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So, you’re ready to make a vision board?
As you know, the first step to creating a vision board is to gather your supplies–and one of the key supplies that you’re going to need is images to make your vision board appealing, unique, colorful, and attractive. People often turn to magazines to find pictures or words they can use on their boards. Magazines are convenient for this project because the work has already been done for you–you just need to cut and paste.
So when making your vision board, you may be looking for ways to obtain a large number of magazines to sort through. And, seeing as a lot of people include some type of financial goal on their vision board, creating your board on a budget makes perfect sense–and finding free magazines is a great place to start.
To help you find free magazines, we have put together a list of 5 local and online resources you can use to get some free magazines (or magazines in bulk you can obtain for pennies).
Let’s take a look.
(Side note: If you don’t know how to get started with this strategy, then check out this FREE printable worksheet and a six-step process that will help you create the PERFECT vision board.)
What You Will Learn
If you’re hosting (or attending) a vision board party, ask all of the attendees to bring their old magazines to the party to share with everyone else.
If you’re the host, make a note on the invitation that everyone is encouraged to bring all of the old magazines they have lying around–and send out a reminder of this request a few days prior to your event. If everyone shows up with just three magazines, you could end up with 20+ magazines to share among the group (depending on the number of attendees).
You’ve heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” With this in mind, Facebook offers Freecycling and Buy Nothing groups that are localized to your town or neighborhood where members can create posts for items they’re searching for and things that they want to give away. We have talked about freecycling before, and leveraging this type of online community is a great way to acquire free magazines.
There are a lot of member-moderated Facebook groups that facilitate these free transactions, allowing people to recycle items that aren’t valuable enough to sell, but they refuse to throw away.
Once you find a local Facebook group that you want to join, you will probably be asked the following questions to ensure you will be an appropriate member for the group to maintain a local and safe community:
These qualifying questions are asked to keep Buy Nothing groups focused on their goal. Once you’ve been accepted to a group, you will be asked to follow some rules, such as:
These rules should be easy to follow while you’re on the hunt for some free magazines.
Another highlight of these groups is they can help build ties in your community. You never know–that person who unloads their old stack of magazines on you may end up being a great new contact to have! Click here to find a local Facebook freecycling group where you can ask other members if they have any old magazines lying around.
You can also become a member of the official Freecycle website, whose mission is to contribute to the worldwide movement of sharing tangible goods to help reduce waste, preserve resources, and reduce the burden on landfills to help benefit the environment as well as people around the world.
You don’t have to be active on Facebook to reap the benefits of these gifting communities–there is a Buy Nothing app you can use as well. Simply search for “Buy Nothing” in your app store and find the one that is closest to you. You can also go to the project’s website, where there is a hyperlink to every official Buy Nothing group worldwide.
There are other apps similar to Buy Nothing, such as OfferUp, which is an online marketplace similar to Craigslist, where you can connect with people locally to acquire all types of things. Sometimes people will have several years’ worth of collected magazines that they're ready to part ways with–whether they’re cleaning out their house, making space for new things, or moving and they don’t want to bring the extra load.
If you’re sitting in the waiting room at a doctor’s office or dentist, you’ll probably notice that magazines have been placed on the tables to help you pass the time. Some of these are probably ready to be replaced–and if you don’t ask for them, they will end up in the trash. While this may be a bit of a challenge during Covid, this opportunity to get free magazines will return.
You can also post on your regular Facebook page to reach out to friends and family asking for magazines they don’t want or need anymore. And don’t be afraid to ask people in person if they have any magazines laying around–chances are, they’re headed for the trash eventually anyway.
Finally, check out your local library to see if they throw away their stacks of magazines every month as new issues come in. This can be a great opportunity to not only get free magazines, but to also help the people at the library clear out their stash. Make sure to hit up your local bookstores as well, as they may be willing to give you outdated copies of magazines for free before they get recycled. And while you may not be able to score free magazines at thrift stores, you can probably get a hefty stack for under a dollar–some of which could be older classics.
People who are avid couponers often find and share deals for free magazine subscriptions or free magazine samples. Two popular couponing blogs are The Krazy Coupon Lady and Hip2Save. Follow these blogs and keep an eye out for magazine deals and giveaways.
In addition to the blogs, there are some websites that offer free magazine subscriptions, such as:
You can even earn free magazine subscriptions by going to this website and simply filling out surveys. You do need to provide your name and address for shipping, and the companies will usually ask you to renew your subscription after a year, but you can simply cancel the service if you don’t want to start paying.
That said, there are a lot of sites out there that advertise free magazines, but require you to create an account or sign up with your credit card information. Following through with these may result in being hit with unexpected fees that you didn’t agree to pay, so be wary of any offers that require you to provide any banking information.
So there you have it–five places to get free magazines that you can use to create your vision board! And to make your vision board creative with a variety of mediums, check out these free vision board printables and these vision board templates to help get you started.
Finally, if you don’t know how to get started with this strategy, then check out this FREE printable worksheet and a six-step process that will help you create the PERFECT vision board.
Connie Mathers is a professional editor and freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her daughter and two dogs, running, or working at her full-time job as a social worker in Richmond, VA.