This Reader Says “Use Your Library – It’s Frugal Paradise!”

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More Happy Friday

view of library

Library = King (or Queen) of freebies!

Here at Hip2Save, we LOVE a good freebie and there is no better place to snag freebies than your local library! The benefits of the library are endless and can be utilized by everyone in the family. It’s easy to forget just how amazing the library actually is and all the resources they have to offer so I am so excited to share this week’s Happy Friday story from Leeann who is reminding all of us how beneficial it is to visit our local library. 🙌

Check out this post where we share tons of FREE library membership perks!

sensory kit

Frugal paradise: Your local library. Most libraries have puzzles, toys, baking items (shaped pans, cookie cutters, molds, etc), Halloween costumes, board games, DVDs, CDs, and *so* much more available to their patrons. Your local library probably also belongs to a co-op, meaning you have access to tens or hundreds of thousands more resources.

I live in a rural town (3,000 people) and my library gives me access to over 200,000 audiobooks (for free). Many libraries participate in share programs, meaning if your library doesn’t have that book, they’ll find it at another library and send it to YOUR library – all for FREE. You have unlimited books, audiobooks, DVDs, and CDs all at the cost of a free library card.

library dvds

I work at our public library and the number of resources available to you is heavily underutilized and your tax dollars pay for it. Most libraries also offer craft and game programs for kids, teens, and adults with free supplies and you keep the craft…again, free.

Use your library – we LOVE our patrons and we love getting information in your hands….and it’s all F R E E!!!! Even if you live in a tiny town like me, your library is A LOT bigger than you probably think!

library with tons of various books on shelf

Thank you, Leeann, for spreading the word on just how amazing libraries can be. I really enjoyed reading your story, so much so that I want to run right out to the library (I’ll wait until I get done with work of course 😉)!

I was reminded of all the wonderful free programs I have used over the years including one of my favorite memories of taking my daughter to their reading groups when she was around three years old. We had so much fun playing with the other kids and taking turns reading stories, her face lit up the entire time. 😍

Check out even more FREE library membership perks!


Do you have a funny, “Hip”, or unique tip to share?! Fill out our Happy Friday form. Every Friday, we post one submission by a Hip2Save reader (view past submissions) that gives us a glimpse into their frugal lifestyle or simply makes us smile. If yours is published on Hip2Save, we’ll email you a $10 Amazon eGift card!

About the writer:

Jessica holds a Business Degree and 10 years of writing experience from various deal sites including Hip2Save. Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn

Join The Discussion

Comments 33

  1. Celenorma

    I enjoy the free apps like HOOPLA and LIBBY where I can check out books, audiobooks and movies, using my library card.

  2. Lo

    I work at a library. My boss and I are always talking about how people don’t realize all the stuff we have (besides books). Your library has some awesome stuff!
    We have video games, power tools, hot spots (fave) and soon sewing machines and musical instruments.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How neat! Thanks for sharing that, Lo! 🙌

  3. Ashley

    Don’t forget to check other libraries around you too! Some programs are for district residents only but many libraries around me allow registration of a lot of their programs even if you are not a resident of the area. I’ve been able to create a very full calendar of virtual events with open registration for my son the last 2 years using 5 or so different libraries.

    • Teri

      I agree! I work about 30 minutes from my home and have gotten a library card in the community where my work is. If you show them your work badge, they’ll let folks that work at companies that are in the city to get a free library card as well. It’s so much easier now to reserve books and pick up on my way home! Make sure to check the library in your area!

      • ReneeAnn

        Great idea! My small town library doesn’t have much but I work in a larger town that may let me join for free. I’ll ask!

  4. Jillian

    Im in NJ so our libraries are just now opening, many if them used the closed time wisely to remodel. Our town and county libraries are gorgeous, fresh bright modern spaces now.

    • Urvi

      Hi Jillian, I’m in NJ too. Our library literally saved our lives this pandemic. From curbside pickups (and bin returns) to Cloud Library ebook borrowing, My lil one went through the entire Nancy Drew series, attended Zoom painting, math, book club, and origami classes. The staff was so amazing keeping us engaged. A great big Huzzah! for librarians!

  5. countrygal

    I hope my library opens back up soon. I miss going to it.

  6. jane

    We love using the hot spots from our library when we’re in our RV =)

  7. Mary

    In Las Vegas, using the Library site to access Overdrive or Libby for free audiobooks and viewing the latest magazines and newspapers can’t be beat.

  8. Jill

    I love using our local library!

