Money Saving Monday: Save on College Textbooks

Money Saving Tips

*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!

Okay, I must admit I graduated college too many years ago now (sigh) and finished graduate school over a year and half ago, so I may be a little out of touch of the very best ways to save money on textbooks. If you have any tips I may have missed, please let me know in the comments below!

1. Plan ahead: This is very important. Don’t wait to the last minute to purchase your book because the most expensive books are most likely to be left. Yes, you may want to wait until after you receive your syllabus to see if you will use your textbook or not, but chances are you will. Buy the book ahead of time and pay attention to the return policy. You usually will have seven days or so to return the book if you won’t need it. Also, if you plan to buy books cheaper online, you will need to plan ahead to make sure the book arrives in time.

2. Do a price comparison: Make sure to do a price analysis between the school bookstore and the online marketplace. Sometimes the school bookstore was cheaper (and more convenient) but often times I could find the book cheaper online. Also, make sure to price out different websites, because some websites have free shipping and some don’t, which could change the overall price of the book.

3. Rent textbooks: Often times you can rent a book instead of purchasing a book at a much more affordable rate. Keep in mind you do need to return the book back and cannot sell it back for additional money. This is a great option for new edition books that are pricey and renting reduces out of pocket expenses. College bookstores and online bookstores do textbook rentals so make sure to do a price comparison on textbook rentals too.

4. Amazon Student: I love Amazon Prime for the free 2-day shipping which is great for last minute textbooks. Better yet, Amazon Student is cheaper than Amazon Prime with similar benefits. If you haven’t checked out Amazon Student before, you can even get a free Amazon Prime membership trial which is perfect for a semester of books at free and quick shipping. Also, it is pretty easy to sell back Textbooks to Amazon for Amazon gift cards. Don’t sit on your textbooks though, because they lose value fast so make sure to exchange them sooner than later.

5. Borrow Textbooks: Another option is to borrow textbooks from a roommate or friend in your class. Also, check your college library because sometimes you can borrow a textbook from the library for the day or a short period of time which is perfect for assignments or classes where the textbook isn’t absolutely necessary.

Do you have any tips to save on college textbooks?

To find more Money Saving Tips from Boston On Budget, please head here.