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Monthly Subscription Boxes: A Roundup of The Best Subscription Boxes (and Weirdest)

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

If you like this post, check out my post on flash sale sites for fashion and decor at sample sale prices. Also check out my post on a SECRET way to get up to 40% off online stores even when they don’t list a promo code! Last, check out one of the most popular posts on Hello Foxy – a roundup of websites where you can get dirt cheap prescription glasses.

Monthly Subscription Boxes: The Best and the Weirdest

Guys, I’m really into monthly subscription boxes. For the uninitiated, monthly subscription boxes are exactly what they sound like – boxes that you receive every month, like a magazine subscription. The boxes contain a grab bag of surprise items based on some broad preferences you’ve set, and often surrounding a specific theme. The first monthly subscription box I remember hearing about was Birchbox. Then came Julep.

And then? And then the world went crazy.

From paleo to protein powder, from dog treats to dirty photos, from fashion to food to fishing (!), there is officially a monthly subscription box for every possible thing you have ever, never thought of. This monthly subscription box thing has gotten out of hand. And by “out of hand,” I mean, “please order one of each and send them to my house.”

Here’s a list of some of the best subscription boxes the internet has to offer.

p.s. If you get REALLY caught up in the craze, you can even start your OWN monthly subscription box.

Beauty Subscription Boxes for Women

Two words: Nail. Polish. Oprah hand-picked this month’s bounty so y’all know it’s good (she does not play). One thing I really like about this one is that they send you a preview each month so that you can skip it if you want or even send it to a friend as a gift. It takes away the element of surprise that I love about subscription boxes, but it also takes away some of the risk.

The thing I love MOST about Julep is that the nail polishes are all the exact same bottle so they line up pretty nicely on your shelf, which matters to me because I’m THAT person.

New Mavens can customize their box as much (or as little) as they like. Sign up for 1 month and pay $24.99/month, or sign up for 3 months and pay only $19.99/month. Take the Maven Style Quiz and enter FREEBOX at checkout to get your first box free.

UPDATE (8-21-14): Right now you can get the Fall Neutrals Limited Edition Welcome Box for FREE if you’re a new subscriber. This four piece set is valued at over $60 but when you enter code FREEFALL all you have to pay is the $2.99 shipping. This offer is only for a limited time so if by the time you try this it’s already gone, don’t blame me! I’m just the messenger, I don’t make the rules.

What's Your Style

This service has three different monthly subscription boxes to choose from: a beauty box, a fashion accessories box, and an intimates box (that means undies). (More on those in the fashion subscription boxes section below.) The beauty subscription box will have 4 to 5 full-sized premium makeup products each month. 

$120+ in Beauty, Fitness, Fashion, and Wellness Finds for only $49.99 per season. Full-size, premium products delivered 4 times per year.

With Beauty Box 5, you’ll get five super sized samples from brands like Weleda, Aveeno, John Frieda, Hard Candy, and Aveeno. This differs from some of the other beauty boxes on this list because the samples are for affordable products you can find at a drugstore or Target, so if you like something you try, you might actually buy the full sized product without breaking the bank. Save $45 by purchasing a full year’s subscription at once.

I’m sure Birchbox wasn’t the first company on earth to market subscription boxes, but they’re the first one I ever heard of. You tell them some basic stuff about you (skin type, hair type, etc.) and then every month they send you an adorable little box full of sample size products (but, like, BIG samples – think travel size) – hand cream, hair products, perfume – and you don’t know what’s coming until you get it. After you get your box if there’s anything inside that you love (I usually like almost everything), you can buy it at a discounted price in their online store.

The only people I would steer away from Birchbox are people who (a) have suuuuuper sensitive skin or (b) don’t really like makeup and beauty products. Because you’re gonna get a lot of them.

This is one of the cheapest subscription boxes on this list so it’s a good gateway drug if you’re new to the subscription boxes world.

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These beauty subscription boxes for women are specially designed for women of color. They include brands like Kind, OPI, Black Halo, and Carol’s Daughter. They also have a rewards program so that you can get free boxes by completing surveys, reviewing products, and referring your friends.

This beauty subscription box sounds a lot like Birchbox. Every month GLOSSYBOX sends you five deluxe-sized luxury (read: normally super expensive) beauty products. The stuff they put in there looks like the real deal. No skimpy perfume samples here.

For $19.99/mo you’ll get a box full of at least $40 worth of full-sized e.l.f. makeup products.

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Fashion Subscription Boxes for Women

Stitch Fix is probably the most popular fashion subscription box on this list. Create a style profile, receive five hand-picked items selected by their professional stylists, keep what you like and send the rest back. You know the drill! The “styling fee” is $20/mo but you can put that toward anything you end up purchasing – and if you buy all five things, you get 25% off your whole order! You can select your own price range but the average cost of each item is $65 – this is nice stuff.

This service has three different monthly subscription boxes for women: a beauty box, a fashion accessories box, and an intimates box (that means undies).

jewelry monthly subscription boxThe intimates box contains 4-5 personalized, premium essentials from brands like Betsey Johnson, Muk Luks, and Steve Madden. The fashion accessories box comes with 3-4 boutique accessories such as jewelry, scarves, and sunglasses. The beauty box will have 4 to 5 full-sized premium makeup products each month. And of course there’s a style quiz!

$9/mo. A new amazing pair of sunglasses every month. I subscribed to service for about a year and it was so much fun, though I eventually had to take a break because I was finally obtaining new sunglasses faster than I could lose them. Enter code HELLOFOXY to get 25% off your first month.

StyleMint is the brainchild of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (or their empire at least). For this one, you take a style quiz (are you sick of style quizzes yet? no, me neither) and then every month they pick one item for you based on your style. Once they announce the item, you have five days to decide if you want it or not. If you want it, they send it to you and you’re charged $29.95 (but this is for high fashion stuff that would normally be wayyyy more than that). If you don’t want it, you skip payment for that month.

BUT HERE IS THE TRICK. It’s basically a monthly subscription of $29.95 so if you forget to tell them you don’t want the thing, you have to pay for it whether you want it or not. For someone who regularly sets things on fire in her kitchen because she forgets to turn off the stove, this is basically like playing Russian roulette with my wallet. But kind of exciting?

Oh, and also – you earn points for purchases and referrals and you can use those points on any of StyleMint‘s sister sites: ShoeMint, JewelMint, and IntiMint.

Subscription Boxes for Men

These boxes are marketed to men but are really for anyone who shaves, enjoys fishing, likes masculine shit or is just fly as hell.

Endorsed by celebrities as varied as Aziz Ansari, Zac Efron, Gerard Butler, and Jay Z, Five Four Club will fill your closet with stylish pieces for just $60/mo.

For a flat $25/mo you (or your dapper pal or loved one) will get a classy, 100% silk tie in your choice of styles: skinny, whimsical, or business. Fellas, step up.

Mantry, pantry – get it? It’s a pantry for men! I guess men don’t normally eat food (so girly!). Anyway, they have a real pretty website and their shit looks fan-cy. Each month you’ll receive 6-8 full-sized small batch, artisan food products, packaged in a signature wood crate handmade in Brooklyn. Can’t make this stuff up, folks. Mantry!

High end men’s fashion hand-packed in a literal trunk in Chicago by your own personal stylist. You tell them your style and your measurements and they send you a trunk of fancy clothes. Try on the clothes at home for free, pay for anything you choose to keep and send the rest back free of charge. Prices are comparable to high-end stores: $170+ for jeans, $100+ for casual shirts, $100-300 for sweaters.

A monthly subscription of fishing tackle! Officially the only box on this list that my father would be interested in. (p.s. Also a good last minute gift idea.)

“Outstanding fabric choice. Intelligent Design. Limited Edition. The finest quality, weighted with a balance you can feel right in your hand. A sleek slim package appears on your doorstep every month.” Plans start at $32/mo.

Bombfell is a monthly clothing club for men. Every item is handpicked by a personal stylist, they also use algorithmic recommendations based on fit and style to help find you clothes you’ll love.

bombfell fashion subscription box for men

Your picks will feature clothing from both well-known and up-and-coming labels and brands, including Ben Sherman, Original Penguin, French Connection, Threads 4 Thought, DIBI, Mavi, Farah, Toscano, Domestic Workwear, BTNS, Howe and Descendant of Thieves. Free shipping both ways – only pay for the clothes you keep.

The Hunt Club is a home try-on program in which you select three high-end men’s clothing and accessory items, try them on at home, then choose to keep them or send them back. Free shipping, free returns. Anything you keep you pay for, and you get 8% back on your purchase in store credit. Also included: personal recommendations from Frank & Oak’s curators and access to exclusive products.

Frank & Oak is run by two childhood friends in Montreal – super neat! They also use recycled products for their shipping and packaging materials. Shop through this link and get $25 back on your first purchase.

