I’m rather frugal when it comes to luxury items like books (because lets face it, books are a luxury). I currently don’t have a job, so I don’t have an income stream. It’s rare if I ever buy books and when I do, I’m not that spendy – that is, I’m a very frugal book shopper. So today, I want to share with you some tips on how to be not only a frugal book lover, but a cost-free one too!
The first few tips are the cost-free or no money needed options.
Utilize Your Library
You knew I was gonna go there, but use your library! Especially, if this applies to you. Now, not everyone has the ability, means, and opportunities to go to the library, but if you can – go! There’s nothing stopping you. It’s cheaper, fun, and beneficial in the long run. Other than the cost of getting a library card, which differs from place to place (it might be free or it might not), checking out books, audio books, movies, etc. is completely free. Do it!
Borrow From Friends (& Vice-Versa)
Depending on the type of reader you are and how you like to have your books, it might take some time to warm up to this idea, but hear me out. It’s sort of like your own personal library system between friends. You can even create a whole system around it as well if you’d like, with rules and guidelines, return dates, etc.
When you borrow from friends (or allow them to borrow from you), not only can you automatically bond over it and discuss, but you’re essentially helping each other out. Also, it can give you a chance to try out new authors, new genres, etc. if a friend has those particular books. It just seems like a win-win to me.
I totally made this one up, but if you do something similar, I want to know. Leave a comment down below.
So, this thought came to me while I was looking through an Avon magalog (my sister is an Avon rep). Some reps host parties to show off their products. I was thinking about all sorts of parties people have to show off demos, but also, trade things. I’ve heard of clothes swapping, food swapping, and even having a potluck and swapping baked goods, etc. I wondered – do people do that with books?
So there! Why not have a swap party for books! It could even be an extension of a book club meeting or something of the sort. Get together with some friends, colleagues, acquaintances, tell them to bring some books they don’t want anymore, get together and swap!
The next few tips will hopefully help you save some money. I know for some people not buying books isn’t an option. It’s something you want to continue doing, but would like to save a few bucks. I get it. These tips are for you!
Of course! First place to look is a book sale. But what kind of book sale and where? My top recommendation to scour for books are: library sales, warehouse sales, yard/garage sales, and the general sales you see in a bookstore.
I highly recommend this site to find book sales in your state (US only) or if you’re traveling to another one. It lists library book sales and any large warehouse sales as well.
For sales at a bookstore, be sure to check out their bargain bins and for any ongoing sales. For instance, Barnes & Noble often has a buy 2 paperbacks, get the 3rd free. I especially take advantage of their manga and graphic novel sale.
These books were previously loved and need new homes! Secondhand or used bookstores are a must. Most of the time, you’ll find the books for sale are in good condition so you don’t run the risk of finding torn or missing pages, etc.
Goodwill is my first stop, but also Bookmans in Phoenix, for a touch of local flavor. I bought a book at Goodwill for only $2 once. Retail price it goes for $18. I’m still really happy about that purchase.
Whether it’s Barnes and Noble, Amazon, local indie, etc. It’s best to take advantage of those membership perks!
I have a B&N membership and I make sure I use my card whenever I’m there because it has great perks. 10% everything in the store, free online shipping, and email perks (which I’ll get into in the next section). It’s so great!
Sale Sites & Emails
When it comes to affordable books, online sales are an efficient and often times cheaper option. There are some great sites that offer new and/or used books, low-cost to no shipping cost, and have a wide selection. Here are some sites I recommend:
Now, what about those emails? I highly recommend you sign up for retailer site’s subscription emails. Oh, but they’re so spammy. They are! Sort of, but you can get sale alerts, coupons, and special discounts for being an email subscriber. For example, I subscribe to B&N and they send me a coupon almost every week that ranges from 15%-20% for any item in their store. Book Outlet frequently sends out alerts when books will be 30%-50%. So on and so forth.
If you don’t want to get spammed too much, pick your preferred online retailer and streamline it. No need to get a headache over it.
That’s it, friends! What do you think? Am I just spewing nonsense? What techniques do you use to be more frugal when it comes to book-buying? If you have your own tips & tricks, please leave them in the comments below!