Encouraging the love of books and reading in children is a goal for many parents. I want little bookworms under my roof don’t you? The simplest way to get children interested in books and reading is to have a large selection of books available for the child to explore and enjoy. That’s why I stay building my kid’s library with books, especially books that represent them.
However, many budgets do not have room for weekly or even monthly book purchases. You’ll be surprised at all the places you can find cheap children’s books that won’t break the bank. To provide your children with a great selection of books while sticking to your budget, consider the following ideas.
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Buy Used Books
Buying used books is the easiest way to save hundreds of dollars a year on children’s books. To find good, quality used books visit a children’s consignment shop or used book store. Consignment shops and used bookstores will generally stock books that are free from stains or markings. The books may have worn bindings and a few dog-eared pages, but the books will be at least half of the original retail price. Quality used books also can be found at online sites like Amazon. Yep, Amazon even has a bargain books section.
Another great place to buy used children’s books is a Library Sale. Many public libraries hold book sales twice a year as a fundraiser for their library programs or other needs. Deals on children’s books are vast at these sales. Slightly worn children’s hardback picture books can be snapped up for a fraction of their retail cost. Library Sales are also a great place to find a large selection of used children’s non-fiction books.
Charity shops like The Salvation Army, The Goodwill Store, or Catholic Charities are other options for finding cheap children’s books. Buying books at charity shops not only save money but you can feel good that the money you have spent is going to a good cause. Many times in these shops, parents can find cheap children’s books for less than one dollar a book. You can find some real gems!
Shop at Dollar Stores
The Dollar Tree should definitely a spot for you to stop at for your cheap children’s book search. You can find some good books in Dollar Tree for just a dollar! You can also check out other dollar stores like Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc which will have new books for a low price.
Book clubs or book swaps are great places to find children’s books at low costs. There are online book clubs that often allow you to get a few free books when you join. These clubs usually run several sales a year, and their books can be cheaper than a bookstore.
You may have to make a commitment to buy a certain number of books within a specific time, so be aware of any rules or restrictions. Book swaps can also be found online and in many larger communities. In a swap club, kids can exchange a book they have already ready for one from another member. Most swaps use a point system based on the age of the book and sometimes based on the author.
You can even start your own book club/swap group with your preschool, daycare, PTA, or church. ParentMap.com has an easy-to-follow list of instructions for arranging your own book swap meeting. You can also look for Little Free Libraries in your community. It’s a “take a book, return a book” FREE book exchange. Find a Little Free Library in your community HERE.
Garage Sales and Auctions
Garage sales and auctions are fantastic places for finding cheap children’s books. A good garage sale will have an area set aside just for kids’ items, including books. Try to find garage sales that are being hosted by multiple families for the best deals and the best variety of books to suit all ages and reading levels.
At estate auctions, savvy shoppers can find boxes of children’s books for big savings. Shopping for children’s books at garage sales and auctions may take a little more work as you will need to sift through items, but with a little patience and luck, you can often find the best deals.
Borrow from the Library
Borrowing books from the public library is the easiest way to save money because it is free. Even if your public library requires a yearly patron fee, the money you save by borrowing versus purchasing new books will be worth it. However, the drawback is that your children will have to return the books after a couple of weeks. They will be able to check the same book out over and over again if they like it, but it will not be theirs to keep.
Children’s books are like children’s clothes; they become outgrown, often quickly. To keep up with a child’s likes and reading level, it is important to be able to provide new books regularly. However, new books do not have to be “new.” To save money on children’s books and still be able to provide plenty of likable reading material, buy used, swap, and borrow. Your kids won’t know the difference, but your wallet will thank you for finding cheap children’s books.
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