Friday Favs: Monthly Subscriptions That Save Me Money and Make Life Easier

Friday, February 5, 2016

As an extremely frugal and analytical person, I intensely investigate pretty much everything before I commit to spending money on it to find any potential hidden costs and to determine whether or not it will actually save me money. Here are the subscriptions that have saved me money (and some that haven't) and my favorite things to use them for:

The Great Subscriptions:

Amazon Prime

Cost: $99/year

How It Works: Free two day shipping on Prime Items (almost everything is Prime) - BUT if you opt out of the two day shipping for an order you get credit towards e-books. Also includes Prime Video, Prime Music (haven't figured that out yet), free e-books (I haven't taken enough time to investigate this part), unlimited Cloud Storage (hi all the photos in the world), and early access to (fashion stuff!) and Lightning Deals (aka Black Friday Style sales).

Things I use it for/How I justify paying for it: 
The prices on products are generally pretty low and I can always find random little things that I don't know where to find with FREE SHIPPING. I think the free shipping pays for itself with the $99. I also feel like the free shipping around Christmas time reduces my holiday stress level ten-fold which is worth $99/year. I buy:
  • Dog Food and meds (30 lbs delivered to my door is much nicer than carrying 30 lbs from the Wal-Mart zoo)
  • Transparent (!!)
  • All Christmas gifts
  • Pretty much everything except produce - I'm at a point in life where if I can't get it on Amazon I don't think I need it that bad.
  • Cloud Storage- I have the Amazon Cloud app on my phone which automatically uploads my pictures and videos. I can organize them into files and share them even with people who don't have Prime. Clutch.
  • Access to all HBO shows and movies (hi snow day!)


Cost: $7.99/month

How it Works: Free movies and shows streaming to your computer/cell phone/ipad/Apple TV/Smart TV/Video on Demand.

Things I Use it For/How I justify paying for it:
Before I was roommates with Harrison (my current husband who requires ESPN and HBO), I canceled cable and it was fine because Netflix. All the shows and movies- specifically:
  • Master of None
  • Arrested Development reruns for life
  • Documentaries
  • Narcos 
  • Making a Murder 

Cost: $45/month

How it Works: For ~$13 bottle, Club W delivers 3 bottles of wine to your doorstep. You can choose your own or take their suggestions. You take a little quiz in the beginning and they make recs based on that. 

Things I Use it For/How I justify paying for it
Look I'm simple and my knowledge of wine includes only three things: 1) red wine stains my teeth which makes me appear drunker than I am, 2) I only know how to buy 2 Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's and 3) Vineyards are fun and pretty! Therefore, when I'm supposed to bring wine to a dinner or something I am clueless. How much should I spend? What do I bring? Is 2 Buck Chuck acceptable? So I leave it to Club W. I have also discovered wines I really enjoy (I usually drink at least one from the box, except snowzilla when the whole box was consumed) and have ordered those from Club W. Thank you, Leslie for turning me onto this!

Subscriptions that didn't save me money or work out for me for whatever reason (don't hate me!:

Meal box subscriptions (Blue Apron, Hello Fresh): $60 for 3 meals for 2 people? I try to feed 2 people all meals all week for under $100. Not in my price range.

Birchbox (eeek I know don't hate me!): I ended up using 1 or 2 products per box, which made me feel like a sample hoarder with nowhere to store my samples - they started pouring into personal spaces. It was too much. 


  1. Netflix for the win - errday! I'm right there with you on Birchbox. It wasn't worth my money or space. I JUST threw out some stuff last night that I had been hoarding for over a year now, convinced that I would use it eventually. Clearly I never did. LOL!

  2. I'm a new Prime member and I love it! Holidays were a breeze for me. I downloaded all my music from Amazon before (for pay) but now with Prime tons of it is free! And it's aall in the cloud and not clogging up my phone! I need to get on Transparent asap. Just got my Firestick yesterday so now I can stream errythang including Netflix on my bedroom TV and be a lazy slob in the bed! Winning. No more beauty boxes for me either. I have enough fake eyelashes to last me a decade.

  3. Amazon Prime is amazing. Full stop. lol

  4. We have Netflix, Hulu and prime!

  5. Wait- I can watch HBO shows/movies with my Prime subscription??? How did I not know this?!

    I need to sign up for Club W stat. Sounds awesome. Do you have a personalized referral link? Would love to help you out since I learned about it from you!

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Love to hear your thoughts and opinions, let's chat!