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Low Cost Weekend Idea: Borrow Library Videos

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This week’s hot low cost weekend idea comes from something my wife and I have been doing lately, borrowing movies and television shows from our local library (that’s where we continued our Enterprise fix after HDNet experienced contractual problems broadcasting it in HD). We borrow more television shows than movies (two hour movies are a much longer time commitment than bite-sized forty-minute television shows) but either way, the total cost of renting them is $0. Granted, we benefit from living within walking distance from the movie so if you have to drive, it might cost you a couple dollars in gas to get to and from the place.

It beats going to the movies at $8-$10 a pop or renting something at Blockbuster for $4-$5 (I don’t even know how much movie rentals cost).

One important tip: Don’t be late with returning videos. The penalties for late returns on videos is typically higher than on books. At our library, the late fee for a video is 50 cents. The late fee for a book is a nickel.

Another important tip: If your library offers online account access, sign up. If they offer online account access, they will usually offer online renewals of rentals too. Then, after you rent the movie, book, or television series, immediately log on and renew the video. At our local library, we can renew titles for two rental periods, as long as there is no one waiting, and I often do. Longer rental periods mean smaller chance of being late, especially when you’re talking about DVDs with four television episodes each.

Good alternative: Red Box. If you don’t have a library nearby or the library has a poor selection of video rentals, you could always visit a Red Box kiosk. You can always find Red Box promotional rental codes that give you a free one day rental (otherwise it’s only $1 plus tax per day) with a quick search online (and you can use each code once per credit card).

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6 Responses to “Low Cost Weekend Idea: Borrow Library Videos”

  1. Cindy says:

    What an excellent idea. I use Netflix. I pay $4.99/month for the two movies, but it’s $4.29 + tax to rent at my local Blockbuster, so I definitely get my money’s worth!

  2. fred@opc says:

    This is a great idea… and of course, libraries have BOOKS too, which most of us Americans could benefit from every once in a while :-)

  3. RacerX says:

    The online Library extention is a good idea. Would have saved some fines with that!

    Another way to save some $ is to look a second-run DVDs or closeouts. You can often buy these DVDs for $5 or less, and can catch up on old favorites or limited release discs.

  4. Eric says:

    I know I spend entirely too much money on entertainment, and the majority of that goes towards movies. I doubt I can ever give up opening shows for my favorite actors, but borrowing from the library will help me bring my entertainment budget back into alignment when it comes to my weekend movie fix.

  5. True. I just got back from the library a little while ago with 2 dvds. The cost, nada. Just one more way to enjoy your self without having to lay out the bucks.

  6. Elsie says:

    I agree with finding alternative, frugal sources for movies. My bf and I no longer go to the movie theater because it’s a waste of money to buy an overpriced ticket and not be able to watch the movie without distraction. (We are convinced that ushers no longer do anything to keep the quiet.) And I had given up on Blockbuster because they never have the movie I want, and rentals are much too expensive. I did Netflix for a while, because they have a great selection, but then I cut it out of my budget. So for now, it’s either On-Demand (free cable digital rentals) or Redbox/Moviecube w/free rental code.


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