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These days, there are so many subscription boxes and services to choose from, the options are overwhelming. But there are worthwhile subscription services that even a penny-pincher like me recommends.
Committing to a subscription feels awfully permanent sometimes. How do you know you aren't being ripped off? And, ugh, let's not forget when the first-time promotion runs out and you discover an outlandish charge on your bank statement because you forgot to cancel a subscription. Doh!
Subscription service companies know what they're doing when it comes to marketing. They know how to get you in the door. They can also make it difficult for you to leave.
But if you know how to manage them correctly, subscriptions really can make a big difference in finances and time. Savvy-savers who prefer online shopping will also love saving a trip to multiple stores to find what they need.
Not to make you panic or anything, but Christmas is 19 days away.
For some subscriptions, you can create bundles for several products on your gift list and save on shipping. Or, consider gifting the subscription service itself for someone who can't leave home or is too busy to shop.
If you're feeling the pressure to get all your holiday gifts stocked and stuffed away, consider these worthwhile subscription services below. All encourage a healthy lifestyle, promote sustainable and eco-friendly products, and will help you save money and time in the long run.
If you’re not investing money, you’re missing out on big benefits.
But since we all don’t have the capital to dump thousands or even hundreds into the stock market, a company like Acorns is a great way to get started with minimal funds.
I included Acorns in this prior post, creative ways to save cash, because it is a simple tool to introduce the concept of saving money.
Whether you need to create the financial health habit yourself or want to teach your children to do it from a young age, the Acorns app has something for everyone.
Once you create your investor profile and set the preferences on transaction round-ups, your recurring investment amount, and how aggressive you want your portfolio to be, it’s pretty much hands-off from there! The app walks you through each step, so if you’re technologically challenged like me, you have nothing to fear.
Why is Acorns a worthwhile subscription service? Well, for starters, it’s only $3 per month to maintain the subscription.
But I also love that you can set it and forget it. The professionals handle all the stock jargon while you get to live your life.
While you do have the option of withdrawing your Acorns savings at any time, you’re less likely to do so when you realize how quickly the balance adds up. The app also shows graphs of estimated savings down the road if you leave it alone.
Acorns not only manages your ETFs and other investments, it gives you ways to add even more to your funds. Every milestone within the app is an entry toward winning $1M invested in your account. They have also partnered with other brands to allow shoppers to earn a percentage on all purchases.
If you are already making large holiday shopping purchases right now, why not get some cash back in your Acorns wallet?
Brands like Old Navy, Nike, Groupon, and Walmart, travel sites like Priceline and Vrbo, and even entertainment services such as Disney+ and Hulu, and tons more, all pay you back to shop with them through the Acorns app.
Grow your oak tree savings with Acorns and get $5 invested into your new account with this referral link.
So, why should you buy your deodorant online?
By now, most people realize aluminum is a no-no for your pits.
Although we don’t enjoy sweating, it serves as a natural way to release toxins from our bodies. However, aluminum and other chemicals block our pores, which not only holds toxins in, but can cause water retention and increased body odor, among other issues.
Native isn’t the only natural deodorant brand out there. But it’s one of few that I’ve found to actually work for me.
I sweat a lot, even in cold weather. I don’t mind it so much, but like anyone, I don’t want to be stinky. Native’s concoctions smell great, but not sickeningly and artificially so, and they are long-lasting as well.
For those environmentally conscientious, Native offers deodorant sticks in plastic free tubes. They also have body wash, toothpaste, and, more recently, sunscreen.
Full disclosure, you don’t have to maintain a subscription with Native to order from them. In fact, I don’t always use the subscription option because they often have new, limited edition scents. Then again, you can always subscribe and update your selection when you want to try something different, too.
However, if you are a tried and true kinda person who would rather not experiment, creating a subscription for specific deodorant or bath and body products will save you about 17%, or $2 off each deodorant.
Keep in mind, if you create an account, you can earn rewards.
Every dollar spent means a reward point, plus you'll earn 10+ points for connecting with Native on social media. On top of that, you get 20 points just for signing up for a subscription and 10 more points for every three recurring subscription orders. Once you reach 100 points, you earn a $10 reward.
