The library is a magical place for the budget conscious because obviously, you can read hundreds of thousands of books and not pay a penny.
Recently I found out that there are so many other things you can rent or do through the library for FREE! Not every library has these, so call ahead or check out your local library’s website to see what they offer.
If you have a library card, here’s how you use it to its full potential:
1. Check out plant seeds at your local library.
That’s right, you can build a garden from the library. All they ask is that you save some of the seeds from the plant you grow and bring them back to the library for the next person.
2. Take a yoga class and skip the gym membership.
Many libraries have free yoga and other fitness classes so you can go ahead and skip that expensive class.
3. Try out new musical instruments with no financial investment.
All instruments are basically expensive, so it’s hard to buy them when you’re not sure if you’ll like what you’re playing or how long you’ll stick to it.
A great option is to get one from your local library and see if it’s worth looking into more if you enjoy it.
4. Check for free passes to local museums and zoos.
Some libraries offer family passes to public museums or zoos just for having a library card. Pack some snacks and water bottles and you won’t even spend a dollar.
5. Find games to entertain your kids for a weekend of family fun.
Rather stay home? Lots of libraries have a collection of games you can check out like board games, puzzles and craft kits. (Popcorn not included.)
6. Check out robots and learn about new technology.
Some libraries do this to give people a chance to learn the basics of computer coding or robotics in a fun, interactive way.
7. Go fishing without all the expenses.
This one seemed a little wild to me, but did you know you can rent out a fishing pole and a majority of the gear from some libraries? Makes much more sense to me if you’re only fishing a couple times a year than spending money on getting outfitted.
8. Join a book club and meet like-minded people.
If you love discussing books and want some social time, check to see if your library has any book clubs. My local library has a couple of different ones for different genres.
9. Ask your library if they loan out mobile hotspots.
Yup, that’s right. You can rent the internet. And let’s be honest, it’s not cheap to pay for it monthly. But some libraries will rent out hotspots for you to take home usually for up to a couple weeks.
10. Borrow artwork for your house, dorm or office.
This might not be the most useful one for most of us because you have to return it (of course). But some college libraries will do this and allow you to rent it out for the semester, so its a pretty great idea for dorm residents.
11. Check out a telescope and turn your backyard into an observatory.
How cool is that? Just take a telescope home for the night and try to find all the different constellations with their kids.
12. Don’t buy household tools you’ll never use again — borrow them.
It’s so frustrating to have to buy a specific tool only to use it once. Did you know some libraries allow you to check them out? You can finally finish the DIY project without making an expensive trip to Home Depot.
13. Make special cakes with loaned cake pans.
Many libraries actually have a pretty large collection of cake pans you can borrow for special occasions. For example, you could probably find a heart-shaped pan for Valentine’s Day or a four-leaf clover for St. Patrick’s Day.
14. American Girl Dolls are expensive — borrow them for free.
Your kiddos can take them home for a week (or so depending on your library) and read the story behind the doll. Then next week, check out a new doll with a different story!
15. Ask if your library has a summer lunch program.
This summer program allows kids and their families who can’t always afford it to eat a free lunch at the library in a friendly and safe environment.