How to Save Money on College Textbooks

You know how they say "don't go to the grocery store hungry" ???  They say that for a reason.  Your eyes become bigger than your wallet and before you know it, you're at the check out racking up over $300 in groceries with everything from chips and salsa to sushi... and you don't even like sushi. But it was there and it looked good. So you threw it in the cart under the huge stretch of your imagination that, "yeah I might eat this later."

Relax.  Put the sushi back and eat before you go to the bookstore.

I probably shouldn't be saying this as an IU blogger but... I’m a student first!  I’m much more interested in saving other students money than helping bookstores squeeze every extra dime out of you that they can. So what I mean by “eat before you go to the bookstore” is this:

Compare Prices

Your first instinct might be to go buy all new books from the IU bookstore, but don't. It's just a big fat waste. Rent used books online and save a freakin' lot.

My favorite website to rent from is Campus Buddy.  It is a website that allows you to simply type in the ISBN of the book you need and then pulls every website where you can get it from, ranking companies with your book in stock from least expensive to most.

100% of the time I’ve used this site, the books I’ve gotten were SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than our options on campus with the IU and TIS Bookstores.

Know What is Required

When you type in your classes to see what books you need, the list the school gives you usually throws in extra stuff you DO NOT need.  If it says “Book store recommended” DO NOT BUY IT! 

Although these extras might supplement what you need, there is a reason your professor did not include it in your required materials for class.  They obviously do not intend on using it.  If you really think you want the extras, at least wait until the class has started to purchase.  Trust me they will still be full in stock if you wait (since nobody buys them).

Walmart Sells Pencils Too Yano

Kid in a candy shop or freshman in the bookstore? It all looks the same when you go shopping for school supplies on campus without a list of what you need. You’ll see a cool-looking binder with “Indiana University” written in giant letters across it and think you need it.  Because let’s get real, this fancy IU binder will keep you much more organized than the plain one that costs half as much ...Right??

Lol, wrong. Hold off until after the 1st week of classes to see what supplies you need. Then make a list and get the supplies from any random store.  This way you won’t walk out of an expensive bookstore with sushi and a pointless binder you thought looked cool.

You won’t just save. You’ll save a lot.

Besides that, you can't get this "college essential" from the IU Bookstore.  You'll need an extra pack of ping pong balls incase you lose yours in an intense ping pont tournament, which are conveniently located next to these red solo cups.  You'll need to stock up on those as well incase you get thirsty and need some lemonade.

But maybe I’m wrong and it’s just my $18-textured-IU binder from the bookstore that doesn’t have these special organizing powers. And maybe buying a new psychology text book from the bookstore for $260 that you will never use again is much smarter than renting a used one online for $32 dollars.

The world may never know.

Keep on keepin' on,

..Heyyy, it would be super cool if you found my blog helpful to leave me a comment on it and say so! Or use the share buttons and tweet about it and post it to Facebook.  You can also follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my videos on YouTube!

About The Author
Alyssa AndrewsLego Enthusiast

God first. Pokémon training second. And Reporting for IU Athletics Third.  Haha what's up! I'm a Junior at Indiana University double majoring in Telecommunications & "Social Media Journalism" via Individualized Major Program. Get to know me better through twerk videos and sports talk on