I never thought I would be getting so many magazines in my mailbox without ever paying for a subscription! It’s because free magazines are offered as free samples. Here are some general resources to help you get the magazines you want for free. I’ve also got a list of tips that I compiled from my readers on how to give those free magazines a second life.

Sources of Free Magazines
Digital Magazines
Did you know that some magazine publishers have started providing digital editions for free to everyone? Ready Made currently has free digital editions accessible by anyone. Successful Living and Kraft Food & Family is also available. Do you know of any others that are provided directly from the publisher?

They seem to always be offering a free magazine sample, and I have received every sample I’ve requested so it’s a reliable source. You do need to create a free membership, but after it’s created all you do is login to request your sample (one per day). Most of the magazine samples are a few issues rather than a full year. And because StartSampling is a popular website, the free samples don’t last long. I post the new ones here on my blog.

A great way to earn free subscription by watching ads. At first I wasn’t thrilled about this new way to get free magazines because I thought it was too time consuming. Then I actually did it and I love how it works! Read more about my experience here, and I assure you I’ll let you know when those “Coming Soon!” subscriptions are available!

Mini Magazines
Free magazines that have fewer pages but are published by big names in the magazine biz. Babytalk is a great free subscription to ask for because it often contains manufacturer’s coupons in the thin issues.

Product & Store Magazines
Some companies create magazines around their products or store. Of course they are full of their own ads, but they also often include coupons and free sample opportunities. A few product magazines that come to my mind are General Mills Que Rica Vida Spanish magazine, LEGO, Lowe’s Creative Ideas (three different themes available), and P&G;’s Rouge.

Tips to Give Magazines a Second Life
What am I doing with my magazines after I’m done browsing them, reading the articles of interest, and clipping the money-saving coupons in them? Sometimes I will leave my magazines in the doctor’s office if that is where I am when I finish browsing and if they are lacking in their magazine selection. I also donate magazines to a charity that collects magazines to circulate among the waiting rooms of local hospitals and other public places in my community. If I am making a donation to a charity that is specifically for moms & their children then I will try and include a parenting magazine. I have also donated magazines to my local library where they sell them at 10 cents each to raise money for special projects.

Here are more ideas from my readers:
Donate Magazines

I’ve heard from my readers who donate them to nursing homes, doctors offices, libararies and kids groups. “Deal”icious Mom donates them to high school teachers who use them for fashion, home ec projects and art projects, great to know that even the teenagers are collaging with magazines. Saving for our family’s Dreams includes magazines in care packages that she sends to soldiers, she recommends AnySoldier.com to become involved.

Think about the places in your neighborhood where people are waiting, take a few magazines with you next time to go someplace with a waiting room and ask if you can donate them. I encourage you to ask before you leave the magazines because many waiting rooms are part of private businesses that may have some guidelines as far as what types of magazines they want in their waiting room.

Pamper Your Guests
Jessica leaves magazines in her guest room for friends and family to browse while they are visiting. Amy at MomAdvice has more great ideas that you could use to turn your guest room into a bed & breakfast style retreat. Or maybe you want to feel like you live in a bed & breakfast yourself – even if just for a weekend?

Pass Them Along to Friends
Maybe you are getting free magazines, but your friends aren’t? Find out what magazines they like to read and then pass them along to them. This is what PsychMamma is doing with her magazines to give them a second life.

Get Crafty
There is the obvious kids collage art project, and the not so obvious paper beads, shredding for packing material, making cards, etc. Thanks goes to Handprints on the Wall: Minimizing Monday feature for the links and go visit for ideas on how to organize those articles that you tear out to save.

Sell Them Back
Amanda sells her gently used, recent issues to Half Price Books.

Pay Them Forward
Niki gives them away on Freecycle. Maybe you can also get some new free magazines using this forum as well.

I hope you enjoyed this special roundup of the best sources of free magazines and how to give your free magazines a second life. I’ll be bringing you specific free magazine offers as I find them so please keep reading. Please leave a comment to share with us your best sources of free magazines, and what you do with them when you are done.