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Back to School: How to save on textbooks

Posted: 5:24 AM, Aug 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-19 06:57:06-04

For college kids, the start of the semester means added expenses, including books.

Every college campus has a bookstore, but of course, once you walk through the doors, you're signing up to pay hundreds of dollars. But if you've got a smart phone, then you've got an easy way to save.

Students are expected to set aside $1,200 a year for books and other course materials, according to the College Board.

To avoid that scenario, we met up with financial savings expert Cat Alford, who has been tracking some of the best digital apps you can use to save big bucks.

First up – Chegg, a company that will allow you to get an e-book copy of your textbook while you wait on the physical copy to come in the mail.

"If you have homework due that day and you waited too long to buy your books, you can access the book right away while you wait," Alford says.

Meanwhile, Campus Books allows you to price compare with other sellers, including Amazon, and has GPS technology in the app, allowing you to get your book as soon as possible.

"They will actually find your location," Alford says. They will tell you which stores in your area have the college textbook that you need."

Another fan favorite is eCampus, which helps students save up to 90 percent on both new and used textbooks.

"They usually offer a lot of different coupons on top of the savings you already have, so it really pays to use a coupon search," Alford says.

With all these companies, if you don't want to put up the cash to buy, you can always rent. And keep in mind, if you get financial aid, you may want to check with your school and see if they'll allow you to allocate some of those funds to the books.

For more Back to School coverage, click here.