September 27, 2015

Subscription Services: My Reviews of Stitch Fix, Bookroo, Blue Apron and Kiwi Crate

I don't know why, but I'm kind of a sucker for trying out subscription services. I've been keeping an eye on Little Passports and the Nature Box; I think those might be my next experiment. But for now, I thought I'd offer quick reviews of four subscription services I've tried and liked.

  1. Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is a clothing subscription. You fill out a style profile, and pay $20. They send you a box with 5 items. If you keep an item, the $20 is applied toward it. I used it 3 years ago, pre-Juliet, and then took a break (before they added their maternity option!). I tried it again this summer, and was pleased with the things they sent me - a maxi skirt, a pair of jeans, and 3 tops - but I just couldn't quite justify spending that much on clothes (the skirt was $50, the jeans were $80, and the tops ranged from $30-$50). So I kept one gorgeous blouse, and returned the rest. Then I used the style cards they sent in the box, and went hunting for similar items at Old Navy and H&M. It forced me out of my comfort zone, and made me buy clothes that weren't my usual style at all, but that actually looked great on me. So I'm thinking in a month or two I'll do another Fix, and get some winter inspiration! It's so helpful to have a stylist pick things out for me, to give me ideas, since I'm not naturally a particularly stylish person.
  2. Bookroo. Bookroo is a children's book subscription. For $20 a month you either get 2 picture books, or 3 board books, which come adorably wrapped. You can find my full Bookroo review here. It's already a pretty great deal, but if you sign up via my link, you'll save $4 more.
  3. Blue Apron. Blue Apron has a couple of different tiers of meals and pricing, but basically you spend about $60 a week, and they mail you food and recipes for 3 meals. You get to choose 3 out of 6 options; the meals we got were delicious - shrimp & grits, basil-tomato burgers, and Thai chicken - and the ingredients were super fresh, with easy-to-follow recipes. My only beef (ha!) is that it took a lot of pots and pans and bowls, and because it was portioned for two, there weren't leftovers. If I'm gonna make that many dishes dirty, I want leftovers out of it! I was thinking if I sign up again, I'd do the 4 person meal, even if it is just for Noel and I, and then get leftovers for another meal.
  4. Kiwi Crate. We LOVE Kiwi Crate. It's a monthly craft subscription. We got a subscription for about 6 months when Eleanor was nearly 4. She enjoyed it a lot, but I had to help her quite a bit with the projects. So we took a break, and then got a 3 month subscription for her 5th birthday. She's at the perfect age where she can do everything without assistance from me (as long as I'm prepared to do some glue-wiping/paint-scrubbing afterward). She ends up making really cute things - in the last box she made a little fish lantern that actually lit up! I like that the boxes are themed, so the two crafts are related, and it comes with a little "magazine" that offers more tips and projects. I think 1 box contains plenty of supplies for 2 kids; if you have more than 2, you can make it a "sibling subscription" for $10 more per month, and then you get additional supplies.
Overall, I think Kiwi Crate and Bookroo are the best bang for the buck - but that's probably because I'm more willing to spend money on my kids than myself. Also, I'm a cheapskate when it comes to clothes, and I tend to be a pretty adventurous cook anyway. I think Blue Apron would be perfect for novice cooks, or for busy professionals who don't have time to grocery shop/meal plan. And Stitch Fix is probably also better for professionals - I mean, I can pretty much wear yoga pants every day if I want to! 

What subscriptions do YOU like?

P.S. The Stitch Fix link is my affiliate link. If you sign up, I get $25 credit! And FYI - I wasn't paid or perked by any of these companies for this post! I just got to thinking that I've tried several different things now, and I should share my feedback with you.