If college (and now even high school) seems to already be expensive through their rising tuition and board prices, note the ever increasing prices of books. Yes, books. You can get an informative book from ARC for $2, but a new college textbook can run you over $100. Heck, the cheapest I could find my most expensive book this past semester was $86. It is ridiculous.
But luckily, I can give you some tips to help mitigate the ever increasing inflation of book prices.
Step 1: Ask Your Friends
If you are taking generals or have friends in the same major as you, ask them if you can borrow their books or buy it from them for minimal fee. The advantage to borrowing is that you are not worrying about money within the transaction at all.
Step 2: Check the Web
And I do mean check. As soon as you sign up for classes, check every website. Here are the ones I use:
These have saved me hundreds of dollars already, just wait to see the savings at the end my degree.
Step 3: Types
Choose carefully the type of books you want. The more used, the cheaper they run. This also means the more damaged they could be. But in addition to wear and tear, think international. International copies are normally more simply written, are still in English, and are cheaper. Furthermore, e-books or downloads are cheaper because they are not physical (obviously). They also mean no shipping is required, which may further lower your total cost.
Step 4: Buy or Rent
In terms of generals, honestly, do not make the mistake of buying. You may as well rent because it does not matter in the long-term. My $86 International Edition, I bought. I could have rented it for probably half that. I will never look at it again. There is no reason I should have bought it. If you are further in your studies and are finally getting to the meat of your major, you should buy because the majority you will learn are consistent theories that you will reference again and again, but first check if your local thrift store has similar concept books, because then you can buy those for cheap and rent the school book for the same content for less money.
Step 5: Check Online
I know this sounds the same as Step 2, but this means not purchasing in any form. See if you can find a .pdf or e-book online for free for download or bookmark. For instance, I was able to find the third Hunger Games online completely and read it, no money involved, just dedicated searching.
Well there you have it. What steps have you taken to mitigate costs on school textbooks?