How I saved thousands of pounds in 2022 with my library card

How I saved thousands of pounds in 2022 with my library card

Grace has been looking back over the past year to see how much she would have saved simply by having a Plymouth Libraries card.

With rising living costs, people are looking for more ways to save money, and joining your local library could save you a substantial amount of money. I decided to add up how much my library card saved me in 2022 to show just how many resources you can access for free at Plymouth Libraries (books and so much more!)


Of course you will know the library has a wide collection of books you can borrow, including fiction, non-fiction, large print and children’s books. These days a brand new hardback book can cost you around £20, if not more, so you could save a significant amount by borrowing books instead of buying.

In 2022, I borrowed 24 paperback and 31 hardback books from the library. If I were to buy new copies of these books from a bookshop it would have cost me a staggering £722.50!

The library regularly stocks brand new titles, with many of the books I borrowed being newly published in 2022.

eBooks and eAudiobooks

The library has two great online systems for borrowing eBooks and eAudiobooks. Both of these platforms are available via your web browser or they can be downloaded as an app.

An eBook can cost almost as much as a physical copy, but by downloading the Libby app you can access thousands of eBooks for free, with new titles being added monthly. I borrowed 3 eBooks from Libby last year which would have cost me £10.78 to read if I bought them online.

Audiobooks are often very costly to buy, and even subscription services like Audible start at £7.99 per month. The library gives you access to two eBook systems, Libby and Borrowbox, which stock a range of popular titles.

By using these apps I saved myself £15.98 last year.

Magazines and Newspapers

Did you know Libby also gives you free access to a range of popular magazines and national newspapers? Newspaper subscription services are around £10 a month, and magazines can prove costly from a shop. Therefore, by reading the Christmas radio times and a few newspapers via the Libby I saved £29.93.

Which magazines

Which magazine provides expert testing, reviews and advice to save you money. You can access Which magazines and their website on a library PC for free. Each time I wanted to buy a product I would search for a Which Best Buy to get value for money. If I didn’t have a library card this service would have cost me £99 last year.

Findmypast and the British Newspaper Archive

These services cost £125.99 per year and £7.70 per month respectively, but are free to use on a library PC. Therefore I have been able to research my family history, including searching historic newspapers and the new 1921 census for free.

Total Savings

By accessing all of these resources with my library card I saved myself £1,096.58 in 2022.

Joining the library is free for those who live, work or study in Plymouth and a great way to save money.

- Blog post by Grace, Plymstock Library.