If you like saving money on Books, Magazines & Music, this is the page for you. It contains a growing number of money saving ideas for cutting costs when you relax and learn.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 1 Preview Books and Music Before You Buy
- 2 Audio Books for Free!
- 3 A Great Place to Donate Unneeded Books
- 5 Used Bookstore Credit for Buying Used Books
- 6 Kill Book Mildew with Bounce
- 7 Purchase Books by the Bag
- 8 Book Swap on the Web
- 9 Turn Your Books, Movies and Games into Cash
- 10 Recycling Magazines at the Office
- 11 Magazines For Sale at the Library
- 13 Keeping Track of Magazine Renewals
- 14 Reading Magazines & Newspapers at the Library
- 15 Free Vintage eBooks From The Past
- 16 Book Marking in a New Way
- 17 Cheap Magazines at the Library
- 18 Purchasing Used and New Books Online
- 19 How to Save on Newspaper subscriptions
- 20 More Resources for Books, Magazines & Music
Preview Books and Music Before You Buy
I just read all the suggestions on your website. It looks like some people have really found ways to save money using the library. I do, too – I use it to preview things I’m interested in buying. For instance, my toddler and I like listening to music while she eats or we’re driving around. I take CDs out of the library first and give them a “trial run.” If she and I like them, I return the CD and buy it from the store. We’ve also done this with picture books and reference books that my husband and I may use. Debbie N. – Campbell, CA
Audio Books for Free!
If you love audiobooks, you’ve got to check out LibriVox app for iPhone and Android or go to the website LibriVox.org. All audiobook recordings are made by volunteers, but some of these volunteers are superb actors and actresses with phenomenal voices.
All books are in the public domain, but the titles they have audio books for may surprise you. Classic Titles like Swiss Family Robinson, The Art of Public Speaking, The Count of Monte Cristo, Grimms Fairy Tales, Pride and Prejudice, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Time Machine and Moby Dick. This is an awesome free resource and can help you become well-read without spending a fortune doing it. Steve Economides – Scottsdale, AZ
A Great Place to Donate Unneeded Books
I had a 1974 set of World Book Encyclopedias which I never used, preferring Google and Wikipedia.com for reference. Re-sale shops said if I donated them, they would shred them. One of my daughters-in-law’s suggested that I donate them to an adult day care center. They not only welcomed the set and the yearbooks but also gave me a receipt for a tax-deductible donation. Jean A. Fountain – Iowa City, IA
Used Bookstore Credit for Buying Used Books
I take books that I’ve read and don’t want to keep any longer to a used bookstore near my home. They give me a generous credit that can be applied to other books that I “buy” from them. Ethel Kilbridge – Carefree, AZ
Kill Book Mildew with Bounce
I purchased an old cookbook I wanted for my cookbook collection. The only problem was that the book smelled of mildew. Because it only cost $1, I bought it.
I placed several dryer sheets between pages (about 6) and then enclosed the book in a freezer bag with a few extra sheets on the outside of the book. Then I left it for about 6 weeks. When I opened up the freezer bag and took out the book I was pleasantly surprised – there was absolutely no mildew smell at all! Ann N. – Pittsburgh, PA
Purchase Books by the Bag
Here’s my low-cost way to buy books: Several times each year our local library holds weekend book sales. The second day of the sale is “Bag Day,” when I can get a grocery bag full of books for anywhere from $2 to $3. After selecting the books I’m interested in, I usually have room left in the bag. I then choose enough other good-condition paperback books with higher cover prices to fill in the sack. Then I take these and any other paperbacks I no longer want to a paperback exchange store. At this store, I get credit based on the cover price, which I can then use to buy other books I want from that store. Jana Oyler – Santa Fe, NM
Book Swap on the Web
Since my daughters homeschool their 5 kids, sometimes it can get pretty expensive to find the books they need. We found the website www.PaperBackSwap.com and have been getting most of the books we need for free. It doesn’t cost anything to sign up and you can list books you no longer want, and request books you need from others. It’s saved us lots of money since the whole family enjoys reading! Also, you can get book credits for referring people – so if you decide to try it out PLEASE say that “cowboyfan” referred you so I can get more credits to use for more kids’ books! They also have a similar site called www.SwapAcd.com for music. Connie H. – Sherman, T
Turn Your Books, Movies and Games into Cash
Several of our blogger friends have been raving about Decluttr. It’s a way to sell your Unused Games, books, movies, cell phones and more to Decluttr and Make Money! Whether you have Books, Magazines & Music, it doesn’t matter.
