries
Along with the point above, there is a bit of a downside to internal battery mods, even though they are slightly more user-friendly. Eventually, all batteries need replacing. For an internal battery mod, once the battery won’t hold a charge anymore, the whole device is done for. You can’t crack it open and replace the battery. So this gives a big advantage to mods which take separate batteries – if the battery is easily removeable, it’s also easily replaceable.
In a year or so when the battery isn’t working at maximum capacity anymore, for an internal battery mod, you’ll have to buy a whole new mod to keep vaping – easily a cost of $50. For devices with a separate battery, all you have to do is buy a new battery – costing more like $10 per battery. This will save you a lot of money, especially if you follow the advice above and get a device you’ll be happy with for years to come.
Look Out for Deals/Clearance Offers
The up-front cost of the mod and tank is one of the main expenses you have to worry about, so keeping your eye out for deals and clearance offers when you’re making a purchase is a really good idea. The vaping industry moves fast and perfectly-good mods are superseded quicker than you might imagine, so you can often pick up a great deal in the clearance sections of vaping websites, and it’s always worth checking them when you’re shopping for something new. For more short-lived deals and sales, it really depends what’s available at the time you’re looking, but you can often get a higher-quality device for a great price if you’re lucky.
Start Building Your Own Coils
One of the major expenses for vapers is the ongoing cost of new atomizer heads, but there is a solution for anybody willing to tinker a little. Rebuildable atomizers – whether rebuildable tanks (RTAs) or dripping atomizers (RDAs) – allow you to reduce your ongoing costs substantially by making your own coils. This might be a little hands-on for when you first start vaping (and it’s one area where it may be worth paying for a new tank or atomizer when you’re more experienced), but building is easier than it looks and will save you tons of money in the long-run.
Instead of buying pre-made coils that last two to four weeks before needing replacing, you can just buy a big spool of Kanthal wire and some cotton wick and keep vaping for months at a fraction of the price. We have some tips for rebuilding in another post if you want more information on the basics.
Choose Higher-Nicotine E-Juice
E-juice is another big expense for a vaper. While you can reduce this most by mixing your own e-liquids, you probably won’t be able to make something as high-quality as you get from a professional mixer. The middle-ground solution is to reduce the amount of e-liquid you use. If you vape 3 mg/ml e-liquid, for instance, you’ll probably need to vape at higher wattages and use more e-liquid to get enough nicotine. However, if you can increase your nicotine strength – to 6 mg/ml or even 12 mg/ml – you’ll be able to get just as much e-liquid from fewer mls of e-liquid. Higher-strength e-juice is almost always the same price as lower-strength juice, so this is a really easy way to save some money.
The only downside is that e-liquid with too much nicotine will be harsher to vape. The only real way to find this out is with a bit of trial and error. Pick up one 12 mg/ml e-juice and one 6 mg/ml e-juice if you’re using a sub ohm tank and a rebuildable and see how high you can go and still enjoy vaping. If you’re using a simpler, non sub ohm tank, you might be able to get away with using an 18 mg/ml e-juice.
Avoid Tiny Bottles of E-Juice
Many juice companies offer e-liquid in 10 ml bottles, and while this is good for trying out a flavor, it isn’t a good way to buy e-liquid over the long term. Bigger bottles generally mean more savings, and it’s worth picking up 30 ml bottles (or even bigger if they’re available) to save as much on your regular juice purchase as possible. Not only will this mean you have to buy e-juice less often, you’ll get the best deals if you buy bigger bottles.
It’s Easy to Save, If You Know What to Do
Switching to vaping will always save you money, but if you make the right choices with how and what you vape, you can really cut your costs substantially. Making simple changes to your habits and buying the right type of devices can make a huge difference to the running costs for you as a vaper, and is yet another huge benefit of vaping in comparison to smoking. You don’t have to follow all of the advice in this post, but even taking on board one or two of the tips can really make a difference.