The Best Subscriptions

Author: Becky Sappor

Do you make new years resolutions? One of mine for 2019 was to try and make life a bit easier for myself. Not to be lazy but to make things in my life more efficient. In the interest of helping you make your lives more efficient in 2020 I’d like to share with you some of the best subscriptions that I’ve signed up to this year.

Meal Box Subscriptions

We dabbled in meal subscriptions for a fair few years on and off since Leo was born back in 2013 and then in 2016 Tayo arrived and turned our lives upside down once again, in the magical way only new babies can. Three months prior to his arrival we had moved to a new City and in an attempt to keep my head above water navigating said new City, the never ending sleep deprivation haze that I was already 3 years into and generally trying to navigate life with two, I signed us back up to Gousto.

I am very aware there are lots of hashtag ads featuring Gousto but as you know, we are now 100% ad free so this comes from me as a genuine recommendation; a product I have used solidly for the last 7 months. I’d dipped in and out here and there, using it on weeks where I knew things were going to be a bit hectic and then we moved house again – thankfully this time there was no new city to deal with but still, you know, life. And so for the last 7 months Gousto has been a life saver for me.

Not having to think about what to cook. Not having to make sure I remember to get all the right ingredients. Carving out half an hour an evening where I’m actually cooking and focusing on something else other than work or kids. I’ve learnt what sort of flavours work together and how to rustle up some really great little meals. There’s never any waste and I have seen a reduction in the use of plastic over the last few months and the knowledge that reducing plastic use is a top priority for them is good to know. My delivery arrives on a Sunday, I batch cook two meals to get us through Monday and Tuesday evenings because they are mayhem in my house and then the other two nights (we subscribe to 4 meals for 4 people) I have one more indulgent meal where I have more time and then a ’10 minute’ meal to get us through Thursday swim night when again, time is restricted.

The most common question I get asked about it is how much it costs and is it expensive. I have done a direct comparison and for an average box we’re probably paying about an extra £8 compared to if we went to the shop and bought it. But to save on actually having to go to the shop or pay for delivery and actually sit there and add all the ingredients to my basket, I’d rather pay that £8. For me, that is money really well spent.

For the weekend I have a shopping list that I order every Thursday to be delivered on a Friday to get us through the weekend and that includes snacks and fruit for the boys for the week ahead. It’s all about finding what works best for you. I’d love to hear if any of you are subscribed to a meal box and how you work your weeks around it.

Dog Food Subscription

When I started leaving those trips to my (not so) local large chain pet store a little too late I knew I needed to start better organising myself when it came to my beloved pooch. I was lugging great 15kg bags through a shop and into the boot of my car and picking up unnecessary treats and toys on my way. Then back in February I saw tails.com and thought I’d give it a try. And I have never looked back. Great food quality, great customer service and so much flexibility. You enter all of your fur friends details into their system and it calculates how much food they will need to get them through the month and you’re provided with a scoop to ensure you feed them the right amount. I also get my poo bags and denta sticks (I recently heard these are absolutely terrible for our fury friends? Can anyone confirm?) through them as well and they all turn up together once a month. You get a notification when they are prepping your order and you can delay your delivery if you still have food left over or if you start to run out for whatever reason (never happened FYI) you can bring your delivery forward. I guess that would be useful if you’re going away on holiday and need more food for your pet sitter/kennels.

As with most subscription services you can get a discount to try them out so I would 100% suggest giving them a go. And as with Gousto, you’re not tied into anything. You can cancel your subscription at any time.

Speaking of trying subscriptions before you decide to pay that monthly/quarterly/annual fee…

Toilet Roll Subscription

I am currently waiting for my free trial to arrive from Who Gives A Crap. They come highly recommended by our very own Naomi who has been using them for some time now. I quote ‘The main reason I went with them was that I don’t like the idea that 27,000 trees are chopped down every day for people to wipe their arses with.’ Can’t really argue with that can you? Their paper is made from 100% recycled paper and on top of that, 50% of their profits go towards helping build toilets and improving sanitation across the world. You can find out more about them here. I’m sure Naomi will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the loo roll in the comments below until I’m able to pass judgement myself.

A Little Something For Us

Now that’s all very practical isn’t it but subscriptions don’t just have to be used for practical things or to make life more efficient. That’s why we subscribe to The Craft Gin Club too. We’re not big drinkers at home but we do like a little something over the weeknd so we subscribe to the quarterly delivery. You get a great bottle of gin, a selection of mixers and nibbles and a magazine all about… gin! With great recipes to try and information about the specific gin you’ve received that month. It’s just a little something for us and I love it.

The other type of subscription I would love to try is washing detergent and dishwasher tablets. Is anyone subscribed to anything? I have heard of Splosh, True Earth and Smol but would love a recommendation? I’m yet to subscribe myself to a cleaner but that’s on my to do list for the new year too.

Let me know if you’d like a round up of subscriptions for children too because we are currently subscribe to three different activity subscriptions for the boys 🙂

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Author: Becky Sappor
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18 thoughts on “The Best Subscriptions

  1. I also have a subscription for my tampons with @im_ohne http://www.ohne.co organic tampons in a range of absorbencies just for you. I started buying them in January and then I have actually started working for them but purely because I believe in the brand so much. Two female founders who work hard to be a period cycle company. What’s not to love. I also buy my loo roll from green cane paper. Cheaper and comes without all the unnecessary packaging like the other company. Granted not as pretty but who needs pretty toilet paper. Plus their inners are so strong for arts and crafts with children and the box is epic and we made the best cardboard washing machine out of it.

