St. Mark's Hospital - March 18, 2019

If you thought subscription services were limited to your newspaper or Netflix account, think again. Nowadays subscription services offer everything from socks and shavers to dinner kits and yoga pants. In fact, the market for subscription services has more than doubled each year since 2011, according to the research firm McKinsey & Company.

Looking for niche products like healing crystals? There’s a subscription service for that! But on a more practical note, you can also get contact lenses, vitamins, diabetes supplies and over–the–counter wellness items delivered.

By far the biggest benefit of any subscription services is convenience. You’ll make fewer trips to the store when everyday products arrive on a set schedule. You’ll also reduce your risk of running out of something you need.

Many subscription services also offer discounts and free shipping to encourage return business. For example, Amazon, Target and CVS all offer discount subscription programs for everyday items like incontinence products, toilet paper, shampoo, diabetes test strips and nutritional supplements. You can select how often you want a delivery so you don’t get bombarded with too many products. One drawback is that you may miss out on in-store sales or coupons.

Before committing to a subscription, make sure you really like the product and understand the terms of the service, as well as the automatic billing and cancellation policies. If you can’t cancel easily, skip the subscription.