    Generally speaking though – you do pay for your local libraries through city/county taxes. Every year we get our tax statement I look to see how much goes to our library (here in Utah it is about $80 a year).

    So go take advantage of your relatively ‘low cost subscription’!

  9. Lisa

    My library will lend many things besides books: board games, movies, specialty baking pans, fishing rods…even tickets to local museums. All free of charge!

    • Cristine

      My library also has museum passes for rental so we can expand from trips to the library to free trips to pricey museums the kids like. So awesome!

  10. Merilee

    Our library has free museum passes and zoo passes that our family has used on a few occasions. This has saved us lots of money and we have gone to museums we might not have otherwise chosen to go to. They also have seed exchanges and free plant cuttings. VERY helpful to save money.

  11. Jessica

    How do you find out what your library has besides books? We use our library frequently but just for books and sometimes dvds.

    • Merilee

      Our libraries usually mention other services on their individual websites, but you can also ask them!

    • Jenna

      Call them and ask!

    • leeannkirkpatrick

      Ask your librarians 🙂

  12. je

    Our library card gives us access to where we can download music for free. I’ve created quite a collection from my 5 free downloads per week.

  13. Emily

    Check for discounts as well. In GA, the library has a dvd about the Atlanta zoo you can check out and when you turn it in, you get 3 free passes for the zoo. You can also get a discount off the aquarium as well as free entry to the puppet museum. I think there are other discounts as well. We love story time and the kids crafts they hand out. During May they are giving out free flower seeds to adults and another seed planting craft for kids. They have coloring contests with prizes for all ages and a lego club. They also did a special for black history month and for every book from the black history section kids read, they could write a review and earn $5 per book. Before covid, they had yoga and quilting classes as well as a cooking club and book club. So many awesome things!

    • Emily

      They also have a “library of things”-games, baking pans and cake decorating stuff, tools, science kits…

    • Denise Loewenthal

      Don’t forget to sign up for their summer reading programs — many times you get coupons for free things just for registering. Our libraries have programs for kids and adults.

  14. MsCeeTee

    Thanks for this great reminder! I used the library twice a week for years when my kids were little, it really helped them appreciate a good book and quiet time.

  15. Colleen

    For students, also check your library for textbooks. If borrowing from your college library, the time you are allowed t borrow is much longer, sometimes the entire semester. If your college or public library doesn’t ahve what you are looking for, ask if they participate in Interlibrary Loan. They can request books for other lobal library systems.

  16. Jill

    When I was kid my mom always took us to the library because everything was free and it was sooo much fun. I now have taken my kids. They have amazing stuff to do for free!! My library had the Oculus 3D thing LOL. My son just loved loved it.

  17. tig30

    My library offer discount on amusement parks tickets. In the summer months they have discount on round -trip train fares to the city, it’s amazing! These are just a few perks. We just had a Job fair the other day.

  18. Nicole

    My library has a Museum pass- free admission to the zoo, various museums and parks nearby. Also, don’t forget about the summer reading program!

  19. 5pink1blue

    Our library has museum passes, vegetable seeds, puzzles, and free magazines ( people donate their old ones and they are free to take), kids crafts, story times in a box (due to Covid) and so much more.

  20. Michelle

    I used a Cricut at my local library. It saved me a lot of time cutting out circles for a project. The librarian was very helpful. They also have a 3D printer as well.

  21. Liz

    Although my local library is closed, my 7 yr. old has been receiving monthly “book bundles”(10-15 books). I called in each month request the books that she would like to read, then pick it up at the drive thru. She been an active reader throughout the pandemic. I started taking my daughter to their weekly reading group since she was 1yr old, she developed a passion for books and started reading at age 2. Definitely worth checking out!

  22. MommySpendsLess

    Interesting! I’m surprised at the amount of non-book options available at local libraries. As a child, I LOVED the library. We’d regularly go to our small local library where I’d walk out with a towering stack of Nancy Drew books. Going to our big downtown library was a big treat. As an adult, I’ve found it cheaper to buy books for under a dollar at thrift stores and garage sales. We live at the edge of four different counties and they started a reciprocal program but non-residents had shorter borrow periods and higher late fees and the closest library was technically in another county. Since I too often got busy and forgot to return my books on time, the cost to buy books cheaply and donate them when finished was less than the late fees. I may have to give our local libraries another try.

    • Urvi

      I hear ya on thrift-store-book buys. I Iove browsing those shelves. We started buying a lot of Harry Potter when we realized that we’d lend our copies to friends kids and never got them back (thrilling to know the kiddo was on his way to a new book obsession). Now we buy, read, and donate the books to our local library.

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