Monday, May 5, 2008

Money Monday!

It's time for another Money Monday! Goodness, I had no clue which idea to pick for this week, once they started rolling around in my penny-stretching mind, but I finally landed on one. The topic? Books. I almost never buy them from a bookstore. There. I said it. Christian bookstore owners everywhere are saying, "NOOOOOOOOO!!!". Sorry, CBO's. But, let's face it. You almost never have what I'm looking for anyway. So where do you get it? Online. But I digress...

I have long been a staunch supporter of the delayed satisfaction of grabbing my books from an online retailer instead of Barnes and Noble and the likes. We love wandering around B&N or Borders just as much as everyone else, but the trip usually ends in me leaving with an overpriced coffee in my hand and a mental list in my mind of what I'm going to get on or Amazon when I get home.

My two favorites are, in that order, and Amazon. is a division of eBay, but the prices are fixed (no auctions). The books just hang out until someone buys them. You can also make a huge wish list of all the things you dream of owning, and then buy them as the Mighty Budget allows. The used books at Amazon are the same way. I just think the selection and prices on for books and movies is better, and there are always plenty of brand new items (I find great deals on slightly used books often as well). If I'm buying a relatively recent release, I usually end up with Amazon- because the prices on either site will be similar, and Amazon gives free shipping on orders over $25.00 when you purchase directly from them. does give you a shipping discount if you use the same seller for more than one item, though, and I use that often.

I'm a bit appalled at the prices people pay for books at the bookstore. I mean, wow. I know, I know, it's tempting. I L-O-V-E books. They make my heart pound and my feelings dance. Oh, I love bookstores, I love books. SO, it makes sense that if I train myself with some delayed satisfaction I can go home empty-handed but in a few days, my hands have twice as many books in them, delivered right to my door... and then the book-love is double-happy. Also, you'll find that the "classics" are super-cheap online, as supply and demand goes. Wonderful, beautiful literature for my mind, Jim's mind, or our children's minds can be found, new, for as little as .75. Even if the cover price at B&N is only $5.99, that's still significant savings. Go check it out!

There isn't just money to be saved in buying books etc. online. There's serious money to be made (insert Ca-Ching! sound). Selling on is super-simple. Go look at your bookshelf and your DVD collection. Right now, I mean it. Find all the books and movies you never read or watch and don't care about, or the ones someone gave you as a gift and you never wanted anyway. Then take 30 minutes to put them online and BAM. I promise you, you'll make some dough. You can leave your items available online as long as you want, there's a very small fee per transaction, and you get reimbursed for shipping. When you don't want to deal with selling, you can just go on "vacation" and come "back" whenever. It's awesome and super-easy. The first time I cleaned out my bookshelf a few years ago, I made over $50 in one month- with books I considered total junk, random books leftover from college (I was an English major) or books we had been given doubles of, or just weird gift books given to us when we got married. Oh, people who read my blog, I implore you to go purge yourself of your excess media and then buy some new shoes!

And now, because seeing is believing, I will flash some of my more recent deals in front of you for inspiration...

1. Keep in mind that every one of these books was purchased brand new. 2. The price I paid is the total price, after shipping and tax. The retail price is the list price alone. (It is far too early in the morning for me to calculate tax for you.)

Here is a deal so nice, I'm blogging about it twice.

Five amazing books from the Pottery Barn Design Library.

Retail: $139.75

My Price: $38.59

Here are two books I found a couple of weeks ago at Barnes & Noble. I fell absolutely in love with them. I knew they'd be perfect for fitting in to our lesson plans. It was very very difficult to leave the store without them. So difficult, I didn't! (Moment of Weakness confession time, here!) I bought them (I never do that!), then instantly knew I could do better and I owed it to the children I was buying them for to try for the best price I could. I returned them the same day, went home, and bought them online. They are incredible!

Retail Price: $ 43.95

My Price: $17.52

Here are some books we bought just after Christmas. Part of the gift my parents gave us, and each of my brother's families, was $100 to spend on a family day out. Me, being the snotty sister I am, wanted to up everyone else and get the best gift for our money. Jim agreed. We are always adding to our family-friendly library of excellent books and movies for the Koch 6 to enjoy over the years. (We read a chapter every day from a "great" book and have worked through quite a few of them in the past year.) We grabbed a ton of books- all of these, plus one book, Burnett's A Little Princess, which, mysteriously, I cannot find anywhere. What in the world? And we got the movies pre-viewed at a local video store. All for under $100. I just added the movies in the picture because I was proud of all the stuff we found...

Retail for the books: $85.82

My Price: $73.28

Here is a pile of-can I just say this- excellent books I got a few weeks ago. Oh, these are all so, so good. I don't have one of the books in the pile that is included in the price, because it's packed away for Grace's birthday- Everyday Graces by Karen Santorum. That is also a very, very good book. Excellent. Also, after I took the picture, I realized that the two WholeHeart books, Seasons of a Mother's Heart and Educating the Wholehearted Child were in the pile, and I actually bought those from their website, because I wanted to support them directly. They came at the same time as the others, though, and I've read them along with these, so I forgot. But, there you go- now you know I do buy books from other places when I think it matters. So I'm not so heartless after all.

Retail (Wholeheart books not included in this price): $98.93

My Price: $65.07

That wraps up this week's Money Monday. Happy week, everyone!


Lisa said...

You are a money saving mama! Good ideas, my friend! I'm going to try this week :)

I love, love, love the library for books too. Go online & put what you want on hold, and when it comes in they give you a ring. To me it's the perfect way to recycle!!! AND, our tax dollars go to support it, so we might as well use it like crazy!

Happy Monday to you, Megan!

Kimberly said...

This is great!! I emailed you before I even read this and it cracked me up to see it was along the same book lines. Anyway. I had never heard of, I will start using it though. I've always loved amazon and use it for everything - free shipping is so great.

Thanks for the tips!

Kristen said...

I am going to check out as well!

I have to admit that this mama and her kids are Library people. We just went there today to score a stack of books for the kiddos. They LOVE it, and so does that tight with money Mama! :-)

Have a great Monday Megan!

Andrea@Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

Amazon works for me! I usually buy the books that are a penny, because I can. Of course, the shipping is 3.99 but....

I do the library a lot as well, but I LOVE owning books. We even have a bookshelf now! Hurray!

I'm loving Money Mondays!!!


Ris said...

I will def check out! I always use amazon with an occasional exception. Walmart has a tiny selection but I can sometimes find a better deal than amazon. I love love love books; its an obsession! Thanks for the tips!