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Thrifty Tuesday: Free software, dirt-cheap Office and more

This big pile o' deals includes a Kindle Paperwhite for $50 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge for $275.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Twitter!

Good morning, cheeps. (Have you ever wondered about the etymology of that word? It comes from "cheapskates," of course, and also "peeps," meaning friends. Cheapskates + peeps = cheeps! Why not "cheaps"? Simple: It looks weird.)

Today I bring you a heaping platter of deals, everything from free software to crazy-cheap LED desk lamps to heavily discounted phones. Let's get to it.

A big batch of free software

WonderFox Soft

WonderFox is once again holding a summer software giveaway, with seven apps available for free (ending tomorrow!) and seven more coming tomorrow.

First on the list: WonderFox's own DVD Ripper Pro -- assuming there's anybody left who still needs to rip DVDs. Also of note: six months of IObit Advanced Systemcare Pro 10 and one year of Sticky Password Premium. For most of these freebies, you'll download a Zip file containing instructions and/or the necessary license key. Make sure to follow the instructions.

Be sure to check that same giveaway page tomorrow for the next batch of freebies.

Microsoft Office for $26

I've said many times that I like Microsoft Office a lot -- I just don't like having to pay annually for it. You can buy a license outright, but that's even costlier (at least initially) than the subscription option.

Not today. GamesDeal, for some reason, has a Microsoft Office 2016 Professional Plus 1-user license for $25.33 when you apply discount code GDdealnews25 at checkout. That nets you a license key good for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, OneNote and Publisher -- but not the Skype credit or OneDrive space you get as part of a subscription.

How can this be so cheap? I'm honestly not sure, but GamesDeal has a very high rating at I've heard stories of "gray market" Office keys that come up invalid after a short period of use, but if that were to happen here, you could almost certainly get a refund via your credit card provider (assuming GamesDeal refused to issue one for some reason). This seems perfectly legit, but as with any/all deals shared in this space, buyer beware.

A Kindle Paperwhite for $50


A Kindle Paperwhite for $50 is a steal, even if it is refurbished.

Sarah Tew / CNET

There are times, like when I'm reading in bed, that I prefer a Kindle to a phone or tablet. It's lighter and easier to hold, easier on the eyes and brain (no blue light) and not in constant need of charging.

Of course, it has to be a touchscreen model and has to have a backlit screen. Like this one: While supplies last, Woot has the refurbished Kindle Paperwhite (2nd gen) for $49.99, plus $5 for shipping. A new, current-gen Paperwhite would run you $120. I don't think I've seen any model, refurb or otherwise, priced this low.

Interestingly, you can also get the 3G version for $64.99, though I can't say I've ever seen much value in having 3G in a Kindle. Are there really times when you need a book right now and there's no Wi-Fi available?

Either way, these are "used - good" stock, meaning they might have minor cosmetic issues. They come with a 90-day Woot warranty. 

A Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge for $275


Speaking of B-stock, last year's premium phones are this year's bargains. Seriously: Just a year ago, an unlocked Galaxy S7 Edge would have cost you well over $600. Even now it retails for $570.

Don't mind a few scuffs or scrapes? For a limited time, and while supplies last, Garage Cell (via Ebay) has the refurbished Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (32GB) for $274.99 shipped. It's a factory-unlocked GSM model available in your choice of gold, silver or black.

I've seen deals on the non-Edge S7 that came pretty close to this, but I've never seen the Edge this low. The seller has an excellent rating on Ebay, but if there's a caveat, it's the 30-day warranty. What do you think: Worth the risk to get the phone for half the price you'd pay elsewhere?

An LED desk lamp for $10

Lighting Ever

LEDs are just about the best thing ever. Way cheaper to operate than old tungsten bulbs, and way cooler (in both temperature and design) to boot. Oh, and they last significantly longer. In your face, Edison!

(I kid, I kid. Thomas Edison was a freakin' superhero.)

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Neon Mart (via Amazon) has the Lighting Ever dimmable LED desk lamp for $9.99, with free shipping for Prime subscribers. This long-neck lamp features seven brightness levels controlled by a touch-sensitive panel along the base, and has a 4.3-star rating from over 300 buyers.

Looking for something a little more stylish? From the same seller and company, this curvier LED desk lamp (pictured) is also $9.99 when you apply promo code U8QSHF49 at checkout. But it has a mere three brightness levels and no user reviews. Decisions, decisions.

And that's it for this thrifty Tuesday. Who's buying what?