Tape backup was once the norm for archiving files from home PCs. Consumer grade tape drives tended to be flaky and slow, but were the only alternative to using dozens of floppy disks. ... The average price for MiniDV tape in consumer quantities is about $4 or as low as $2.60 in 100 unit lots. MiniDV tape stores 8-12GB in SP mode or 12-18GB in LP mode, depending on how much compression is used during the backup process. The new 80min MiniDV tapes hold as much as 22GB in LP mode.
Several (ten? fifteen?) years ago you could buy a poor-mans tape backup connectors for PCs that would use a VHS recorder as a tape device. These were relatively popular here, in Russia -- for very much the same reason (much cheaper than the real thing, more than enough for average home use). Granted, drive sizes back then were a lot more modest (you get more data on a tiny little USB stick these days than an average PC used to have on a HDD) -- yet idea is the same.