This year, I have become a big fan of subscription boxes. No matter what your interests are, the right subscription box is out there for you. I first signed up for several subscriptions out of sheer curiosity, but I have continued to pay to be a subscriber because I value the quality of my boxes and they make my life easier and more fun.
I read something recently on social media about not buying toys or other not-needed gifts this holiday season, and I am completely on that wavelength. A few years ago, when my kids were past toddler/preschool age, I decided to stop purchasing toys/action figures for their gifts for Christmas. All of these toys were filling up our tiny house, and seldom being played with. These days, I would rather buy Legos, card games, art supplies, or board games. I think a subscription box (or a gift certificate for a subscription box) can, if chosen carefully, be a great alternative to a regular gift card or ‘filler’ gift (something generic like a tie or body wash).
Here is my list of best-loved subscription boxes to help you with your holiday shopping!
Some links in this post are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.
QUILTY BOX – You may send a gift box to a friend or family member.
Quilty Box is the perfect subscription for the quilter in your life. Each box is curated by a designer (my friend Annie of By Annie’s curated a box for March 2016 that included the pattern and supplies to make her Stash and Dash Bag – many of the boxes contain fabric, quilt patterns, rulers, and notions that will be fun to add to your stash!). I’ve seen the owners of Quilty Box walking around at the Quilt Market trade show and speaking with designers, so they are truly out there finding you the best monthly subscription boxes that they can put together!
HOME CHEF – Click here to use my referral link for $30 off your first order! – Gift certificates are also available.
There are a lot of meal delivery subscription boxes out there; I did my homework before choosing Home Chef. I’m a working mom with two young children and a husband, and my son and I are both picky eaters, so I needed meals that were not too frou-frou. Home Chef meets my requirements. I have subscribed to weekly deliveries for a few months now and I absolutely love it! This is probably my most favorite subscription, and I am never disappointed. I chose to receive 3 meals per week at 2 servings per meal (even though we are a family of 4, we have enough with the 2 servings – of course this will vary based on your family’s appetites!). Each week, I log onto the Home Chef website and choose from around a dozen meals. Every Tuesday (you can choose your delivery day) I receive a box via Fedex with ice packs to keep the food cold in case I am not home when the package arrives. Each meal’s ingredients arrive in a labelled bag, along with beautiful full-color recipe cards with step photos. I’m a very picky eater and I have been surprised at how delicious everything has been (I have not once made a meal that I didn’t like), and I even ate mushrooms for the first time in one of the Home Chef meals! I’m very pleased and will continue with the Home Chef deliveries for all of next year. Home Chef saves me brain cells (after writing patterns all day, my brain majorly needs to relax) because I do not need to search for recipes online, worry if the recipe will work out, and go to the store for the ingredients – everything comes pre-measured and ready to start cooking in an average of 35 minutes. I am having fun making 3 new meals each week, and I have saved all of my recipe cards from Home Chef and re-made a few of my favorites!
STITCH FIX – Gift cards are also available.
I hate shopping of any kind, really. I don’t know what to choose and what will look good on me. I signed up for my first Stitch Fix box a few months ago and it nears the top of my list. Stitch Fix is a subscription box that contains 5 pieces of clothing every month (shoes, jewelry, and bags may also be included in the box but I opted out of the jewelry and bags). The kicker is that each month’s clothing is chosen by a personal stylist. My stylist is Karli and she writes me a personalized note each month explaining why she chose each of the items for me that she did, as well as a card with ideas for styling the clothes with items I may already have in my wardrobe. While nothing in the box is bargain-priced, I am loving this service because most of the items I’ve gotten are things that I never would have chosen on the rack, but I love them when I try them on. Send back anything you don’t love in a pre-paid mailer, and if you keep all 5 items, receive a 25% discount. I love Stitch Fix!!
