I was shocked and disappointed when I got a notice in the mail that one of my favorite magazines, Shop Smart, is being discontinued. The parent company of Shop Smart magazine will substitute copies of Consumer Reports for the remainder of my subscription. I hate when publishing companies drop one magazine then instead of giving me a refund for the remainder of my subscription they substitute a magazine I never had any interest in subscribing to for the discontinued magazine. This isn't the first time I have had a beloved magazine go belly up on me.
So what do you do when you love magazines but you are reluctant to pay good money for a magazine that may not be around next month? For starters you can cut down the number of magazines you subscribe to, focusing on your absolute favorites and cancelling the rest. In recent years I have cancelled several magazine subscriptions and now I only subscribe to a handful of favorite magazines. Buying fewer magazines not only saves me money it saves me the hassle of trying to get a refund when a magazine I subscribe to goes under.
Never buy a magazine subscription for more than a year. No matter how good of a deal it is to buy a two or three year subscription, at the rate magazines go under, one year is the maximum subscription length I am willing to pay for. If you are on the fence about subscribing for even a year, instead of buying a magazine subscription, buy one issue at a time from a mass retailer when you are out shopping. When I did this I realized that I didn't care enough about the content of the magazine I had subscribed to buy the magazine one at a time or at all for than matter. I was renewing my subscription more out of habit than any real interest in the content.
There are plenty of ways to read your favorite type of content for free. If you love the feeling of a "real" printed on paper magazine, you can always read magazines at your local library. Many magazines make their pictures and articles available online for free so check out their web site. Much of the basic information you find in your favorite magazines can be found online in one form or another. In the case of Shop Smart, I can use a search engine to find product reviews of items I am thinking of buying by simply typing in the name of the product and the word "review". I love print magazines and I hope they are around forever, I've just gotten smarter about how I enjoy my magazines.