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7 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Subscribe To

April 13, 2015
Shopping News
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You might get the newspaper delivered to your doorstep every Sunday, and your Netflix subscription gives you all the movies you could ever want, but did you know you can subscribe to way more than that?

From toilet paper to YouTube, here are seven things you didn’t know you could subscribe to (plus how you can save money by signing up).

1. Toilet paper

We all know online shopping is convenient, but it can also be extremely affordable. For instance, Amazon promises that its Subscribe & Save service can save shoppers up to 15% on their entire order (plus free shipping) — simply by opting for recurring deliveries.

Here’s how it works: Customers choose an item to subscribe to (practically anything from toilet paper and diapers to snacks, toiletries and motor oil), select the quantity they need, set how often they’d like their shipments to arrive and click “Subscribe Now” to finalize the order.

Take the Cottonelle Ultra Comfort Care Toilet Paper, Big Roll, 12 Count, for example. Purchase this product from Amazon regularly, and you’d pay $9.99 for each order. Go the Subscribe & Save route, and that price drops 5% to $9.49.

When browsing Amazon, keep an eye out for the “Subscribe & Save” notation beside eligible products. It will tell you the discount percentage you can expect to receive by opting for a subscription.

2. Makeup

Speaking of essentials, there’s a way to subscribe to beauty products, too. Companies such as BirchBox help customers find and receive the cosmetics and grooming items they need (or, OK, want).

The service, available for both men and women, sends monthly deliveries of three to five personalized samples. Subscribers pay $10 per month or $110 per year for a women’s box. The cost is $20 per month or $195 per year for BirchBox Man.

3. Groceries

Going to the grocery store can be a hassle. Plus, trips to and from your supermarket can take up a lot of gas. Busy homeowners can certainly agree that it would be nice to have your favorite foods delivered directly to your doorstep.

Subscription services such as Plated and NatureBox are designed for this very purpose. Plated subscribers, for example, receive a weekly delivery of pre-portioned ingredients in a refrigerated box designed to keep them fresh. The ingredients come with a recipe for turning them into “chef-designed” meals. The company’s menu starts at $12 per plate. Each box contains a minimum of four plates.

Once you have your meals situated, you can head over to NatureBox, where food deliveries are all about snacking. The service provides members (subscriptions start at $19.95 per month) with five full bags of snacks each month. The site offers more than 100 snack options, from dried fruit and nuts to pretzels and chips.

4. Art

Sure, subscription services can do your grocery shopping, but did you know they can decorate your home, too? Art in a Box is yet another monthly subscription service, only this time the deliveries are artworks from primarily California-based artists.

New members fill out an online form on which they choose three words to describe their taste in aesthetically pleasing decor, along with the types of media they like. A fitting piece of art — from mediums as diverse as ceramic to digital prints — is then selected and shipped. No need to trawl art galleries with this site.

Subscriptions run $40 per month for pick-up only or $50 per month with shipping (three month subscription minimum).

5. Clothes

Next up is apparel. For men who aren’t necessarily fans of shopping, subscription options include Trunk Club, a website that promises to deliver “style that works on your schedule.”

Here’s how the process goes. A user signs up for the service and subsequently meets a stylist who puts together a collection of clothes that fit his preferences. The customer then previews his “trunk” before receiving the clothes. Subscribers have 10 days to try out the clothes and can send back anything they don’t like.

So how do you save? Shipping of your trunk is free both ways, and you pay only for the clothes you decide to keep. Forget all those fruitless trips to the mall.

6. Razors

Guys will probably need a fresh shave to go with that fresh new look, right? Enter the Dollar Shave Club.

This online club provides members with new blades every month. Subscribers simply choose their blade (options range from versions that cost $1 per month plus $2 shipping and handling to $9 per month with free shipping) and select their delivery frequency.

Before you know it, you’ll be receiving new blades every month — or every other month — without having to leave your house. You’ll also get a free compatible handle for your blades to get you started shaving.

7. YouTube?

Ready for one more out-of-the-ordinary subscription service? This one isn’t available for signups just yet, but it will be soon, according to TechCrunch. The website reports that come June 15, online video giant YouTube will launch a subscription-based service in which users can pay a monthly fee to watch the site’s videos ad-free.

If you’re a YouTube user who gets annoyed by those pesky advertisements you have to watch before getting your fill of your favorite videos, this subscription may be a good fit for you. Of course, you’ll have to weigh the benefits (and cost) of the service once it officially launches. It’ll likely cost around $10 a month, according  to The Verge.

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneyNerd and on Google+.

Image via iStock.