Don’t go broke buying textbooks for college! Here are some ways to save on those pricey books.

As back to school season hits its stride, the ever present expense for college students remains the cost of textbooks. Sometimes the prices can be a difficult pill for students to swallow, and depending on your course load, it can run into over a thousand dollars for a single semester. But don’t give up hope yet. Here are a few simple tips you can use to avoid September sticker shock.

The reason that textbooks are expensive is that they are constantly updated, often with minor edits. If your class is regularly offered as part of the curriculum, you will find that other than a difference in page numbering, the content is still valid, therefore an older used version will suit your purposes just fine.

Believe it or not, avoiding the campus book store whenever possible is actually a good idea. You will find that the mark-up on used books is considerably higher here. Searching online will give you the best results and bargains. Certainly there may be an instance when a text is not available anywhere used, and you have to bite the bullet. Even under those circumstances, you can still find new books online in addition to potential discounts and, in the instance of Barnes and Noble, added store coupons.

As mentioned above, buying used versions whenever possible is your best route to savings. The campus bookstore carries used books, but you can also search out local independent book stores near campus as potential sources. New textbooks are seldom worth the investment for such limited short-term usage.

You can also share the expense with a friend or classmate. This scenario will require some planning in advance, but ideally, if your classes are in different semesters, there should be no problems.

You don’t need to break your piggy bank to crack the books this year.