Student Life: Saving on Textbooks

Monday, September 5, 2011

Disclaimer: If you aren't a student, you may find this post incredibly boring! Now, those of you who are interested in how we saved money on textbooks...keep reading!

First, our list of the bookstore new and used prices:

Grant Writing: New-$40 Used-$30
Aging: New-$42.70 Used-$32.05
Adult Development & Aging: New-$195 Used-$147
Life with Big Al: Caregiver's Diary: New-$12.95 Used-$9.75
Social & Personality Development: New-$202 Used-$152
Cognitive Development: New-$115 Used-$86
Children's Thinking: New-$147 Used-$110
Single Variable Calculus: New-$66.70 Used-$50

Just the used priced books adds up to a whopping $616!!

First off, we stressed out a little bit and pulled out a little bit of hair...then we calmed down and started making plans:

1. Sell your old textbooks: We each have a growing collection of textbooks that we did not sell back after the classes were over because we wanted to keep them for reference during our careers etc. We decided to let go of them after deciding we would purchase an older edition (always much cheaper than the current) of each book if the need arose later on. With a combination of several of mine and several of his, we made $200! :) Not too shabby.

2. Ditch the campus bookstore: I don't hate the BYU Bookstore...they employ lots of students and they have great sales...but they do seem to have high textbook prices. We checked on Amazon for our books first and then went to Boomerang Books, just a block south of campus. I usually use Book Exchange for a lot of my books, but this year I didn't have much luck. Book Exchange is program for BYU students where you can buy and sell books straight to other students. I bet other campuses have something similar. Also I discovered Blyph this week via The Daily Universe.

3. Rent: Unfortunately, a couple of my books are brand new editions and could not be purchased used. We didn't want to pay the full price, so we decided to rent them for a portion of the new price. Score!

4. Go to class first: I'm a little OCD (I know, big surprise! ;) in the way that I HAVE to have my books before my classes start. But sometimes instructors will change their tune a little on their books. Nate waited to get his English class book this semester and then his instructor told them not to buy it. Sweet!

5. Go to the library: My good friend Holly suggests to simply borrow the necessary books from the library when needed and nix the spending of money all together!

Our end result:
Grant Writing: New-$40 (I had to buy this one was not on Amazon or anywhere else! And there were no more used at the Bookstore!)
Aging: New-$42.70 (A brand new edition...nothing used available!)
Adult Development & Aging: $75 (Renting from Boomerang)
Life with Big Al: Caregiver's Diary: $6 from Boomerang
Social & Personality Development: $117 from Boomerang
Cognitive Development: $20 from Boomerang
Children's Thinking: $117 from Amazon
Single Variable Calculus: $35 (Renting for Boomerang)

Total price: $452.70...which actually translates to $252.70 since we sold $200 worth of books to Boomerang. Boo-yah. :)

Maybe these tips are old news for you...did I miss any that help you save money on textbooks?


  1. Ha ha, I remember trying all those strategies!

  2. Just's your last semester of this ridiculous expense!! Woo hoo! And I'm glad to see my tip made the list ;)

  3. LACEY. i went to that place and got my textbook for 5 dollars. plus, i have the borrowed textbook from you. You have basically saved me hundreds of dollars. Thank you!

    ps. darling picture


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