Love to read magazines but hate paying for ’em?
These tips will help you save money on your favorite magazine subscriptions.
Before we get to the tips though, did you know people on average spend 15 minutes a day reading magazines? And a recent study shows 70 percent of American adults had read one in the last 30 days, and 51 percent had read at least two.
However, magazine subscriptions can get expensive causing some readers to cancel their subscriptions altogether.
Popular ones such as People Magazine can cost about $2.00 per issue and over $100 for a year.
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Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy your favorite publications for a fraction of the price.
How to Spend Less on Magazines
Here are some of the best ways to save money on your magazine subscriptions.
1. Subscribe to 100% free magazines!
We have a post with a huge list of free magazine subscriptions by mail with no strings attached. Your favorite publications may not be on that list but you may just find a few new favorite ones.
Now, if you still want to get your favorites but want to lower the cost of your subscription, read the rest of this post.
2. Check out these sites for free & discounted magazines
There are a variety of sites that offer either discounted or free magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
Magazines.com recently advertised savings of up to 75%. It may just be the best place to buy magazine subscriptions.
If you prefer digital publications over traditional, magzter.com may be the way to go.
They offer a plan called Magzter Gold that offers unlimited digital reading on over 5,000 publications for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
Some of the sites offering free zines include:
But always do you due diligence when looking at sites offering free stuff.
Make sure you’re not setting yourself up to have your email inbox bombarded with spam emails.
And always make sure the site is secure before entering any financial information.
3. Negotiate a better rate
Many industries lure you in with a low introductory rate, then raise the rate once it’s time to renew.
Mag subscriptions are the same way.
The renewal rate is likely to be much more expensive than what you originally paid.
Join Opinion Outpost. It is a fun panel with a lot of interesting surveys. And it rewards you well!
Want to hang on to that low introductory rate?
Call them and ask, they’ll likely say yes.
Keeping you at that introductory rate is still preferable than losing your business completely.
Also, when you first subscribe see if you can sign up for a two-year subscription.
That way you can hang on to that low introductory rate for two years instead of one.
4. Look for student or teacher discounts of up to 90%
It’s no secret that college students don’t have a lot of money.
That’s why many businesses offer student discounts.
Magazine publishers are one of them.
There are several places students can find discounted subscriptions.
In fact, StudentMags was recently offering Time for 90% off the cover price.
But why should the students have all of the fun?
MagazineLine offers discounted rates to educators as well as students.
MagMall.com offers teachers a discount of up to 50%.
MyEducationDiscount has partnered with Magazines.com to offer a discount service to teachers.
Also the National Education Association offers a magazine service where members can get up to 85% off of 800 titles.
Also, it never hurts to send an email or call and ask an individual publication if they offer student or teacher discounts.
5. Write them off on your taxes
No, we’re not telling you to use your subscription to Us Weekly as a tax write off.
It’s unlikely the IRS will let you claim that one.
But you may be able to write off a subscription to a trade publication or academic journal as a business expense.
Check with your accountant when tax time comes around.
6. Use rewards or cash back sites (and save 25%)
Use your Swagbucks to earn a PayPal, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble gift card.
Then use that gift card to buy that subscription you want.
Or go to Rakuten, put “magazines” into the search bar and see what they offer.
Recently they offered 25% cash back on magazines.com.
Also, don’t forget about Ebay.
7. Save up to $85 off the cover price with this tip
Many of you already use Amazon.com to buy books, electronics, music, and many other things.
Did you know you can also buy subscriptions through Amazon as well?
Just type “magazine subscriptions” in the search bar and see what turns up.
For example a six-month subscription to Time is only $25, compared to a cover price of almost $110.
And if you have an Amazon Rewards Visa card, don’t forget to use it and save an additional 3%-5%.
8. Take advantage of Amazon Prime
Also, are you a member of Amazon Prime?
In addition to free two-day shipping and tons of shows to stream, did you know your membership includes access to free magazines?
It’s called Prime Reading.
And the publications you have access to include Time, Popular Mechanics, Runner’s World, and others.
Also, you’ll get a six-month subscription to The Washington Post as well.
9. Don’t forget Kindle Unlimited for $9.99!
Don’t just use your e-reader for books.
Use it to save on magazines as well.
Sign up for Kindle Unlimited and get access to over one million (yes, one million!) titles for $9.99 per month.
10. Use cash back or points from your rewards card
Do you have a rewards card?
Use it towards a subscription to your favorite magazine.
Use some of your cash back balance to buy a subscription.
Or see if you can redeem points for subscriptions.
Also, if you have airline miles you won’t be using go to MagsForPoints.com and exchange those airline miles for that subscription you want.
Have a favorite publication?
Follow them on social media.
See if they announce any special subscription rates or sales.
This might be an option if you don’t want to pay for a full subscription when you’re only interested in an article or two per issue.
12. Get free magazines in your town
Your public library likely has every popular magazine in circulation.
And you can read as few or as many as you like for free!!!
All you need is a library card.
The issues might be a week or so old, but still you can’t beat free.
13. The Doctor prescribes free magazines
What happens to all of those magazines you see in your doctor’s waiting room?
More likely than not, they just get thrown in the trash.
If there are any you like, ask them if you can keep them.
If they’re older than a month or two old, they’ll likely say yes.
14. Get by with a little help from your friends
As the old saying goes, caring is sharing.
Does one of your friends subscribe to a magazine you’re interested in?
With the Christmas season upon us, many publications are offering free gift subscriptions when people renew their existing one.
Ask your friend if you can be their gift subscription.
Also, get a group of friends together, decide on a list of mags everyone wants, each person subscribes to one or two, and share amongst the group.
If you get a group of four together, you can read four for the price of one!
15. Mix & Match
By all means, you do not have to use just one of these suggestions.
See what you can combine and compound the savings.
For example, go to one of the sites that offer discounted subscription to secure a low price then use the cash back from your rewards card to pay for it.
Or if Amazon has the best price on the one you want, use Swagbucks to earn an Amazon gift card and buy the subscription that way.
Or, as previously mentioned, go through Rakuten and get 25% cash back from an already low rate from magazines.com
Double the savings, double the fun!
16. Look for magazine subscriptions packages
To compete with the competition, a lot of publications offer subscription packages that can save you a lot of money.
Look for those and other deals before you fork over your hard-earned cash.
17. Last but not least, use your subscription!
Few things are more wasteful than spending money on something you don’t use.
That applies to gym memberships, streaming services, and (yes) to magazine subscriptions.
Put that subscription to good use, read and then apply all you learned from all of those articles.
You didn’t pay good money to clutter up your coffee table or email inbox.
Happy Reading & Happy Saving!
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of how to satisfy your passion for reading while staying true to your commitment to saving money, go forth and read to your heart’s delight!