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Tag Archive: Reader Tip

Free Magazines, Audiobooks, and TV Shows with My Library Card


Elizabeth emailed in the following tip:

I have seen so many deals about getting magazines cheaper; but our Austin, Texas library actually offers FREE magazines through a site called Zinio. I can link my Zinio account to my library card and the magazines download onto my tablet. I am even notified whenever a new issue of the magazine comes out every month!

I can also download audiobooks through Overdrive so I can listen to while I drive. This account is also linked to my library card.

And then there is Hoopla, also linked to my library card, which gives me about 5 movies, tv shows, or music selections each month — all for FREE!!

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How I Get Free Magazines


Liz emailed the following tip: 

I absolutely adore magazines! Flipping through the pages is such a relaxing time for me, and I can do this with a limited amount of time. However, I do not like paying for magazines. So I have found a way to help the environment and enjoy my magazines!

The local recycling company in town partners with RecycleBank, and you earn points every time you recycle. You can “cash in” your points in the reward store, and I typically use mine on magazines! I try to subscribe to a variety to keep my mind fresh and to broaden my perspectives.

Recently my subscriptions have included Food Network, Real Simple, Dwell, Money and Time. When I am done reading, I either pass the magazine onto a friend or they go into my recycling bin.

I have estimated this has saved me around $150 in the past 6 months! Now I can do something I enjoy, while saving money!

Another option is to try your library as they often have copies of recent magazines and you can request back issues.

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4 Tips to Save on Smartphone Service


Ruth emailed the following tips:

One thing that I often see when looking at money-saving ideas is to get rid of your smartphone. It’s usually assumed that smartphone service is very expensive… however, that isn’t always the case!

My husband and I have two smartphones, a Samsung Galaxy S5 and a iPhone 6s. We pay a combined household total of no more than $30 per month (occasionally less than that). This includes unlimited texting for both phones, unlimited minutes for both phones, and 2.5 GB of data per phone. (We don’t get overages on data though. When we use up our data, the speed just slows down). We use Cricket Wireless.

Here’s the tips that have helped us to keep our bill so low.

1. Avoid monthly contracts

Monthly contracts keep you locked into the same provider for long periods of time, reducing flexibility. They also “bake in” the price of that discounted smartphone and more, actually costing more in the long run than paying full price for a phone.

It’s cheaper to purchase your phone up front and go with an out of contract option. We chose Cricket Wireless, which does solely month-to-month service with no contract option. If we don’t pay our bill on time, we just wouldn’t have service until it’s paid.

2. Find good deals on phones and own them outright

Android phones, as a rule, tend to have a more variable price range than iPhones. I’ve had two iPhones, one that was purchased on an amazing deal and one that was a hand me down from a relative after they upgraded. (I offered to buy it from them but they had decided on giving it to me)

If I had been unable to find deals on iPhones, I would have gotten an Android.

3. Take advantage of multi-line discounts

Our current provider, Cricket, offers amazing discounts on multiple lines. They allow up to 5 lines on the same account. We found 3 other friends who also wanted to save money and added them to our account. The cost is lower for all of us this way.

4. Find discounted refill cards.

Sometimes we can find Cricket refill cards for sale online at a discounted rate. One time we found a $30 refill card for $27 and another time we found a $30 refill card for $28.50. That doesn’t save a huge amount, but since it only takes about 5 minutes to buy the refill card and add to our account, it’s actually a pretty good “hourly wage” for very minimal effort.

We enjoy smartphones because of the many perks on them, such as budgeting apps, GPS, etc. It’s good to realize that for those who prefer to keep them, there are ways to keep the cost very reasonable.

Ruth has 3 kids, ages 10, 7, and 4, and homeschools. Her family has recently become debt free and are always looking for ways to continue to manage their resources well.

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Reader Tip: Save money with the Boxed online warehouse store

Save money with the Boxed online warehouse store!

Amy e-mailed the following tip:

I have recently discovered and love Boxed! It’s basically like a Sam’s Club or Costco, but without the membership.

You can get TONS of stuff delivered to your door in about 2 days — groceries, beverages, cleaning supplies, paper products, personal items, baby supplies, pet supplies, etc. And shipping is free on orders over $50! I always meet the $50 and then put in a coupon code. It will still allow for free shipping as long as you met the minimum before discounts.

I have purchased mostly lunchbox and school party snacks, but have also used it to stock up on laundry detergent. It’s so nice to have those big items delivered to your house instead of taking up cart space at the grocery store.

I have found that the prices compare similarly to Amazon Subscribe & Save, but you don’t have to remember to stop your subscription service. Friends have also told me that many items are similar to Sam’s Club prices.

They also have great customer service! In my last order, they packaged my laundry soap with the 18 sleeve box of Ritz crackers, which crushed the crackers. I e-mailed them just to let them know and they credited me the FULL price of the ritz crackers!

Have you tried Boxed yet? You can go here to sign up and get started!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Get Free Ebooks With Kindle Scout


Jaclyn emailed in the following tip:

I’m wondering if you or your readers know about the Kindle Scout program and how you can get free ebooks?

Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. I recently submitted my book Mercy for the Serpent (an allegorical take on mercy and forgiveness) to Kindle Scout for their 30-day campaign in hopes of securing a publishing contract.

As an ebook reader, you get to view short excerpts (about 5,000 words) of new and upcoming ebooks and nominate the ones they like best. If your choices get published, you receive a copy of the entire book for FREE!

It only takes a few minutes and for readers who like free books it turns out to be a win-win for them AND the author! -Jaclyn