Amazon · Finances · Frugal Life · Frugal Living Challenge · Good Ideas · Money Educatioin · Money Helps · Side Hustle

5 Places Online To Sell Your Clutter and Earn Cash

I try to sell a few things online every month.  I don’t make a lot of money doing this, but I do make a little bit, and I am a firm believer that EVERY little cent matters.  I’m sure if I spent more time doing it I could easily make even more money.

I’m convinced EVERYONE can find at least a few items to sell.  Clean out your closets, look under the bed, search through your garage.  Try to find something that hasn’t been used in years (or even months?).  There is no use in hoarding something if it’s not getting much use.

I love clearing and the clutter AND getting to make a little extra cash on the side.  Being able to do it ALL online makes it EVEN better (hello, not leaving your house and getting to stay in PJs!)!!!

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Here are a few of my favorite places to sell online:

Sell on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is my very VERY favorite place to sell.  If I price my items right, they will sell immediately!  I love to post large items on Facebook Marketplace; such as furniture, baby items, lawn care, etc.  I have the most success with these.

Sell on ThredUP

Thredup is where I sell a lot of my clothes and my kids clothes.  All you do is request a free bag to be sent to you, fill it full of clothes, and send it back.  Thredup will do all the sorting, picture taking, selling and shipping your items for you.  I really like selling with them because it requires VERY little effort on my part.  I have found that they are a little picky about what they accept (which is really nice as a buyer).  But, if you have clothes in good condition that you want to get rid of anyway, send them to thredup!  You can sign up through this link for a free $10 credit to shop.  It’s a great way to get a feel of the website before you start selling.

Sell on Poshmark

Poshmark is very similar to thredup.  It’s a great place to sell and buy used clothing.  I have found they aren’t quite as picky as thredup, making it easier to sell through them.  I am still a little new to poshmark and learning the tricks, but so far I have been very pleased.  Poshmark will give you a $5 shopping credit if you use my code sweetfrugallife when you sign up.

Sell on Ebay

I have had quite a bit of success selling on ebay.  I don’t sell with them as much as I use to (thredup and poshmark are just MUCH less work), but they are a great resource.  I’ve sold clothes and little trinkets and electronics stuff on ebay.  Sometimes it takes a little adjusting with the price to find the right fit, but more often than not I have been able to make a sell.  If you want to have a little more control over how your items are sold and for what price, ebay is a really good option for you.

Sell on Amazon

I have never personally tried selling anything on Amazon , but I do know others who have.  The fees are a little more than ebay’s fees, but EVERYONE shops amazon now, so I’m betting it is a really great market.  You will need to set up a free business account to start selling, but it is fairly straightforward from there.

Remember NOT to give up if an item doesn’t sell immediately.  Usually that means you will need to make some changes; such as adjust the price, take different pictures or try a new selling website. Try a few different changes BEFORE giving up.  Different websites tap into different markets.  Be patient with it.  Selling items online is a learning process.  The more you do it however, the easier it becomes.

Where have you had success selling household items?  Share in the comments your favorite place to sell!

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Crafts · for free · For the kids · Free Fun · Frugal Life · Good Ideas · Homemade · Parenting

How to Make an Easy Nature Bookmark Tutorial

I spent a wonderful week with my sister in the mountains.  We took walks, watched movies, played games, and enjoyed getting out of our daily routines.

My sister planned such a fun simple nature craft for the kids to do.  I loved it so much and felt like it would be perfect for camping or a nature study.

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Easy Nature Bookmark Tutorial Craft

First, you will need to collect flowers, leaves, and any other thing that catches your eye.  this made for a really fun nature walk.

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Once you gather your flowers you will need to press them.  We laid our flowers on a paper towel and put books on top to help press them.  We kept them under the books for about 6-7 hours.  I found that this wasn’t enough time for the flowers to dry fully.  I would recommend at least 24 hours.

Once your leaves and flowers are dried it’s time to start designing your bookmark.  My sister used Self Laminating Pouches to give the bookmarks a nice strong seal.

