Are Subscription Boxes Worth It?

Subscription services always seem like a good idea -- a box of specially curated surprise goodies delivered to your door once a month -- but are they really a good deal? To approach this question, you first need to put aside the fact that you might not be getting exactly what you need out of a box's monthly offerings. It might not be filled with the things you would buy for yourself, but that's not the point. The point is that you get to discover new and exciting things based loosely on your interests. So embrace the fact that you have enough disposable income that allows you to let someone else decide what you need for you, and let's see which of these subscription services will really save you money with their selection of products.

1. BirchBox

BirchBox has over 800,000 subscribers, and only costs $10 a month. That's convincing enough on its own. But the worth is really up to you. If you're someone who loves cosmetic and beauty products, then for a nominal fee, being able to try out a selection of new ones each month is kind of priceless, as it means you won't be constantly shelling out for full-sized, expensive products without giving them a trial run first . If you've happily been using the same foundation since tenth grade and have no intention of changing, then BirchBox is probably an expense you don't need.

2. Leaf.Tv’s The Year of Wellness

At $60 a month, it better be good. If health and wellness are your thing, Leaf.Tv's box will be up your alley. But will it really save you money? The first box has "Herbivore pink clay soap, Clean Program smoothie packets, a copper water bottle, and more." At retail, the soap costs $12, the smoothie packs are worth roughly $10 (assuming there's 4 included), while a copper water bottle costs about $25. That's $47 worth of value, and from the picture it looks like you get a scrubbing brush, some tea and a couple of coconut oil sachets. It's likely what you're getting is at least $60 in value, but you're probably not going to be making any big savings on this one.

3. Dollar Shave Club

The Dollar Shave Club's deal might be too good to be true. For $1, you get 2 blades and cartridges in your first month, then it's either $1 for the same, or $6-9 for a higher end blade. This is a huge saving on drugstore razors, which will set you back at least $2 each. However, it turns out if you buy a bulk order of Dollar Shave Club's premium razors (the $9 ones) direct from the factory, you'll save $61.34 on DSC's subscription service.

4. Book of the Month Club

For $44.97 you get a three month subscription, and each month a new release hardcover book, curated by book loving experts (you choose one of five suggested titles). That works out to only $14.99, and if you'd like an additional book (or three!) in a month, each extra book is only $9.99. Amazon new release hardcovers can be anywhere from $20 and up, so there's no denying you're making a solid saving if you're an avid reader. But, the library exists, so this may only be a value for someone who likes keep books around after they've been read.