  2. Another Gousto lover over here! Like you we started subscribing to Gousto shortly before my daughter was born and we already had an 18 month old at the time. She is now almost two and we have had a box nearly every week since!! We get 4 meals a week which for 4 dinners for two adults plus the odd leftover/ lunch/ small but I keep aside for the kids costs us £35 a week (£4.37 a serving!) I agree you could source everything yourself for a fraction cheaper but the ease of selecting the recipes through the app and it being delivered to my doorstep is worth a few pounds. I also like the fact that is you need to use an ingredient you wouldn’t normally buy you just get the amount you need rather than buying a whole bottle/ packet of something you’re unlikely to use much again. Anyway enough about my love of Gousto…. as a busy family of four we love it!! (Another subscription I love as a present is a magazine one for the year and am thinking of getting my mum a monthly flower subscription for her birthday)

    1. Oh and yes please for children’s subscription use too! My sister is buying my almost four year old a subscription to Anorak kids magazine for Christmas!

    2. I did the monthly flower subscription through bloom and wild and my mom loved it. We’ve also done it for my husband’s nan and she doesn’t seem so keen but she is the most difficult person in the world to buy for. The only issue we have had is the postman not putting them through the letter box. It was fine for a few months but then one month he kind of squashed and folded the box to fit it through, even though the box is letter box shaped and fits just fine without being squashed. My mom asked him not to do it so he kept taking them back to the sorting office. Not so helpful when you work and can’t get to the sorting office during opening times.

      I also have more magazine subscriptions than I can comfortably admit to 😳 All interiors and gardens.

    3. YES Nicky! We often have left overs for lunch the next day too. I used to subscribe to Harpers Bazaar for a long time, it was my fave mag but I found I just wasn’t carving out the time to read it so I cancelled it. Maybe I should take it up again in the new year x

  3. Yeah, I would definitely like a children’s activity subscription post. I have currently subscribed to another two months of toucan box but find it a bit expensive for what it is. I also feel uncomfortable with the amount of plastic it is all wrapped in and things like the one time use plastic glue pen, glitter pen etc. However, the whole reason I like the boxes is because I hate having to get lots of craft stuff together myself, so I’m not sure that can be resolved. I need to just stop being lazy about it.

    With the ‘who gives a crap’ subscription, what do you mean by recyclable materials? Are you supposed to recycle the used toilet paper instead of flushing?

    1. Yeah I tried Toucan too and didn’t continue for both those reasons. Was pricey for what it was and lots of plastic! Tbh my son also isn’t super into crafts so I ended up doing most of it! 🤦‍♀️

    2. Hey Jade, I just edited the ‘recyclable materials’ part – Becky meant ‘made with 100% recycled paper’. Haha… No one is expecting us to recycle used toilet paper! We personally pay a couple of quid more for their bamboo rolls, the quality is superb and they are completely tree-free. Each roll is double-length so they end up costing about 50p per standard roll of paper which is about the same as the supermarket ones (without massacring all those trees obvs).

    3. We get our Toucan box delivered fortnightly and I stock pile them for the school holidays. I will get my thoughts together for other things we subscribe too as well and get a post out for you. I am the same as you though Jade, a lot of single use bits and pieces in there and I’m not sure how they get around that.

      Re the toilet roll – I meant that the paper is made from 100% recycled materials x

  4. Oooh I liked this post, gave me some ideas for a few last minute gifts. We get a hello fresh food box, not all the time, dip in and out depending on how busy life is. I have to be honest I know it is a bit more expensive but I find if I don’t have time to plan ahead and I am just running into the supermarket last minute or have resort to takeaway/something ready made then Hello Fresh is definitely cheaper than that option and we still get home cooked meals. The ingredients are nice and the recipes work well so for me it is worth it when working and two little boys under 5.
    Will definitely do the toilet roll subscription too – great idea!

  5. Hello, we use smog, I use the royal “we” as hubby does the clothes washing in our house 🙂 he say’s it’s great. The washing powder capsules come in boxes of 24 for about £3 and you have no minimum term and you can have them as often or not as you want.

    Has anyone tried a fitness subscription box they would recommend?

    Helen x

  6. I use smol laundry capsules and find them really good. I’d definitely recommend signing up for the free trial, that’s how we got started! All the packaging is compact and recyclable so that’s a bonus. I also like not having to remember to add those to my weekly shop.

  7. We have a Who Gives A Crap subscription and I love it – we never run out of toilet roll, and I never have to lug it on the back of the pram, plus we save trees! Hooray!

    We also have Craft Gin Club as a ‘for us’ – since the arrival of our 18 month old we haven’t got out much, so here’s to drinking decent gin in!

    We had Hello Fresh for a bit, but we’re vegetarians trying really hard to be vegan and the selection wasn’t great – is Gousto any better for veggies? Or anyone know a decent veggie box? Usually it leaves you with just one or two choices, so it’s a bit limiting.

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