 

You will lay your flowers down on the non sticky part of the pouch.  This is the fun part!  The kids loved spending time getting their bookmarks to look just right!  We were able to get 2 bookmarks out of one pouch.

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Once you have your flowers laid you will put the sticky part of the pouch on top.  This part was tricky!  It is hard to redo any mistakes, so you will want to take your time and be exact.  Slowly peel off the backing as you place the sticky side on top of the flowers.  Be sure to press and seal as you are peeling it off.

Once you have it all laminated and sealed just right you can cut your bookmarks in half, punch a hole through the top and thread some ribbon through for a nice top.

We learned a lot doing this craft and I am excited to try it again seeing if we can fix some of our mistakes.  My kids have been so proud of these and excited to use them.

I hope that you and your littles will enjoy spending a little bit of time preserving nature.

 

 

 

 

Crafts · Family · For the kids · Free Fun · Frugal Life · Good Ideas · Homemade · Parenting · Recipes

Peanut Butter Play Dough Recipe

My kids LOVE making play dough, and it is something we do often.  But, when we make Peanut Butter Play Dough they REALLY REALLY love it.

Peanut Butter Play Dough is such a great sensory activity for kids.  They can touch, see, smell, and even taste it.  That is my kids favorite part!  They love that they actually get to EAT the play dough.

It is so so easy to make peanut butter play dough.  It only takes three ingredients and a few minutes of your time.

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Peanut Butter Play Dough Recipe

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

Mix all ingredients in bowl.  Stir well and knead until smooth.

That’s it!  So easy!  Let your kids play and enjoy!  We get out cookie cutters and knives and forks.  My kids can spend hours playing.

Finances · for free · Frugal Life · Frugal Living Challenge · Good Ideas · Money Educatioin · Money Helps

Show Me the Money: 4 Ways to Earn CASHBACK on Purchases

I am a member of online affiliate programs.  I will receive compensation from clicks on my links.  All opinions are my own.  I guarantee to never share anything I haven’t already been using for years.

Who likes free money???  I LOVE free money!  And I’m betting you like free money too!

This post is all about how to earn cashback, just by shopping like you regularly shop!!

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Cashback with Discover Card

My FAVORITE way to earn cashback is by shopping with my Discover Card.  I talked in detail about why I love my Discover Card in my post The one idea I disagree with Dave Ramsey on.  In short, when I shop with my Discover Card I automatically earn cashback on all purchases.  They give you 1% cashback on EVERYTHING and 5% on different categories that are rotated monthly.  (Currently, I am receiving 5% on groceries).  You don’t have to do anything, just use your card and your cashback will grow.  I earn around $500 cashback with Discover a YEAR, and all I do is shop like normal!

Cashback with Ibotta

I love shopping with ibotta.  This is the very first app I check after completing my grocery shopping.  All you have to do is shop, check the app for rebates, scan your receipt, and the money is instantly put in your ibotta account.  Easy.  Peasy.  They have a wide selection of rebates, common items are milk, apples, pantry items, broccoli, beauty and household.  I can almost always find at LEAST one or two items to receive a rebate for.     If you don’t currently have an ibotta account you can get a FREE $10 just for signing up for one through my link.  (FREE money people!)  Once you have $20 in your account you can redeem your money as cash or a gift card.  I have earned over $100 by using ibotta!

Cashback with Checkout 51

Checkout 51 is very similar to ibotta.  It works as a rebate program.  You shop, scan your receipt and qualified purchases and you will get the rebated money instantly in your account.  Once you reach $20 in your account you can request your money, same as ibotta.  It only takes a few minutes to check for rebates and one minute to scan your receipt.  I have made over $50 cashback using Checkout 51!

Cashback with Ebates

It is so easy to earn cashback with Ebates.  If you like to shop online, you need to shop through the Ebates app.  If you shop through the ebates link you will earn cashback for every purchase.  They have a large variety of stores available to earn money with.  Everything from Kohls, Ebay, Zulily, Justice, Aerie, Lowes, Gap, Ulta, and so so many more.  Before I make ANY online purchase, I always check Ebates first to see if they offer cashback for that store.  All you do is click on the store link in the app, you will be taken to the store website, you do your shopping, and instantly earn money back.  SO SO easy!

