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?


Alyssa J Freitas is a college student majoring in Management and minoring in Professional Selling and Law, Politics, and Philosophy.  Alyssa works as a resident assistant (RA), is a dedicated blogger, and lover of etiquette.  Attending law school is her number one goal, but if that is not possible being a Bollywood star will also suffice. Her life’s ambition is to set foot on all seven continents and she already has three down! When she is not with her residents, mentoring students in the business school, studying, blogging, or watching Indian films, you will find her with her nose stuck in a book.

2 Comments on ThePreppyU: How To Save Money on Textbooks

  1. Kelly B.
    September 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm (3 years ago)

    Amazon is my go-to site for textbooks! I just love the 2 day shipping with the student prime!

  2. Ellen
    September 4, 2014 at 11:08 pm (3 years ago)

    All so true! Can’t wait until my textbook buying days are over. Great post!


Leave a Reply