Whenever I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.
– – – – – – Erasmus
Books are expensive! Over the years I’ve learned a few tips for saving money.
- Don’t buy a book you’ll only read one time. Borrow it from the library. If your local library doesn’t have the book, try inter-library loan. Only buy books you find yourself borrowing again and again and again.
- Rule #1 notwithstanding, if gas for trips to the library costs more than the book, just buy the book.
- Never pay full price. Barnes & Noble extends their 20% educator discount to homeschoolers. Some other bookstores do, too. Unfortunately, that discount does not apply to college textbooks (even if you’re using them for your high school curriculum).
- Order online from places that offer free shipping.
- Order online from places that offer a discount off the suggested retail price (Rainbow, CBC, etc)
HOWEVER, there is one other thing I do that will help with college textbooks, not just our homeschool curriculum.
Credit Card Rewards Points
Yes, almost everything I buy, I put on a credit card that gives reward points. $45 worth of points gets me $50 worth of books at Barnes & Noble. I believe there’s an option for Amazon, too. This means that for paying with plastic instead of cash, I get free books. Last year we got $300 worth of my son’s college textbooks this way. Now that we’re buying college books for child #2, and the tab for first semester books is $930, I’m happy to get a few hundred of those with reward points instead of cash.