 

If you are going to be shopping ANYWAYS, you might as well be earning a little cashback along the way, right???  RIGHT!

A quick word of caution however.  It can become easy to want to buy a product JUST because you see you can get a rebate for it through ibotta or Checkout 51.  Be careful to NOT to fall into this temptation.

I have found the best way for me is to do my shopping FIRST and then check the rebate apps to see if I bought anything eligible for a rebate.  (Except for with Ebates, you must check Ebates FIRST!)  This has helped me immensely to not buy things I really didn’t need in the first place.

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What cashback secret did I miss???  How do you like to earn cashback?  Share your successes in the comments!  I would love to hear all about them.

 

 

for free · For the kids · Free Fun · Frugal Life · Good Ideas · Parenting

50 FREE activities to do with your kids over the Summer Break

Summer break is just around the corner.  I have been looking forward to summer for weeks!  I love having my school aged kids home with me and I always look forward to a more relaxed schedule full of fun family activities.  I talked a little more about summer in my post:  Our Summer Plans: Keeping the kids Entertained and Mom Sane, this post includes how I plan on managing screen time and a couple of our favorite traditions.

Today I am sharing 50 ideas for a FREE and fun summer with your kids.  There are so many free activities to take part of during the summer months.  I love taking advantage of all of them!

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Outside

  1.  Picnic at Park
  2. Play Frisbee
  3. Run through the Sprinkler
  4. “Paint” with Water
  5. Go on a Walk
  6. Picnic in Backyard
  7. Play hopscotch/Sidewalk Chalk
  8. Draw on Sidewalk with ice cubes
  9. Go on a Bike ride
  10. Nature Scavenger Hunt
  11. Go on a hike
  12. Plant a garden
  13. Jump on the Trampoline with water balloons
  14. Play Catch
  15. Blow Bubbles
  16. Go Geocaching
  17. Play night games with flashlights
  18. Catch bugs
  19. Go Stargazing
  20. Make a Fairy Garden
  21. Wash the Car
  22. Learn to jump rope
  23. Make an obstacle course
  24. Set up a Lemonade Stand
  25. Make a Nature Journal

Indoors

  1.  Make Play dough
  2. Do a science experiment
  3. Bake cookies
  4. Make up a play
  5. Build a fort
  6. Make a dream catcher
  7. Make Slime
  8. Play Hide-and-Seek or Sardines
  9. Paint Rocks
  10. Write letters to friends or family
  11. Play board games or card games
  12. Make a summer scrapbook
  13. Play charades
  14. Make an indoor treasure hunt
  15. Go to the library
  16. Sing Karaoke (find free songs on you tube)
  17. Fold Origami
  18. Put on a puppet show
  19. Play Dress-Up
  20. Have a dance party
  21. Put together a puzzle
  22. Make homemade ice cream
  23. Dress Fancy and have a DIY photo shoot
  24. Learn a few magic tricks and put on a show
  25. Make paper airplanes

 

What are some of your favorite free activities for summer time with your kids?

Affiliate · Amazon · Finances · Frugal Life · Good Ideas · Money Educatioin

What we cut from our budget to save over $2500 a year

“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 Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

I am not naturally a frugal person.  I was raised by two frugal parents, but I lean more towards wanting to shop and buy things.  It has been a huge learning process for me to become more frugal and to learn the value and beauty in cutting back and saving money.  This learning process has been over the course of years, and quite honestly, I’m still learning and trying to better myself.  Today though I started thinking about all the things we have cut from our lifestyle over the years, and they have all been slowly cut out, and I was blown away with the amount of money we are saving ourselves just by making a few different lifestyle choices!