Pocket squares for all your pocket square needs. If you don’t know an individual dapper enough to need a monthly pocket square subscription, then I suggest you broaden the sphere of your acquaintance.

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

I’m just going to paste the ad copy for this one: Svscription is “… a new ser­vice for men that deliv­ers lux­ury, curated prod­ucts and expe­ri­ences to your door. Mem­ber­ship enti­tles you to a new par­cel with a unique theme every three months. Each par­cel con­tains prod­ucts that inter­sect design, cul­ture, tech­nol­ogy, apparel and entertainment.” Previous themes: Leisure, Study and Travel. Sounds fancy! I think the “v” instead of “u” is because of olden times.

Subscription Boxes for Kids and Parents

Get a monthly crate delivered to your door with fun, hands-on activities for your kiddos. Boxes include arts & crafts projects and science activities and are designed for kids ages 3-8. Kiwi Crate has been featured in InStyle, Parenting Magazine, and US Weekly, and was awarded Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products, Parent’s Choice Gold Award, and an Oppenheim Gold Seal Best Toy Award – whew, that’s a lot! I don’t even know what those mean, but they sound impressive.

Kids subscription boxes make great gifts for new parents. With Citrus Lane, you get a box of age-appropriate toys and healthy snacks for your little one. The stuff is SO cute. Best for babies, toddlers, and preschool aged kids.

Citrus Lane | Adorable Kids Monthly Subscription Box

Peekapak is “a hands-on storytelling adventure designed for busy parents to inspire imagination and learning in their children ages 3-7.” These are simple craft projects for small children that come with a story, told through characters that span over each month.

This eco-friendly monthly subscription box for kids ages 3-10 has several options to choose from: art kits, science kits, even birthday party packages. Subscription boxes start at $16.95 and come with all kinds of educational and creative projects for kids, designed by experts to build confidence, flex creativity and engage kids with the world around them.

Green Kid Crafts uses only safe, sustainable materials to create their products and they’ve been certified carbon neutral. They also donate a portion of every sale to environmental charities!

Happy Trunk offers two different boxes. One is for ages 3-7, the other for kids 8-11.

Pen pals Sam and Sofia send your child a package from a different country each month – an activity, a letter, a souvenir, and other goodies. The “World Edition” of Little Passports is designed for kids between 5-10 years old. The “USA Edition” is geared toward kids 7-12.

Austin Lloyd is a subscription of 4-5 engaging and educational toys for children under the age of 3. Delivered right to your door, the toys are customized to the age and development stage of the child, with a focus on developing fine motor and cognitive skills.

This is a gender neutral box of activities for kids and dads to do together. Activities are designed for kids ages 5-9 and total contents of each box are valued at $100+. Each box contains an activity book that guides you through the theme and the contents of the box, a bedtime story, and a themed dinner menu with recipes. And when you’re done, the shipping box converts into a toy!

This magical little subscription service is designed for kids 6 & up. From the site: “You or your child will get two letters a month written by middle-grade and young adult authors like Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler, Adam Rex, Kerry Madden, Natalie Standiford, Susan Patron, Rebecca Stead, Cecil Castellucci, and more.

Some of the letters will be illustrated. Some will be written by hand. Some will be in color, some will be in black and white. It’s hard to say! We’ll copy the letters, fold them, put them in an envelope, put a first class stamp on the envelope, and send the letters to you (or your child, it’s up to you who to put in the shipping address).

Many of the authors will include a mailing address on their letter so you can write back. But we can’t guarantee it. We can’t control these people. Some of them live in the woods.” The subscription is just $5.50/mo. What a cool idea for kids! (Or adults for that matter.)

Science spy kits and top secret missions mailed to a kid every month – secret missions include spy gear, disguise kits, fingerprint analysis, decoders, get-away cars, target practice, bird watching (yes, bird watching), bouncy balls and more. This box was created by a mom and her 8-year-old son. I would have flipped my lid for this box as a kid. I actually kind of want it now. Enter code HELLOFOXY10 for 10% off between now and 12/31/14.

From the good people at Pley: “Pley is the first ever LEGO rental service. We are building the next generation of play, allowing families to consume educational toys in a more affordable and convenient manner. Leveraging collaborative consumption, we aim to raise a more creative and skillful generation that follows the principles of open-ended play and waste reduction, while emphasizing the benefits of sharing and giving back to the community.” Basically, what you need to know is that you can rent LEGOs from them. And they have lots of cool LEGO sets. Awesome!

Enter code SHARE50 to get half off your first month of Bluum!

Sign up for the Large Bow of the Month Club and every month you’ll get a huge, festive bow to put on your baby’s head for five minutes until she pulls it off. But it will be a really cute five minutes!

Subscription Boxes for Pets

It’s exactly what it sounds like. A monthly subscription of poop bags for walking your dog! Or, you know, your baby elephant. Might want to order the four-bagger in that case, though. Choose between eco-friendly bags (lavender-scented) or compostable (unscented) and two, three, or four bags per day.


For $30/mo, you’ll get 3-6 fun products for your furry friend. Ruff ruff! (Or meow.)

Give them your dog’s name and his birthday and BarkBox will send a care package for your pooch full of fun toys and treats, even shampoo and leashes. Happy doggie! Plus, 10% of the proceeds go to an animal rescue, so you’re basically doing two good things at once. Who are you, Mother Teresa?

Premium toys, treats and chews, delivered monthly. You answer some questions about your pet and then they create a “monthly showroom” for you where you can select your favorite items out of the ones they select for you. You can always skip a month.

Cat Hampurr offers UK subscription boxes for cats. Subscriptions start at £11.95 per month.

Food Subscription Boxes (and Cocktail Subscription Boxes!)

Candy, Chocolate and Other Sweets

This might be my favorite box. Candy Japan is a box of candy sent twice a month, direct from Japan. Guys, this one comes TWICE a month. And it’s candy! From Japan! Which means it probably has cute animals on it and is made from something you would not normally think to put in candy. WIN-WIN. Also, shipping is free, even to the US. 

Treatsie is a curated box of artisan treats. Recent months included rosemary & cashew caramel popcorn, Willamette Valley raspberry pâte de fruit, sea salt & bourbon vanilla caramels, Grey Ghost Bakery lemon sugar cookies, and zested lime truffles. Yes. Please. 

This one’s only for Brits – hooray for UK subscription boxes! Shipping chocolate is a dicey affair so these guys only mail within the UK. After your introductory box of The Chocolate Club, you can decide if you want to continue – if you do, you’ll get a box of chocolates every month for £19.95. You can cancel any time.

With plans starting at just $13/mo, you’ll get a box of deluxe dessert treats delivered to your door every month.

treat subscription box

Um, thanks, I’m going to need all of those.

Beer, Wine and Cocktails

This wine of the month club has three options: the Elevant Society Wine Club (six little-known wines in the $12-15 range),  the World of Wine Club (six wines from all over the world in the $15-20 range), and the American Cellars Wine Club (two premium, hand-selected wines in the $29-35 range). Each of these subscriptions kicks off with 1 cent shipping and 50% off your first crate.

Club W is my favorite wine of the month club – I’ve bought bottles for $13 that were usually as much as $37 when I researched them online. Wines that have scores of up to 95/100 on Wine Spectator! This site has you answer some interesting questions to create a personalized palate profile, then they recommend specific wines for you to try. You choose 3 bottles a month for $39 (+ $6 shipping) or 6 bottles for $78 and shipping is free.

California Wine Club owners Bruce and Pam pick out a different wine each month to send you as a “friend recommending a great bottle of wine to another friend.” There are five options to choose from: Premier Series (the most popular), Signature Series (fancypants stuff), International Selections (wines from small “mom & pop” wineries around the world), Aged Cabernet Series (Napa Cabs aged 8-12 years) and Pacific Northwest Series (limited-production, award-winning wines from Oregon and Washington). 

Lot 18 is awesome. For $9.95, they send you six mini bottles of wine, you taste them, then you go on their website and rate each of the wines to create your own taste profile. Then every three months they’ll send you a case of wine that matches your taste! The wine works out to about $7 per bottle. 

Gold Medal Wine Club boasts wine at up to 45% off winery retail. For $35/mo (or more for the fancier membership levels) you get two award-winning, hard-to-find wines from boutique wineries in California. 

For as low as $21.95 plus tax + shipping, Wine of the Month Club will send you two bottles of wine each month. You can choose to receive only red wine, only white, or one of each.

Wines in the Williams-Sonoma Wine Club range from $15-60 per bottle, depending on how fancy you want to get. They’re carefully curated from hundreds of wine that are tasted and are sent in shipments of 6 bottles along with Williams-Sonoma recipes that pair with each bottle.

Get a dozen 12 oz craft beers every month. There are four kinds of beer (three bottles of each) in each pack. You can choose to receive shipments monthly, every other month, or quarterly. Sweet! 