All you do is enter the barcode of a book, movie or game into their system and they give you an instant price. If it’s an old smartphone, you input the model, the amount of memory and condition and they give you a price for that also.
You’ll receive payment the day after they receive your stuff.
Their app makes inputting your things even easier because it has a built-in barcode reader. More than 3 million people in the US and UK use tried Decluttr to turn their unwanted things into cash.
All you have to do is box up your stuff, attach the FREE shipping label they provide and mail it off. It couldn’t be simpler. Steve Economides – Scottsdale, AZ
Recycling Magazines at the Office
If you’re retired and don’t see your former co-workers enough, here’s an idea. My former office-mates love to read all of my magazines after I’m finished with them. We get together to have lunch every two or three months, and when I leave the office, their recyclable cans and bottles go with me – they don’t have recycling pick-up at the office. The end result is that they get my magazines, I get to socialize with my friends and I also help keep the environment cleaner Kathy C. – Seattle, WA
Magazines For Sale at the Library
My 3-year-old son loves trains, and once we bought him a model train magazine for $5. Later, I found out our library sells back issues of magazines for 10 cents each. I bought a year’s worth of the same magazine for $1.20! He didn’t care that the magazines were two years old and neither did I! Kim H. – California
Keeping Track of Magazine Renewals
I keep a running list of all subscriptions to magazines and newsletters with the expiration date. This way, when I receive a renewal notice I know just how many months I should have left. Some publications start sending renewal notices up to a year in advance. Karyl Engbarth – Prescott, AZ
Reading Magazines & Newspapers at the Library
Local libraries are good for more than free videos.
When I had to curtail spending five to six years ago, I eliminated magazine subscriptions. I can read and even check out the magazines I subscribed to at our local library. From Cooking Light to Good Housekeeping to Money to . . . they have a great selection. I subscribe to one newspaper but read another at the library. Ann Nieser – Pittsburgh, PA
Free Vintage eBooks From The Past
Gutenberg.org has hundreds of thousands of eBooks available for free. One of my favorites is called, The American Frugal Housewife (read it here for free). The American Frugal Housewife, written in 1832 by Lydia Marie Child. It’s history and frugality mixed into one. Some people like it more than the Tightwad Gazette books. It covers topics ranging from what to use scraps of cloth for, to how to cook every kind of meat imaginable. The amazing thing is that much of what she writes about can be applied today. Angel Ayala – Palm Springs, CA
Book Marking in a New Way
To mark pages in books, don’t fold down the corners – it hurts the book. Cut a large corner off of a used envelope and slip it over the corner of the page you want to mark. Carol Meola – Scottsdale, AZ
Cheap Magazines at the Library
I love reading women’s magazines. I find it relaxing to sit and read them while I wait to pick the kids up at school, or while they play at the park.
Unfortunately, magazine individual copies can be expensive, from $1.99 – $4.99 each.
Well, our local library has a “used” book section that sells magazines for 5 cents each. I found three, current month, magazines, in like new condition, and paid only 15 cents total. These would have cost about $12 new. Then I make it even better by donating them to the local clinic for their waiting room. Cindy Saldana – Santa Clarita, CA
Purchasing Used and New Books Online
Almost any books or CD’s that we choose to buy— as opposed to borrowing— we get them used on Amazon.com. The item descriptions often state that the book is brand new or CD is still in the wrapper, so we use this for gift-giving too. I have purchased more than 25 items “used” this way over the past several years, and have saved on average per purchase $8- $10 per item AND done it from the convenience of home to avoid any other impulse buys.
Ann Thomas – Bridgeville, PA
How to Save on Newspaper subscriptions
Newspaper subscriptions have become very expensive. How can you get daily or weekly delivery of a newspaper without spending a fortune?
We mainly want the newspaper because of the Wednesday food ads and the Sunday coupons (free-standing inserts from Redplum and Valassis). Because we have a coupon swap with several friends and family members, we don’t need to always have a newspaper subscription to get the grocery coupons we use.
Here’s a Deal for Newspaper Subscriptions
We wait for a super discounted deal on a newspaper subscription and then purchase several months’ worth of the paper for Wednesday (grocery ad day in our area) and Sunday (or weekends—depending on what promotion they are running). A few years ago we discovered DiscountNewspapers.com. You can easily subscribe to most local papers at huge discounts. Hey, if it saves you a few bucks, why not give it a try. We’ve done it and it’s been great.
You’ll love our money saving tips page for more Recreation Ideas.
For more ideas on how you can enjoy entertainment and recreation without busting your budget, consider our first book, America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money. It has an entire chapter devoted to entertainment and recreation ideas!
More Resources for Books, Magazines & Music
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