I tend to stock up by creating my own deodorant and body wash bundles so I can mix and match. My current favorite seasonal scent is the Earl Grey and Mulberry, while the Citrus & Herbal Musk is a routine purchase that my husband really likes.
To ensure you get those stockings stuffed before Christmas morning, Native urges everyone to order by 12/8 (that’s this Wednesday!). They’re also offering free shipping for $10+ orders to make it easier.
Click here to shop and earn a free mini deodorant on me! These are lifesavers on trips or for those days you accidentally forget to apply some to your armpits. Oops.
This protein shake is in our top 5 favorite healthy road trip snacks. Ka’Chava is filling and nutritious as a replacement meal and can cut dessert cravings, too!
I often drink a shake for breakfast. However, if you are a routine gym goer or don’t have time for mid-day meals, Ka’Chava is a great substitute.
Again, there are other protein shake brands out there. Many are also natural and healthy. But I’ve found most include whey protein powder. For those who are sensitive to dairy, this is bad news.
Even more contain sugar alternatives like sucralose, which is really just another chemical. Healthier options have monk fruit, but I just cannot handle that after taste!
Alas, Ka’Chava has no preservatives, dairy, soy, gluten, artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. The only sugars found in these shakes are naturally occurring from fruit and berries, for a whopping 6 grams total. Compare that to your energy drink!
However, if you are sensitive to other grains such as oats or quinoa, be aware these are included in the ingredients as thickening and protein agents.
As a rewards member, you will start out earning 2 points for every $1 spent, but once you hit Gold tier ($600 spent overall), you earn 10 points for every $1. Like other reward programs, you can earn points just for having a birthday and posting about the brand on your social media pages.
While the regular cost of $60 might seem high at first, remember that there are 15 servings in each bag, which comes to $4 per shake. That’s still cheaper than One Stop Nutrition or Jamba Juice.
If you want to try it out, here’s $15 off your first order! Ka’Chava makes a great gift to anyone you know who is too busy to cook or interested in consuming healthier, whole-body wellness foods.
I am a chocolate lover, so obviously that is what my 60-day subscription is set to. But they also have vanilla and a new flavor, coconut acai, which I might need to test for myself!
Kiss My Keto
Listen, you don’t have to be obsessed with your ketones to enjoy this brand or any other keto-inspired products. I honestly can’t even tell you how the Keto diet works, in full detail.
But I know that while carbs aren’t our enemies, they aren’t our best friends if we’re trying to watch our waistlines either. Yeah, I know it’s Christmas time, but I still went there.
Anyway, if you need carbohydrate alternatives for those pesky dessert cravings you just can't kick or you have been searching for healthier lunch items you can make on the fly, Kiss My Keto has you covered.
From keto brownie baking mixes and keto granola to keto noodles made from gluten free konjac flour, you can easily swap your common snack and meal staples without your family noticing.
I personally love their bone broth powder. The variety pack will give you an assortment, but my favorite flavor is the Thai Curry. When I need something warm at work, this broth is a quick filler and a comfort.
Subscribers save at least 10% on all orders, plus earn points for every purchase ($1=1 point) and social media interaction.
Like the others on this list, there is no obligation to continue the subscription. Simply pause or skip it whenever and purchase items one at a time if preferred.
If you order at least $50 from Kiss My Keto, you’ll get $10 off by using this link.
The Farmer’s Dog
For my fellow dog parents, your fur babies love Christmas gifts, too!
You have probably heard of subscription boxes like Bark Box and Chewy by now. Nothing personal against those brands, but my dog only needs so many toys and treats. He might think otherwise, of course, but it's just not practical for me.
Besides, most treats are made with fake ingredients and additives. My moral compass is too big to feed my dog something I'd never feed myself.
If you're looking for healthy dog treats, Costco sells real meat jerky. I also recommend this brand, Farmland Traditions. Samson loves it!
But the same goes for my Samson's regular meals, especially now that he is in the double digits. While it is common for humans to outlive their pets, I still want to give mine the best quality of life that's within my power.
Did you know the ingredients in commercial dog food, AKA brown kibble, can be misleading and even harmful to your dog?
There are many things allowed in kibble, like starchy fillers and preservatives. After all, only 3% of an ingredient needs to be included for the product to be labeled as "made with it" on the bag.
Not only is dry dog food questionable, many owners can relate to picky eaters or how frustrating it can be when their dog loses interest in it.
