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Low Cost Weekend Idea: Borrow Library Videos

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 [3] 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 [4] 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).