How To Save Money On Textbooks | Alyssa J Cori: How To Save Money On Textbooks

August 25, 2014

How To Save Money On Textbooks

I hate buying textbooks. If I had unlimited money I would just go to my campus' bookstore and it would be easy and life would be good. Unfortunately I can afford to do no such thing so I have gotten crafty. Today I'm going to share some of my secrets for getting the best price on your textbooks!

  • Always rent. Let me repeat that. Always rent. The likely-hood of you needing to actually refer to a college textbook again is so rare and if you truly need that information it should be in your notes. Of course there are exceptions but as a general rule you should always rent. 
  • Check around for the best price. SlugBooks and are two really helpful sites that comparison-shop for you.
  • Only get required books. If it's recommended that you have a certain book, don't waste your money initially. You can always get it later if you feel like you really need it. 
  • Find out if you need an access code. Access codes are the man's way of taking college students for all they are worth! Don't get trapped by the man. Email your professor to find out if he plans on using the code and if he does, see if you can get it for less from places like Amazon instead of from the publisher. It is usually less expensive to rent the book and buy the access code separately.
  • Ask if you can use an earlier edition. Don't think that you need to have the most up to date version of the book. Most of the time there are only minor changes from one edition to another so getting an earlier edition can save you a ton of money. Once again, just email your professor to find out. 
  • Even better, borrow. Ask around to see if any of your friends or a friend's friend has taken the course and is willing to loan you the book or rent it to you. It helps to make older friends in your major so you can learn from them and so you can get dibs on their books.
Hopefully these tips will help you to save money this semester. Do you have any other advice for the misers like myself out there?


P.S. This post was also featured on The Preppy Mag!


  1. Just bought all my textbooks! I should have rented, but I never know if I would want to keep my books. But that's just me! I agree with all of these tips though! It's probably smarter to rent!

    1. Perhaps you will find that you are happy you bought instead of rented! If not, then at least you will know for the future :)

  2. Definitely rent or borrow! It saves you sooo much money in the long run.

  3. Great tips! I used slugbooks/chegg to purchase my books for law school and saved A TON in comparison to what my classmates paid!

    Makeshift Munch

    1. Thank you! I can't even begin to imagine how much law books are going to cost once I get there. It's good to know that slugbooks and chegg offer them.

  4. yes borrow! my major had a facebook group and we traded books all the time!