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Pack that Lunch:  $1000

Packing a lunch for work, instead of eating out with coworkers, has been our biggest money saver.  Every night I pack a lunch for my husband to take to work.  The lunch mostly consists of some leftovers from dinner, occasionally he will bring a sandwich.  I was so surprised to find out this simple habit is saving us over $1000 a year!

Change your own oil:  $210

My husband taught himself how to change the oil in our two vehicles, all it took was watching a few you tube videos.  It takes him less than an hour to do and he claims it’s super easy.  He uses this oil drum to drain the oil.  You can deposit the oil for free at most auto parts stores.  This is not some natural talent he has, he had to get out of his comfort zone to learn this skill, however this simple task saves us $210 a year.

Cut the Cable:  $480

A few years ago we decided to get rid of our cable TV.  We were actually already on a fairly cheap rate, but we decided we could do without it.  We have saved $480 a year by doing this!  There are so many great options for cheap TV.  We use Netflix.  But I have friends who use Hulu, Roku, or Amazon Prime.

At Home Haircuts:  $200

I bought clippers 14 years ago for $20.  You can find a similar pair to ours here:  Wahl Complete Hair Cutting Kit.  I have been cutting my husbands and sons hair ever since.  This is a $200 annual savings.  If you know me, you know that hair is really NOT a talent of mine.  I have watched a few you tube tutorial videos and both my husband and son get very basic cuts.  I have made my some a few mistakes on both of them, but I keep learning and trying.  And luckily boys hair grows out fairly fast!  😉

Workout at Home:  $840

We have never had a gym membership and this decision saves us $70 a month.  We have learned to get a good workout in at home.  We go for a run or bike ride during the summer and find great you tube videos to follow during the winter.  I buy cheap weights and exercise equipment to use from the thrift store.  My favorite you tube channels to follow are fitness blender and yoga with Adrienne.

The Results:  $2730

Just by making these 5 adjustments to our lifestyle we save $2730 a year!  So in five years we have saved $13,650!  Ten years it will be $27,300!  Those little expenses don’t seem like a big deal, but over time they add up to be a very very BIG deal.

It really has not been hard to cut any of these things from our budget.  We have been living this way for years and honestly never seem to miss a gym membership or cable TV.  It has just become our way of life, and it’s a great life!  It can be hard to form new habits, but once you do those habits become your way of life and you often never really look back!

Take a look at your budget and lifestyle.  Can you find a few things that you could change in order to save money?  I promise the pay off is so worth it!

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for free · Frugal Life · Good Ideas · Recipes

Homemade Bathroom Cleaner

My least favorite room to clean in the house is the bathroom.  I’m sure I am not alone in this!  I always put this job off for days!  I would rather make this homemade bathroom cleaner than actually use it.  😉

I started making my homemade bathroom cleaner a few years ago and have not looked back!  Making your own bathroom cleaner is so easy and is a great way to save money!  Buying it in the store can get pricey.  For this recipe I always have the ingredients on hand and it only takes me a few minutes to put it all together.

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You will need a plastic spray bottle.  I recommend spending a few extra dollars rather than buying the cheapest bottle.  It will last much longer this way.

Ingredients:

2 tsp. baking soda

1 cup vinegar

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup dish soap

1 1/2 cups water

First, add the baking soda to the spray bottle and then add the vinegar.  I do this in the sink, and do it slowly because it will foam.

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Squeeze the foam out and then add the rest of the ingredients.  After all of the ingredients are added put the lid back on the bottle and shake it up really good.  That’s it!  You are ready to tackle the bathroom!  This lasts me about a year and I use it for every part of the bathroom; the toilet, sink, countertops, shower and bath.

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It does make cleaning the bathroom maybe SLIGHTLY more enjoyable if I know that I am saving money while doing it.  Right?!?!

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Do you make your own cleaners?  Have you noticed a savings when doing so?

Finances · Good Ideas · Money Educatioin

The Envelope Money System: A Beginners Guide

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About a year ago I changed the way I was spending money.  I decided to quit using my debit card for purchases and try only using cash.  I’ll be honest, I did not think this change would make much of a difference.  I am a little bit prideful and a lot of stubborn and I really felt that I was strong enough to spend smartly with my debit card.  It only took one month of paying with cash to realize that I was wrong!  I couldn’t believe how quickly my wad of cash depleted.  It was a huge wake up call for me to watch that envelope empty so quickly.

