You’ve seen the ads for those subscription boxes - they’re popping up everywhere! From portioned dinners to razors, monthly subscription boxes have become all the rage. In fact, according to a 2018 McKinsey report, 15 percent of online shoppers have one or more subscription services. Sure, they’re convenient and even fun -- but do they help keep money in your wallet? As it turns out, depending on your lifestyle and spending habits, some subscription boxes might actually provide a financial benefit.
Here are some tips on how subscription boxes and services help you financially, plus the lowdown on the best subscriptions to help you save in the long run.
6 Ways Subscription Boxes Save You Money
#1. They help you budget better, especially when it comes to planning spending on things like food and toiletries. You’ll know exactly how much your items cost and when they’re scheduled to arrive.
#2. They remove the need for extra trips (or last-minute dashes) to places like the supermarket or coffee shop, where you could feel tempted to spend unwisely.
#3. You won’t have to clip coupons or look for sales. You’ll save time and effort that could be better spent on a different money-saving or income-generating activity.
#4. They might include samples or trial-sized products. You avoid wasting money on full-sized items you don’t like or won’t use.
#5.They might help cut costs on gift-giving. This is especially of curated boxes that include some items you won’t personally use.
#6. They could come with coupons or discounts for future purchases on new products from the company itself or other businesses offering complimentary products.
Amazon Subscribe & Save for Regular Household Items
Chances are you’re already familiar with Amazon, but have you considered using their Subscribe & Save service to help cut your regular monthly purchases?
By using Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program, you could save up to 15% off the cost of items like toilet paper, canned goods, and even breakfast cereal. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you could save up to 20% on subscriptions to items such as diapers.
This service helps busy households save time and money on supermarket trips, shipping costs, and takes a headache out of planning ahead.
Meal Subscription Boxes Cheaper Than Eating Out
According to a 2018 Zagat survey, the average American dines out 5.9 times a week and spends $36.40 per person. Yet subscription food boxes like Hellofresh and Blue Apron provide highly customized weekly food boxes with everything you need to quickly create nutritious and delicious meals - at a fraction of the cost of eating out. With meals kits ranging from $7.87 per person (the family-of-four meal plan) to $8.99 per person, you’ll see significant savings over your restaurant dinner costs.
If you and your spouse eat in twice a week instead, you’ll save in the range of $108.00 weekly [($36.40 x 2 people x 2 dinners a week) - ($8.99 x 2 people x 2 food subscription dinners each week) = $108.64] - money that could be used for savings or to pay down debt.
Monthly Subscription To Cut Your Coffee Shop Spending
Americans love their gourmet coffee, but those extra tall lattes add up to big spending. A monthly coffee subscription box like Bean Box or Crema can help you cut your coffee costs. Simply set up an account online, choose the package best suited to your taste and coffee drinking habits, order it and you’ll be all set. Invest in a coffeemaker at home and start saving money. Plus you won’t need to visit the coffee shop where you might be tempted to spend a little extra.
Subscribe & Save a Bundle on Toiletries
Some of the best subscription boxes that will help you save in the long run offer items as simple as toothpaste, deodorant, soap and razors.
When you sign up for subscription boxes like Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club or Sudz Club, you get a monthly box (or bag) of typical toiletries and/or makeup. And you’ll be in good company - Dollar Shave Club alone has a reported 4 million subscribers, and was sold to Unilever for a reported $1 billion in 2016.
Here’s how these subscription boxes work.
Birchboxes offer men or women a “personalized mix of makeup, hair, skincare and fragrance samples” for as little as $10 each month. They include trial-sized versions of products you can purchase full-sized in later months.
For Dollar Shave Club, subscribers get a reusable handle and then receive inexpensive replacement razors automatically every month. DSC also offers toiletries like facial cleanser, soap, and shampoo.
Sudz Club targets young adults (ie. college students) who want the convenience of brand name toiletries delivered regularly right to their door. According to its website, each Sudz Club bag has a value of $75, even their “Basic Box”, which costs $24.99.
The best subscriptions to help you save in the long run include items you’ll actually use regularly, and that will save you time and money over purchasing them in a retail store. Some additional products that could help you save money via subscription services include those for contact lenses, diapers, entertainment (ie. NetFlix) and music.
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