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Every time I take a 30-minute detour out of my walk home to pick up dish soap and toothpaste, I begrudge the waste of time.
I know that I need these things, but I’m not the kind of buyer (or the kind of spacious apartment owner) who buys in bulk. So here I am, on a Thursday night at 6:45 p.m., waiting in line to buy laundry detergent pods.
Living in a city where the simple realities of life, like taking the subway, can eat into my time spent out of the office has made me put a premium on convenience. Yes, I will pay a little more to spend more of my life outdoors with a book and a glass of wine than schlepping bags of groceries up and down a walk-up’s steps.
And even if you’re not in the city, your life is busy. Time is precious. We all appreciate convenience. And if there are normal, dependable players that we have to buy each month — socks, steaks, dog toys, books — it pays to outsource them and free up your time and space in your mind. If you need laundry detergent pods once a month, set up a recurring delivery on Amazon (which saves you money, too) and stop reserving space in your mind for a task that you can already anticipate. Unless you really enjoy buying them every month, why wouldn’t you do it?
Below are some things you never have to worry about ordering again, if you so choose:
Blue Apron Instagram
We’ve featured quite a few food subscription services, and you can read about the comparative differences between HelloFresh, Blue Apron, and Plated here, and you can read about Martha & Marley here (which also works on AmazonFresh). With any of them, you don’t have to worry about running out of groceries or making a menu for the week. As someone who buys groceries for one, it’s particularly helpful for eating fresh food without wasting any money or leftover produce.
Prices for plans that feed two people:
Blue Apron: $59.94 for 3 weekly meals ($9.99 per serving).
Plated: $47.80 for 2 weekly meals ($11.95 per serving), $71.70 for 3 weekly meals ($11.95 per serving), or $95.60 for 4 weekly meals ($11.95 per serving).
HelloFresh: $59.94 for 3 weekly meals ($9.99 per serving), $79.92 for 4 weekly meals ($9.99 per serving), $99.90 for 5 weekly meals ($9.99 per serving).
Martha & Marley: $24 ($12 per serving).
Nice Laundry sends members six pairs of socks plus one special edition pair every quarter.
If you wear a suit to work, socks are one way to still have some fun and customize what you’re wearing each day. Plus, they’re one clothing item that wears out faster than most, which makes ongoing delivery payments make sense. And if you really love a nice loud statement sock with a crisp suit, you probably don’t want to wear the same memorable pattern too many days in a row.
What it costs: $49/shipment
Get set up for fun sock shipments here.
Winc will send you customized wines based on your palate. New members take a simple six-question survey to get a sense of their taste and then receive recommendations of four bottles for their first box. From there, members will receive wine bottles matched to their tastes until they decide to skip a month or cancel.
If you’re like me, you love a good bottle of wine around the house. It doesn’t have to be particularly amazing or have to have won more awards than I did just for participating in middle school soccer, but having a new one to try is a really big part of why it’s fun. The anticipation of it is great. And if you ever have guests over, it’s nice to know you won’t need to stop on the way home to pick up a bottle before they get there.
What it costs: Starts at 3 bottles/month for $39 plus $9 shipping and tax. If you order 4 or more, shipping is free. There’s no definite answer because it may be higher or lower based on wine choice or quantity (plus local tax rates).
*Right now you’ll also see a $20 discount at checkout, too.*
Get signed up for monthly deliveries of wine you’ll love.
Dollar Shave Club Instagram
Dollar Shave Club began as a subscription service that sends you razors every month, but has evolved to include the optional add-ons of hair gel, body wash, and lip balm.
No one wants to run to the store just for new razor blades, and the process itself can grow tedious, so Dollar Shave Club does a good job of pumping fun into the mundane. It’s also probably less than what you’d spend at the store, and a lot more convenient.
Sign up for new razors and nice body products once a month.
Book of the Month Instagram
Book of the Month is exactly what it sounds like.
After becoming a member, you’ll get to choose between five books selected by the site’s acclaimed literary judges each month and get it delivered in hardcover to your door.
After that, you can choose to participate in ongoing conversations held on the site, or simply read in peace and wait for next month’s selections. It’s a great way to make sure you stay reading, and the fact that they’re picked by people who should know is reassuring since you don’t want to spend your too-little free time going through trial and error.
Get a great hardcover sent to you once a month.
Beer of the Month Club
The Beer of the Month Club is another tell-it-like-it-is subscription. They will literally send you beer once a month.
But not just any beer… they’ll send you a monthly selection of seasonally appropriate beers from two “lightly distributed” breweries across the US. If you’re really looking for an adventurous learning opportunity, you can even opt for the International Beer Club. It’s one great way to get exposure to great new beers you might not have known about otherwise.
What it costs: Starting at $28/month
Get ridiculously good, different beers sent to you once a month.
Omaha Steaks is one subscription service that might be too good to quit. They’ll send you a package of gourmet meat once a month to once every three months.
There is a large range of gourmet subscriptions on Omaha Steaks, but the most basic will send 4 gourmet packages of delicious gourmet meat once every three months, 6 packages once every two months, or 12 packages once every month for either $69.99 or $79.99 per shipment.
What it costs: Starting at $69.99 per shipment
Get your choice of gourmet meats sent to you once a month.
BarkBox is for all those dogs savagely ripping apart their toys or growing bored of them within a couple weeks.
If you want to have a steady rotation of fun toys and treats for your furry best friend, this is one low-maintenance way to make the most of your time together. It’s also not such an expensive way to make a difference in your pet’s life.
Get dog toys and treats sent re-upped monthly.
Anything at all, really
Get recurring deliveries of pretty much anything on Amazon when using Subscribe and Save — plus, like it says, save money while you’re at it. Win-win.
Amazon is kind of like that old wives’ tale that we’re only using 10% of our brain. I honestly feel like I only use 10% of Amazon, and it already does so much for me. This is one way to really kick the crazy convenience up a notch, though. If you know you’re always going to need something, like dishwasher soap, you can set up recurring deliveries at whatever frequency you want and create a subscription that also helps you save.
You can skip deliveries or cancel anytime easily. In advance of delivery (before it ships), Amazon will send you a reminder email showing the item price and any applicable discount for it.