Lybations has four “Discovery Club” options: beer, wine, tequila and vodka. These range from four hand-selected, award-winning micro-brews (that’s four 750 ml bottles!) each month for $60 to eight 750 ml bottles of hand-crafted, small-batch premium tequila every three months for $385. THIS IS SOME FANCY ASS SHIT. Into it.

Coffee & Tea

Every month Simple Loose Leaf Team of the Month Club has a new menu of teas to choose from, always including a black tea, a green tea, a white tea, an oolong or pu’erh tea, and a flavored tea. You can either get a sampler pack or choose your two favorites. If you join by 6/20/14 and enter code TEAPOT at checkout, you’ll get a free teapot with your first box of teas! Recent teas include Japanese Sencha Saga green tea, Russian caravan black tea, sweet peach white tea, Ti Kuan Tin oolong, and citrus hibiscus herbal tea. 

This monthly loose leaf tea subscription from Tea Sparrow is curated by a tea sommelier and a team of tasters. Each box contains enough tea to make 35-65 cups, depending how strong you like your tea. 

For as low as $18.49/mo Moustache Coffee Club will send you high quality coffee beans guaranteed to have been roasted within the past week. Each bag comes with a little card with a description of where the beans come from as well as tasting notes. 

If you or someone you know is a coffee nerd whose first task when traveling to a new city is to Yelp indie coffee shops, this is the subscription for you. For $19-30/mo (depending how much coffee you require), MistoBox will send you freshly roasted coffee beans from four hand-selected roasters like Anodyne, Victrola, Cartel Coffee Lab, and Passion House from right here in Chicago. Their site also has a ton of great information about coffee brewing. 

Pay $17 and Steepster will send you three pouches of premium looseleaf tea every month.

Snack Boxes

Love With Food is a crazy good deal. For $12/mo you get eight new gourmet foods delivered to your house PLUS they’ll donate a meal to a hungry child. Can’t beat that. I recently tried their low sugar, low carb, gluten-free flourless chocolate fudge torte (that’s a LOT of words) and it was U.N.R.E.A.L. So delicious. I’m going to pretend that “low sugar, low carb, gluten-free” is code for “feel free to eat the whole thing in one sitting.”

Oh, AND – get your first box free. Yup.

I love this one. For $6/mo Graze will send you four individually-packaged healthy snacks that they make onsite. You can make selections online so that they know what snacks you’re into and which ones make you want to gag (I hate anything with dried fruit in it but I love anything spicy). They’re trying to stay small so there might not be any openings when you click through, but ask around – if you know someone who has a subscription, they might give you a code! I already gave all of mine away, sadly. Otherwise, you can add your email to the waiting list. Oh, also – there’s a US and a UK version! International shipping, yeah! 

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Yumvelope throws a twist on the “subscription boxes” idea by putting your subscription in – get this – AN ENVELOPE. Crazy. For $21, you get six full-size, small-batch treats every month: snacks, desserts, drinks and chocolate. Honestly, envelope or not, I’m never going to turn down chocolate.

Other Food Subscription Boxes

This is exactly what it sounds like. Monthly rates range from $10 to $120 depending on which level you choose. For $18/mo + shipping New York Bagel of the Month Club will send you a dozen bagels fresh from Brooklyn. Every month! There are other options that include cream cheese, lox and traditional sweets. 

Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club partners with Zingerman’s, rated the #1 delicatessen in America by Zagat’s, to bring you three half-pound blocks of freshly-cut gourmet cheeses every month from boutique, traditional cheese makers all over the world. In their words: “You might receive an Italian Taleggio matured in the caves of Valsassina, a Gaperon, originating in France during the 1300s, and a traditional Lancashire by Ruth Kirkham… all in the same shipment.” This could be the perfect gift for a cheese lover. 

Taste Trunk offers four options for your monthly artisan food crate: gourmet, sweet, BBQ, or health. Subscriptions start at $23.99/mo. Each Trunk comes with 4-8 premium, hand-picked gourmet items. Individual recipe cards are printed on vintage card stock specifically for the products inside. These crates would work well as gifts – each trunk comes with vintage newsprint, wax seals, burgundy satin ribbon, tissue paper and crinkle cut padding. 

Tasteful Pantry offers two snack subscription boxes – one that is customized for dietary restrictions (out of gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, and nut-free), and one that is a gluten-free low carb box. They have a special going on right now for the Low Carb Box – anyone who signs up for an ongoing subscription between now and the end of July 2014 will get $3 off!

Health & Fitness Subscription Boxes

FabFitFun offers $120+ in Beauty, Fitness, Fashion, and Wellness Finds for only $49.99 per season. Full-size, premium products delivered 4 times per year. 

Urthbox is a monthly collection of healthy snacks, beverages, and more. Focusing on non-GMO, organic and all natural products, everything you receive is full-size, not a sample. Boxes start at $19/mo and contain up to 30 full-size products for up at $100 value. Choose from classic, vegan, gluten-free, or diet boxes. 

KLUTCHclub is a subscription boxes service that sends you a curated box of 9-12 health and wellness products every month. They guarantee that every box will include at least $50 of snacks, beverages, supplements, personal care products, workout dvds, healthy subscriptions and even gift cards. There are separate subscription boxes for women, men, and even moms and they range from $16-18/mo depending on how many months you pay for in advance.

More exciting are their specialty boxes which are $25/mo but are more specially tailored – current offerings are gluten-free subscription boxes, weight loss subscription boxes, beauty subscription boxes, subscription boxes for kids, and a “best of” box that contains the best of all worlds. A recent Best Of box included a bottle of HonestTea, a Kind bar, and a Lumosity subscription, among other things. KLUTCHclub also offers discounts on full-sized products of the samples they send. 

This fitness subscription box ships monthly and comes with 5-10 supplement samples and a workout from a Muscle & Fitness magazine editor. Subscribers also get a free one-year magazine subscription to Muscle & Fitness, FLEX, Muscle & Fitness Hers, or Men’s Fitness. Right now, get 10% off protein bars with code BARS10

Healthy Surprise is another healthy snack box, this one starts at $40/mo for 16-20 servings of healthy treats. All snacks are gluten-free, soy-free and vegan. 

This company offers a variety of all vegan boxes. There’s a vegan snack box, a vegan beauty box, and then a wide and ever-changing selection of gift boxes and treat bags such as a truffle box (yes!), a vegan pet supply box, and a RawJuvenate vegan juice organic detox box. You can also order a healthy vegan starter kit to get you packed and on the road to dietary holiness. 

For $10/mo Bulu Box will send you a new mix of 4 to 5 premium samples of health, nutrition and weight loss products. Order a whole year in advance and get one month free. 

Happy Belly Box looks great for anyone who is vegan, doing a raw food diet, trying to lose weight, eating gluten-free, following a paleo diet or just looking for healthy snacks. They have delish sounding foods like banana walnut bites, gluten-free brownie bites, and chipotle chia crackers (what? I think that sounds good!). Through 12/31/13, if you enter code friends at checkout you can get 10% off your order.

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The Paleo craze has hit the subscription boxes market! Get Paleo-friendly snacks delivered to your door with this monthly subscription PaleoPax. This service is so popular that there’s a waiting list right now to join. As of this writing, there were 221 people ahead of you, so you better get on that. 

For $26.95, Sprig sends you a box with 10-13 servings of healthy, 100% gluten-free snacks. Products from previous boxes include: rosemary and orange pecans, organic cocoa nibs and gluten-free carrot chips. Picky eaters need not apply.

Travel Subscription Boxes

Candy Japan might be my favorite box. It’s a box of candy sent twice a month, direct from Japan. Guys, this one comes TWICE a month. And it’s candy! From Japan! Which means it probably has cute animals on it and is made from something you would not normally think to put in candy. WIN-WIN. Also, shipping is free, even to the US.

For $49.95/mo receive a monthly box of luxury items from all over the world. The average value of each Escape Monthly box is over $100 and each month is themed with a different destination. The most exciting part is that every month, one lucky subscriber wins a trip to the actual destination! Past destinations were Italy, Vermont, Hawaii, and the Pacific Northwest.

With Try the World, every two months you’ll receive a box full of gourmet treats from a different city around the world. The first box, shipping this month, is Paris. The next box, which ships in August, will be Tokyo. The box that ships in October will be goodies from Rio. Enter code HELLOFOXYTRAVELS for $10 off your first box!

Batch is a monthly subscription box tour of the South. There’s a Batch Nashville, a Batch Charleston, a Batch New Orleans, a Batch Birmingham, a Batch Austin, and a Tour of Virginia. Each box contains products that are special to that geographic area. Best of all, the site has a great selection of gifts. Enter code BATCHTASTIC for 10% off (only valid on seasonal and gift batches, not on regular subscription).

Select jewelry, home decor, or accessories, then for $29.99/mo you’ll receive up to 3-4 handcrafted items, created by an artisan from somewhere around the world, as well as a printed story about that artisan. The artisan’s set their own prices and they receive 100% of that price, plus the company (GlobeIn) invests an additional 10% of each item’s sale price back into the country of origin. Pretty cool.

For $25/mo Hammock Pack will send you everything you need for your “stay-cation.” Some previous themes were Italy, Camping and Beach Day.

Underwear Subscription Boxes

If you’re at work, beware when clicking any of these links!

“Underwear on autopilot.” Have a new, stylish pair of boxers delivered to your door each month for as low as about $27/mo. You can even order a pair of socks with it for an extra $10. First month socks are free. 

This service has subscriptions for men and women. Answer a few questions about your preferences and they’ll recommend a pair for about $16. It’s kind of boring because you get to see what they are before they come, but on the other hand… you get to see what they are before they come. Which is nice. The site’s real cute. Right now if you sign up for their newsletter you’ll get $5 off your first order + free shipping. AND you’ll get a $20 gift card for every friend you refer! 

This one’s an underwear of the month club just for men and let’s just say… there are some very attractive men on that website. I would not click that link if your boss is standing behind you, but if your boss is NOT standing behind you then I would DEFINITELY, DEFINITELY CLICK IT. Ahem. 

This one also has subscriptions for both women and men, but based on the title you know which side they’re really on. Whereas Me Undies has a sort of edgy/pop/hipster feel, Panty by Post is very soft, feminine and vaguely vintage-y. They market their subscriptions as good bachelorette / wedding party gifts. Prices range from about $25-28.

Sexy Subscription Boxes

Blindfolds, fancy lube, full size sex toys – these boxes pull no punches, y’all. NSFW! (That means don’t click these links in you’re in a cubicle.)

Right now, if you sign up for a three-month subscription to the Monthly Teaser box and use promo code teas3rb0x you’ll get your first box free

“Give date night a spanking!” That’s the tagline, guys! HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG. Sign up for Fantasy Box‘s newsletter and get 10% off your first box. Boxes range from $39-154 depending how fancy you want to go, and you can have them delivered monthly or bi-monthly. 

This sexy subscription box has a new theme each month – some recent themes were Touchy Feely, Get Mouthy, and Dress for Succ-sex. Rowr! There’s PashPack subscription boxes for women, one for men, and one for couples. Shipping is free and always sent in discreet mailers for top secret sexiness

For $10 each month ($11 if you live outside the US), Balthazar will send you a naughty polaroid he took, most likely of an undressed lady. These aren’t your standard dirty pics though – he’s an artist and his photographs are really beautiful. (This should go without saying, but that website is not safe for work. Unless you have, like, a REALLY cool work. I don’t even want to hear it if you get fired.) 

Spice Box has a premium version ($24.95) and the deluxe version ($34.95). Enter promo code HELLOFOXY for 5% off your first box.

Paper: Books, Art & Photos

This is amazing. You tell Threaded Canvas what kind of art you like and what kind you don’t, then for $20/mo you get three premium hand-printed t-shirts in your size (XS – 4X), one high quality art print, and three small art pieces, all designed by independent artists around the world. What?? That’s amazing!

With this book subscription service, Powells delivers the best new books, with special attention to independent publishers. Signed first editions. Inventive, original sets. Exclusive printings. Plus a few fun surprises thrown in. Every six weeks you’ll receive a new treat. This book of the month club is magical for book lovers and it’s only $39.95 per volume. 

The name Papirmass (pronounced “pah-purr-mass”) is a play on the Danish word for pulp. Over the course of one year you get 12 prints by 12 artists and 12 writers.

But they use the term “print” loosely because you might end up with a lot more than that. In their words: “You might get a 10-piece postcard set, a small book, a paper sculpture, a large poster, and everything in between. We’ve published wildlife art, folk art, graphic novel excerpts, collage, photography, graffiti-inspired portraiture, and many other strange and wonderful things.”


For $40-60/mo (depending where you live), Art in a Box will send a hand-selected piece of original artwork to your door. Each limited edition print is printed by hand using 100-year-old wood type on a manual letterpress. If you buy Art in a Box as a gift between now and the end of 2012, they’ll send you one bonus free print as a thank you. Instead of a style quiz, this site asks you to choose three adjectives to describe your taste in art. So artsy! 

For $35 per quarter She Hit Pause will send you a large-form collectible Polaroid transfer with a “whimsical surprise” every three months. But these aren’t regular Polaroids, they’re Polaroid negatives transferred by hand onto watercolor paper, creating “dreamlike transfers described by some as ‘walking into a memory.'” Every Polaroid is signed by the artist and matted in 8×10″. Each box will also contain a surprise item that relates to the image and that’s selected by the artist himself. Rad! 

I don’t know how to describe this so I’m just pasting this from the website: Pen Pop Press selects vintage and obscure magazines for collectors and the curious. Each month, you’ll receive a magazine from that month but a previous year. For example, in July you could receive the July, 1953 issue of Screen Stories or the July, 1974 issue of Master Detective. Included in each mailing is an envelope of ephemera containing related photos, postcards, and pamphlets and a brief newsletter from Pen Pop Press.” For such a cool product, it sounds like a steal at $15/mo. For the right person, this would make the perfect gift.

Period Subscription Boxes

This is not a thing that I knew existed but after reading the ad copy on these pages, I’m now kind of totally on board. Basically, every month at the appropriate time you get a handy-dandy box in the mail with all the provisions you need for battle – er, for your period. I’m talking tampons, Midol, chocolate – the whole she-bang.

I’m on board with this for two reasons. (1) I CAN NEVER REMEMBER TO GO TO FREAKING WALGREENS. So it would be nice if tampons just magically arrived. (2) I really dread that time of the month and anything to make it seem more like Christmas and less like a miserable crampfest sounds like a plan to me.

The people who run My Cotton Bunny are super sweet and the first box came with fun treats like chocolate and even an American Apparel t-shirt. Plus, the box itself is adorable. A quote from their site: “We pledge to make the period itself disappear. We know it’s a tall order, but we are not frightened.” Get 10% off your subscription with code HELLOFOXY (Closed September 2014)

Choose your favorite brand of tampons (Playtex, Kotex, o.b., Tampax or Tampax Pearl), tell them when your next period is scheduled to start and set a few other preferences. Juniper Box is a little bonkers expensive ($28 – for 28 days in a cycle, get it?) but I dread those five days a month so much that anything to make me look forward to it sounds like a bonus. (Closed November 2013)

Subscription Boxes That Didn’t Fit Anywhere Else

Get $10 off your first box with code HELLOFOXY10. From their website: “Little Lace Box is a subscription service that delivers hand-curated, nearly impossible-to-find designer products directly to your doorstep every month. Your monthly Little Lace Box will also be brimming with high-end, brand name beauty, lifestyle, and home product samples to treat yourself to and dazzle your friends during your next night out.”

For $39.95/mo get a box of full-sized products and premium items in beauty, fashion, home, fitness, and food. These boxes are FOR REAL. This year’s November box included a gorgeous Michael Stars wrap, an Illume candle, a jar of Maison de Monaco preserves, a bag of sea salt caramel apple chips, roland pine shea butter bar soap, a tin of nail polish remover pads, a Lands’ End canvas wine tote, and a $30 gift card to CanvasPop. UM. FOR $39.95. Get on that, people. 

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Gifts of the Month Club is a service that offers a ton of different monthly subscriptions. Pickle of the Month, Mustard of the Month, Cookie of the Month, Hot Sauce of the Month, Puzzle of the Month – there are a LOT. There’s even a “variety” option where you can sign up to get a different subscription each month. 

Get a delivery of fresh flowers every month or even every week. Flowers from The Bouqs are a flat $40 – no up-charges or hidden fees like you always get from other flower delivery services. The best deal in my opinion is $30 every two weeks – two weeks is about the limit that a good quality bouquet will last and $15/week to have beautiful fresh flowers in your house or on your desk at work doesn’t seem like a bad use of money to me. I spend that much on lunch sometimes!

For $30.95/mo receive a monthly shipment of a cigar cutter and five humidor-fresh, premium imported cigars. Order a full year and get $25 off. You can even schedule shipments to arrive every month or every third month.

Blind Surprise sends unique gifts based on your interests and preferences. They work with up and coming designers and artists so they can offer stuff before it even goes to market. Every month you (or your gift recipient) will receive a new mystery item. 

Let’s face it – a lot of times when you buy an eco-friendly cleaning product, it doesn’t really work, or you buy some super healthy-looking raw food bar and end up throwing it out. There’s good stuff out there, it’s just hard to tell the good from the bad when you’re standing in the store – and depending on where you live, your local store might not have a lot of options. Conscious Box gives you the chance to try these products before you invest in the full size version.

For $22/mo Dive Bar T-Shirt Club will send a new t-shirt from one of the best, most interesting, or just most unusual dive bars in America plus some info/history about the bar itself. 

Loot Crate contains “epic geek and gamer swag.” Each crate contains 6-8 hand-picked products and every month one subscriber is randomly chosen to receive a MEGA CRATE which is presumably much cooler than a regular one. I watched a Loot Crate “unboxing video” and it looks like a ton of cute, nerdy stuff like t-shirts, stickers and toys. A monthly subscription is $19.37 per month including shipping but you can save money by paying for several months at once. 

This is… exactly what it sounds like. (Cannabis? Cannabox? Get it?) 

SERE stands for Store, Equip, Rescue, Escape. This is a monthly box of survival gear to keep your family ready for any disaster or threat.

photo credits: purse contents by ani-bee, puppy by photking

Last updated October 28, 2014

Flash Sale Sites Roundup: A Comprehensive Guide

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

If you like this post, check out one of the most popular posts on Hello Foxy – a roundup of 100+ monthly subscription boxes like Birchbox and Julep. Also check out my post on a SECRET way to get up to 40% off online stores even when they don’t list a promo code! Last, check out one of the most popular posts on Hello Foxy – a roundup of websites where you can get cheap prescription glasses.

Flash Sale Websites

Are you looking for more websites like Gilt, Ideel, One Kings Lane and Groupon? Flash sale websites, group buying sites, private sales, sample sales – whatever you want to call them, hold on to your butts because I’m about to drop A LOT OF THEM ON YOU.

Fashion flash sale sites, travel flash sale sites, even pet flash sale sites – this post is a roundup of every single last collective buying website on the internet (or at least all the ones that I found).

In case you’re new to flash sale websites, the deal is that they’re all about THE DEAL. A new deal or deals is usually announced on a predefined schedule. Some sites have just one deal a day while others might have tens or even hundreds (I’m looking at you, Groupon). Some flash sale websites post new deals every day while others might post them weekly or even hourly.

Tips for Flash Sale Websites

Act fast.

If you see a good deal, snatch it up QUICKLY. Some sites will let you hold something in your cart for a set amount of time – usually 10 or 15 minutes – during which time no one else can buy it. A good idea is to add something to your cart the second you see it, THEN take a few minutes to research whether it’s actually a good deal. On sites like Gilt, One Kings Lane and Ideel, the best deals are gone literally minutes after the sale opens!

It’s also common for flash sale websites to offer a daily or even monthly shipping rate – that means that you pay a flat shipping fee, once and then you can place as many orders as you want during that period without paying for shipping again. This enables you to make a purchase quickly to secure a good deal, then continue shopping, without wasting repeat shipping charges on multiple orders.

Do your research.

I’m shocked how often I find a deal on a flash site only to google the item and find it CHEAPER somewhere else. There are legit good deals to be found but don’t assume that everything you see is one of them. There are three easy ways to research a flash sale deal to see if it’s really a deal:

Search by product name. This is obviously the easiest method, but sometimes flash sale websites don’t list the official product name, or they call the item something different than what it’s called on other sites.

Search by manufacturer/brand name. Some flash sale websites will post a brief blurb about the company that makes the product for sale. Sometimes you can search that company’s name to find the product for sale on other sites to do a price comparison.

Search by image. When all else fails, download the image (right-click on the picture and select “save image”) and then upload it to a reverse image search site like Tin Eye or Google Image Search. Often the image used on flash sale sites is a standard stock image from the manufacturer that’s used anywhere the product is sold.

But whatever you do, do it quickly! Make sure you put the item in your cart BEFORE doing this research.

Know when to hold ’em (and know when to fold ’em).

When it comes to local group buying sites like Groupon or Yelp Deals, you DEFINITELY want to research the business if you’re not familiar with it. The best way to do this is probably to read the business’s Yelp reviews.

Unfortunately, it’s often the case that the kind of businesses that offer group buying deals are businesses that are new, struggling, or poorly run, so while there are plenty of legitimately amazing deals out there, a quick glance at the company’s Yelp reviews could save you from a nightmare.

Luckily, local deals like massages, manicures, and sky diving lessons rarely sell out in minutes the way that items on other flash sale websites do, so you usually have time to do a thorough check on the company offering the deal.

However, if you do have a bad experience with one of these sites, I’ve had good success with both Groupon and Yelp’s customer service departments – a quick, polite email from me explaining the situation resulted in an immediate refund.

Also keep in mind that you may not want to use your deal right away – these businesses are often bombarded with customers in the days immediately following a promotion on a site like Groupon, so stock may be low and customer service could be lacking. Check the expiration date on the deal before you buy and consider waiting a few months to use the credit.

Sign up for reminders (or set them yourself).

The best deals are usually available for the sales that JUST started. Set a reminder on your calendar for 15 minutes before the sale starts to remind yourself to check when it goes live. The best deals go within MINUTES, literally! Flash sale websites usually have a set time when new deals are posted, such as 11 a.m. on weekdays.

Most of these sites will also let you sign up for email alerts; this is nice because you can skim the email to see if anything interests you before bothering to go to the site – sometimes they’ll even email you a teaser the day before so you can see whether tomorrow’s sales will be worth visiting. The downside is that if you sign up for more than a few of these newsletters, your inbox will quickly become a place of fear and loathing. You might consider setting a reminder on your calendar instead.

Master the art of search, filter and sort.

Most fashion flash sale sites will allow you to filter by size either at the top of the page or in the sidebar. Clothing items on these sites are often only available in a few sizes. Don’t waste your time sifting through deals that aren’t available in your size!

You can also usually sort by price – I like to sort low to high so that once I get to my cut off price, I know I can stop looking because everything after that is going to be out of my price range.

On sites like Groupon, you can often set preferences about what kind of deals you like and even specific neighborhoods if you live in a large city like Chicago or New York. If the site offers this feature, I recommend taking advantage of it.

Share the love.

Most of these sites have a referral program which gives you store credit on the site every time a friend buys something through your referral link. You can send these links via email or post them on Facebook or Twitter or even on a blog. Often your friend will get a discount (sometimes up to $25 off) on his or her first purchase through your link, and then you get a credit as well. It’s a win-win!

FASHION Flash Sale Sites

Fashion flash sale sites are the ones that started it all. Websites like Gilt, HauteLook and Ideel are popping up faster than we can keep track of them. Here’s a list of all the fashion flash sale sites I could find.

Jane is a daily deal site that focuses on fashion for women and children. There is a LOT of chevron going on. Prices are also insanely low on this site – we’re talking crazy, crazy cheap clothes and accessories. Dresses for $23.99, necklaces for $6.99, ultra hip iPhone cases for $9 – it’s bonkers. Get in there.

MYHABIT is a flash sale site owned by Amazon. This flash sale site has truly high quality, designer clothing, accessories and home goods for women, men, and children. I think this one has some of the highest quality items and the best deals, though it’s definitely not the cheapest.

Zulily is a flash sale site for women and children. You’ll find deals on women’s clothing and accessories, including plus size clothing, plus children’s clothes, toys, and books. I’ve bought stuff from them several times and had great experiences.

Belle & Clive is a flash sale site that ships worldwide, unlike many of the options on this list. They have designer (and not-so-designer) shoes, clothes, and accessories for men, women, and children.

Beyond the Rack is another mid-range to higher-end fashion flash sale site with a home decor section. They also have an entire section called “My Curvy Closet” which is a mini plus size fashion flash sale site within the website.

Everybody knows Gilt. Gilt is the one that started it all. Stuff on this site can be HELLA expensive, but if you find a deal, SNATCH THAT UP. Because they do have really nice stuff.

HauteLook is one of my favorite fashion flash sale sites. It’s worth signing up for their emails. Also, they’re partnered now with Nordstrom Rack and I’m not sure what that means exactly but I love Nordstrom Rack so I’m on board.

Ideel (formerly Ideeli) is probably the site on this page (other than Groupon) that I have purchased from the most. They have a great selection. They also do a thing where you pay shipping once and then it covers anything you buy for the next 30 days. Their shipping can be kind of slow but they warn you what delivery estimates will be before you buy.

Rue La La was one of the early arrivals on the fashion flash sale site scene. Beautiful site and they. have. it. all.

PLNDR is a super hip urban / streetwear fashion flash sale site. Sales usually last 48-72 hours and are pretty much guaranteed to be awesome. Almost a little TOO awesome.

What’s cool about Shop It To Me is that in addition to having great deals on awesome brands, it’s also personalized – you tell them up front what designers and sizes you’re looking for and then the site is tailored to your preferences. You’ll get email alerts about new sale items at stores like Anthropologie and J. Crew, which is great because you know the best sale stuff goes quickly. You can also choose which days you receive sale alert emails so that you’re not being bombarded 24/7 with notifications.

End of Retail is certainly not the prettiest site on this list and the deals tend to be much lower quality – you’re not going to see any Gucci here, is all I’m saying. BUT it’s like Groupon in that if you can wade through the garbage, there will occasionally be a diamond in the rough and it will be a REALLY cheap diamond. Well, cubic zirconia.

You’ll also get $5 off your first purchase, which makes it even MORE crazy cheap.

Also, End of Retail has a separate men’s flash sale site and a beauty products flash sale site.

New deals are posted every day at 11 a.m. EST.

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Jack Threads is a men’s fashion flash sale site with discounts more than 50% off retail. Site is member’s only – you must create a free account to view the deals. Right now they’re offering $5 off your first purchase when you create a new account.

HOME Flash Sale Sites

Dot & Bo is my absolute favorite of these sites for home goods. I actually look forward to their emails. I’ve bought a few things from them and have been really pleased.

In addition to their fashion flash sale site, Belle & Clive also offers home decor daily deals.

Joss & Main is a little less edgy, a little more suburban, but it’s, like, NICE suburban. They have some really nice stuff sometimes. Like that weird antler chandelier thing on the homepage. I’d buy that.

You’ve probably read about since it’s been written up in Fast Company, the New York Times, and basically everywhere ever. It’s the flash sale site to end them all – the coolest, the hippest, the most ridiculous. They have a million mini stores within their big store and if you sign up for their mailing list, YOU WILL BE OVERWHELMED because they have so many freaking deals. But it’s great!

If this is your first purchase on and you use this link, you’ll get $25 off your purchase of $75 or more. That’s, like, 33% off. Deals upon deals!

In addition to their fashion flash sale site, Gilt also offers home decor daily deals.

We already covered Rue La La as a fashion flash sale site but they have a home goods site as well.

Touch of Modern is a flash sale site dedicated to extraordinary design, whether it’s a sleek black Rolex, a piece of modern art, or an alarm clock made out of a concrete block. This site has stuff that’s great for gifts or just for showing off. Sort of like on steroids.

TRAVEL Flash Sale Sites

LivingSocial is well known for their Groupon-like local daily deals, but they also have a travel section with flash sales on boutique hotels and the like.

In addition to their successful fashion and home decor flash sale websites, Rue La La also has a travel deals site.

JetSetter is a travel flash sale site by Gilt.

FOOD & WINE Flash Sale Sites

Wine flash sale sites are definitely the new kid in town and are TAKING OVER. There are so many of them now! There are also a few sites where you can get daily deals on food and even cigars. I’ll be adding more to this list soon!

Invino’s flash sales feature a select number of hand-selected wines and last 24 to 72 hours. Wines are typically 40-70% off retail and are guaranteed to be at least 10% less than the lowest price online.

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LOCAL Flash Sale Sites

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PETS Flash Sale Sites

Coupaw is another large pet flash sale site, but this one caters to both dogs and cats (but separately – don’t worry).

As the name suggests, DoggyLoot is all dogs, all the time. When you sign up you tell them if your dog is small, medium or large, and then I assume they personalize your sales for that. I’m not sure what you should do if you have more than one dog of varying sizes. This one has a LOT of sales and it’s solid, practical stuff more so than cutesy chevron doggie sweaters or whatever. Not that there’s anything wrong with a dog in a cute sweater.

LeLePets is a members-only daily deal site the features design inspired pet products at up to 70% off. New sales launch daily, Monday-Friday, at 12PM EST, and last for 72 hours. LeLePets donates 1% of its annual net sales to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

MISC Flash Sale Sites

E-books, gadgets, craft supplies, t-shirts – this is where all the miscellaneous flash sale websites are listed.

Woot is the one that started it all. Also check out their sister sites: Shirt WootKids WootSellout WootHome WootSport WootTech WootTools WootAccessories Woot, and Wine Woot.

BookBub is a flash sale site dedicated to bestselling eBook daily deals. Sales alerts are personalized to your interests and the site works with all major devices: KindleNookAndroidiPadSonyReader and Kobo.

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Blitsy is a flash sale site for craft supplies.

Cheap Prescription Glasses to Feed Your Inner Hipster

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

If you like this post, check out my post on flash sale sites for fashion and decor at sample sale prices. Also check out my post on a SECRET way to get up to 40% off online stores even when they don’t list a promo code! Last, check out one of the most popular posts on Hello Foxy – a roundup of 100+ monthly subscription boxes like Birchbox and Julep.


Hi, my name is Laurie and I own six pairs of prescription eyeglasses.

It’s not a problem unless it’s a problem. Right?


If you’re looking for cheap prescription glasses but have a fear of buying prescription glasses online, I am here to HEAL YOU. Because buying glasses online is CRAZY CHEAP and is totally, totally safe and awesome, as long as you go to the right places.

The great thing about owning six pairs of prescription eyeglasses, other than having a different pair for every day of the work week, is that I know a LOT of great places to buy glasses online. Did I mention that I bought 5 of those 6 pairs online?

Luckily, I’m here to tell you which places those are.

If you’re an old pro at shopping for glasses online and just want to see the list of shops, click HERE to skip ahead.


Cheap Prescription Glasses Online: A Buying Guide

What You’ll Need Before Shopping for Glasses Online

Your vision prescription

It doesn’t have to be on any formal letterhead, you could literally have it written on the back of a napkin. All you need are the actual numbers so you can type them into the website. The main thing is that you need to have all of the numbers, which brings me to:

Your PD

PD is short for ‘pupillary distance’ and it basically measures how far apart your eyes are. The thing that sucks about this is that most optometrists do NOT write this on your prescription. I don’t know if it’s because they want to force you to buy glasses from their office or what, but if you want your PD, you’re probably going to have to ask for it.

Luckily, if you don’t have plans to see your optometrist again any time soon, there are ways you can measure it at home. But don’t just guess! Your PD is how they determine where to center your field of vision in the lens so getting it wrong can screw up your glasses, give you headaches and make it hard for you to see. Here’s a video that shows you how to measure your PD at home.

What you’re looking for

Are you looking for every day glasses that will match any outfit or are looking for something fun to wear occasionally? What kind of glasses do you already have? If you already have black frame glasses, or wire frame glasses, maybe you don’t want to get another pair that looks almost exactly the same.

If you’re wondering whether to upgrade to a thinner lens and anti-reflective coating, I can say from experience that you definitely should. You’re saving so much money with any of these online stores that it’s totally worth it. Lenses that don’t have anti-reflective coating look awful in pictures and can give you a headache if you work at a computer all day. And thicker lenses are noticeably heavier in my experience (especially if you have a stronger prescription) and can leave painful indentations on your nose. Ouch!

What looks good on you (optional)

Pretty much all online eyeglass retailers offer some sort of virtual try-on where you can superimpose an image of the glasses over a photo of yourself to get a sense of how they look, and some shops will even ship frames to your house for free so you can try them on in person. And almost all of them have a pretty liberal return policy (free returns within anywhere from 30 days to a year). So it’s not absolutely imperative that you know what you want going in but it will make the process quicker and easier for you.

The best way to figure out what glasses suit your face is to go to a store with a friend and try on as many pairs as you can. Take photos of yourself so that you can look over them later to remind yourself what worked and what didn’t.

We all know that certain face shapes look better with round frames or rectangle but there are other things to look out for too – do you look better with a heavy brow or a lighter one? Thick frames or thin? Light or dark? Big or small? Plastic or metal? Wide arms or slim? Patterns or solids? Rectangle or geometric? Frames that angle slightly up or slightly down?

If it sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. You’ll get a sense pretty quickly of what you like and what you don’t. Knowing these things will make it easier to buy glasses online with confidence but if you’re not sure, just check out the virtual try-on centers, see if you can have a few pairs sent to your house to test and make sure the shop has a solid return policy.

Your insurance / Flexible Spending Account information (optional)

If you’re lucky enough to have vision insurance, check to see if they’ll reimburse for glasses that you purchase online. Many insurance companies will. Find out what you need to be reimbursed – most online shops will happily provide an itemized receipt for you to submit to your insurance provider.

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, you only have until December 31 to use up the money or you lose it forever (some programs have a grace period through early March). If you have money left in your account that you need to spend, you can use it to buy prescription glasses and sunglasses. If you have money left in your account, this could be a good time to pick up a new pair.

Got everything you need? Great! Now you’re ready to shop.

The Best Places to Buy cheap prescription glasses Online

Warby Parker

Warby Parker has a great home try-on program so that your purchase really is risk-free. You can pick 5 pairs of glasses and they’ll send them to your house for free. You can try them out for 5 days, get your friends’ opinions and make faces at yourself in the mirror in the privacy of your home (just me?). Available to anyone in the 48 contiguous states (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii).


cheap prescription glasses | Warby Parker



(1) evelyn in marine slate(2) liv in greystone(3) mabel in gimlet tortoise(4) beckett in striped evergreen(5) huxley in tennessee whiskey(6) marshall in rum cherry(7) tenley in burgundy fade(8) holt in blue slate fade(9) crosby in marine slate(10) winston in old-fashioned fade(11) duckworth in marine slate(12) nedwin in summer green

I have Beckett in Striped Evergreen and people always ask me where I got them. So cute!

