Money Saving Tips for Buying College Textbooks

How to Save Money on College Textbooks

Textbooks are one of the greatest college expenses, and each year a college student will spend hundreds of dollars on their books. Many courses in the liberal arts field require multiple books per class, which adds to this daunting expense. This cost is extremely taxing on a college student’s tight budget, but by following a few simple tips, buying college textbooks can be a little easier on your wallet.

Only Buy the Books You Need

Before buying textbooks, consult with your professor or read through their syllabus to determine which texts are required and which are recommended. If you are not interested in taking another class in the subject matter, the recommended reading materials may not be necessary. You can always try and check the book out from a library or buy a copy later if you determine that the recommended texts are needed for some reason.

Skip Supplementary Material

Textbooks often come with CDs or workbooks as supplementary material. Sometimes they come with the book, and sometimes they need to be purchased separately. Most professors do not utilize these materials and don’t require them, so they are often not needed. Unless otherwise specified, do not spend extra money on supplementary materials.

Order Online

Often online stores like,, or offer textbooks at a much cheaper price than college bookstores. Many of these books are used, leading to added savings. Social networking sites like Facebook or classifieds pages like Craig’s List may also have ads for students wishing to sell their previous textbooks for a great deal, so all of these avenues should be considered before spending money in the school bookstore.

Make Money By Selling Your Books

Don’t feel like you have to get a new textbook, and keep yours in good condition so you can sell them back when you are finished with them. This means avoid highlighting or writing inside of the book. Typically selling books on a site like will receive a higher price than selling them back to the bookstore, so consider all of your options before making a decision on where to sell. This extra cash will make buying your books for your next semester a little less financially painful.

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