One of my favorite ways to “unplug” from digital media is to sit on the couch and read a pile of women’s, home, food, and decorating magazines.

I nearly always find something worth tearing out and saving in a clipping file.

I used to buy women’s magazines a stack at a time at Monroe Thrift Shop. They were only 10 cents each at one point, and that was quite a blessing when our finances were tight. But even when the price bumped up to 25 cents each, a stack of thrift shop magazines was a great afternoon of entertainment on the cheap.

My venture back into paying for my own subscriptions started with a Christmas food gift box I bought on a holiday clearance sale. There was a coupon inside for a free year of BHG. Our mailbox was then fed by the occasional magazine sales that junior high students we know had been involved in.

I now have several subscriptions to assorted monthlies, including these four.

Yes, I know one can look up food, decorating and other lifestyle features on the Internet. Like I said, reading is my “unplugged” entertainment. Even I need a break from a computer screen from time to time.

I’m not going to link to a sales and deals site for cheap magazines because I haven’t needed to use those services. All I’ve done, really, is watch the promotions that come to me in the mail. Once a magazine company realizes you subscribe to one of its publications, they often send a promotion to another.

I got such a card in the mail today for $11.98 for two years of another magazine plus a free cookbook. As long as I didn’t send in a card recently for that one (I’ll double check that through my records), I’ll probably get it.

While not all the promotions are that good, I don’t think I’m paying more than $20 a year for any of the titles I get.

Yes, I know those free cookbooks are small. But they’re a fun perk.

If I don’t have the money right away when an offer arrives that I’d like to consider, I  set aside the card and look it over again in a month or two. After all, the magazines are my entertainment. It’s not like its one of my newspaper subscriptions! I don’t let those expire!

If I get to the point where I can no longer afford this habit, I’ll just go back to poking through the thrift shop bin.

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