Saving with subscription boxes

Subscriptions: The Answer to Saving Without Sacrificing

Sometimes you have to spend to save.
March 17, 2020
7 mins read

We all love to treat ourselves every now and then, but along with those treats, we have to account for things such as bills, loan repayments, savings and more. I don’t know about you, but the only time I’m happy with a bill or recurring payment is when it’s done and I no longer have to worry about saving for it.

When we get hit with a lot of payments all at once, we often have to sacrifice a lot of what makes us happy. We have to account for feeding ourselves, emergency funds and savings in general. Sometimes these payments catch up to us and saving is difficult.

When we’re trying to save money and be responsible, we may end up window-shopping for a period of time — or skipping the entertainment and treats altogether.

Luckily, some of our favorite companies try to save us money when they can. This may be saving through bulk purchases or sales and coupons every now and then. Another thing companies are doing is offering subscriptions to customers. These subscriptions are a set payment each month, and they will provide you with or send you goods and services.

I can anticipate a certain amount of spending each month with subscriptions. It’s my favorite thing about subscribing. It’s not like going to the store and racking up a random total or limiting myself to an amount when I do shop.

With subscriptions, I know what to expect each month. I have an idea of what I’m going to get. I don’t mind saving an amount in my budget to account for these things, because I enjoy them and they make my life a lot easier. Here are 5 subscriptions to look into for a few common interests.

1. A Beauty Box Subscription

Makeup, skincare and other beauty essentials are great, but these costs add up quickly. If you need to cut back on some of these purchases in order to save money, a beauty box is a great way to begin. Though you probably won’t be getting full-sized products in a beauty box, you may get a number of deluxe samples from pretty high-end brands.

There are a lot of options out there, and you can often customize these boxes so you receive what you want. A lot of companies have you take a quiz so they can get to know what kind of products you want. If you don’t paint your nails, you don’t have to get nail polish in your boxes.

Since a lot of these products can be a large added expense, the beauty box is a good alternative. Depending on how often you use the products, you can build a decent sized collection fairly quickly.

My recommendation: PLAY! by Sephora

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2. A Food Subscription

Saving money for groceries can add stress on top of everything else you pay for. You may not always be able to anticipate how much you’re going to spend, or you may skimp on brands or healthy food in order to save money. Not only can the budget be a headache, but coming up with meal ideas and then actually cooking them can be as well, maybe even more so.

Food subscriptions give you everything you need to make meals for a few days. There are meal services that send you recipes and each ingredient you need to make them, or there are services that will send you a decent amount of food that you’d otherwise be paying a lot for at the grocery store.

The customization of these boxes is another reason to look into them. The companies will curate a specific box based on your dietary preferences and needs.

Meals are one less thing you’ll have to worry about with these subscriptions. Say goodbye Ramen and hello to a delicious, full-balanced meal.

My recommendation: Imperfect Foods.

3. A Pet Subscription

We want the best for our furry friends, but the costs for them can add up quickly. We have to get them food, treats, toys and more. We also have to be ready for potential expensive vet visits.

While we certainly don’t want to short our pets on quality and care, it can all cost a lot. This is where subscribing comes in to save us. There are pet subscription boxes or auto-shipping options on a lot of sites. You can oftentimes get a discount on the things you find yourself buying often. You can save on food, treats, toys and medication if you find the right subscription.

My recommendation: Chewy.

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4. A Shaving Subscription

Along with beauty boxes, another subscription that can save you some money is a shaving subscription. Razors themselves can be expensive, depending on the quantity and brand you use. Not only are razors expensive, but a person can go through their stash very quickly, and those costs add up.

A shaving subscription will provide you with all you need. The customization of the boxes is a great feature because you can adapt what you’re ordering to your habits. That way, you’re not spending too much or receiving too little for what you need.

An added bonus to the razors is a lot of subscriptions will offer other products, like shaving cream or scrubs. With one of these boxes, you’ll be all set to shave.

My recommendation: Dollar Shave Club.

5. A Streaming Service

Last but certainly not least, a streaming service for our enjoyment. This is a great thing to look into if you’re trying to save. Depending on what company you go through, cable packages are often an expensive addition to everything else you’re paying for in a home.

If you go for a cheap package, you may be missing out on some of your favorite channels. Instead of scrounging the internet for recordings and streaming, it’s a great idea to subscribe to a streaming service.

Something to look for to make a streaming subscription worth every penny is to see what kind of packages you can choose from. For example, there’s a package deal between Spotify and Hulu so you can use both for the price of one.

Compared to cable, these streaming services are incredibly cheap for what they offer you, and they offer a range of television shows and movies, so you’re bound to come across something you like.

My recommendation: Hulu.

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These are just a few of the things you can find subscriptions for. I’ve seen subscription boxes and services for almost everything, from what’s listed above to very specific niche interests. If you have a hard time saving money and it hurts to let go of some of these enjoyable things, it’s definitely worth looking into.

Good luck saving money, and remember that it’s okay to treat yourself every now and then.

Lauren Buchko, Michigan State University

Writer Profile

Lauren Buchko

Michigan State University
Journalism and Media Relations

Hello! I’m Lauren and I have an interest in design and visual media. I love to experience new things and try to make life an adventure.

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