Best Part: Warby Parker sells monocles. No joke. You might need a monocle to go with your monthly pocket square subscription. Actual Best Part: for every pair of glasses they sell they’ll send a pair to someone in need. They also partner with non-profits to train low-income entrepreneurs to sell affordable glasses. Nice!

Global Eyeglasses

I bought a pair of cute prescription sunglasses from Global Eyeglasses this fall. My grand total was $52.35 including tax, shipping AND a lens upgrade (because I’m blind as a bat). I was nervous about buying from this company site unseen but it turned out great. These are now my go-to sunglasses.

Global Eyeglasses has a virtual try-on center, like pretty much all online glasses stores do now, so you can get a sense of how the glasses will look on you before you purchase. They don’t have a home try-on program but they do have a 30-day money-back guarantee so if you hate the ones you get you can always send them back.

Plus: they work with a couple of international non-profits to provide vision care to people in need all over the world. Global! Get it?


cheap prescription glasses | Global Eyeglasses


(1) anthony brown sunglasses(2) blown away sunglasses(3) fusion red sunglasses(4) taylor mayne sunglasses(5) apollo – purple(6) carlos – black(7) tough – brown(8) relax(9) angrycat(10) passion – lime green(11) passion – pink(12) band of adams – tortoise shell(13) tropical beach – green(14) dark sludge – black(15) hotcat – brown



I picked up a gorgeous pair of peach ombré frames from Coastal awhile back and paid $91.98, including tax, shipping and fancy upgrades for ultra thin, anti-scratch, anti-reflective lenses. Amazing. Super recommend.

Coastal Cheap Prescription Eyeglasses - Peach Fade

If this is your first time shopping with Coastal, enter code FIRSTPAIRFREE to get your first pair free. This only applies to certain frames but it applies to a lot of cute ones, including the peach ones I bought.



I made my first GlassesUSA purchase earlier this year and I could not have been happier. I got these super cute glasses for a grand total of $84.40, including shipping AND special, extra thin lenses (I have a strong prescription). The last pair of glasses I bought at the mall cost almost $600 so I was PRETTY happy.

The funniest part is that these are the cheapest glasses I’ve ever purchased and they ended up being the ones I wear almost every day. I love them.

cheap prescription glasses | GlassesUSA

You’ll get free shipping, and free returns within one year of purchase. Anti-scratch coating is included with any lens.


Tortoise & Blonde

I’ve never bought from this site but they have cute glasses and they have a home try-on program that’s similar to Warby Parker’s. Frames (including basic lenses with anti-scratch coating) seem to range from about $97 – $117. They also donate to a non-profit in Utah that gives needy children access to high-quality vision care.

25% Off Sitewide Plus FREE Shipping over $97 After Discount CODE: tb2513

cheap prescription glasses | Tortoise and Blonde Prescription Eyeglasses

Zenni Optical

I think Zenni Optical was one of the first shops on the cheap prescription eyeglasses scene. I remember seeing ads for their $8 glasses yeeeeears ago. I’ve never personally bought from them but I have a friend who did and had a positive experience. Her glasses are super cute.


cheap prescription glasses | Zenni Optical


(1) black geometric, (2) aqua blue wayfarers, (3) leopard print wayfarers, (4) leading edge – dark purple, (5) tortoiseshell geometric, (6) brown rectangle with bows, (7) green wayfarers, (8) yellow pattern


Zenni tends to have really crazy frames that I would buy as a second or third pair but not as a pair I’d wear every day. Frames start as low as $6.95 so you could get several pairs to switch between for the price you’d pay for one pair at Lenscrafters in the mall. All lenses include UV protection and anti-scratch coating, plus a protective case and a microfiber cloth for cleaning. Looking good!

Ivory + Mason

Ivory + Mason is another sweet glasses shop like Warby Parker and its ilk. Glasses start at $95 per frame and they have some majorly cool stuff. They have some more “out there” stuff than a lot of these stores, which I really like. Also, you get 20% off your first pair if you’re a new customer (code: NEWMEMBER)!

They also sell vintage frames AND for every pair of glasses they sell, they donate a pair of glasses to a visually impaired child.

They don’t seem to have a home try-on program, but you can return your glasses within 30 days if you’re not 100% into them.


cheap prescription glasses | Ivory + Mason



Enter code JUNE30 for 30% off storewide at Firmoo, including 1.50 single vision lenses. Expires 6/30/14.


I have a pair of glasses from Lookmatic that are made out of real wood. Crazy, right? I get compliments on them everywhere I go. (I don’t think they sell them anymore but they have lots of other cute ones.) I had a good experience buying from them and I have at least one other friend who also bought a pair of glasses there that they love.

Non-prescription sunglasses and frames are $65; prescription glasses are $95. Free shipping and free returns. They also have two virtual try-on options, including this crazy one that is 3-D / live video? I don’t even know how to explain it, it’s bonkers. It’s worth checking out the site just to see it. We live in the future, you guys!


cheap prescription glasses | Lookmatic Cheap Prescription Eyeglasses


Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame is a Lookmatic customer. That might go in your pro list or it might go in your con.

Sneaking Duck

This is an Australian company (lucky ducks!) that offers free shipping and returns throughout Australia. They also offer free shipping anywhere else in the world, but delivery takes a bit longer and the cost of returns is on you. But I love the name and they have some SUPER cute frames.

You can use their virtual try-on system just by signing up for their newsletter and if you live in Australia, you can borrow 5 pairs of glasses at a time for their home try-on program as well.


cheap prescription glasses | Sneaking Duck Prescription Eyeglasses


(1) winery, (2) bronte, (3) sorbet, (4) single malt, (5) stanley street, (6) photographer


Cost for regular prescription glasses is $180 AUD for the first pair, $90 for the second (if placed in the same order). If you have a super-strong prescription (stronger than -4.0), there’s an additional cost of $60 per pair. You can turn any pair of their glasses into prescription sunglasses for an extra $50. This one’s more on the pricey side but still way less than you’d pay for frames of a similar style in the mall.

I’ve never bought from this store before so I can’t vouch for them personally but I just thought their site was so cute that I had to include them.

Classic Specs

I’ve never bought from these guys but a friend of mine just bought some super cute glasses from them (I think from their Williamsburg store though, not online). All of their glasses are $89 including shipping and anti-reflective coating and they are for REAL cute. All of their frames have a very vintage/retro feel to them.


cheap prescription glasses | Classic Specs - Cheap Prescription Eyeglasses


Know of a great place I missed? Let us know in the comments below. And if you buy a pair of glasses from one of these places, post a pic!


NOTE: If you have a mom & pop eyeglass shop in your town, it’s always ideal to shop locally if you can afford to spend a little more. But if your local option is a national chain, remember that these online shops are mostly small, independent businesses that just happen to have their storefront online. Some of them even have brick and mortar stores in their hometowns.

Dorothy Perkins Sale!

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Dorothy Perkins is having a bonkers sale right now, FYI. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Dorothy Perkins Sale

petite black seal shirt dress$49 $29
black point mid-courts – $95 $55
teal pleat frame clutch – $17 $11
diamond chandelier earrings$15 $8
ivory all over lace victoriana$35 $21
orange color block skirt$59 $35
black satin ruffle courts$69 $44
black oriental chiffon$12 $8
wine lace top tunic$89 $35
black diamonte bow waist belt$17 $9
black mid heel court shoes$57 $35
oval shape stone drop earrings$17 $9
burgundy large check shirt$39 $21
indigo straight leg jean$44 $27


Cute Workout Clothes: Keep Your New Year’s Resolution in Style

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Do you make new year’s resolutions? If you do, chances are good that one of them is to get in shape.

One of the biggest roadblocks for me getting myself to the gym or outside for a run is – well, okay, the biggest roadblock is the 19 inches of snow that fell last week. But the SECOND biggest obstacle is a shortage of cute workout clothes.

It’s amazing what a difference it makes when I have something cute to work out in, it’s clean and I’ve laid out the whole outfit the night before. No excuses.

Here’s a roundup of some of the cutest workout clothes and accessories I’ve seen lately. You can click directly on the image to go to the item’s page. I’ve been wanting one of those FitBits forever, and that ski suit ALMOST makes me want to learn to ski (almost).

