The holidays are coming up fast, but this year you can make your shopping easy with these 16 subscription boxes for everyone on your Christmas list.
One Size Fits All
If you’re a person, who dreads Christmas shopping because you never know what the people on your list might like then you were thrilled with the invention of gift cards. No more decision making, no more wrong sizes, no more guessing. You could give everyone a gift card and call it a day.
But some people are offended when they receive a gift card because it’s so impersonal. Now, I think these people are ridiculous, but some people are more sensitive than I am I suppose.
So what can you get someone who wants something more personal than a gift card but still doesn’t require too much knowledge of their specific likes and dislikes?
Subscription boxes can fit that bill perfectly. Giving a subscription box as a gift shows that you put some thought into the present but doesn’t require you to know exactly what is it the person you’re buying for wants.
All you need to choose the perfect subscription boxes for everyone on your Christmas list is a general sense of their interests and of course, this excellent list! Giving the gift of subscription boxes is also a nice way to keep the Christmas gift giving spirit going beyond the holiday season. Most subscription boxes offer subscriptions lasting anywhere from three months to an entire year.
Ready? Great, let’s get shopping.
For the Foodies
Pretty much everyone likes to eat, so food based subscription boxes are going to be almost universally popular. I did not include meal delivery subscription boxes like Hello Fresh or Plated. I think those types of food boxes are really personal and you would have to know a persons eating, shopping, and cooking habits intimately to know whether or not they would enjoy such a service.
Are they Paleo or Vegan? How many nights a week do they want to cook? Do they really love going food shopping and choosing their own ingredients? For those reasons, we focused on food subscription boxes that are not meant to be made into meals.
I have a real soft spot for Zingerman’s as I lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the company is located, after college. Zingerman’s has a little bit of everything, and I do mean everything. If you desire honey made by bees who only ate lavender from the western side of a hill in Provence, Zingerman’s has it.
They are perhaps best known for their bread and for a good reason, it’s extraordinary. Once you have your first taste of Zingerman’s bread, pre-cut supermarket bread in a plastic bag will be beneath your contempt.
Zingerman’s offers all kinds of subscription boxes for everything from bread to cheese to bacon. Subscriptions from Zingerman’s aren’t cheap but the food they sell is well worth every cent, and they are also known for their outstanding customer service. If there is someone on your gift list you are trying to impress, a subscription box from Zingerman’s will do it.
The bread club ranges from $70-$400, the artisan cheese club from $200-$390, and the bacon club from $99-$189 and there are several other options as well. Take my advice and give this gift on the condition that you get an invite for at least one box unveiling. Or maybe just buy a Zingerman’s subscription box for yourself!
2. Cajun Crate
Here’s another one close to my heart. I’m just a filthy Yankee transplant, but Lousiana has wonderful food and a wonderful food culture. I don’t dare cook Cajun or Creole dishes for the locals because I don’t want to offend them with my meager efforts but I’ll make them for my fellow filthy transplants who don’t know if my roux for the gumbo is too light.
If you know someone enamored with the flavors of Louisiana, they will be delighted with a subscription box from Cajun Crate. Each box contains at least seven full-size products all made in Louisiana. Some past items have included Slap Ya Mama hot sauce, Daigle’s Cajun Grillin’ Blend, River Road Coffee, and Pat O’Brien’s Bloody Mary Mix. Each box is $39.
3. Fuego Box
Is there someone in your life who likes things a little caliente? Then they will love Fuego Box. Fuego curates hot sauces from all over the world, no Tabasco or Crystal in these boxes. You can choose the heat levels; mild, medium, hot, and extra hot.
Prices range from $12.95-$29.95 per month.
4. Jerky Snob
If you have a Paleo or Keto diet follower on your gift list, they will love this one! Beef jerky is a staple of both diets because it’s high protein, low carb, and easily portable. But beef jerky is expensive, especially the good quality jerky. Jerky Snob has very affordable subscriptions though!
Prices range from $15-$54 per month.
