15 Things You Never Knew You Could Borrow to Save Money
Stop wasting money and cluttering up your home with single-use purchases when you could borrow them instead for a small fee or absolutely free.
Beyond lending books, your local library may offer a treasure trove of entertainment. Don’t miss the chance to take home items such as movies, video games, language-learning courses, current magazines, board games, American Girl dolls, and even telescopes like this Celestron Travel Scope—all for the price of your library card (which is free for local residents). Here are more ways to save money without feeling the pinch.
E-books and ’zines
Save money and reclaim bookcase space by reading e-books. If your friend owns an Amazon Kindle, she can lend you e-books by clicking “Loan this book” from the product page of the book you want to read. Once she enters your email address, you’ll receive an email notification allowing you to accept the loaned book for up to 14 days. If you have a Prime membership, log on to the Kindle Lending Library and borrow a wide range of e-books at no cost. If you don’t have a Prime membership, you can borrow that, too! Ask a Prime member to add you to his or her Amazon Household; then accept the emailed offer to include you. You can also forgo the messy magazine pile and instead “check out” your favorite magazine as an online ’zine and enjoy it on your e-reader.
Taking a college course? Skip the pricey textbook purchase—some basic texts can cost more than $230—and opt to borrow a book instead. Check out Amazon, Chegg, and Campus Book Rental to see if they have your required books available. Even if you know you’ll want your own copy to highlight and take notes in, you can begin by borrowing the textbook until you are certain that you’ll continue in the class. If novels are on your reading list, here’s how you can snag some bestselling books for $5 or less.
Think you might want to take up the trombone or learn to play the guitar on an acoustic Feder? Ask your local music store about borrowing options before investing in a very expensive instrument. Some shops offer the instrument for free if you take lessons or a class with them; others allow learn-at-home students to rent instruments for a small fee. These are the things minimalists wish you’d stop wasting money on.
Small kitchen appliances
One of the biggest cash wasters is all the specialty kitchen appliances you’re convinced you need. Think about clutter culprits like an ice cream machine, bread machine, and cake pop maker. Chances are a friend has the one you want to use, so skip buying the Babycakes maker and save $32 by borrowing one instead. Be sure to thank your friend for the loaner with a batch of whatever you whip up when you return the machine. Here are more cooking gadgets you really don’t need.
The average cookbook, such as Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat, will set you back an average of $17, but if you borrow it from the library, you could save yourself $68 a year, assuming you pick a new book each season. There’s also no shortage of recipes online, so you may not need a hard copy of a cookbook at all. Don’t miss these 13 healthy food swaps that can save you money.
If you play party host only once a year, then renting folding chairs and tables means that you can store your car in the garage instead of cluttering up the garage with rarely used furniture. While many people believe that you can rent furniture and dishes only in large quantities or that renting is too expensive, it’s actually a great option to save money, even with as few as 10 people. On average a rented table is $8, and a chair only $2; that’s $28 for a party of ten. Add on a few wine glasses and some linens, and your price is under $50. As a bonus, you don’t have to wash the glasses, launder the linens, or store the stuff. But if you host mah-jongg every Friday, then you might want your own table and chairs, like this XL ultra-padded set. Check out these 50 insider secrets that will help you save money at all your favorite stores.
Before you invest in expensive sporting equipment, call the nearest chain sporting goods store. Most of them rent out items such as hiking backpacks, camping tents, skis and poles, and much more. However, you may still want your own camping sleeping bag (such as this Abco four-season sleeping bag) to use when you visit one of these must-see campgrounds that should be on your bucket list.
Looking for some luggage to pack for your next getaway? Whether you need a small carry-on or a large duffle bag, ask your family first. Assuming they’re not joining you on the trip, there’s a good chance they would be happy to lend you their luggage. Thank them with a souvenir! If you’re in the market to buy your own, don’t miss the carry-on bags with five-star reviews on Amazon.
Want to till your garden but don’t want to part with the $118 it would cost to buy a Sun Joe tiller like this one? No problem. Most home improvement stores will let you borrow the gardening tools you need for a fully refundable deposit. Plus, their professional-grade tools are of better quality than the one you might have bought, which you’re likely to use only once or once in a while. From post diggers to wheel barrows to hedge trimmers and more, see if you save money by borrowing. Then save even more with these 10 must-read tips to save you money on gardening.