Saving Money on Books

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Rule #1 notwithstanding, if gas for trips to the library costs more than the book, just buy the book.
  3. 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).
  4. Order online from places that offer free shipping.
  5. 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.

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