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struggling to not buy magazines?

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magazine standIf you’re struggling to stop buying magazines, then join the club.

Now that I have a very shiny new house of my very own (actually it’s about 100 years old, but you get the point) I’m an absolute sucker for house magazines.

Last weekend I went through my accumulated pile to cut out pictures for inspiration. I had more than a dozen, and they cost between £3 and £3.50 each ($6-$7). That’s about £40 in magazines from the last 2-3 months. Which is a lot of money to spendwaste really, especially as I pretty much know what my decorating scheme is.

But I find it very difficult not to buy them. I was in the supermarket just the other day, feeling pretty annoyed that I’d bought and read every single house magazine in the shop.

Has anyone got any suggestions, or am I doomed to fritter away the money that I could be spending doing up the house on buying magazines instead?

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35 comments for “struggling to not buy magazines?”

  1. I’m a sucker for Home & Design magazines, too.

    Your favorite magazines may also have valueable information on their websites. And design blogs that feature your decorating style.

    And advert your eyes at check-out! The magazines are strategically placed there along with everything else near the cash register (candy for children, anyone?)so that we’ll dig deeper into our pockets.

    Posted by Patti | January 21, 2008, 1:06 pm
  2. Yep see what the magazines’ websites have available - probably a little limited, but might at least let you know whether it’s worth buying the magazine, if there’s something particular you want to read about.

    Is EBay any good for buying / selling old magazines? Might be worth searching there, although you might have to filter out the rare editions of “House & Home” to find more recent publications.

    Posted by Rob Lewis | January 21, 2008, 1:13 pm
  3. I’m like this with stuff like the New Yorker, The Walrus, etc. Try the library. Over here anyway they have all the current issues of most publications. Magazines mostly have only a couple of decent pieces among all the ads and filler anyway, and once you’ve read through the feature articles I’ve found you’ve no desire to buy the whole magazine.

    Posted by guinness416 | January 21, 2008, 2:09 pm
  4. I unsubscribed to all magazines, and I don’t buy single issues either. The large public library is my city subscribes to almost everything I want/need to read. Generally, though, I am more satisfied with reading books than magazines. It is like the difference between eating a hearty meal and having a little snack.

    Posted by Monica | January 21, 2008, 2:15 pm
  5. Plus, most of the kinds of information I can get from magazines I can also get from the Internet. (I like apartmenttherapy.com for decorating stuff.)

    Posted by Monica | January 21, 2008, 2:16 pm
  6. @Monica:
    It’s quite bad, but I’ll also admit to eating way more snacks than I should - they often replace meals.

    Posted by plonkee | January 21, 2008, 3:17 pm
  7. The library is a great source of magazines, but I can understand why you might want to own home and garden magazines. They’re the sort of thing you fill up with sticky notes, save for future reference, or cut out photos so you can match that paint color when you finally get around to buying paint. If you can narrow it down to one or two favorite magazines, you might just subscribe. It’ll be cheaper than buying at the newsstand, and knowing that you’ve got a decorating magazine coming every month might reduce the temptation to buy others on impulse.

    Posted by E.C. | January 21, 2008, 3:19 pm
  8. I only get free magazine subscriptions - it’s amazing how many free offers you can find if you’re patient and observant. After all, the companies are usually glad to add another viewer for all of those ads…

    I would try the freebie forums at fatwallet.com first. I’ve also gotten subscriptions through sites like mycokerewards.com, submitting codes for things I already use, like coke.

    Posted by Carol | January 21, 2008, 4:24 pm
  9. I’m trying to avoid buying magazines this year. I check out their websites instead. I don’t flick through them in the stores because then I’ll just become more tempted. For house magazines perhaps a few sites like apartment therapy could help as well. Also if any of your friends are into the same magazines could you each buy one and swap? My mum does this with her sister and next door neighbour. Good luck!

    Posted by Looby | January 21, 2008, 4:58 pm
  10. Thanks for all the suggestions. A magazine subscription may be the best way forward - I didn’t know you could score free ones sometimes. I’ll have to look into that.

    Posted by plonkee | January 21, 2008, 5:20 pm
  11. You can subscribe incredibly cheaply through ebay. That way you pay once at the subscription price and at least can outlaw impulse newstand purchases. Some airline miles can be redeemed in magazine subscriptions, also. In the states it’s called magazines for miles. (airline miles, use em or lose em)
    You could also put out a freecycle call - ask on freecycle or craigs list for people to pass theirs on, or share them. I’m sure a lot of people would be glad to give them away instead of recycling them.
    Happy new house!

    Posted by MoneyChangesThings | January 21, 2008, 5:23 pm
  12. I am addicted to magazines too!
    One thing you can do, especially for decorating inspiration is to hit the library and not only read the magazines, but interior design books as well.
    Whenever I feel uninspired that is where I go.

    Also, check out websites like HGTV and DIY Network for inspiration as well as how-to articles.

    Take Care


    Posted by LJ | January 21, 2008, 6:37 pm
  13. I second the subscription idea. You can also get subscriptions to common magazines where the majority of the payment benefits a charity. There are many sites dedicated to this that appear to be legitimate — Perhaps an idea for a future Plonkee article?

