How to Save on College Textbooks

TEXTBOOKS ARE THE WORST!!! People. I once had to buy a $400 textbook for an economics class. And guess what? I BARELY USED IT. The college textbook industry is a bunch of bull crap, lemme tell you. We already spend thousands of dollars to attend school, and textbooks add probably $1,000 to that cost every year.

It sucks.

But we will carry on! Because I have some tips to help you save some cash on these dumb textbooks. Hopefully these are helpful, enjoyyy!

How to save on college textbooks

Related Post: Tips for Staying Organized in College + My Favorite Planner

Tips for saving on college textbooks

  1.  Don’t go to your college bookstore. It’s overpriced. It’s crowded. It’s run by students who don’t know anything about what they’re doing. You don’t need that kind of stress in your life. I get my books online through Amazon. LEMME TELL YOU. The books are literally half the price and it’s super easy to order them online – and they arrive right at your door!
  2. Always try to rent or buy used. There’s literally no reason why you would need a brand new textbook. It’s way cheaper to rent, and used books have the exact same information that new books do. My freshman year I bought all brand new textbooks, and then after the year ended I thought to myself, “Lexi. you’re a dummy. Rent used books next time.”
  3. If you need to buy a new book, don’t open or unwrap it until after you know you will for sure need it. After you do that, the bookstore won’t let you return it (capitalism). There have been so many times that I’ve spent a fortune on textbooks, only to leave it lying on my bookshelf the entire semester. I don’t like wasting my money, so now I wait a while until I know that the teacher definitely does actually use the book. I also talk to people who have taken the class previously to see if they think I need the book.How to save on college textbooks
  4. Share books with friends. If you happen to know someone in a class you’re taking, ask them if they would want to share the book with you. Unless the class required an access code, this should be pretty easy to do – and it saves you a ton of money. I’m planning on doing this for one of my psychology classes this semester.
  5. Buy old books from friends. Even better than renting from Amazon, ask friends who have taken your class if they still have the book. They will probably be nice and sell it to you for cheap. Or, if they’re super nice, they might even just let you borrow it for the semester. Ask and you shall receive!
  6. Consider buying e-books. I know this doesn’t sound ideal, but they’re usually really cheap. If you are looking to save as much money as possible, an e-book is definitely less money than a hard copy. The only thing is that you can’t really rent an e-book, so make sure to compare the price of renting a used textbook to the e-book price and see which is more cost effective.

I really hope these tips help. For real I do because I feel your pain. Just remember that it’ll be worth it in the end when they read off your name at the graduation ceremony! (At least that’s what I keep telling myself…lol).

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  • Carlee Hebert

    These are such great tips! I usually rent mine off of amazon and I save a ton of money! The worst is when the textbook comes with an online code and professor requires it. Then, you have no choice but to buy it new! Also, a little off topic, but I love the your logo! The flowers are adorable!! http://carleehebert.com/

    • Thanks! I know, online codes are so unnecessary. I got two of my books off of amazon this year and they were literally HALF the price of the ones in my university bookstore! So crazy.

  • I recently wrote a blog post about the same topic and I agree with all of your tips. If you follow all these tips you will saving lots of money. Thanks for sharing! Great Post!
    -Maria
    How to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Books Every Year | She Blushes

    • Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for reading!