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What's In The Box?

October 5, 2017



I think we all agree, Amazon made us love the mail. There is nothing better than seeing that brown box with the familiar upturned arrow smiling at you from your front door. Amazon also trained us to crave instant gratification. We know with a few clicks we can have almost anything we want in our hands in two days.


So in the name of convenience, it is no surprise many companies are now vying for your money to satisfy that itch, providing you with the gratification of getting a package in the mail while hopefully delivering a product you really need.


Something for Everyone


If you’re thinking, ‘This isn’t me, I would never buy into a meal delivery kit or a silly makeup box.’ Don’t be so sure. There is a box for everyone.


Weight loss boxes

Meal delivery boxes

Daily snack delivery boxes (really, daily snacks??)

Tiny condiment boxes

Lifestyle boxes for running, yoga, crossfit

Makeup boxes

Clothing rental boxes

Men’s grooming boxes


Not to mention the sheer convenience of it all. Who wouldn’t want to skip the mall or the grocery and instead spend that time binging on your favorite show? Plus the added perk of staying on top of the latest and greatest gear, makeup, or fashion. Sounds like a dream, right?


What’s the Hook?


All this convenience comes at a cost, beyond the monetary cost of the service, which can range from $100 to $700 a year. Most of these boxes provide you with a single serving, or a single use packet (read sample sizes.) This means you have just paid to have a fabulous item sent to you, you love it and now you can’t live without it. (Can you hear your wallet cringing?) Do this dance a few more times, and this whole experience is starting to add up.


There is also the chance you get something you just won’t use. I received a three month subscription to a makeup box service a while back. I filled out a survey about my habits and was super pumped to receive a box tailored to my needs. The box arrived and the packaging was prettier than many wrapped gifts. The contents of box were a little disappointing and most of them are now collecting dust because I feel too guilty to throw them away.


What About the Clothing?


While some of these boxes do help you avoid the rush of the mall or the hassle of sorting through the sales rack, a lot of these services allow you to keep what you want and return the rest. Great, right?


Well, if you are someone who is not good at this, it’s going to get expensive. Cue the image of that Zappos box in the corner of the room, waiting for you to print the return label, pack it up, and bring it to your local UPS box. (You know who you are, and your wallet is begging you to run from this type of service.)


How About the Meal Kits?


You are kidding yourself if you are thinking you are doing this because it is saving you time and money. I know I hate buying a $7 jar of some obscure spice I may use once if the recipe even works out. However, the average cost of a home cooked meal is $2 to $4 per person. Don’t believe me, look here. The average cost of your meal delivery kit is $10 per person.


The real kicker here is, these portions may not actually satisfy your hunger. I once had the pleasure of experiencing meal delivery box. It was great! The small amounts of herbs were adorable; and while the box said it would serve two, well . . . I ate the whole thing. Which means, to properly feed my husband and me, we would need to order the meal box for four. Ouch!


Get Real.


I am not encouraging you to stop all your subscriptions, just have an honest look at all those boxes and determine what you are really using and what is really saving you time and money. How much do these boxes actually cost you? (Not sure, please consult your budgeting software for the cold hard truth.) How many items do you actually use? How many return windows have you missed?


Once you have this heart to heart with yourself, narrow these subscriptions down to ones you are getting the best use from and the most satisfaction and nix the rest.


Now that you have cancelled those subscription services; want to know what to do with this new found money? Click here to schedule an in person or virtual coffee.



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