Monthly magazine subscriptions are a fun treat in the mailbox (and a welcome change from bills). But most magazines have a $3–$4 cover price, and annual subscriptions can really add up.

With a little know how, magazines are available for pennies on the dollar—or no pennies at all!  Advertisers want their magazines in the hands of readers who will potentially buy their products, so many companies offer deeply-discounted annual subscriptions. Sometimes absolutely free subscriptions are up for grabs.

Here's how to find free subscriptions:

Use a free listing site like ValueMag, Mercury Magazines or FreeBizMag. Buyers must "qualify" for a magazine by working in a field related to the magazine's content, participating in a hobby that's covered by the company, or by being one of a select number of respondents (like the first 5,000). Bookmark these pages to check often for new offers. Note that digital subscriptions (including some to newspapers like USA Today), are also offered.

Follow a blog, like this. Absolutely free magazines and catalogues are offered, updated daily. Note that the newest offers are listed at the top, and magazines can also be searched using the categories on the left side in blue.

Use a rewards program, like Rewards Gold or Rewards Country which awards points for online surveys and shopping. Redeem those for free subscriptions, such as Shape, O, Lucky, Latina, and more.

Redeem Swagbucks: This popular free program awards points for actions you perform online, like searching the web, answering polls, and even printing/using coupons! Points accumulate that you can then spend at the Swag store, which includes magazine subscriptions. For less than 1,000 Swagbucks, you can pick up a subscription to popular magazines such as Allure, Outside, Inc., or Seventeen. Save more for magazines like Wine Spectator, Forbes, and even The Economist.

Redeem MyCokeRewards: It might sound silly, but this mega-company partners with many of the magazines in which it places ads. So if you drink a lot of Coke products (or are disciplined enough to grab unused codes from cardboard cartons at your local recycling center), enter the printed codes online and redeem for free products, including magazine subscriptions. For example, a 12-pack of Coke code will earn 10 points; currently, 133 are needed for a free one-year Good Housekeeping subscription (with free tote bag).

Here’s how to find inexpensive subscriptions:

Enter a Hearst sweepstakes: Hearst is a large publisher of magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, Seventeen, and more. After your name is associated with a Hearst company website, which you can initiate by entering a no-obligation sweepstakes (like the ongoing ones from Good Housekeeping here), you'll immediately receive some fantastic subscription offers online. Just be sure to opt out of the first offer you see for a 12-month subscription. Then the "Thank you for entering" pop-up window will include sharply discounted subscriptions, like the current $5-for-12-issue ones for Woman's Day and Redbook.

Check the KCL "At Home" section: KCL loves to offer readers cheap subscriptions, generally at less than a $5 annual rate. Go through Discount Mags and enter the code "Krazy." Check back often to see what magazines you might enjoy receiving at special savings rates.

Call the magazine's customer service number: You can call in an order and ask for the lowest price available. Then if you don't like that price, negotiate. Tell the representative what you are willing to pay, and ask what they can do to meet that price. Also, ask about 2-for-1 deals or discounts for multi-year subscriptions. You'd be surprised at the level of flexibility with the cost of certain subscriptions when you just ask!

Now, repeat after me: "I will never pay full price for a magazine subscription again!" Lucky for you, that mantra can come true!

Have you saved big on a recent subscription? Tell us how in the "Comments" section below.

This has been a guest post by Audrey from Texas
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Page Turners: Free (or Nearly Free) Magazine Subscriptions