There are lots of ways to save money, and I use a combination of them all. From using coupons, to finding cheaper ways to celebrate holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or anniversaries, to going on a full blown spending hiatus, the options are literally endless. But one of my favorites is to save money with the library.
The reason I love using the library as a method for saving money is because of how versatile it is. Not only can using the library help you save money on purchase, but it can also help you save money on activities and provide so much stuff to do!
Most people think of the library as just books and old newspapers, but trust me, the library is so much more than that! There are seven huge ways to save money with the library, and I’m going to share them all with you so that you can get going on saving more money, faster.
7 Best Ways to Save Money with the Library
Here are my top 7 favorite ways to save money with the library. The library has so much to offer. Use it to your advantage!
Obviously books are number one. If you love to read like I do, you’re likely annoyed that books cost like $20 each, if you’re lucky. And kids books are even like $17 these days! I don’t know about you, but there are just too many kids books I want to check out to be buying them all at $10-$20 a piece. (Even though I do pick up a lot at rummage sales because, I mean, .25!)
I like to check out the new release section and have actually stumbled upon some pretty cool stuff. Remember that movie that came out in 2018, Annihilation? I actually had just finished reading the trilogy by an author I’d never heard of (Jeff Vandermeer) when they announced it was being made. It was a great book and I never would have found it any other way.
In addition to regular books, there are also audio books. My husband loves these. He has a long commute and listens to them on his way to and from work. For those of you who are like, “CDs; what are those?” A lot of libraries also have digital copies that can be borrowed by accessing a file, or free or discounted streaming services like Audible.
Movies are also another big one for us. Sometimes movies will come out and I forget all about them for like, 5 years. Then I stumble upon one at the library and can’t wait to watch it. It’s a great way to find old favorites that you don’t want to necessarily buy, can’t easily find on streaming services, and you’ll never find in a rental box.
The library is also a really great way to check out something if you aren’t really sure you’ll like it; it costs you absolutely nothing so there is no commitment. I do not feel guilty turning it off if it’s incredibly boring, or just plain bad. And I didn’t buy it, so it isn’t cluttering up my house.
I also love that you can get full TV seasons at the library. I decided I wanted to watch Mike & Molly just about the time the show went off the air. We don’t have cable, so I was unlikely to come across it, and it wasn’t on Hulu or Netflix. Luckily, I was able to get every season from the library.
This is one we don’t take advantage of enough, to be honest. There are so many things to do at the library! Ours has daily events like kids story times, preschool dance parties, and kids clubs like Lego and Minecraft groups. There’s even a night where kids learning to read can read to dogs to practice without judgment or pressure. How cool is that?!
Ours also puts on monthly adult movie nights and family movie nights. There are community discussions and presentations to get people more involved and spark conversations. And during the summer, there are reading contests and challenges for kids, and even some for adults.
In case you want to check out some books but your kids aren’t always super into it, there’s usually a cool place for them to play while you browse. For Zach, at age four, it’s super overwhelming to look at the spines of a bunch of books and pick anything out. So he plays with the other kids and we find some we think he’ll like. He loves going to the library and coming home with a stack of new books!
4. Wi-Fi and Internet
For anyone who doesn’t have the internet, or wants to get rid of it, this is an awesome one. Bring your laptop in and browse the internet, check your email, or work on your blog. That’s what these guys do!
If you don’t have a laptop, that’s okay too. There are computers that usually have some kind of time limit for anyone with a library card. Our library allows three hours of usage. Our library also has laptops that can be checked out for use in the library.
Oh, magazines. I remember when I used to have magazine subscriptions. They were too expensive, I never had time to read them, they piled up on my counter, and every other month I would rapidly rifle through each one and toss it in the trash. Just to say I’d “read it.”
Now, if I want a magazine I can get it at the library. I can copy down any recipe I want to keep. I can photocopy arts and crafts directions. I no longer need to pay money to pile them around my house hoping to someday look at them.
6. Book Sales
Ask anyone; I love a good sale. Sales on books are even better. A few times a year, libraries will have book sales where they clear out the old, not often checked out books, in favor of incoming newly released books and popular series.
Some libraries will sell the books at a flat rate for each item; like $1 for hard cover and .50 for kids books. Others will do the same, but then on the second and last day of the sale, offer a bag sale. These are my favorite. You bring in a paper bag and fill it as much as you want for a flat rate. The rate is usually $3-$5.
These sales also don’t just have books. They sell audiobooks, games, puzzles, magazines, basically anything they loan out, they can also sell.
7. Games & Learning Resources
Speaking of games and puzzles, they have those, too! Our library has three rows of games, puzzles, and learning resources in the kids area. But they aren’t all for kids. There are family games, adult and teen games, puzzles and brain teaser games for varying abilities.
There is also an entire row of trivia and knowledge building materials for kids, as well as items to help them learn new skills like tying shoes or managing emotions.
It’s fun and easy to save money with the library!
If you didn’t use the library much before, or had never really thought about it, I hope I’ve convinced you that it is truly more than possible to save money with the library. Especially if your library is close by and you don’t have to drive or use much gas to get there!
I love how I can save money with the library just by using what I would normally spend money on anyway. I have spent so much on books and movies over the years, some of which were barely ever used. It kills me thinking I could have just borrowed them and then gotten them out of my house! So you can save space and sanity with the library, too.