Frugal Tip: Use the Library

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.


One of the things that I am so thankful for is our public library. We have saved hundreds of dollars over the last few years using this fantastic system. You see, not only did my husband and I spend $250/week on food back in the days, but bookstore shopping was a regular feature of our lives. We are both readers and could easily drop $40 per trip. Now, we borrow them from the library and keep the change.

Since I teach my children at home, the library is a weekly stop on our schedule. The boys check out books, videos, and computer software while I get text books, nonfiction texts, and primary source material.

We also regularly supply our Friday night movie nights with films from the library instead of renting them. In fact, I think it’s been four years since we rented a movie. Even if it’s overdue (gasp!), we only pay 15 cents a day! As soon as I hear about a new release, I hop online and “get in line” to borrow it. While we have to wait until it’s our turn, the benefits definitely exceed the cost.

Plus, we’re not limited to what our particular branch has on hand. Not only can we borrow from every public library in the county, but we can also borrow items via interlibrary loan – for free! It’s rare that we can’t get a book we would like to review. If we really like it, we buy it. But, this way we’re not wasting money on books we may not come to love.

For more frugal tips, visit Crystal’s blog every Friday.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Courtney says:

    I still can’t wrap my mind around how you save money. One week I decided to shop the sale ad and use my coupons, and for some reason was $100 over budget! And I was thinking about you … how does she pull this off?! =)

    We love the library too. I still cringe at the number of books I bought before I discovered the children’s section at the library!

  2. FishMama says:

    Ouch, Courtney! I can imagine that that was really frustrating. If you want, you can email me and we can troubleshoot what went wrong.

  3. The Ice House says:

    I too love books and book stores! I have finally made friends with my library 🙂

    With 4 kids it can get a little crazy finding books AND being quiet so my fave thing to do is request books from the on-line library catalog and they send me a card in the mail letting me know they are in. All I have to do is walk in to the check out desk and BOOM! there are all the great books we want to read without all the work : )

  4. FishMama says:

    The online catalog and request system is the best! Our library even has a drive thru! We don’t have to get out to pick up the items on hold! How cool is that?

  5. Gail says:

    Hey, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this website but it might be something that you’d like to check out. I love to read and was having malfunctions with getting books returned to the library on time. It was not good. I don’t even remember how I came across this, but I’m glad I did!

    You exchange books with other members of the site and all it costs is postage on the books you ship out. I won’t tell you all about it cause it’s all spelled out on the website, but it’s one that I don’t want to live without now!!

  6. FishMama says:

    Thanks for the tip, Gail. I’ve heard about it but never really investigated it. I’ll have to look into it.

  7. Alicia says:

    Huge agreement with you here! We use our library a lot! I have a friend who homeschooled for a whole year on the library can be done!
    Now day’s information is really everywhere and free… you just have to go looking.
    We also do all movies really from the library. We also share a netflix with a neighbor so we can find things the library does not have.

  8. Anna says:

    We love our library. We are about 3/4 mile from the one here in town, so it is a nice walk in the warmer weather. They also have a summer reading program with activities each week. There is a bigger one in the next town over (35 miles) and we visit it quite frequently during the school year.
    In our small community, it is also a good way to get to know other people.

  9. BarbaraLee says:

    We do the same thing. Only if we can get them to deliver to the door.

  10. learningtobefrugal says:

    Before I purchase a book (online for the lowest price I can find), I always check the library catalogue first. If the book that I’m looking for is available, I definitely go through the library.

    As a teacher, I’ve definitely saved money by going through the library for books. My school’s librarian has been great about finding book sets for me from other schools. The challenge is in keeping track of the location of each book!


  11. julie says:

    hi jessica,
    nothing really to add to your great advice about the library. i used to call it the best kept secret but i don’t think it is secret here in paso anymore! i mean where can you get SO much for so little? it really is such a blessing to have a good inter-library system.

  12. Libraries ROCK!! Did I mention I am a librarian, lol!

  13. Zimms Zoo says:

    I use the library a lot too. Problem is that I just paid $50 in fines, because we had something come in our family and then I forgot to renewal.
    I need to be more careful. And our library fines are 50 cents a day on movies.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts