Subscription boxes seem to be all over the place now. I'm not sure who originally came up with the idea, but even big retailers like Amazon and Target are starting to send out monthly boxes of products. I see the value in having a needed product arrive at the front door every month (lotions for my baby's eczema or medical supplies for an elderly family member). Some subscription box programs have surprise contents: you have no idea what you'll receive each month.
Since I am so anti-stuff, our kids do not receive many gifts during the year. Even birthdays and Christmas are limited to one or two gifts and we constantly encourage our relatives to skip the gifts. If our daughter wants a special toy, she has to work for it by doing chores, earning "magnets," and "paying" for the special item. Since our daughter is only 3.5-years-old, it can take 3-4 months for her to earn enough magnets for a $15 item: she appreciates it when she gets it. So what does someone who hates clutter have to say about all these subscription boxes?
We started subscribing to Citrus Lane (referral link) in December of 2012 and have had a good experience with it. The subscription was not continuous because there were a few months where I canceled and waited for a new coupon code to come out or I didn't feel the need to have a subscription at the time. Overall, we have been very happy with the program. There were many times where I was planning to purchase a particular item and it arrived at the ideal moment in a Citrus Lane box. The boxes are very well tailored to our daughter's age and development level. The boxes also seem to contain a good mix of helpful products (like sunscreen or shampoo), while still containing a few things for the kids to get excited about (a new book, puzzle, or toy). The toys have been downplayed in recent boxes and replaced with things to do or read (this is probably because my daughter is getting older).
|Citrus Lane Box April 2014: Gender neutral box for an (almost) 4-year-old.|
The subscription boxes really made a difference in our lives. For example, one box encouraged me to introduce more difficult puzzles to our daughter when I didn't think she was ready. She ended up loving the puzzle and we later purchased some even more difficult puzzles to keep challenging her. Citrus Lane also introduced us to the wonderful products from Cloud B and solved some of our nap-time woes. We also fell in love with the Skip Hop straw bottle in a Citrus Lane box add-on and the kids fought over the bottle so much that I purchased another one. The subscription box really works well for my over-busy lifestyle where I don't have the time to thoroughly research products that might be really helpful for our family or stimulating for our children.
We are now trying a new 3-month subscription from Kiwi Crate (referral link). This box is more tailored to preschool children (3-5 years old). I liked the idea of a more project-driven box that would allow for conversations about math, science, and art. Our daughter is in an enriching preschool program, but she looks to us for ideas about things to do on the weekends. I thought this would be a fun thing to try, so we will keep you posted!
|Our first Kiwi Crate is designed for preschool children.|
In my experience, subscription boxes are not all bad. I do remove some things from the boxes to save for a later date or give as a gift. I appreciate that subscription boxes are not for everyone and some of them can be expensive. We tried a subscription to Bark Box and quickly decided that we love our dog, but we don't love her that much! However, we will continue with the subscription programs that seem to make the most impact on our lives. I think subscription boxes are here to stay and I'm glad that someone is taking the time to simplify my life by sending me a monthly care package.
What do you think?Subscription boxes: yay or nay?
This post contains referral links. We may receive a credit if you start a new subscription to Citrus Lane or Kiwi Crate through our referral link. You'll receive $10 off by using our link: thank you!