This week I’m participating in a money saving collaboration with the YouTube Mommy Meetup community. My video is on Using Your Calendar to Grow Your Savings!
You already know that libraries are a great way to save money on books (as long as you return them on time!). And you probably know that most offer computer access & even basic computer skills classes (typing, Microsoft Office, etc.) But many libraries offer many other ways to save money & grow your savings.
Need help with your newest gadget or a computer program? Many libraries now allow you to book a librarian for 30-60 minutes while they assist you one-on-one. No need to pay someone to teach you or to buy a user guide. While technology comes easy for the younger crowd, this can be a great resource for the older among us.
While many libraries have magazines available for check-out (though the number seems to be declining), what I enjoy even more is the magazines available on Overdrive. I load them onto our iPad and I can read at my leisure, even months later. No worries about gettng them read before the due date. And I can read far more than I would check out. And lots of specialized ones. Your library may also offer Zinio which also offers magazines for digital check-out.
I also love Overdrive for books (on my Kindle) & audiobooks for the kids & family listen-alouds in the car. Those weeks when we spend more time in the car than out of it, audiobooks are a fun way to pass the time. On our recent vacation, we listened to the original Winnie-the-Pooh stories as well as Pippi Longstocking.
Before you buy a movie online, check if your library participates Overdrive movie streaming or Hoopla which offers streamable movies & television shows (Hoopla also offers audiobooks & ebooks).
Interested in learning a new language or brushing up on an old-forgotten one? Your library may offer a free subscription to Mango. If you have young children or are yourself a kid-at-heart, Muzzy Online is a great accompaniment to the cartoon that immerses you into a new language. I have fond memories of watching it during high school Spanish.
Tickets to local museums, zoos & aquariums even discounted minor-league tickets are becoming a common item all across the country. There are usually restrictions (one use per year, a short check-out period, etc.) and may be tied to an agreement on your part (watch a DVD about the museum, for example). But for free admission to a museum? I’m happy to watch a 45-minute video in exchange for saving $40+ on museum admission!
Our last library offered various science kits in the children’s section. We checked out bags on the human body, dinosaurs and even Lego Machines & Snap Circuits! All the materials + a corresponding book or two were included. Board games & video games can also be found at some libraries. Great way to play games & kits that you wouldn’t play enough to make purchasing worth the money.
Need a sewing machine for just a single project? A lawn or house tool that you won’t use again? Character cake pans for your little one’s upcoming birthday? Give your library a call–you may be able to save yourself money from buying/renting a rarely-used item!
This won’t save you any money but if you’re looking for something really unique, check out a person with the Human Library! How fun to sit & chat like that! It’d be like an interactive StoryCorps (my reason for tuning into NPR on Fridays)!
Does your library offer any other ways to save money?