Tag Archives: free movies

How to Save Money and Watch Free Movies!

I just finished watching the movie Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Yesterday I enjoyed the Denzel Washington movie Magnificent Seven; and before that, it was Meryl Strep in Florence Foster Jenkins; and then the day before that it was Storks. The best part about catching up on all these movies is that they were FREE!

I have a sister who went without cable television for over a decade! It’s hard to imagine, but even before Netflix became a household name, my sister chose to watch most her movies in the comfort of her home — either buying or renting DVDs. The only thing she enjoyed doing more than watching movies was reading books. And it was at her favorite book place — the public library — that she discovered a way to watch even more movies, without spending any money on them!

I remember 20+ years ago when I first moved to Nashville, I couldn’t afford much more than the gas in my car, and trying to make rent each month. Whenever I was feeling stressed; sometimes depressed, or even bored, I would find my way to the local library, plop down in the magazine section, and mindlessly flipped through the home and garden, fashion, and Southern lifestyle type of magazines, without having to purchase a subscription. I also occasionally looked through the stack of VHS tapes, hoping to come across an old movie I hadn’t seen, or one I wanted to watch again.

But that was the 1990s; just as DVDs were growing in popularity, and long before there was anything related to streaming movies, or binge watching entire seasons of your favorite television shows.

As I moved up the corporate ladder, and leisure time became limited, but money became less of a problem, I didn’t visit the library as often. This was also during the growth of the digital age, smartphones, laptop computers, and later, streaming services. I subscribed to magazines I barely had the time to flip through; ordered up extended cable services I mostly didn’t have time to enjoy the selections on. And jumped on some of the social media platforms as they unfolded.

But while visiting my hometown over the past couple of years, spending time at my sister’s house, I was reminded of the value of the local public library.

Before I arrived for Christmas, my sister put a number of movies on her list so that we’d have plenty of them to watch while I was home for the holidays. What’s really cool about doing that, beyond the free part, is that it guarantees at least two hours of family time to watch a movie together, sitting next to each other, without a group of strangers surrounding us in a dark, sticky floor, and uncomfortable general-public used chairs.

Unlike the VHS tapes I used to pick up, the current DVD service at the library is usually on par with services like the RedBox. So what if you might have to wait a few days longer, or get on a list that might take a couple of weeks. Being able to check out new to DVD movies within a couple of days or weeks of their release for FREE is totally worth it!

So if one of your new year’s resolutions — spoken, thought, or written down — is to watch your spending habits, and create and stay on a budget, just know that you don’t have to give up enjoying life. You can still watch a great movie, without paying over a hundred dollars for cable or satellite service. You can check out books, DVDs, and even CDs from the library, or take an hour to relax and flip through current magazines. I have some friends who have never had cable in their house. They rent movies or stream them online. With a trip to your local library, you can take that a step further and pick some up for free!

Up next? Bad Moms and Ben-Hur! Yeah…I know. An interesting mix of drama.

Summer on the Cheap!

Kimberly Pierce Carter is a stay-at-home mom of three children, ages 10, 6 and 3. “Being a stay at home mom is the best and the hardest job I’ve ever had,” said Kimberly, whose two daughters and young son keep her busy. “I learn something new about my children or myself almost every day!”

Having only one source of income, one thing Kimberly has also learned is how to seek out the best deals for her family, not just at the grocery store or mall, but to provide various activities and educational opportunities beyond the classroom, without spending a lot.


“When summer approaches, one of the first things I do is check out our local library summer schedule,” she says. “Our library has a fantastic summer reading program and they give the kids little prizes along the way, which helps to keep my kids motivated to want to read.”

In most communities, libraries are an excellent place to find not just reading programs, but other activities geared for kids of all ages. Some places offer plays, live music, and even arts and crafts. “Our library has some fantastic programs all during the summer and they are free! From one-man puppet shows, to African rhythm instruments, to a wildlife exhibition, there is always something to see or do once or twice a week, in addition to story times.”

Another outlet that Kimberly takes advantage of during these long days of summer is Vacation Bible School (VBS) at her church. Most VBS programs are open to community kids, regardless of whether or not they are members of that church, and just like programs at the library, most VBSs are free. “One of the things I like about the VBS programs in our area is that the kids get to learn about God, make various crafts, play games, and meet new friends; kids who may not attend their school.”

Other activities that parents can get their kids involved in range from special free movies that Regal Cinemas (and other movie theaters) offers throughout the summer or heading to the local city or state parks for a picnic or nature hikes. “We pack our lunch, sunscreen, some sidewalk chalk, a container of bubbles, and a few outdoor games, and it makes for another great day in the outdoors.” Many parks offer free or minimal cost nature programs and special projects for kids to engage in as well.

Just like with parks, moms can also look for street festivals, community fairs, music programs, and other special events designed to attract families. “At least once a month our Farmers Market holds a family night with games, face painting, and other entertainment. And of course, going also gives us access to some great local produce.”

So just because your kids are out of school for the summer, doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars sending them off to camp, or think that saving money means  having them sit in front of the television or playing computer games all day. There are a lot of free or inexpensive things to do with your kids that can be educational, entertaining, and fun experiences for the whole family.

Kimberly and the kids

Kimberly has been married to her husband Chance for over 16 years, and they live in the San Francisco East Bay area.