Thrifty Thursday – Magazine Subscription Deals

By: Amy Hannold, of

Newsstands want to sell you magazines, and in a pinch, they’re affordable entertainment on the go. Subscribing to magazines is the cheaper way to enjoy your favorite titles, but did you know that there are ways to get them for less — free even — and perhaps earn from them?


Internet and technology has brought magazine content to you instantly, and when you visit the website of your favorite magazine, you can often read all you want for free. If you already subscribe to a certain magazine, visit their website to receive a digital element. Digital subscriptions offer you the opportunity to clip articles and other content, for future use (without the conventional clutter on your counter top).

After viewing the on-line content of a favorite magazine (which you don’t already subscribe to), there are affordable options beyond buying the magazine from its publisher. Websites such as offer you discounts, and also will send you a list of daily “specials” when titles are even cheaper. often offers magazine instant discounts; check them out for a deal on your favorite magazine.

Free and reduced-price magazine subscriptions are available through many promotions offered by retailers, product manufacturers and on-line rewards programs. Before purchasing a magazine subscription, visit to compare among top offers. Other sources for discount subscriptions include specially marked boxes of products, credit card or other loyalty programs, and survey sites such as E-Rewards ( offers you free subscriptions (no credit card required) to magazines in return for your short review on a particular theme (your favorite workout equipment, breakfast food, etc.). When you purchase from mail-order companies, you will often be offered “3 months free” of a particular magazine, however you must be aware of other options for discount subscriptions (often cheaper elsewhere) and realize that your credit card will be charged at the end of those free three months.

One tip to efficient magazine subscribing: When you sign up for a magazine, through any method of payment, record the title, subscription source, number of issues you expect, and the date ordered in a place you can easily refer to later. Once you begin to receive magazines, even the titles you were awarded for free, publishers will automatically send you official looking statements for renewal. Keeping a log of your subscriptions will eliminate the stress and footwork you’d otherwise spend trying to remember what you’re paying for and when. The expiration date of your subscription can usually be found in the mailing label, watch that before renewing.

Whether you subscribe or not, magazines offer many opportunities to receive payment for contributions (recipes, jokes/anecdotes, ideas, surveys), exclusive rewards for joining reader panels, and sweepstakes. Coupons, for both retailers and manufactured products can often make any payment for a subscription worth the price. Read the magazine, cover to cover and you’ll see that magazines are profitable, when you join them in sharing good information.

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