I realize not every household can afford to feed their dog fresh, human grade food. While you can make it yourself, most people don't have the extra time, either.
The Farmer's Dog strives to make fresh dog food at an affordable rate. Their subscription is flexible, allowing you to choose the amount you can afford. You can either supplement the fresh meals with their regular food or you can go all out and completely replace their dry food.
While it's hard to believe that fresh dog food makes much of a difference, many dog owners recognize drastic improvements in their dogs' energy levels, digestion, skin and coat, mobility, and even behavior.
Want to try it out? Here's a free box.
Petals and Tails
If you are already on board with healthy dog food but your dog struggles with anxiety or chronic pain, CBD might be the answer.
Petals and Tails is a small business, founded by a fellow pet lover who lost her dog to seizures. Once she realized the many benefits hemp oil had on pets, such as alleviating pain, decreasing seizures, and reducing anxiety without any side effects, she started creating her own products to help other dogs like hers.
Of course, you can't mention CBD or hemp without thinking of Mary Jane and "being high," but that really isn't accurate. Although they are in the same family, their effects to bodies and brains are, in fact, quite different.
Dogs are especially prone to developing anxiety and stress as they get older. But even young pups and cats can be traumatized by loud noises like fireworks, riding in a car, or environmental changes.
As you can see below, Samson loves his CBD PB! In preparation for noisy holidays like the 4th of July, I will treat him with a tablespoon or two so he is less frightened by the booms.
I also use Petals and Tails' CBD pet shampoo every time I wash him. Not only does it smell amazing and make his coat extra soft, he seems to despise bath time a bit less than usual. LOL.
Currently, they have special seasonal scents like this Frosted Fir & Poinsettia shampoo.
If your dog loves peanut butter anyway, why not give them a spoonful of CBD peanut butter? A satisfied and relaxed pup is a Merry Christmas for you and them!
Shop all CBD peanut butter, treats, and pet shampoo here but be sure to use code MISSANISS15 for a discount on your entire order! Right now, shipping is free for $99.99+ orders.
If you still have questions regarding Petals and Tails and where they source their hemp, check out their FAQ page here.
I'm not going to lie. I really only started this subscription a couple years ago because I wanted access to Mrs. Meyers limited edition scents!
However, at only $25 per year for a VIP Grove Collaborative subscription, I've found this subscription service for natural home products to be worthwhile.
Shipping is free on all orders $35 or more. While you don't earn rewards, every purchase above $30 qualifies you for a free gift. Subscription recurrences can be set for each product you buy, but you also can skip months if you have surplus product.
If you try to buy household items that are eco-friendly and less toxic in the stores, you know how painful it is to hand over your credit card at the register. With Grove Collaborative, you can select conscientious products at an affordable price.
For instance, these 100% recycled plastic trash bags are only $7 for twenty 13 gallon bags.
Grove, as a Certified B Corporation, offers non-toxic feminine care products, organic and sensitive baby products, and other sustainable items from likeminded brands and partnerships. Grove also plans to be 100% plastic free by 2025.
Follow this referral link to receive a free gift set with your first purchase!
Final Thoughts on Subscriptions
As you well know, there are thousands of other subscription boxes and services to choose from.
I've tried meal deliveries like HelloFresh and EveryPlate.
While I've enjoyed them during the promotional stages, it wasn't worthwhile to me to subscribe long term since I do prefer to cook. I just need to be better about prepping freezer meals like I was this fall!
Another useful subscription I did not reference but find worthwhile is SimpliSafe security systems.
What I like about this alarm system is that it is customizable, controlled by us (by choice, there are monitoring options), and super easy to use. If we go on vacation, we can set a temporary password for whoever is dog-sitting.
They have pretty nice deals going on for the holidays so I recommend checking them out!
Other fun subscriptions send fitness gear, mystery games, used books, new jewelry or fashion, and handmade items from around the world.
Although they all sound fun, I can't quantify the price for "nice to haves" which is why this blog was dedicated to subscriptions for everyday items we all need.
Oh, and since we are on the subject, feel free to subscribe to my blog ;)
I only post once per week, so you won't get any spam from me. Plus, you'll get access to the 30-day prayer challenge, available to you at all times.
Have a wonderful week, everyone!