In the last year I have noticed that my local library (also my employer) has started to print our annual savings on our receipts. As you can see in the photo below (I know, it’s a terrible picture), I have saved a significant amount of money since January 1, 2018.
I do not know what every library has to offer, but I know that mine offers a lot of resources that can help keep one within their budget.
Books – I almost never buy a book. I check out everything from the novels I read to the cookbooks I use. My husband checks out his homesteading books and computer books from the library. That is not to say we never purchase books, but most of the time, those books are purchased from Goodwill.
Movies – Our library carries recent releases, several copies in fact. They have a program called “It’s Your Lucky Day”. Those are hot movies that give a 3 day check out window. I can safely say that at this time Black Panther is flying off the shelf. These movies are all free. We watch the majority of our movies from the library. The one exception would be the Super Hero movies. My husband collects those, so we purchase those movies. We also rarely go to the movies, opting to stay home instead. I do go to the movies a few times a year with my mom or my girls.
Cellular Hotspots – Yes, you can check cellular hot spots out from the library. I know people who cannot afford internet who utilize this. Those who are traveling also check them out to preserve their data. Again, free.
Newspapers – Newspapers can be expensive. Reading the paper for free at the library can save a lot of money in subscription costs.
Magazines – This is one area I need to get better about. I do not check magazines out. I have looked at my library and the magazines I subscribe to are not available yet. Maybe someday they will be. But, I see a lot of people who come in and check out their favorites every month.
Wii Games – Why buy video games that you know your kids will get sick of? If you find one you love from the library, then buy the game.
CD’s – I check out CD’s to listen to and then return for something new. It keeps variety and I don’t have to spend $15 for the album.
Audio Books- I enjoy having a book going in my car CD player. I can multi task, get some reading in while running errands. Win Win.
Storytime – Storytime is free and it such a great way to introduce little ones to reading.
Youth Programs – In the summertime, libraries have weekly youth programs for children. My kids have seen magicians, animals and helped plant a garden in the summertime youth program. All for free.
Adult Programs- Last night, our library had a take and make activity for adults. They made wind chimes. The adults had a great time, gathered with community and took home a decoration for free.
Book Clubs – I would guess that most libraries have book clubs. Again a free activity that probably focuses on the book, not the wine:)
Kids Summer Reading Programs – When my kids were little, they participated in the reading programs at the library. We got into Wisconsin State Parks, museums and the zoo at a reduced cost or for free, just for reading.
I am sure that the library offers even more than I could come up with. I talk about this because I hear and read about people trying to save money. When I saw my savings this year, I was shocked. We so easily forget about what is readily available to us in the age of online shopping. It seems so much easier to shop online than to just go to the library, but that trip can yield a significant savings.
Today’s haul from the library