Six Easy Ways To Save On Textbooks

tips to save on textbooksTextbooks are one of those necessary, but pricey, college expenses.

It’s easy to cut costs on food, clothing and even housing, but textbooks are a necessary requirement while in school.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the cost of textbooks rose 83% from 2002 to 2013. That’s nearly three times the rate of inflation.

To put that in perspective, the College Board reports that students spend about $1,200 per year on books and supplies — with certain books costing upwards of $200 alone.

So what’s a college student on a budget to do? Here are six ways to save on your college textbooks when school starts back up in a few weeks:

Don’t shop at the college bookstore.
The bookstore has a captive audience and is very convenient, which makes the prices they charge higher on average. If you do have to shop for certain books at your university bookstore, be sure to limit the damage by buying used.

Find used books.
Amazon, CraigsList, and eBay, and other online bookstores that allow users to resell used books are a good place to start.  Also try bookstores that are not affiliated with your college, like Half Price Books.  If you’re not having any luck finding a copy of the book you need, has a search tool that can help, too.

Check the library.
If your professor is notorious for not using the textbook, consider not purchasing it. Visit the library when you need occasional access to available texts for completing assignments.

Buy or rent the digital version.
Many textbooks are now available as eBooks, and they’re often less expensive than purchasing a hard copy. and are good places to start your online search for cheap textbook rentals.

Share books with a roommate or friend.
Split the costs and make the book accessible to both parties. You can even set up a regular schedule or study date so you both have equal access.

Do your research.
There are plenty of great resources online to rent, comparison shop, or even buy or rent single chapters of textbooks. are just a few good web options.  Do your homework to find the best prices!


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