Pay Less for Books and Magazines

by Guest Contributor · 8 comments

Most people in this country have at least one subscription that they pay for regularly, be it a magazine or newspaper. For newspapers, It’s a waste of money under the best of circumstances because news is fresher online. I mean, even small, local papers have an online edition. For magazines, even if you really read them, can still be bought using creative ways for a cheaper cost.


I only get one magazine myself, but each of my three kids get one too. We have the grandparents pay for them. Each of us get a magazine we want and it’s a good way to kill two birds with one stone since grandparents always want to buy our kids gifts. People always asks what you want as your birthday grows near, or the holidays approach. Ask for subscriptions you want. Heck, even give them the subscription card you pulled out of a magazine to make life easier for them.

When it comes to books, and I admit I don’t purchase many, I ask for gift cards to my favorite bookstore or from There are many times throughout the year when this company doesn’t charge for shipping or upgrades to a faster shipping method. That is when I order what I want.


Believe it or not, libraries are a great place to get books. As long as you return them on time, they are free. Many libraries run small bookshops as well to sell off older editions and extra copies. When a popular author puts out a new book, a library system will order perhaps 100 copies, but as the book is read, they only need 30, so they sell off the rest, dirt-cheap.

You can also find hundreds of magazines in most libraries. While you can’t take out the latest edition, you can check out any older versions. Face it, National Geographic or People can wait a month if it saves you money; the stories are just as fascinating.


I love this one because you can get two magazines for the price of one and do something good for the environment. I share my magazine with a friend and I know she passes it on as well. The deal is that each of you pays for one subscription. Of course I cheat because my parents get me mine for my birthday, but the idea is still valid. Then, once you have read the magazine, you trade. Viola, half priced subscriptions.

This works well for books too. I am part of a book-sharing circle. I don’t think I have spent more than $50 on books in years. We just keep passing books between us. I know someone must be purchasing a bunch of them, but think about it, if 10 people are each purchasing five books a year, we get to read 50 books at a fraction of the price. If you really like a book and want to keep it, no one minds. The nicest thing about this arrangement is that I have read things I would never have thought to get myself because someone else was drawn in by it.

So many things demand your money daily. Books, newspapers and magazines just shouldn’t be among them.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Thrifty Gal says:

    Where I work, there used to be a book exchange in the room where the computer printer and copy machines were. Someone put a sign next to an empty computer paper box and started it. People put their old books there, and anyone could take whatever was put there. Unfortunately we moved to a new building, where there isn’t really a good place for this. I am going to try to think of a way to restart the book exchange at work.

  • Kmarti says:

    I go to thrift stores and get books extremely cheap- .50 ea or 1.00 for a hardcover. Some thrift stores like Goodwill have 1/2 price on everything in the store every other Saturday. It’s an awesome way to get books that the library may not have.

  • Cd Phi says:

    I am a huge proponent of switching around books. Because I am a student, textbooks can be pretty pricey so my friends and I will often take turns taking a course so that the other can use the book for the following semester and we’ve found that we can save lots of money that way.

  • Craig says:

    I do not subscribe to magazines anymore since you can get everything you want online anyways. I still love buying books though, but have bought more books online or used online to save a few bucks.

  • LeanLifeCoach says:

    There is still one niche hobby magazine I pay for along with membership to the trade organization that publishes it. Beyond that the only subscriptions we get are through point systems.

  • Pastor Jim Kibler says:

    I now get all of my news from the internet and cable news stations. I used to buy the news magazines but now they are so slanted left that I just cannot read them.

  • Minority Fortune says:

    This is a good idea. Sure, there’s the common idea of going to the library and borrowing books, but it’s unique to actually have family gift you subscriptions or divide them among your friends. It’s a great way to save money.

    Also, if you have a marginal unused amount of airline points, you may want to see if you can grab magazine or newspaper subscription from them. That is how we get the Wall Street Journal.

  • kenyantykoon says:

    and if you are an ebook fanatic/ internet addict like me you find that a patient well done search will get you any ebook you want. i have gotten new york times best sellers by just looking in the right places and without breaking the law(i think). i am for the library option also. i use it as a change of environment, which does wonders for my concentration

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