5. Spice Madam
If you don’t have a big or an international grocery near you, it can be hard to find what might be considered “exotic” spices. And if you like to experiment with international dishes, it can be frustrating not to be able to buy all of the spices you need for a recipe.
That’s why Spice Madam is a great gift idea for adventurous cooks with adventurous palates.
Each box includes 10-15 items and contains spices, seeds, culinary blends, recipe cards, and a music playlist so the soundtrack can be as exotic as the meal. All items are vegetarian and gluten-free, and the box is just $20 a month! If you know someone who likes to cook and try new flavors, this is your gift.
For Jewelry Lovers
You might think a jewelry subscription would be really expensive and some of them are. But at Frugal For Less, we aren’t going to suggest gifts that will break your budget, so we skipped the Harry Winston box and chose some more affordable ones instead!
6. Emma & Chloe
I’m a Francophile and love the French fashion esthetic, so I subscribed to Emma & Chloe for about eight months. Each piece was really beautiful and of high quality. I canceled my subscription because I tend to wear the same pieces of jewelry regularly so while getting a new piece every month was fun, I felt like I had enough jewelry.
Emma & Chloe offers a choice of gold, silver, or a mix of both and pierced or clip earrings. Occasionally the item is a ring, but it’s the kind of ring that is open in the back and can be pinched around your finger, so it fits, no need for sizing.
Boxed start at $35 and the site often runs sales and specials, so if you see something from a previous box that catches your eye, you can order it.
The mintMONGOOSE subscription box might be the best value on this list. Each box includes four pieces of jewelry and two accessories. You can choose gold, gold rose, or silver. The cost for all this loot? Just $22.99 per month.
If you’re buying jewelry for someone, your relationship is probably a little closer than the one you have with co-workers or that woman you always chat with at the gym. But you might not be entirely certain what their particular jewelry style is. That’s why you’ll love Jewlybox.
When you are signing up for the subscription, you can take a style quiz that will help the company match their products to the recipient’s style.
You might not be able to answer every question with 100% accuracy since it’s about another person, but the questions are general enough that you can answer well enough for the family member or friend you’re buying the gift for.
They won’t know you took the quiz though so it will just look like you know them so well you chose the perfect gift! We won’t tell. Subscriptions start at $29 per month.
Don’t Forget the Kids
I’ve never spent much time around kids so don’t know what they like or don’t like or even what is age appropriate. But my boyfriend has kids so I’ve had to learn a thing or two about what they like.
Children have enough junky plastic toys that they play with for two minutes and then break or throw away to sit in a landfill not decomposing for a few hundred years, so I’ve included gift ideas to help kids learn or create.
9. OwlCrate Jr
Books were my favorite gifts when I was a kid, and they are still my favorite gifts now. I would have loved this gift when I was a kid.
The books from Owlcrate Jr are intended for boys and girls aged 8 to 12. Each month kids will receive a hardcover book and a signed bookplate from the author. Each box also includes things related to the theme of that month’s book.
Past themes have included Hidden Gems, Monster Mash, and Myth & Might. Each box is $27.99.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. If you want your kids to be able to pay off their student loans before they retire, you might consider encouraging them to be major in one of those areas when they start thinking about college.
And since it’s never too early to start them on the right path, you can get started with this really cool subscription box from Amazon.
There are boxes appropriate for three age ranges. The toys for kids between 3 and 4 will help teach counting, building, cause, and effect. For the 5 to 7-year-olds, hands-on experiments, and explorations of electricity, earth science, and simple math. For those ages 8 to 13, more complex projects and experiments based on the principals of physics, chemistry, and engineering.
The toys are from various brands and at different price points, but each box is just $19.99.
This one is so cool you might co-opt it from whatever kid you buy it for! Little Passports boxes teach children about different countries and cultures from all across the world. The boxes include items like stickers, games, toys, recipes, and puzzles.
The cost ranges from $14.95 to $21.95 per box, and there are boxes appropriate for four age groups; Early Explorers for ages 3 to 5, World Edition for ages 6 to 10, USA Edition for ages 7 to 12, and Science Expeditions for ages 9 and up.