Today I am sharing how I use the envelope system and a few of the tricks I have learned a long the way.

There are some things I buy with cash, and other things I buy with my credit card.  I rarely use my debit card.  To read about why I use a credit card for some purchases read my post The one idea I disagree with Dave Ramsey on.

My husband and I try to have a budget meeting at the end of every month.  Monthly is what we have found works for us.  I know others that budget weekly or bi-weekly.  We use these budget meetings to discuss how we did on our budget throughout the month, make a new budget for the next month and decide things we could do better or different.  At this time we decide how much both of us will need over the month for our daily spending.  These categories change monthly, the most common categories are:  clothing, house expenses, pet food, children’s extra curricular activities, groceries, fun and other.   We always have an “other” category for any extra expenses that come up throughout the month.  We have NEVER had a month go by without something coming up that we forgot to budget for.  Always make sure you have an “other” envelope.

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Once we have our budgeted amount I go to the bank, withdraw the amount of money we will need and start stuffing my envelopes.  You do not need anything fancy for your envelopes.  We use boring cheap white envelopes and just write the names of each category on them.  I then put the amount of money I need in each envelope.

 

This money has to last me all month.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.  I leave these envelopes home at all times.  My husband doesn’t like the idea of me walking around with so much cash and I have found that I am to tempted to spend it if it’s with me.  When I need to buy something I simply take out the correct amount of cash from the envelope, no more and no less and go to the store.  I also leave home all debit and credit cards.  This is my way to get rid of all temptation and to prevent any impulse shopping.  The amount of cash I put in my wallet is ALL I have to spend for that shopping trip so I have to really pay close attention to what I’m putting in my shopping cart.

I am fairly loose with the envelopes and will occasionally switch some of the cash around in the envelopes mid-month.  It’s hard to always know exactly how much we will need for each category.  I never spend over the amount of monthly budgeted cash.  That large sum is non negotiable and we have to spend carefully throughout the month to make sure it lasts us all four weeks.

I recommend everyone at least TRYING doing most of their spending with cash each month and see how much less you spend.  It has really opened my eyes to my spending habits and is a great object lesson for everyone to try.

Amazon · Farmhouse · Frugal Life · Good Ideas

How to keep White Kitchen Cabinets White and my Honest Review of the Norwex knockoff the E-Cloth

“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 Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. ”

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We moved into a new house a few months ago and fell instantly in love with the beautiful white kitchen.  White cabinets, white subway tile, white quartz counter tops.  It was what my kitchen dreams were made of!  With three kids in the house it didn’t take long for those beautiful pure white cabinets to become covered in smudges and finger grease.

 

 

I knew that using cleaners on the cabinets was not good for the white paint.  I was constantly washing them with a wet dishcloth.  This method would take off some of the grease, but not all of it.  The other negative thing I found with the wet dishcloth is that it always left behind water streaks.  I was feeling frustrated and missing the clean cabinets I originally fell in love with.

I had a few friends recommend the Norwex cloth to me.  They all swore it was the best cleaner and promised it was worth every single penny.  My frugal mindset however, was having a hard time wanting to spend $20 on a cloth!  I convinced myself I could keep the cabinets clean with my plain dishcloth.

Well, I was WRONG!  No matter how hard I scrubbed and how often I cleaned.  I could not restore my cabinets to the pure white they once were.

I finally accepted that I needed something to help me, but I still felt like $20 was to much to spend on a cloth.  I started researching cheaper options and came across the e-cloth.  It had excellent reviews and for $11 I would get not just one but TWO cloths.  This was a much better value and I added it to my February budget.

