Things That Are Actually Free and Where to Find Them

Truly free things are hard to come by. Often, the word “free” is used to rope consumers in just to sell them something. On our podcast this week, we talked about a source of truly free stuff. We all know it, but most of us haven’t stepped inside it since middle school. It’s your local library. Now, before your tune out, here is an eye-opening list of items that we have found at our local libraries with helpful links.

Free streaming movies-
With your library card you most likely have access to Kanopy and Kanopy Kids streaming video. These services allow you to stream up to 10 films per month. https://www.kanopy.com/

Free tools-
We found that there are a number of libraries that will check out household tools like a drill or Dremel set. In addition there are also “tool libraries” that have popped up in several cities that have a more exhaustive set of tools on hand, ranging from pressure washers to miter saws. Below is a link to find one of these in your area.
https://localtools.org/find/

Free seeds for your garden-
Why pay for seeds if you can get them for free? A number of libraries have set up a system to “check out” seeds (you don’t actually check them back in, but the hope is once you learn how to harvest seeds, you’ll donate them back to the library). Our local library lets you check out 10 packs at a time and they have a catalog of 200 plus flowers, fruits, and vegetables that are all locally grown, acclimatized, and open-pollinated. My wife insists they grow better than the seeds she gets at the store. The best way to find out if there’s a seed library near you is to search Google for a “seed library” in your area.

Free ancestry research-Ancestry.com has a monthly cost of 49.99, but, if you have a library card, you may be able to get access for free. Here is an excerpt from their website:
“Ancestry Library Edition is available in the U.S., the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland and Norway, and provides access to billions of historical documents, millions of historical photos, plus local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s.”

Free audio books-
Subscription based audio book services like Audible can cost $14.95 + a month. Through your local library you can check out and listen to the same content for free. I have linked my library card to the Overdrive app which I absolutely love. With Overdrive you can check out either digital or audio books. Overdrive allows you to check out up to 10 books at a time and the checkout period lasts from 7-21 days depending on the ebook. Here is a link to Overdrive:
https://www.overdrive.com/

Free tickets to local museums and events:
At our library, we are able to get 2 passes a month good for free entrance to several museums, botanical gardens, and performing arts events. Check your local library to see what free tickets they offer; they’re often called “cultural passes.”

Free educational courses
Many libraries offer free access to online courses. One library in our area actually provides free access to Lynda.com (a monthly subscription to Lynda is currently 29.99 a month). On Lynda.com you will find thousands of courses that range from web development and programming to photography and design.

Now, this is only a sample of free items and services that are available to many through their local library. Make sure to research what you can get for free on your local library’s website. Below is a list of a few more free things that you may find:

  • Access to Consumer Reports
  • Puzzle, board game, video game, and movie rentals
  • Tax and legal assistance
  • Foreign language instruction
  • Tutoring
  • Kitchen supplies
  • Oh yeah, and books

Plus, here’s the link to that article we mentioned that talks about 200 surprising free items that you may find at a library near you. (https://money.com/library-of-things-check-out-free/) If you have discovered any noteworthy free things at your library and want to share, reach out to us on our social media platforms or by email.

 

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