For That One Person Who Has Everything
We all seem to have at least one person on our shopping list who is impossible to buy for because he or she already has everything. Sometimes this is because the person loves shopping and buys whatever they want for themselves. Sometimes it’s because the person has a minimalist attitude and really doesn’t want or need anything.
Whichever type your hard to buy for person is, there is a subscription box that will be perfect for them.
Here is a box that not only gives the recipient a unique gift, but that does some good in the world too. Anchor of Hope boxes contain items like jewelry, accessories, artwork, and ceramics and each item is made by refugees, human trafficking survivors, and others in vulnerable situations.
Each box contains two to four handmade items, costs $34, and the proceeds go directly to the artisans who create the items.
This is a great option for the traveler or would-be traveler on your gift list. The Explore Local Box features locally made foods from small businesses from different cities across the United States. Past boxes have explored local foods from Boston, Brooklyn, and Albuquerque.
Each box contains half a dozen or so items and is $39.99.
14. The Burlap Bag
Candles might seem like a bit of a Christmas gift cliche but not the candles at The Burlap Bag. Each candle is made of soy wax and 9 ounces which translates to 70 or more burning hours. Each candle has a fun, silly name like Unicorn Puke, Gimme Coffee, and Mermaid Magic.
If you don’t have a candle lover on your list, but you love candles, you might want to give this one to yourself. These candles retail for $20, but when you buy a subscription, you’ll only pay $15!
Most of us need razors, even minimalists so this gift won’t be added to the pile of unwanted tchockes minimalists have received as Christmas gifts over the years (and probably tossed or re-gifted). And if you’re going to use a razor, you want it to be a good one. Dollar Shave Club razor blades are great. I’ve used them for a couple of years. They are multi-bladed and sturdy.
When you buy a subscription, the recipient will receive a razor handle and four six-blade cartridges for $9. After that, they will receive four replacement cartridges each month (in one order) for just $9. If you don’t need six-blade cartridges, you can opt for the four blade option. The first order comes with the razor handle the recipient will receive four refill cartridges each month for just $6.
This is a great deal. Those multi-blade razor cartridges in a drug store cost way more than the good quality blades you’ll get from Dollar Shave Club and you’ll never run out as you can four new ones each month. This might be another one you want to buy as a gift but get one for yourself as well.
When the hardcore minimalist on your list says, “Don’t get me anything,” they mean it. But you still want to show your love or gratitude for them. You just have to do it without cluttering up their house!
Making a recurring donation to a charity that is important to someone is a great gift, a meaningful gift that the recipient will appreciate and will help a cause close to their heart.
If you know the person well enough to buy them a gift, you surely have some idea what causes they care about, animal welfare, civil liberties, child hunger, homelessness. Whatever it is, there is a charity dedicated to it. Just be sure to do some research before making a donation.
There are plenty of charities out there that pay top-level staff absurd salaries, so you want to make sure your money is going to help a cause and not pay some CEO’s bloated salary.
When you make a donation in the name of another person, many charities will send that person an acknowledgment of your gift so they will have a physical representation of your generous gift.
Thinking of You
Gift subscription boxes and such a thoughtful gift to give and such a fun gift to receive. There are so many options to choose from that cover a huge range of interests including rather niche interests and every age from infants to teens to adults. You can find subscription boxes for everyone on your Christmas list.
When we hear the word subscription, we think of signing up for a whole year of something but you don’t have to do that with most subscription boxes. Some of them let you order a one-off box, some are month to month and some offer three, six, nine, and twelve-month subscriptions.
So if you like one of the boxes on this list but paying for an entire year’s worth of them is out of your price range, you can order fewer boxes.
Not only will subscription boxes allow you to get something everyone, but there also is no fighting traffic or crowds of fellow shoppers at the mall, no gift wrapping, and no shipping required. A gift your recipient will love and a stress-free (or less stressful anyway!) holiday season for you. Ho ho ho!