Hit the library and save a bundle

libraryThis week is National Library Week. It’s a geek thing to know, but I’m not in the least embarrassed to admit I love the library. It is not an exaggeration to say that we visit the library at least once a week. We’re on a budget so the library is our best friend. I’m always in search of easy ways to save a few bucks so here are a few of my personal favorite ways to save money at the library:

Free Internet: This may be a tad extreme for some people, but if you don’t need access to the internet all the time, ditch the internet bill in favor of free internet at the library. Most public libraries allow about two hours per day of internet access on their computers. Bring your own laptop and access their free Wi-Fi for as long as you need it. Savings: At least $30 a month.

Free movies: This is one of my favorite tricks to the library. You can check out nearly any movie and/or television show on DVD from the library. You may have to check their online catalog and reserve or place a hold for the DVD, but if you can wait, you can save a bundle. To take advantage of this, plan ahead and reserve movies for the weekend a couple days in advance.

While I’m here, let me mention the library hold system is underused. You can check out books and movies from other libraries in your area from your home base. Simply reserve a copy (place a hold) and they’ll bring it to your library for you to pick up.  

Free children’s programs: Most local libraries offer story time activities for young kids. These often include guests (magicians, animal keepers, Santa Claus etc.). They are usually held once a week for a half hour or so. It’s a great way to get out of the house on a cold or rainy day.

 Free books: I read a lot. A LOT. It’s a lifestyle. If you love reading or your kids love reading, the library is a great place to pick up a few books. While I love the idea of having a house full of books, it’s simply too expensive to buy everything I read. I save a bundle by checking out books and magazines from the library. Say farewell to magazine subscriptions and bookstore purchases and head to your local library for easy savings.

Word of caution: As a side note, the money-saving feature of the library can bite you in the butt if you don’t return your books and movies on time. At .10 cents a day for books, you are probably safe to keep a book a few days extra to finish up. However, DVDs and CDs are usually $1.00 or more per day for late fees, so return them on time or renew them. Lost fines add up to, so keep a basket in your living room or office to collect library items so they don’t disappear into the ether or missing socks.


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