Subscriptions That Can Save You Time and Money!
July 17th, 2017

*Many of us are already taking advantage of subscription services — the ubiquitous weekly snack delivery and meal kit delivery companies are in high demand! In my research I found that many people worry that subscription services are just frivolous expenses. Yet according market leaders subscription and delivery services can save you time and money! We’ve rounded up the best subscriptions for families and broken them out into six categories:

1. Food/Grocery/Delivery

 

Instacart (Food/Grocery)

How it works: Instacart lets you shop from local grocery stores online, then sends a personal shopper to pick up and deliver your order to you the same day. Unlike other grocery delivery services, the company doesn’t stockpile fresh produce in a massive warehouse; rather, it lets you shop major grocery stores like Whole Foods, Shaw’s, and Costco through its website, and then sends your order to one of its part-time employees. This “personal shopper” goes to the store, picks up everything on your list, and then drives it to you in their own car. Best part is often times a food brand will sponsor “free delivery” if you order at least $10 worth of their brand!

For 10% off at Instacart : Click Here! 

Cities it serves: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, Seattle & Washington D.C. areas.

Stores it partners with: Whole Foods, Costco, Kroger, The Food Emporium, Shaw’s, and other supermarkets local to your area. (But not Trader Joe’s! The two companies had a falling out, and Instacart’s “personal shoppers” are now banned from TJ’s stores, uh oh.)

Butcher Box (Food/Grocery/Meat Delivery)

Butcher Box has been so helpful for us as it is often difficult to find affordable grass fed natural meats. Did you know about 97% of cows are raised on factory farms where they spend most of their lives eating corn, soy, and even candy?! They’re also regularly given drugs like ractopamine, antibiotics, and growth hormones, why would I want to give my family that kind of food? With Butcher Box you receive a selection of grass-fed and grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, or free range organic chicken from trusted farmers delivered straight to your door every month. The shipping is free! Each box includes 8-11 lbs. of meat along with easy to follow recipe cards. It’s a flexible subscription service, depending on how much meat your family eats. The meals average to be under $6/each, you can not beat that! You can change the schedule or cancel at anytime! No commitments.

Thrive Market (Food/Dry Goods Delivery) http://thrv.me/riptWN

Thrive Market is a membership community that uses the power of direct buying to deliver healthy food and natural products to it’s members at wholesale prices!  The products are always 20-50% off retail prices. Thrive has been wonderful for my family! When you’re parent of a toddler, you know that having baby wipes and healthy grab and go snacks (that hopefully will not break the bank) is a must. Thankfully Thrive Market helps us stock up! We also order our cleaning supplies, cooking oils, canned goods and baby products there too! click here to get 25% off your first order. You can register for free and with your first purchase you start a FREE 30 day membership trial. Annual membership fees are $59 and this membership more than pays for itself. We saved over $1000 dollars last year on food and dry goods at Thrive! You also will receive great customer service, so contact the company should you have any questions! You also periodically receive free gifts from their brands too! Who doesn’t like free gifts like coconut oil and protein bars that are tasty and good for you?

Meal Delivery Services

The best meal-delivery service brings fresh ingredients and nutritious recipes to your doorstep, allowing you to enjoy home-cooked meals even if you’re too busy to grocery shop. We asked the team at reviews.com for their opinion as they have a whole team behind them on this initiative! After trying out seven of the most popular meal-delivery services, they found that HelloFresh, Plated, and Blue Apron where the winners. Read more here on their analysis of food delivery companies.

2. Gym/Boutique (Fitness/Exercise Classes)

If you don’t have a gym nearby or just literally can not break away from your family to get to a fitness class, consider taking your fitness online with Gaia or Cody. Their online classes and monthly subscriptions will give you the boost you need. Paying a low membership fee may be the kick in the pants that you may need to workout consistently . . whether it’s at 6am or 10pm after you put kids to sleep and cleaned your kitchen (this is how I worked out during the first year of my son’s life!). Note: if you want quick freebies, you can peruse youtube, often times you can find quick fitness workouts on there.

Note: This isn’t a subscription box, but gym memberships and especially boutique fitness classes like Exhale Spa are rising in popularity because people are thinking about the benefits (and many of these classes are fun!). Yes, there are fees, but with a demanding job and countless commitments, physical fitness is one of the best ways to battle stress and sickness (plus many insurance companies now give you an allowance for fitness classes, yay!).  While a gym membership may seem expensive in the short term, staying healthy is guaranteed to save you serious bucks in the long run.

