Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Because It's Good For You

Aside from shopping non-stop, round-the-clock to provide you people with interesting Internet content, I decided I could write about things TO DO, not just things TO BUY that cost $20 or less. So here are two ideas that are FREE, as in, costing very much less than $20.

NOTE: You probably know about these places already, but are ignoring their existence because they sound good for you. This may be true, but they ARE fun for you and the whole family, too. God, I sound like an episode of Full House. And one of those icky "very special" episodes, too, where D.J. learns an important lesson about not lying or having premarital sex or something. Ugh.

The Library. I mentioned this before in my friend HaC’s birthday post, but I feel it bears repeating. Not only can you get (dur) books at the library, but you can get the Following Fab Free Finds:

New(er) DVD’s - I just got Constantine cuz I needed me a Keanu fix, but you don't have to go the horror/sci-fi route; they have other stuff like Breakfast at Tiffany's (ahhh, the clothes...). Audio books on CD to listen to in the car, to prevent road rage. Music CDs to illegally download, then upload, onto your Ipod. New(er) magazines like Entertainment Weekly and Glamour. Why pay $3.50 plus taxes for one People Magazine, when you can check out 20 back issues for FREE?

If you are blessed enough to live near the Shoreview Library, check out their DVD collection. It is friggin' HUGE, with a great mix of current movies and classics - they even have TV collections like Sharpe's Rifles (Sean Bean, yum). Or stop by the Roseville Library, which features its own in-house Dunn Bros. Coffee, so you can get a coffee, a baked good, and a book for WAY cheaper than at B&N. And don’t forget to swing by the new Minneapolis Downtown Library. It’s so shiny and big and stuffed with stuff to read – you could spend your whole life there. It makes me happy just thinking about it. Plus, they allow you to browse the stacks, which, according to my librarian Ma, is totally cool and not the norm.

Our Park System. Its fall, y’all, and soon the snow will be flying. Take advantage of the last few good days, not to mention the pretty colored leaves, and GO OUTSIDE. Yes, I sound like your mother. Now eat your beets. Seriously, though, we live in a state with an insane amount of gorgeous free parks – so use them NOW before someone starts making us pay admission. Jerks. You know who you are.

My personal favorite walks are:
Minnehaha Parkway, from Lake Harriet down to about Chicago Avenue. I used to wade in the "crik" back in the 4th grade, when we lived across the street from the Parkway, much to the rage of Ma, who ordered me to NOT go in the water. As if. Snail Lake Park, which has an awesome and clean(!) beach that is usually quiet and empty. Thus it is clean. Last, the trail that starts at Cummings Park, snakes behind Boston Scientific, and continues on through Floral Park. This trail has the added benefit of being RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from my house. So I have no excuse for being a lazy slacker. Although I do manage all the same.

If you do decide on the Minnehaha Creek trail, you can check out (pun alert) the Washburn Library while you are there. It’s my all-time favorite library ever ever ever. I used to go there as a young lass...memories, from the corner of my mind... Ahem. Sorry. Plus, there are many tasty treats right off the Parkway, like Liberty Frozen Custard and (if you're willing to make the hike) Mel-O-Glaze Bakery. You can eat until you are sick and hyped up on sugar for well under $20. In fact, if you spend OVER $20 on yourself at either place, you are either a hog, or my new personal hero.

There you have it. Two free things to do on a lovely, or possibly hideous, fall day. Or, you could just sit around and record (on your VCR! Cheaper than DVR!) all the new television debuts like Pushing Daisies. Which is totally NOT good for you, and completely defeats the purpose of this post. Oh well, as you wish. Now clean your room. And quit talking back or you're grounded for a week.


LaRue said...

The Mpls. Library? Or the Taj Ma Freakin' Library? Is really pretty impressive. Also, if you like reading new releases and only want to read them right away and then don't want them ever again, you can rent a new release for $3.00 for 10 days. I have actually done this several times when I was too impatient and too cheap to spend the whole $25.

Also in regards to books - a B&N book membership is a really good deal. I delayed getting one for years until Big Al and I added up our book expenses one year and freaked out. On a best seller (?)new release you get 40% off automatically, and then an additional 10 for being a member. Either way, my $25 books are then $12.50 and far below $20. All good.

As for the parks, we have more bike paths than any other state in the US. So get out there - it is good and good for you. Just don't expect to see me. I'm allergic to the outdoors.

Have a swell day.

NRGWoman said...

The Borders membership is also awesome. It is free and every week they send you coupons for 20-40% off a book of your choice. Then periodically they send you a coupon for $5 off any purchase.

And if you are by Roseville the new Half Price Books is also huge and fun. Though their parking spaces are freakishly narrow so unless you are driving a mini parking will test your nerves and you better have one of those calming audio books playing.

larue said...

Um - I have always browsed the stacks at every library I have ever went to. I was unaware this was not he norm. Maybe it is a Minnesota thing?

The Cheap Chick said...

Welcome to the blog, Shayne! And one of my errands today is checking out Half Priced Books. I'll also be blogging about its awesomeness soon.

Larue, the stacks are not what is out on the main floor of the library. Thoses are the shelves. The STACKS are the storage areas, where they store the books that don't fit on the shelves, or aren't circulated enough to warrant placement on the shelves. Now you know what I know, and thank you, Ma.

Solace said...

The Arboretum in Chanhassen is only $7 to see all the fall leaves you'd ever want to see!

And kids get in for free!