9 ways to rack up savings on magazines

You browse through the piles of beauty magazines at the hair salon and wish the dentist’s office had better (and newer) choices of magazines. So where can you get a good deal on magazine subscriptions for yourself? Living on a budget does not mean you have to do without glossies and other ‘zines. We’ve done some shopping for you:

Online discount sites. has discounted prices for magazines – when I checked out the site it was offering 12 months of Better Homes and Gardens for a $12.99 introductory price. Look for the “under $10” link at the left of the Discount Mags website to find some great prices, like a one-year subscription to Elle for $9.95. A caveat: At times, I have ordered magazines through discount sites only to have them substitute the magazine for another publication.

River of savings. Amazon offers magazine subscriptions at rock-bottom prices. Read the fine print though – some of the offers are not full one-year subscriptions. But the per-issue rate on most of them is still great – many are less than $1. A recent search came up with Harper’s Bazaar for 50 cents per issue.

A deal with a twist. Some sites  offer free or discounted limited-time offer magazine subscriptions. You will be asked to fill out a survey or offer information about yourself on many of the sites, so beware. FreeBizMag asks you to fill out business information to qualify for free business magazines and adds a bonus subscription for a consumer magazine.

Face time. See if your favorite magazine or magazine discount site has a Facebook page like this one or a Twitter account – sometimes they post special offers for followers. Signing up for email notifications could net big savings in the form of last-minute or timely deals. Also watch for promo codes and “buy one subscription, get one free for a friend” deals. 

Enter to win. Search online for giveaways for free magazine subscriptions – bloggers or companies will ask you to register or comment for a chance to win. Some are subscriptions to print magazines, but there are also chances to win  downloads of digital magazines.

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Between the pages. Don’t overlook those pesky card inserts that fly out of print magazines. I recently spotted one that offered a $10 subscription. Sometimes those cards are good for more than just bookmarks or emergency coasters.

Skip the print. If you have a Kindle or other e-reader, check out Kindle Buffet by Steve Weber . This free guide to getting the most from your Kindle helps you find free reading content including magazines. The author also gives you tips to use the Kindle and offers information on apps. The author’s website helps you sort through Amazon deals and best offers of the day.

110 downloads of mags on the wall. Here is a nifty app for magazines: For one subscription, Next Issue gives you access to more than 200 magazine titles on your iPad, Android or Windows gadget. Set up like a cable subscription, the plan allows you to read 200 magazines for just under $14.99. This may not work with you if you feel the need to actually handle magazine pages. If you decide to stick with print, here’s what you can do with the magazines once you have finished reading them. It’s a triple-win whammy – you recycle, you give to others and you clear the clutter.

Shh – we’re reading. My all-time favorite place to find free magazines? The library. You can usually check out magazines for a few weeks, decorate your coffee table and browse slowly through the beauty tips and recipes. Then back to the library shelves for more. If you don’t see your favorite magazine, ask a librarian if he or she can order a subscription. Librarians love to be needed.

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How to Get Free Magazines

iPads and e-readers are great for hauling around a lot of reading materials at once. But taking them with you to the bathtub or pool might not be such a great idea, so I like to subscribe to a few good old-fashioned print magazines. However, paying the $30 or so a year for each title pains me, so I seek out free magazine subscriptions instead. Here are a few ways to get some no-cost periodicals sent to your home.

FreeBizMag: This is the granddaddy of free magazine sites, offering mostly industry-specific trade publications and newsletters. However, it occasionally rewards members with chances to sign up for free consumer-type magazines. I’ve received free subscriptions to Weight Watchers Magazine, Texas Monthly, Taste of Home and more, and never been asked for a credit card. One caveat: When signing up for free subscriptions, you’ll be inundated with a barrage of other, mostly useless offers; pick through them carefully and click “no” next to each one to avoid accidentally signing up for something you don’t want.

RewardsGold: This site offers rewards to members that fill out surveys, shop online and complete other activities. Many of the rewards offered are magazine subscriptions, though sweepstakes prizes including Kindle Fire readers also appear to be available.

SlickDeals: Check out SlickDeals’ free magazine subscription forum for a constantly updated list of free magazine offers from various providers. (Many of the freebies posted are links to FreeBizMag and RewardsGold offers, but it’s helpful to see the posts, because not every subscriber receives a notification on every deal.) The forum even has a “magazine swap thread” where users can trade unwanted subscriptions for more desirable ones.

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Bonus! If you like books, check these out.

Books Should Be Free has more than 3,000 books in its library, available free to download to iPhone, Kindle, Android and MP3 players. Here is your chance to revisit all those favorite classics – or share them with the next generation of readers. Wuthering Heights, The Wind in the Willows, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and many others are available on this site.

If you need educational materials or textbooks, check this list of websites where you can download eBooks.

Do you want to find a way to follow your passion? Start by reading Barbara Sher’s Wishcraft. Don’t worry about the money – the book is FREE to download here.   

For more articles on saving money:

Turn old magazines into beautiful bowls

Save money on eye exams and eye wear

Grow herbs and save money all year

Hypermiling to save gas

Save money while dining out

Change your spending habits and save money


More Ways to Live Well for Less


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