Cute Workout Clothes and Accessories

(1) Hawks Seamless Long-Sleeve Top (Base Layer) – $78
(2)Keen Women’s A86 TR Trail Running Shoe – Coral/Grey – $90
(3) Vibram Five Fingers Jaya – Plum/Pink – $85
(4)Liberty Bottle Works Mass Transit Water Bottle – NYC Subway Map$18 $16
(5) Ballerina Yoga Cami – Black – $62
(6) Keen Women’s A86 TR Trail Running Shoe – Purple/Pink$90 $52
(7) ASICS Women’s Gel-Noosa Tri 7 Running Shoe$125 $98
(8) Padlock – Magenta – $18
(9) Vibram Five Fingers Speed – Rose/Pumpkin – $175
(10) Chaturanga Yoga Cami – Jewel Red$88 $61
(11) Competitor Run Hoody – Irismarl – $104
(12) Textured Infinity Scarf – Chromeicon$72 $60
(13) Ace Tennis Jacket – White$112 $56
(14) Run Water Bottle – Clear – $8
(15) Athlete Workout Tank – Seaweed Green – $45
(16) Dumbbells – Magenta – $40
(17) Easy Tennis Dress – White$128 $64
(18) High Energy Workout Cami – Grey Rubix Blue$80 $40
(19) New Balance Minimus – Black/Pink – $112
(20) Statement – Down Gym Bag – Charcoal – $110
(21) FitBit Zip – Wireless Activity Tracker – Magenta – $60
(22) Skipping Rope – Pink – $16
(23) Takeya Glass Water Bottle with Silicone Sleeve – Purple$25 $17
(24) Aviatrix Ski All in One – Black – $630

Discount Designer Eyeglasses

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

We talked last week about buying cheap prescription glasses online. but what if you’re looking for high-end frames from designers like Versace, Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs? Just because you want top shelf doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar.

Here’s a quick roundup of hot, discount designer eyeglasses.

Discount Designer Eyeglasses – Click the Pictures Below


Discount Designer Frames

Yves Saint Laurent YSL6365 - Black Gold

Vera Wang Bette - Carbon Metallic

D&G DD 8075 Prescription Sunglasses

Versace VE 3167 - Brown Sand Gradient

Ray-Ban RX RX5226 - Striped Havana

Marc by Marc Jacobs MMJ087/S Prescription Sunglasses

Versace VE 3166B - Pink Havana

Betsey Johnson Blondie BJ0134 - Neon Rose

Versace VE 3166B - Shiny Black

Via Spiga Napoli - Black Diamond

Marc Jacobs MJ414 - Black Tortoise


(1) Marc Jacobs MJ414 – Black Tortoise $338 $243
(2) Via Spiga Napoli – Black Diamond $150 $109
(3) Versace Eyeglasses VE 3166B – Shiny Black $250 $213
(4) Betsey Johnson Blondie BJ0134 – Neon Rose $195
(5) Versace Eyeglasses VE 3166B – Pink Havana $250 $213
(6) Marc by Marc Jacobs MMJ087/S Prescription Sunglasses $202 $192
(7) Ray-Ban Retro Vintage RX5226 – Striped Havana $169
(8) Versace VE 3167 – Brown Sand Gradient $225 $191
(9) D&G DD 8075 Prescription Sunglasses $239 $205
(10) Vera Wang Bette – Carbon Metallic $243 $206
(11) Yves Saint Laurent YSL6365 – Black Gold – $300 $255
(12) Vera Wang V135 – Black with White Interior$208 $176

13 Pairs of Boots I’m Super Into

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

After talking about all of those cute tights and leggings, I figured we need some boots to go with them. Here’s a roundup of 13 pairs of boots I’d definitely be down with wearing this winter (though some are more snow-appro than others).


(1) bandi faux-leather lace-up bootie in cognac
(2) rowdy in black
(3) fanciful footwork boot
(4) glitter-patter rain boot
(5) yoki – troopa brown buckle booties
(6) prospectress boot
(7) xena in nude
(8) hinni in black
(9) crossing borders boot in ice
(10) wonderland gal lace-up boots
(11) steve madden – bankker in cognac leather
(12) brave in brown
(13) betsey johnson – litza in taupe leather

Slumber Party!

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Some of my favorite New Year’s Eves as a kid were good old-fashioned sleepovers: a sappy movie, a bowl of popcorn and some hilariously green mud masks to ensure we all look bee-yoo-tee-ful. Some friends and I had a slumber party a few years ago to relive the old days and it was just as fun as I’d remembered them: staying up all night talking, eating terrible snacks and doing each other’s nails.

Here’s a roundup of ingredients for a super sweet slumber party.


slumber party, sleepover

(1) leisure cute fuschia pajamas – $64
(2) butter london nail polish (trout pout) – $14
(3) thelma & louise – $16
(4) timebalm spearmint aloe face mask – $20
(5) late night stories shorty pajamas – $65
(6) girl talk: 1995 edition – $72
(7) 40 winks striped floral pajama set – $68 $34
(8) chilote house shoes – $68 $48
(9) quinn popcorn: meyer lemon & sea salt, 6 bags – $15
(10) blue ivy striped v-neck pajamas – $122
(11) deborah lippmann nail polish (sarah smile) – $16

Dresses for New Year’s Eve

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

See my 2014 New Year’s Fashion Recommendations!

We’re getting down to the wire, you guys. Do you have your outfit planned for the big night? ‘Cause I got nothin’. Luckily, Dorothy Perkins has you covered with some seriously cute dresses for New Year’s Eve plus party shoes, bags, jewelry, etc.

I love black and gold for New Year’s because I’m cliché classy like that.

For first-time customers, enter code INTDP15 for 15% off your order!


Dorothy Perkins New Year's Eve Fashion

1. diamond shape drop earrings
2. gold western ankle boots
3. gold sequin pencil skirt
4. diamond drop stud earrings
5. black bead and gold collar
6. kardashian gold pleat dress
7. black and gold sequin clutch
8. kardashian gold glitter clutch
9. black metal toe tap courts
10. bronze glitter wedge boots
11. black/gold sweetheart tunic
12. gold glitter pointed courts
13. gold sequin skirt


Beer of Yesteryear: Building Your Own Retro Bar

Monday, December 17th, 2012

We’ve been talking for awhile about turning our basement into a Mad Men-esque retro bar complete with classy barware and vintage decor. Ever since I saw those gorgeous vintage bar stools on One Kings Lane awhile back, I’ve had my eye out for pieces that would work in this vintage-style bar of my dreams.

Here’s a fun little round up of starting points for building a retro bar and bringing a little Mad Men into your real life (minus the sexism).


Vintage / Retro Bar
Retro Barware
vintage retro bar items

No retro rec room or mid-century modern mancave is complete without at least one kitschy vintage tin sign. I’m partial to this twilight lounge sign or this cute red arrow that says “ice cold beer sold here.” You’ll also want some sort of retro wall clock or neon sign. The RCA wall clock pictured above is a cute one. (p.s. I found a 10% off promo code for Retro Planet – use code RPAB10TY.)

To continue the red, black and chrome theme, you might pick up a retro chrome dinette set like this one or this sweet red and white vintage-style bar. I also like this more understated black and silver one. You’ll need a couple of old-fashioned bar stools like these red and chrome ones or these black and chrome bar stools that have a back. (p.s. I found a promo code for 15% off those barstools + free shipping – use code BARSTOOL15 on orders over $349 – ends 12/31/12.)

Once you have your classy bar set up, you’ll need some classy retro barware to go with it. I love this vintage-y glass carafe for water or wine, this gorgeous, vintage gold and glass cocktail set and this beautiful green and yellow bohemian decanter and glasses.

For wine, you’ll also want a beautiful antique-style wine opener / uncorking machine and a classic decanter, and for cocktails you’ll need a vintage ice bucket like this one. If beer is more your scene, these vintage-looking pilsner glasses are where it’s at. I also love this beautifully textured whiskey decanter and glass set and these simple, classic martini glasses. And don’t forget the cocktail shaker – I love this classy one (here’s a less expensive version).

For a more casual, family-friendly look, you could get a retro glass straw dispenser and this adorable “tap is terrific” water bottle. You should also get these adorable retro milk bottles and these old-fashioned milk glasses (or maybe I just should). These 50s-reminiscent Collins glasses would work equally well for a Tom Collins or a Shirley Temple.

Another nice touch would be a vintage style lamp for mood lighting. And if you really want to get crazy, you could add this amazing retro microwave (where was this when I was looking for one last year?).

And of course, what retro bar is complete without some retro cocktails to go with it? This vintage cocktail recipe book is a nice starting point as is this one. This cocktail book is actually from 1947 so you know the drinks are authentic. If you’d like retro recipes to serve with your cocktails, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook looks like a good bet (there’s a recipe for pineapple upside-down cake!).

vintage tin beer sign, retro chrome dinette set, RCA wall clock, tin twilight lounge sign
vintage style lamp, red and white bar, black and chrome bar stool with back
vintage cocktail recipe book, red and chrome bar stool, retro microwave
black and silver retro bar, vintage glass carafe, glass “tap is terrific water” bottle, retro glass straw dispenser
green and yellow bohemian decanter and glasses, vintage gold and glass cocktail set
vintage chrome ice bucket