The e-cloth arrived last week and I didn’t waste any time pulling it out and attacking cleaning my cabinets.  I’ll be honest with you, I was NOT expecting it to work any different then the plain old Walmart dish rag I had been using.  I was so so pleasantly surprised to be wrong!  I was so happy with it I knew I needed to share it with everyone I know.

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The e-cloth is similar to the Norwex Cloth that it has zero chemicals and is very eco friendly.  It came with easy to follow instructions and all I needed to do in order to get started was add a little bit of water to the cloth and it was ready for scrubbing!

 

 

The water streaks and grease came off instantly!  The smudges took a little bit more elbow grease, but with some scrubbing the smudges were gone as well.  I truly could not believe how quickly and easily the cloth was cleaning these stubborn stains.  I was worried at first that there would be water streaks left behind, but when I came back and looked closely after it dried I could not find a single streak!  Not one!  My cabinets felt as smooth and clean as they felt the day I moved in.  I was in heaven!

 

 

I decided that since the cabinet cleaning went over so well I needed to try the cloth out on my stainless steel refrigerator.  I usually clean my stainless steel appliances with this cleaner.  It works great, but I thought if I could use the e-cloth for my appliances as well as the cabinets I would really be getting my moneys worth.

The e-cloth worked just as great on the stainless steel fridge as it did on the cabinets.  All those fingerprints were instantly washed away.  Look at these before and after photos, they were taken within about a minute of each other.  It was honestly that quick and easy!

 

 

After two successes I went a little overboard cleaning every inch of my house.  I used the cloth on my counter top, my tile back splash, the microwave, and our doors, and trim.  It reminded me of a cloth form of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, Original (8 Count)“>the magic eraser.  But, even better!  I even used the cloth dry to dust my wood furniture.  With so many uses the general purpose e-cloth is a fantastic value!  I am looking forward to enjoying this beautiful white and clean kitchen again!  Let me know if you try the e-cloth and if you love it as much as I did.

 

Frugal Life · Good Ideas

10 Ways using the Public Library will Save you Money

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Taking full advantage of our Public Library has been such a money saver for our family.  I think it’s fairly common to associate only books with the Public Library, (which as a book worm is already an awesome thing!), but the library can offer so so much more than beautiful books.  Everything to borrow is completely free.  They offer so many different services, it makes me sad when others don’t take realize the huge benefits of the library.

1.  Books, Books, Books!

We will start the list off with the most obvious thing to borrow from the library; and that is books.  Reading is one of my very favorite forms of entertainment, and if you borrow books from the library it is completely FREE!  (which also happens to be another one of my favorites!)  There really is no need to spend lots of money on books.  The library has just about any book you could imagine.  I often check out books about finance, parenting, biographies, self-help, they have fiction or non-fiction, you name it they have it.  My kids absolutely love going to the children’s selection and getting to choose their very own books to borrow for a couple of weeks.

2.  Movies and TV Shows

A few years ago our finances became unexpectedly very tight.  We cut out every unnecessary expense. This included cancelling all cable, Netflix, Hulu, etc.  This is when I really started taking advantage of the fantastic movie selection at our local library.  We began going once a week and the kids picked out a couple of TV shows or movies they wanted and I picked out a few for my husband and I.  I was pleasantly surprised at just how great of a selection they had.  If you’re wanting to cut out extras from our budget but are worried about the TV options, try checking a few movies out at your library, I bet you’ll find something you like.

3.  Classes and Clubs

I am always impressed with the variety of FREE classes my local library offers.  I recently completed an excellent Parenting class through the library.  I have also seen classes available about Healthy Eating and Finances.  Their are also fun clubs that are available to participate in.  My library has a knitting club, chess club, and book club.  All for adults…all for FREE!  I love the fantastic choices of classes and clubs for my kids to participate in as well.  They host family activities about once a month, activities on holidays, science club, coding club, and more.  It feels like every few weeks the librarian is introducing my kids to a new fun activity that they are welcome to be a part of.  I take advantage of these during the summer months when the kids might be feeling a little bored while out of school and need to stretch their minds a bit.