3. Netflix etc (Video-streaming subscriptions)

There are a plethora of options for cable cutting. Amazon Video, Hulu, Netflix, and HBO NOW save you money as you dodge annoying commercial breaks. Enjoying the freedom to pay a low monthly fee for uninterrupted and commitment-free original content is an easy win.

Amazon Prime 

http://amzn.to/2vYkM7F

Amazon’s popular yearly subscription gives you the freedom to buy almost anything on Amazon with free two-day shipping (and now in some cities you can receive your package on the same day you place an order!).  Also that yearly subscription gets you into the aforementioned Amazon Video. If you’re a parent, you will probably live on Amazon your first year.

Prime subscribers have early access to Lightning Deals as well. This subscription pays for itself over and over again. When Amazon Prime is combined with its product subscription settings, you can have those essentials sent to you on a recurring basis.

4. Clothing

Subscriptions, vetted and established companies like TrunkClub send you boxes of high quality clothing which is guaranteed to save you time, money, and major fashion faux pas. Plus you don’t need to dry clean them if you’re just borrowing them:

For Men and Women:

TrunkClub

Trunkclub gives you a personal style quiz and then a personal shopper shops for you. There is a $25 styling fee that is applied to any clothes that you decide to keep.

For Women:

LeTote

Monthly fee for stylish clothing to be sent to your door. You have the option to purchase the clothes at a deep discount too and you can preview the clothes selected for you online.

StitchFix   

You’ll start with a personal style quiz, and you’ll get a personal stylist who will be able to tailor your clothing options to your style choices. There’s a $20 styling fee for your first box, but you’ll only pay for the items you actually keep (no monthly fee. score!)One of the interesting things about Stitch Fix is that the personal stylists will actually suit your choices (each box includes five items) to your budget. You can buy the items you like at a fair price, and then get a 25% discount if you love and buy all five items in the box. www.stitchfix.com

For Kids:

While there are some great subscription services for kids for clothes and activities I have not yet determined whether they can actually save you money. However if you justify the service as saving you time then you are indeed saving money!

Rockets of Awesome & Mac & Mia

These are similar to Le Tote but for kids. Only pay for what you keep and there is free shipping! Use this link for a free piece of clothing from Rockets Of Awesome! Minor bonus – the packaging is very fun and the kids can decorate the boxes they get with included stickers! For Mac & Mia, no subscription is necessary!

Green Pinata Toy Share https://greenpinatatoys.com/

Rent safe educational toxin free toys. Clear the clutter (that’s a lifesaver in itself and more than worth the money, just ask any Montessori teacher!)

Koala Crate

Great monthly box with crafts and activities perfectly laid out for your toddler. click here for $10 off.

5. Splurge subscriptions

I had to include a couple of subscriptions that, while different, could save you money as you search for a new hobby, expand on one you currently have, or discover new gift ideas for family and friends. These subscription boxes will let you try out something new so you don’t have to worry about paying big bucks for something that could just end up sitting in the back of your closet.

For coffee lovers

Or people just looking for something other than what’s at the store — Craft Coffee is a subscription that won’t break the bank while you try something new. For parents of toddlers, coffee is often a necessity!

Magazine Readers

Magazine readers might like Stack, which ships independent magazines to your door, allowing you to find a magazine you love. I’m pretty sure many people do still in fact like to read actual magazines (and not online ones)!

6. Fitness in a Box (different from gym memberships)

Checkout my Subscription Addiction’s the 6 Best Fitness Subscription Boxes, Voted by subscribers! http://www.mysubscriptionaddiction.com/2017/03/the-6-best-fitness-subscription-boxes-voted-by-subscribers.html

While you will most likely love these services as much as I do keep an eye on how many you charge to your credit card. When you shop for an online solution, take into consideration how often you will be charged and if shipping or return fees are an extra charge.  Also make sure you receive good customer service as you do not want to be dealing with a company like Comcast that is notorious for over charging and not getting back to customers. The convenience coupled with the behind-the-scenes costs could add up to more money than you accounted for. Take your time selecting the right subscriptions for you as the right subscription and delivery services will save you time in the future!

p.s – Truebill is service that allows users to track, manage, and cancel any paid subscription with one click.

p.p.s Keep in mind that subscriptions make wonderful gifts and are a great way to make your special gift receiver feel the love every month! Often times you can buy the subscription in increments of three months like we sell at Supplet, the Pregnancy and mom box for women!

*Survey was taken of 220 people aged 29-48.

 

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Jessica
Jessica
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