I think public libraries are hidden gems in every community that people often overlook. It’s an easy and FREE way to entertain kids and adults and save a ton of cash on books, movies, tv shows and magazines.
Best Sellers ∼
If you’re a big reader and like to snag the newest and hottest books, you can find them all at the library.
For example, Amy Schumer’s ‘The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo’ just came out less than a month ago. You’ll pay almost $18 for it at Barnes & Noble, nearly $17 at Amazon.com… or check it out for FREE at the library.
You can also find the hugely popular books that everyone is talking about. This is your chance to read ‘The Girl On the Train’ before you see the movie. And I highly recommend it! You’ll spend more than $16 on it at Barnes & Noble, nearly $15 at Amazon.com.. or check it out for FREE at the library.
I’m also a huge fan of audiobooks. When I was commuting 45 minutes to an hour to work each day and sometimes an hour and a half home depending on traffic, I would always listen to an audiobook. And just by doing that, I easily breezed through a couple of books a month.
I did this through a great app called Audible. But it requires a monthly membership payment and additional money if you buy a lot of books. The book downloads also took up a lot of space on my phone.
But when I started checking out the selection of audiobooks at the library, I found just as many great titles… for FREE. So I was able to pop those in my car’s CD player and listen just as often.
Some people may still prefer streamable audiobooks during a workout, etc. though. So you’ll need to decide what works best for you based on your lifestyle.
Movies & TV Shows ∼
I don’t know about you, but I’ve about had it with animated movies. I love so many of them, especially the classics I grew up on like Cinderella, and the ones my kids were obsessed with when they were real young like Cars and Toy Story. But after so many years of it, I just need a break once in a while. And now that my kids are 6 and 7 we can finally venture a little into the world of live action movies like E.T., Zathura, and Tomorrowland.
But getting a family of 4 to all agree on what movie to watch is another challenge. And once you’ve spent the money to rent the movie on Amazon or iTunes, or found something on Netflix, you never know if the kids will actually sit still and watch or get bored and start fighting with each other.
So I’ve started turning to our local library’s huge selection of FREE movies to help. I’ll go by myself and pick out a small stack of movies that I think the kids will like and their dad and I can also enjoy or at least tolerate. We all agree to pick one movie from the stack for Friday night movie night. If it turns out to be a bomb, no worries, it was FREE. But so far, my track record is pretty good.
I also snag some movies just for the parents. My local library has a huge selection and several new or recent releases that they mark with a star sticker to make them easy to pick out.
And if you like to binge on TV shows like most of the population, the library can hook you up there too. I found tons of great series at my local library like Scandal, Orange is the New Black and The Walking Dead. That’s enough to keep me going for at least one weekend.
And you can kiss those expensive magazine subscriptions goodbye. Check out (in pic below) just a few of the magazines I spotted: O, Martha Stewart Living, Vanity Fair and National Geographic.
Kids Entertainment ∼
During the summer the kids and I practically live at our local library. We go to all the fun, interactive -and FREE- programs offered throughout the summer for kids of all ages. They range from story time, to puppet making and hands-on learning about animals from the nearby zoo. And did I mention all of it is completely FREE? All we need to do is sign up for the events in advance.
Kids Education ∼
They also have programs that get kids interested in reading. My 6 and 7 year olds both love the summer reading program. They log how many minutes they spend reading and the titles of the books, and in return they get prizes. The competition between them and the prizes spur them to read A LOT. And the prizes for reading for 100 minutes, 200 minutes and so on, are free books to keep! So they’re also excited about reading their new books. In my book ( 🙂 ) that’s a win-win-win.
What am I missing? Is there something you love to get at your local library that I didn’t mention? Put it in the comments below or email me at Tracy@FrugalFloridaMom.com.
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