Unsure about getting surprise clothing in the mail? Try ModCloth instead, the only place that I buy clothes (that isn’t a t-shirt) from online. Click here to use my referral link to get $20 off your first order. Last week I got this awesome unicorn shift dress and this perfect little black dress that fits like a glove.
DOODLE CRATE and TINKER CRATE – Use my referral link for $10 off your first order (which makes your first box 50% off) – Gift cards are also available
We’ve been getting Doodle Crate (for my daughter who is 8) and Tinker Crate (for my son, who is almost 10) for a few months now as well. There are 4 different crates available by age/interest: Koala Crate (ages 3-4), Kiwi Crate (ages 5-8), Doodle Crate (ages 9-16 for art and design) and Tinker Crate (ages 9-16 for science and engineering). My son made some cool projects like a biomechanical hand and fiber optic stars, and my daughter made artsy things that she loves like paper lanterns and Halloween luminaries. Each month’s project comes with a fully illustrated instruction booklet and all supplies needed to make the project (even batteries and glue!). We’ve had a great time making things with our hands and learning how things work. These crates are fun to save for the weekend or on a day off school!
BOOK OF THE MONTH – Gift subscriptions are available
I recently signed up for Book of the Month. As is the case with Home Chef, I want fun experiences in my life but sometimes I don’t have the time to research the right recipe or book, so I decided to give Book of the Month a try. I love reading books but I find myself often re-reading books that I already own just because I don’t know what else to read. Each month, there are 5 selections offered for you to choose from (and I recognize this month’s selections as popular and new books, which I was excited about – for November, I chose ‘The Trespasser’ by Tana French); you can add additional books to your month or skip a month if none of that month’s books grab your interest. Shipping is free and Book of the Month is a great subscription box for avid readers!
NATURE BOX – Click here to use my referral link for 50% off your first order – Gift certificates to be available late November 2016.
GRAZE – Click here to use my referral link for your 1st box free – Gift boxes and gift certificates are available
I use Nature Box and Graze for healthy snacks that I can munch on during my work day. Graze offers boxes of single-portion snacks, as well as larger snack bags (subscriptions available for either), and Nature Box has larger snack bags in their subscription plan. I have done both off and on for almost 2 years. Both are great services that let you add snack choices to your account so that you are sent a selection of snacks that you’ll love, and the reason I rotate is that I like to have an optimum rotation of different snacks!
SEW SAMPLER – You may send a gift box to a friend or family member
The Sew Sampler subscription box by Fat Quarter Shop is another subscription box that’s great for the quilter in your life. You can see past boxes/videos of the box content on the Fat Quarter Shop website. I love the fresh and modern contents of each month’s box!
MARVEL COLLECTOR CORPS – One of my friends subscribes to this box, and she says she has never been disappointed. She told me that sometimes there are 2-3 small figures and around Christmas, exclusive scarves are part of the box offering. Her last box was Doctor Strange-themed and included a Funko figure, a mug, a t-shirt, a patch, an enameled pin, and a comic book, all under the same theme (as pictured above). A great choice for the young or young at heart!
BARK BOX – Gift certificates are available.
Perfect for the dogowner that wants curated treats and toys for their pets, and what a great way for your dog to actually look forward to the mailman arriving! I worked in pet stores for 14 years and I was always very interested to see the new natural pet treats on the market.
Ipsy is a great makeup subscription box where you’ll receive 5 beauty products each month in a cool zippered pouch. I was a subscriber for over 2 years, and it was fun looking forward to an inexpensive subscription that arrived in a sparkly pink bubble mailer each month. I found several products in my Ipsy packages that I loved and re-ordered again (like my favorite Mongongo lip balm from Jersey Shore Sun and my favorite mascara from Urban Decay called Perversion). Sometimes the products are trial size (like hair spray), but often times I was super pleased to receive a high-end full-size product (like Zoya nail polish). Ipsy would be a great gift for a teen or someone that likes to try out new makeup.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of the subscription boxes out there – do you subscribe to any boxes that I missed in my list?