    Posted by metroknow | January 21, 2008, 7:50 pm
  14. I am a magazine-aholic! While a lot of people will tell you to just let it go, figure out a way to get them for free or at least a lot cheaper. I’m a big fan of subscriptions. I use airline miles (since I don’t fly very often), erewards.com (earn free subscriptions), amazon (wait for specials) to purchase subscriptions. If all else fails, check out eBay (I have gotten a lot of good deals on magazine subscriptions).

    Posted by SavingDiva | January 21, 2008, 7:53 pm
  15. You might just ask people for subscriptions at christmas time or something too. My folks get me a subscription to the Irish Times every year for my birthday, which definitely beats a pair of socks or a gift card or something.

    Posted by guinness416 | January 21, 2008, 9:03 pm
  16. hi plonkee
    Subscriptions are definitley the way to go, I get 7 delivered every month (5 house ones) and budget £14 a month for them throughout the year.
    The MSE forum has a thread on magazine offers on the ‘Shop but don’t drop Board’ There are some mags currently on ‘3 issues for £1′

    Posted by nomorespending | January 21, 2008, 9:35 pm
  17. I generally try to avoid the newstands altogether because I have a weakness for books and magazines. When I do buy magazines I only pay to subscribe to them, reading a couple sample months in a store and putting them back. I only buy books online because brick-and-mortar book stores are outrageously expensive.

    Posted by Frugal Dad | January 21, 2008, 9:45 pm
  18. Subscriptions definitely seem to be popular. I’ll have a look and see what I can get.

    Post ideas are always welcomed, I’ll look into that.

    Posted by plonkee | January 21, 2008, 10:04 pm
  19. There is nothing like indulging oneself with a magazine. One note. If you have a particular one that you like, go to their website. Often they will let you read some of the articles for free.

    Posted by Lisa | January 22, 2008, 1:22 am
  20. I absolutely feel you on this, I used to get like 20 subscriptions at the house and still buy more. We are trying to cut down!

    Posted by David | January 22, 2008, 3:48 am
  21. The other thing is to budget for some!

    Say you are going to allow your self one a week. Using the envelope system, you can’t over spend!

    It is those little $2-5 dollars expenses that get us. Death from 1000 cuts!

    Posted by RacerX | January 22, 2008, 3:54 am
  22. Subscriptions are a fairly cheap form of entertainment. I don’t ever buy magazines in stores because I know I can get an entire year’s worth for about twice the price of a single issue. One of my investment magazines even offered a lifetime subscription, so after having discounted the cost, I put down $300 and now I have magazines for the next 70 years .. unless I get hit by a bus ;P

    Posted by Early Retirement Extreme | January 22, 2008, 4:38 am
  23. Wow, 23 comments, you must be a very happy Plonkee right now.

    The only magazine that I would pay for is Money Magazine. The rest that I look at - World, National Geographic and National Soccer Coaches Assoc. magazine are all gift subscriptions or given to me.

    I think the only time I have ever bought a mag off the rack is when I was desperate for something to read while getting on an airplane.

    Posted by rocketc | January 22, 2008, 4:48 am
  24. They just send me tons of magazines, I don’t know if its frequent flyer miles or what, but I don’t even think I can read them all.

    Posted by Cliff | January 23, 2008, 5:23 am
  25. The same can be said for newspapers. I use to buy the Saturday’s newspaper to read while having breakfast or just lazing about reading the paper. But that was when it use to cost $1.00, now it cost about $2.50.

    The other problem is the what to do with all the read newspaper lying around. Recycling is an option but largely depends on how good the recycling services are.

    Posted by tehnyit | January 24, 2008, 1:50 am
  26. 1. You need to work on your self aura of being poor. If you put your mindset into not having enough money then it helps not buying things.

    2. If you like to read magazines… why not? People waste more money on other things. My concern with those magazines is they encourage you to part company with money.

    3. Library? Of course they might be a little concerned if you take scissors and scrapbook with you.

    Posted by Llama for brains | January 24, 2008, 2:18 pm
  27. @Llama for brains:
    I probably wouldn’t take the scissors with me to the library - although, you raise a good point. Part of my enjoyment comes from cutting out the pictures so I don’t think that the library would work for this problem.

    Posted by plonkee | January 24, 2008, 4:03 pm
  28. All very good suggestions. One was a Christmas gift and the other was a free subscription from a credit card company (which I have since cancelled). In the States, the local library is the way to go.

    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned, is querying your neighbors for old magazines. If you are too embarrassed to say they are for you, say you need them for a project and if they ever have any more in the future..send them your way. I then also like to recycle them to senior homes, doctor’s offices and the like.

    Posted by Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife | January 29, 2008, 2:44 pm
  29. E-BAY! I get all my subscriptions there, and my mantra is “Thou Shalt Never Pay More than $10 a year!” I currently get Money, Real Simple, Oprah and Metropolitan Home, all through E-Bay. I never paid more than $10 except for Money which was $30 for a three-year subscription. I have gotten burned twice (lost $8 once and $10 once), both times right around Christmas. Be sure to buy from sellers with a long history, but E-Bay is definitely the way to go unless you have a free source.

    Posted by Grace | January 29, 2008, 3:55 pm
  30. @Grace:
    $10 a year! Wow, that’s amazing. I need to get cracking with this idea before all next month’s magazines start hitting the shops.

    Posted by plonkee | January 29, 2008, 7:03 pm
  31. One understands that life is high priced, but different people need cash for various things and not every man gets enough money. Thus to receive fast personal loans or financial loan will be a right way out.

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