Sharing my tips on finding cookbook bargains.

How to find cookbooks at bargain basement prices

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I’m a little cookbook crazy.  Some might even say a little obsessed.  My sister wonders if there will ever be enough for me.  Nope!  I keep on collecting, especially when I can find them at bargain prices.  My cookbooks are pretty much all over the house and I’m sure I could fill up a cookbook wing in no time if we added one.  Hmmm….that’s a thought.

I’m letting you in on how I find cookbooks at bargain basement prices and showing you a sampling of what I’ve found over the last couple of years.  My hubby said:  “You’re sharing your secrets?”  Of course I am.  You all don’t live around me to scoop up my bargains and I wanted to fill you in.

One of my favorite places to shop for cookbooks is at my local library bookstore (shown above).  There are shelves and shelves of cookbooks.  I make a beeline for the cookbook section as soon as I walk in the door!  I can’t even begin to tell you how many cookbooks I’ve bought there.

Bargain Cookbooks - Collage 1

Library bookstore finds

Most of the cookbooks at my library cost $1.00 and $2.00.  Now that’s a bargain for sure!  You never know what might be on the shelf.  I’ve even given some of these bargains as gifts.  Shhhh….they’ll never know!  I gave my mother-in-law a stack earlier this year as part of a gift and think I only spent $5.00 or $6.00 total on them.

Bargain Cookbooks - Collage 2

More library bookstore finds

Once in a while, I’ll find a cookbook at the library bookstore I’ve been wanting for some time or that’s out of print.  Then it’s time for a happy dance!  They also have bundles of cooking magazines for 50 cents.  You really should check out your library to see if they have a bookstore.

Bargain Cookbooks - Collage 3

Some of my cookbooks from half price sales at the library

The best deals ever are when my library bookstore has half price sales.  That usually happens a few times a year and I really stock up.  Check out the cookbooks above that I’ve gotten at those sales (the Wellesley Cookie Exchange Cookbook has been out of print for years).  We’re talking nothing over $1.00 and most of them for 50 cents!  Raise your hand if you like those kind of deals.

Bargain Cookbooks - Collage 4

Yes, these were at the library!

The special finds above were all found at the library also.  $1.00 for the Pioneer Woman’s first cookbook….score!!!  The Best of the Bake-Off Collection is from 1959 and The Pillsbury Family Cookbook is from 1963.  I found these all at different times and the total for all three was less than $5.00.  What a steal!

Bargain Cookbooks - Collage 5

Cookbooks from Tuesday Morning

Another of my favorite spots to get cookbooks at good prices is Tuesday Morning.  They’ll sometimes have cookbooks that were published a year or two before.  I just recently got the $40 Art & Soul of Baking for $7.99.

Bargain Cookbooks - Collage 6

Bargain cookbooks from Barnes & Noble, a garage sale and HomeGoods

There are so many other places to find bargain cookbooks:

  • Bargain sections of bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million
  • Stores like HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s and more (Ross used to have cookbooks, but I haven’t seen them there in a few years)
  • Thrift and Antique Stores
  • Garage Sales

For reduced prices on newer cookbooks, Sam’s Club and Costco are good options.  Amazon and other online sources offer good prices (although not bargain basement) on newer books as well.   Another tip is to check the books out at a bookstore to make sure you like them and then order them online.  That’s how I do it anyway.

Even though there are an unlimited number of recipes online, there’s still something special about holding a cookbook in your hand and browsing through each page.  Don’t you agree?  I’ll take them new, used and handed down.

What’s your approach to finding bargain cookbooks?  Maybe you head to the library bookstore too or find them at one of the other sources I mentioned.

Happy cookbook hunting!

Note:  These photos were all taken with my phone.

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13 Responses to How to Find Cookbooks at Bargain Basement Prices

  1. Robin – I’m drooling over all your great cookbook finds! Such fun and great deals. The hunt is half of it. You are a woman after my own heart…

    • Robin says:

      You’re right Allie…I love the hunt for cookbooks! If we lived closer, I’m sure we’d be out bargain hunting together quite a bit. :)

  2. I love a good cookbook! I actually really enjoy looking though old ones. It gives a little glimpse into the history of the time and what was popular! I am especially nostalgic about old neighborhood or church cookbooks!
    Thanks for sharing your secrets!

  3. Suzann says:

    I love to collect cookbooks and have been since the late 70’s. and still do. I used to get so much flack
    from the late DH. What I dislike about older cookbooks is they reflect sizes that were available
    in the grocery store at their publication date and now you have to purchase 2 items for a recipe.
    Estate sales are another great place to load up on cookbooks–my best coup was an estate where a doctor had died–he was a widower but still had all his wife’s cookbooks($1.00 each). You could tell from all the junior league titles where they had gone to medical conventions.

  4. Suzann says:

    I left this out of the comments before but just thought about it- Do you have Value Village
    stores–I have picked up really good books there and other odds and ends. I buy men’s sweaters
    that have a few moth dings for about a dollar or two, take them home and run them through the
    washer and when dry they go the cats( love to sleep on these in cold weather) and toss at the end of the season.

    • Robin says:

      Suzann, we don’t have Value Village here. I’ll have to see if I can find one when traveling. Also, in regard to you’re earlier comment, Junior League cookbooks are some of the best with tried and true recipes. :)

  5. sandi r says:

    We must be related for sure… I am a nut case for cookbooks.. I love to collect series books and the hunt to complete the set is fun, fun, fun….. Library book sales, garage sales, and festivals are my local hunting grounds.. Since I live in the north I won’t see you but will now think of you while I am on the hunt!!!

  6. inshgrl says:

    Some of the best places to search are church bazaars and flea market/crafts shows they host at holiday time. Also yard sales and even the local dollar store. My best buys have been at house/estate auctions…3 boxes for 50 cents and there were some great ones! I nearly hyperventalated when I pulled out a 1931 copy of the Joy of Cooking! My friends say I have never met an old cookbook that didn’t need a new home. My father use to say I had so many cookbooks, we could open our own library!

  7. Joan Abbott says:

    I love this article on cookbooks. I also love to find them and collect them. Recently my Mother gave me a bunch of old cookbooks that are handwritten from my Great Grandmother. They are awesome. I do not have a library store near me but I do shop online a lot and sometimes Walmart has some good buys on cookbooks. Just a couple weeks ago I got three really nice Taste Of Home cookbooks for a really good price.
    Thanks for sharing your great advise on where to find cookbooks.
    sincerely,
    Joan Abbott

    • Robin says:

      You’re welcome Joan. I shop for books online as well. I’ll check ones I’m interested in at the bookstore and then order online to save money! :)

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