Books aren't cheap y'all. But since you're here reading this, I'm gonna assume you already know that and are here for tips on how to stretch your book budget as FAR as possible. My tips aren’t perfect and maybe some of them won’t even work for you, but I hope this can be a resource to get you thinking about other out of the box ways to save just a little bit every month on buying something you love.
Here are my TOP 5 ways to save big $$$ when I'm on a book buying splurge:
1. Library book sales and thrift stores
Your local thrift stores and library sales can be 24K GOLD mines when it comes to getting books for cheap. I purchased 20 new-to-me books at my local library earlier this spring (including a signed Sarah J. Maas!) for less than $50. I also regularly find new releases and popular books at my local Goodwill. Books at thrift stores in my area are normally $2.99 or less for a hardback! Buying second hand has undoubtedly saved me a small fortune.
2. Ibotta rebates
This one is great for people who love to buy their books online. Ibotta (referral link) is a phone app that gives users cash back in return for shopping at certain stores and buying certain items. I've been using it for 3 years and find it nice enough — I've earned about $200 back since 2015. Recently, I discovered you can get 2% back on online purchases from Barnes and Noble. The 2% back is off your final purchase price, so use any coupons you have too. That's 2% back on ebook purchases as well if you have a Nook device. It’s not a ton of money saved, but every penny counts.
3. Library/ Book swap with friends
Probably the most underrated way to save BIG on books — don't buy them! Most of us don't have the room in our homes to build the libraries we fantasize about, so there is no shame in borrowing from the library or friends. Treat borrowing books as a first date. If you check it out and you just like it, no need to text back. But if you fall in love, add your new beau to your Amazon cart stat!
4. Sites like bookoutlet.com and thriftbooks.com
To be honest, I haven't used either of these sites, but I've heard GREAT things about both from other book nerds. I mean who doesn't want to get the Throne of Glass Collectors edition for $11 instead of $35!? Most of the stock is overstock from what I understand, so don't expect books to be in "New" condition. They are probably more like "Like New."
5. B/S/T groups
If you aren't familiar with the B/S/T groups, get ready to try VERY hard to not spend all your livesavings. B/S/T simply means Buy, Sell, Trade. These are groups on Facebook where you can buy and sell and even trade your books (and bookish merch!) with other book lovers. It's like a virtual garage sale. You can find some pretty amazing (and even out of print) books up for grabs from fellow book lovers. A word of caution. Be smart when purchasing from B/S/T groups. Most good groups have rules in place to protect you from losing out to scammers. I've had good luck both buying and selling in a few bookish subscription box groups, but be smart. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.