4.  Story Time

Story Time is our most used of all the kids activities offered.  This is the perfect FREE activity to take your little ones to during the long cold winter months.  We love getting out of the house and not having to spend any money.  We attend regularly and each of my kids have a favorite librarian they look forward to.  My local library puts out a list months in advance of what each weeks story times will be about.  We make sure to note the topics I know my kids would NOT want to miss and put it on the calendar.  My kids love being introduced to new books and songs and occasionally they will have a fun little craft to do together.  We LOVE story time!

5.  Audio Books

I know Audio Books are one of those either you love em or hate em type thing.  But, I happen to fall under the love em category!  I listen to them when I am doing housework or if we are on a road trip.  Not ALL audio books are created equal.  I’ve put in a few before and had to take them right back out a few minutes later.  It all depends on the reader.  The Public Library also has a giant selection of Audio Books for KIDS!  I always borrow one or two and we listen to them on the car.  I spend quite a bit of time in the car with my kids taking them to and from school and other activities.  If I put in an audio book they are MUCH less likely to complain and fight with each other.  Which is pretty important in our car.  🙂

6.  Wi-Fi

This is another library service that we discovered during a time of need.  A year ago we were transition between homes and found ourselves at a place that had no internet access.  We knew we were only going to be there for a few months and didn’t want to spend the money on set up fees for such a short amount of time.  Since SO many things are done online now a days I was so happy when I learned of the library’s free Wi-Fi.   I then became a regular at the library.  I tried to stop in once or twice a week with my laptop and a long list of things I needed to do on the internet.  I spent 30-45 minutes there getting stuff done and then continued on with my day.  I no longer have a need to use their Wi-Fi.  But, this is a great option for others who may not have internet access in their budget or perhaps might be in a similar situation we were in.

7.  Music CD’s

When I had my first baby many years ago I learned that she liked to listen to fun toddler/kids music while we were driving in the car.  I bought a couple of kids CD’s for us to listen to and to keep her entertained while driving.  When my youngest was a toddler I couldn’t find those CD’s anymore.  After searching I decided to check the library.  In the childrens section I found a giant selection of fun kids and Disney CD’s.  I’ve started letting my preschooler pick one to check out every time we go to the library.  He has found his few favorites and always looks forward to choosing one.  My oldest daughter threw a karaoke party for some friends a few weeks ago and I thought, instead of buying a bunch of karaoke songs let’s check the library first.  Sure enough!  I was able to borrow a few karaoke CD’s and her friends had a blast singing and dancing all night……and I didn’t spend any money.  WIN!

8.  Games and Puzzles

I couldn’t believe it when I learned that our Public Library offers a few puzzles, games and learning activities for children to check out.  This is such a great service!  There is no need to spend tons of money on this.  Kids get bored of these type of activities fairly quickly, so being able to borrow and return different ones helps to keep the kids entertained and the games fresh and new.  Look into seeing if your local library offers this, and if they do, take advantage!

9.  Reading Programs and Incentives

We always take part of the reading programs and incentives.  We just finished the winter program and will sign up for the summer one in just a few months.  I love these incentive programs for a couple of different reasons.  It keeps my kids motivated and reading, even when they might not want to.  AND, I love the free coupons they hand out.  We just got a free family pass to a local swimming pool for finishing the winter reading program.  Over the summer we get weekly coupons for kids meals and fun activities and kid places around town.  Using the coupons is a fun way to keep busy over the summer, and to stay within our budget.  I otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to take the kids to as many as these activities.

10.  Magazines and Newspapers

If you love getting magazines or newspapers but just don’t want to spend money on the subscriptions anymore, check your library!  I have checked out some of my favorite magazines from the library.  I read them, return them, and then check out the next issue.  They have lots of topics to choose from; from automotive to wedding to home to parenting.  It’s all there.  Cancel your subscriptions and just start using the library!

If you don’t have a library card, go get one!  The library offers so much more than just books.  I believe we save hundreds every year by checking with our library first instead of going out and buying.  What is your favorite thing to borrow from your library?  Comment below and let me know if I missed anything!

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