Real talk: What doesn’t come in subscription format these days? From TV and movies, to samples of makeup, to tampons, to dog toys, there’s a subscription for damn near everything. Our lives are full of streaming, express delivery, and itty bitty samples of dry shampoo. Uh, I think…that’s what it means to live in the future, right? I mean, I’m going to go with it, since we sure as hell don’t have flying cars yet (but they’re working on it).
But which are worth it for you, a young woman on a budget who doesn’t have $9.99 a month of even $19 a year to spend on something she won’t actually use? We gotchu. Check out these 12 subscription services that are actually worth your money. Better yet, a few of these services offer discounts for students as long as you sign up with a .edu e-mail address. Take advantage of these savings, guys. You won’t regret it.
1. ASOS Premier
Cost: $19 a year.
After putting it off for ages, I finally bit the bullet and bought ASOS Premier…and it was one of the best financial decisions I’ve made in a minute. For just $19 a year, you get free two-day shipping on your ASOS order. Yup, on any order, no matter how much it costs. As long as you place your order before 7 PM EST, you’re pretty much guarenteed to receive your package within two business days. This came in handy this week when I copped a last minute dress for my birthday party this weekend. This is absolutely worth it if you’re a regular or even semi-regular ASOS shopper, and it’s especially worth it if you’re impatient or tend to need a new outfit for a last minute event. Think about it, seriously.
Find out more about ASOS Premier here.
2. Spotify Premium
Cost: $9.99 a month, $4.99 a month for students; first month free.
If you don’t have ad-free Spotify yet, uh, please get your life together. You won’t miss the ads, and if you listen to music on Spotify everyday, it’s well worth it, especially since you can store music to listen to later even if you don’t have a connection (which is perfect for travel). Plus, if you’re a student, you get premium for 50 percent off! Think about the useless garbage you spend $5 on every month. Don’t you think it would be better spent on listening to music the way you want?
Find out more about Spotify Premium here.
3. Sephora Flash
Cost: $10 a month
If you’re a Sephora junkie, you’ll love Sephora Flash. For just $10 a year, you get free two-day shipping on any order. This is especially useful for those of you who don’t live near a Sephora and can’t get your fix by just driving to the mall. And for that price, it’s really a major steal.
Find out more about Sephora Flash here.
Cost: $10+ per month or every two months for one customized box of 18 tampons or pads, $5 off your first purchase.
Buying pads and tampons is a pain in the ass, but Lola makes it a little easier. Starting at $10 per box per month, you get pads, tampons, or panty liners delivered to your door just in time for your monthly visitor from hell. What I really love about Lola–and you’ll love it too–is the customization. How annoying is it when you have a heavy flow, but you have to spend over $7 on a box of super tampons and another $7 on a box of regular tampons for light days? Sure, they have the combo packs now, but they usually consist of, like, a zillion tampons for light days and only a couple for heavy ones. That’s not a good deal! With Lola, you can dictate your preferred absorbency, from light to super plus. That means, you can build a Lola box that consists of 12 super tampons and six regular tampons, or 7 super plus tampons, 5 super tampons, and six regular tampons. You get the drill. For $10 a box, this is a great deal.
Find out more about Lola here.
Cost: $39+ per month for three records.
Yes, this is one of the more expensive subscription services, but it might be well worth it if you’re a vinyl addict. For $39 a month, you get three records based on your music preferences. You can even hook up VNYL to Spotify so that the subscription service can determine what album you’d want in vinyl form. This is great if you have some money to burn, aren’t already signed up for a lot of other services, and want to build your record collection without a lot of hassle.
Find out more about Vnyl here.
Cost: $30 per month for 60 vitamins.
If you’re a bit of a health nut and you’re all about vitamins, why not take some vitamins that you’ll actually look forward to taking everyday? What’s cool about Ritual vitamins is that, frankly, their vitamins are really effing cool looking. Full disclosure: Someone at Ritual sent me a free bottle of their vitamins a couple months back, and I can safely say that I really did look forward to taking them in the morning. Sorry, I’m a sucker for aesthetically pleasing supplements I guess. I’m not getting paid to tell you this either, I’m being 100 percent sincere. If you already know you’re not the type to take vitamins on the regular, then this isn’t for you. But if you want a bit of a boost in some vitamins and minerals you might be missing, this is worth trying.
Find out more about Ritual here.
Cost: $5.99+ per month, first month free.
Hulu is having a serious glo up right now, f’real. I used to see it as the “not-Netflix-but-still-great-for-some-shows” streaming app. Now they’re snatching Netflix’s mainstays left and right and producing a lot of great original programing (sup, Handmaid’s Tale?). Plus, they have a lot of great British TV shows that are hard to watch anywhere else. So whether you want to watch Bob’s Burgers, My So-Called Life, or Real Housewives for hours on end, you can count on Hulu to be there for your binging needs.
Find out more about Hulu here.
Cost: $7.99+ per month, first month free.
I mean, at this point everyone needs a Netflix account…or they need to have access to someone else’s. If you have neither…what are you doing? Living a productive life off streaming services or something? Pfft! Anyway, my current Netflix obsessions right now are Big Mouth and Mindhunter…because after watching a show about serial killers, you need to cleanse your palette with a cartoon about puberty.
Find out more about Netflix here.
Cost: $10+ per month.
Ipsy–brainchild of Youtuber Michelle Phan–is a great little makeup subscription service that you’ll quickly become addicted to. You can build a profile that will help determine what you receive every month, and for $10 you get a fair amount of sample sized makeup and skincare products that’ll likely last you longer than you suspect. Great for those of you who love beauty products but can’t afford to buy full sized high end items all the time.
Find out more about Ipsy here.
10. Amazon Prime
Cost: $10.99 per month, $99 for one year, first month free; first six months free and only $5.99 per month after that for students.
Ah, yes, hail our Amazon overlords. Even if you don’t use Amazon all the time, getting free and speedy deliveries when you really need it will absolutely come in handy when you need it most Plus, Amazon Prime comes with plenty of original programs, TV shows, movies, and music to stream! Oh, and if you’re a student, you get a super long free trial period and a huge monthly discount. This will especially be a godsend for you if you’re in college and need to buy books, dorm necessities, and other essentials.
Find out more about Amazon Prime here.
11. The Book Drop
Cost: $16.99 per month.
There are a ton of book subscription services, but this one sort of comes across as the most down to earth of most of them. The Book Drop is a small operation brought to you buy an independent bookstore. They’ll give you a book–usually lesser known gems–based on your genre of choice, and you can enjoy it for the rest of forever. If you’re a book lover, you’ll really look forward to a new surprise book every month.
Find out more about The Book Drop here.
Cost: $10+ per month.
Birchbox was the very first subscription box I ever heard of, making it the grandmama of the whole subscription box phenomenon. It’s a direct competitor of Ipsy, and while they’re very similar, Birchbox tends to have more high end brands. However, some claim that Birchbox is more skincare focused than Ipsy, which is very makeup friendly. Hey, this is great news if you’re into skincare, but if you’re more into makeup, then Ipsy might be more your speed. Honestly, you could do a trial of both and see what you like better!
Find out more about Birchbox here.