Thursday, April 7, 2011
Frugally Finding Books for Your Tot
If you couldn't guess, I could easily spend our entire month's budget on books for Jonathan and Grace.This, however, would not make my husband very happy. So I've had to find ways to be frugal. Here are my favorite tips:
1. Utilize your local library
This is my favorite way to find books and to see if I would be interested in purchasing them. We've been blessed to be in library systems where I can go online and request a book from any library in the system and then pick them up in my local library. It's similar to Inter-Library Loan, but without me having to hassle the librarians to request the book. I can just go online and request them. Being in Chicagoland, there are 23 libraries in our system-- so it's very easy to find books!
2. Inter-Library Loan
I use this whenever I want a book that is not in our library system. I go in to our local library with a list and they do their best to request the book. I often will find that our library will purchase the book if it's not easily available. Libraries have different procedures for this service, so check with your local library. If the book is a must have, then I try to purchase it to add it to our collection:
3. Paperback Swap
I love Paperback Swap! It's a great resource for (almost) free books. To join, you simply list ten books that you have that you no longer want. You get two free books for simply listing your ten items. When someone requests a book you have, you send them the book paying postage. When you find a book you want, you request it from another member and get it in the mail! When I find a book I want, I add it to my wish list. When it becomes available, I'm sent an email and I can request the book. It's that easy!
4. Used bookstores
I have a few used bookstores that I like to frequent. We have several Half Price Books in the northern suburbs, and I love to browse through the shelves. I've found several books this way! My sister-in-law also owns a used bookstore on the east coast and we're blessed that she sends us boxes of books each month!
And there's always Amazon. I use swagbucks to earn Amazon dollars. With Swagbucks, you earn digital dollars for searching the web, taking surveys, answering polls, and other activities. For 450 "Swagbucks" you can score a $5.00 Amazon card. They can add up quickly! Amazon is another good source for used books-- and they often have the most reasonable prices for new books as well.
Those are my ways of stocking up our library. What other tips do you have?