Ancient magazines and a magazine hack

Jan 17, 2017 | 8 comments


Goodness, where did all those days go since I last posted! Well, some of those have been feeling ill. Again! I had a hacking cough that started on the 18th December when I went up to Northampton to see family at Christmas. That lasted a good two weeks. Then, after a brief break, about a week ago, I started a cold. So I’ve been feeling pretty crappy this last week. It’s just starting to go now, and I’m feeling something approaching normal. I’ve had to cancel more social things again.

Do old cookery magazines all have the same recipes?

Not Passing On Infections

There was a really interesting talk at U3A today on Deep Space by a local astronomy group. But I try hard not to pass these things on, staying away from people as much as I can, and the monthly U3A gathering tends to have a higher than average proportion of elderly people too. So I stayed away. Supposed to be going to WI book group tomorrow, but although much better in myself, and able to walk 4 miles today, I’m still coughing and sneezing, so am probably still infectious. Then Thursday, I have the U3A science group and book club. Maybe I’ll  be able to go, maybe not.

On that walk today was the first time I’ve been out of the house for 4 or 5 days, other than a brief visit to my daughters house to check on the cat and make sure everything was alright there. It was my daughters birthday and her husband had bought her a surprise trip to Venice. How lovely!  There was much amazement and hilarity when she revealed she had also bought him a surprise trip to Venice later in the year, and to what even turns out to be the same hotel as well!! Great minds think alike it seems, and I love how romantic they are with each other. Went to Bexhill when checking on the cat intending to have a little wander. Feeling quite ill that day, and was having trouble sleeping with so little activity. But just drove there and back in the end. Attempted to have a little walk, but it started to drizzle, and I wasn’t feeling robust enough to face it.

Thirty Year Old Magazines

Whilst pretty much stuck on the sofa, I mentioned on Facebook that I have been sorting through old cookery magazines, many from the early 1990’s. At one time I had a subscription to BBC Vegetarian, Delicious and Olive, all three at the same time, so have big piles of magazines. I filed them in monthly order and yesterday, when sorting through all the issues published in February, I stumbled across a potential money saving hack. Reading through magazine after magazine issued in the same month, what I found was the similarity of content. Now, it’s hardly a surprise that a food magazine issued in February would talk about asparagus, baby broad beans, rhubarb and other seasonal delights. But as I sorted through them, tearing out anything that caught my interest, I noticed how similar a lot of the recipes were, often almost exactly the same. Again, hardly surprisingly if the base ingredients are the same.

A Possible Magazine Hack

So, the hack? If you have a years worth of magazines, you’re pretty much set for several years. My 1990’s magazines are pretty old fashioned now, but then they are coming up to 30 years oId. But I used them regularly for at least 10 years, then less often from then onwards, and not much at all over the last 5 years. But 25 years of use is pretty good going! Many people get rid of their magazines much more often than I do and they come up quite often on Freecycle. Often they are from two or three years previously, but that will make very little difference. Or you could treat yourself to a years subscription, perhaps using a Quidco offer and a subscription inducement from the magazine. A nice cook book perhaps! I have also seen the beautiful magazine The Garden on freecycle, the perpetually useful Gardeners World (have lots of those to sort through too, and I’ve already noticed that they have a similar issue of similarity of content) and petrol heads accumulate magazines too which come up now and again. Or you could always ask friends if they have any magazines they want to get rid of.



  1. Lesley

    Oh that did make me laugh, that vision of you furtively looking around and loading magazines into a big bag with Swag on it, then slinking off down the road with it over your shoulder!

  2. Valerie Thompson

    At the risk of looking like a cross between a Womble and a Bag Lady I once helped myself to a huge stack of ‘Living’ magazines from a green recycling box outside someone’s house. They were clean and dry, clearly just put out. The glossies were originally about £4 each and I got dozens of ’em. Full of lovely ideas for decorating and furnishing a home. I was getting ready to move house, so they were very timely. I will admit to feeling embarrassed at fishing them out of the recycling though. 🙂

  3. Lesley

    Ooh, good find! I know about the fashions! Similarly, there were serious articles on how to do online shopping, very old fashioned recipes and funny adverts

  4. Sarah

    Last year I managed to get about 2 years worth of various cooking and household magazines through freecycle, I spent time sorting them into to title and month order and now I have my own little shop, or so it seems of free magazines to read. They must of cost the woman I got them from a fortune, probably 8 different titles!
    This should keep me going for years as I don’t have time to read so many magazines, but it feels like a treat when I do get to sit down with a cuppa and enjoy one. Also having them in month order allows me to grab this months if I am looking for inspiration.
    I also have my collection of journals for the profession I was in in the late 80’s and 90’s which are still a good read and some of the ideas are still relevant today, but the photographs just make me laugh, remembering the fashions.

  5. Lesley

    Gillian, wow, that takes me back. Mum used to rub Vick onto our chests when we were children!

  6. Lesley

    Dirt girl – I’d completely forgotten about Zinio! Frugal queen uses it and I tried a few years ago but my library weren’t signed up to it. As that was a while ago, I thought I’d have another look and see if anything had changed, and they’ve now signed up! Woohoo!
    I haven’t managed to borrow any magazines as my library card needs to be registered and the library are shut today, but I could see loads of magazines that I like, so I’ll be in there later in the week. Thanks for that, I’ll change the post later on too

  7. Gillian

    Hi!I’ve had exactly the same ‘lurgy’ for what has been weeks so I fully empathise.I was told to put vapour rub on the soles of my feet, under socks, overnight.. it has really helped towards clearing up the lingering cold symptoms.Would recommend!

  8. Dirtgirl

    Lesley – firtsly get well soon.
    On the subject of magazines, nowadays many magazines are available free online via ‘Zinio for libraries’. I used to have subscriptions to about 6 different cooking and gardening magazines. However once I retired all subscriptions had to stop, it was just not affordable. A friend put me onto Zinio for Libraries and now I enjoy all my favourite magazines for absolutely nothing. Although I live in Sydney, Australia, I have put so many others both here and in UK onto Zinio. Think of all the trees we are also saving by reading our magazines online.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thrifty Lesley has an associated Facebook Group. Do come over and say hello if you haven’t already joined. I’d love to see you!

I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community.