5 Ways to Save Money with Subscription Boxes
The popularity of subscription boxes has exploded the past few years. Currently, there are more than 2,000 subscription boxes available offering everything from healthy snacks to sci-fi collectibles (and nearly anything else you can think of). Price points vary widely, too. You can find boxes that cost less than $10 a month to those upwards of $100 a month for subscription boxes featuring luxury goods.
By now, you’re probably wondering if subscription boxes are simply a fun indulgence or if they can actually help you save money. Let’s take a look at how subscription boxes may help you stretch your budget every month.
Get Back to Basics—Receiving regular monthly deliveries of household essentials, such as shaving supplies, toiletries and cleaning products, can help you save in a few ways:
- You can budget accurately because you know exactly how much you’re spending each month
- You’ll always have the basics on hand so you won’t have to make extra trips to the store
- Because these companies cut out the middle man, you receive high-quality goods for less
However, if you’re someone who stacks your savings and buys these essentials on sale or with coupons, you might find subscription services don’t offer the value you’re used to. Use our Household and Living Expenses Calculator to see how much you spend on basics every month.
Try Before You Buy—Many subscription boxes are centered on sample sizes of cosmetics and toiletries. By getting the chance to try these highly personalized products before you buy the full size, you’ll know what works for you and what doesn’t. No more spending money on a product only to find you don’t care for it.
Look for High Value—Most subscription boxes will have a retail value that exceeds the monthly cost of the box, but some go above and beyond. Look for the boxes that have the highest value vs. cost. But remember, value is relative. It’s only valuable if the items are things you need or use on a regular basis. It’s easy to think you’re getting a bargain ($300 value for just $39.99!). But if you don’t end up using the products, it’s money wasted.
Make Gift Giving More Affordable—Subscription boxes are a great way to stock up on gifts for birthdays and holidays. Whether you stash away items that aren’t quite right for you, or you purchase boxes specifically to use for gifts, it’s an easy, affordable way to slowly acquire gifts throughout the year, rather than overspending for last-minute gifts around the holidays.
Take Advantage of Discounts & Freebies—With so much competition in the subscription box marketplace, many vendors offer promotions to get you in the door. Some even offer a first box free! It’s a good way to try boxes for yourself to see if they’re right for you and fit into your budget. But keep in mind that once you order a box, the charges will recur monthly (or quarterly) until you cancel. If you find the box isn’t right for you, be sure to cancel right away so you’re not charged again.
Use our Household Living Expenses Calculator to see how much you spend on basics every month.