My last day at work was yesterday. I am officially a full time student, scheduled for 18 credit hours. I am finishing up my textbook shopping on August 18th and classes start on the 25th.
- Foundation of Adult Nursing Care (8 Credit Hours)
- Anatomy and Physiology II (4 Credit Hours)
- Early American History (3 Credit Hours)
- Nutrition (3 Credit Hours)
With having a heavy course load, I also have heavy textbook requirements. I loathe spending much on textbooks. Tuition is expensive enough. Here are some ways I save on my book bills.
I love eBooks. My cell phone plan is through Sprint and I was able to get a Galaxy Tab 3 for $50.00 a few months ago. They now have a special on the Galaxy Tab 3, so you may be able to get one for the great price of free.
Pros of eBooks
- Portability – Hundreds of eBooks can fit on a single tablet.
- Search Functions – You can easily search keywords which makes finding information super simple.
- Affordable – eBooks are sometimes cheaper then their printed versions.
- Highlighting and Snipping tools – Save important information and refer to it easily.
- Green – Save the trees!
There are some books I barely read during the semester. I was pretty unhappy that I had to have a book for these classes because it was required by the instructor. I rented my American History book this semester for only $15.75 on Chegg. The rental is good for 180 days. If I don’t use it heavily, I won’t feel the pain in my pocket book.
Cons of eBooks
- Technology – Some people just want a physical book, others find it difficult to maneuver through laptops and tablets.
- Charging – eBooks are useless if you do not have power to your tablet.
- Fragile – You have to be careful with your tablet, one spill or a cracked screen could potentially ruin the savings.
- Limited – Not all print versions of a book have the eBook available.
Money Saving Textbook Tips
- Rent – If you’re able to, rent the book instead of opting for purchase. I have chosen to purchase my nursing books because I will be using them throughout the next two years. This really depends on your school and personal preference.
- Sell – Do not hold on to your books thinking you will use them for reference. You want to sell them as soon as you do not need them any longer. Sell privately on Craigslist or Half.com. The bookstore won’t offer much on used books. I have had the best experience selling (and buying) on Half.com .
- Necessary – If it’s an optional book, I don’t even bother.
- Dumpster Dive – I know this sounds ludicrous but if you go to a major university, check the dumpsters at the end of semester. There are a lot of people who are from other states living in dorms and they will just pitch their books, furniture, etc because they don’t want to haul them. (I learned this trick from my friend who was an RA in college)
- Thrift Stores – My local thrift store sells all books (including textbooks) cheap. 4 for $1.00 cheap. You have to dig, but sometimes, you can find a steal.
- Old Editions – This is essential. Use one edition older than the book your teacher requires. Just make sure the information is the same. Ask the instructor if they assign homework from the book. If they say no, buy an older version. This will save you the most money.
Sites for Textbooks
- BIGWORDS.com & CampusBooks.com – My favorites. Just type in the ISBN or book title, and they will give a list of all available textbooks and pricing information.
- Half.com – In my experience, usually has the cheapest prices and has been my go-to website for selling my used textbooks.
- Chegg.com – I’ve found some steals on eBooks here. Just keep in mind with their rented eBooks, you must have an internet connection to access your books.
Where do you get your textbooks? Do you prefer printed or eBooks?