You’ve signed up for classes, bought some notebooks, pens, and other supplies to make sure you’re prepared. You’re already likely not excited about the ridiculous tuition bill that you owe soon, and the next semester is almost here. And then you get the syllabus before the break is even over. What next? More money needs to be spent. Textbooks. The final beatdown on a wallet that’s already taken a pounding from the tuition, those new tires due to Michigan roads, or the ridiculous cost of ever rising utility and phone bills.

How can an institution expect you to pay, after already having spent thousands, hundreds more, to just be able to properly access the class that you’ve already paid for? It seems asinine to many, especially those who have to pay $200+ per book because there’s a special edition that’s required. But fear not, there are some ways you might be able to save yourself some cash, or even make it back!

The following is by no means the best or exhaustive methods to save money, but they’re definitely some of the easiest options to look into!

Some of the basic options that everyone knows about include the following:

  1. Buy a used copy
  2. Buy an older edition (Check with your instructor first)
  3. Rent instead of buying
  4. Buy and resell at the end of semester.
  5. Search for a PDF version available online, or purchase a digital copy.

There are several ways to save even further while following these options! 


  1. Use coupon codes.
    1. Add-ons like Honey provide discount codes that others may have found, and randomly tries all available codes to save you money, and often, you may save a small percentage!
    2. You can also just google coupons and a lot of websites exist literally just to share coupon codes.

  2. Use a payback service or get gift card bonuses.
    1. Ebates, and similar services give you cash back for using their links to purchase, and Ebates is a partner with Amazon, one of the most commonly used websites for purchasing books. If you can’t find cheaper deals, at least you can earn cash rewards.
    2. Websites like Amazon allow you to purchase gift cards or load them online. Often, you can load $100, and get a free $10! That’s $10 towards books, impulse purchases, anything!

  3. Go to the Library.
    1. Often, school libraries will have a few copies of every textbook available, but hurry, as it’s almost always gone before the first week of class!

  4. Don’t buy it.
    1. Talk to your instructor. Often times, professors make their own slides and presentations based on the book to use for lecture, and reading those with some light online research may be enough to slide through.
    2. You may not need the book for as much as you thought, so you could potentially take pictures of it from a friend.


At the end of the day, not all textbooks will be available in these methods. Sometimes you may have an instructor who wrote their own book. In those instances, it may not be able to be found anywhere else except to purchase new. In those cases, if feasible, you can try to split it with a friend, but if all else fails, you’re stuck letting your wallet continue to endure it’s beating. But hopefully with these steps you can at least save on one or two books, and in the times we live in, every little bit helps.