Subscriptions review

Posted this over at the other place so thought I’d share it here too.

I’m going through all my subscriptions right now as I try to determine what to keep and what to ditch going into the new year.

I thought it would be interesting to document that process here, and I’d be curious to hear from anyone else who’s doing similar.

1. Definitely keeping

  • Apple One Premier / £36.95 per month - it’s approaching a price point where I question the overall value as a large part of it is no doubt attributed to a service I don’t use, and a tier of iCloud storage I don’t really need. But TV+ is about all I’m watching lately, Apple Music is my music streamer of choice, I love iCloud+, and need some additional storage over the base amount. I use Fitness+, can live without Arcade, and don’t want News+. The value is just about there, and I get a lot out of it. Particular with family (not household) sharing included as standard.
  • Gentler Streak / £24.99 per year - This app has transformed the way I approach fitness for the better. Easiest keep on my list, but considering the lifetime purchase option.
  • FoodNoms / £29.99 per year - Less of a no brainer and I probably wouldn’t be keeping the sub if it was any other developer. I love the app and the service though, and as far as food logging goes, this is by far my favourite I’ve ever used.
  • Parcel / £2.99 per year - simple and nice parcel tracking for an annual price that looks like a monthly price. Don’t think I’d ever get rid at that price.
  • smol / £variable - I like Smol, and even as the prices have increased I’ve found it to be a good quality product and service at a good value relative to the competition. I only bother with the laundry products though (capsules, fabric conditioner, & stain remover all at different delivery frequencies). I’ve tried most of the rest of their range but haven’t been much of a fan.
  • AATU / £varies - one of the best dry kibbles in the U.K. I’m not fond of the price increases over the past year, but the only way to really save money here is to compromise drastically on nutrition, and that’s not a trade-off I’ll make. Kept because animals need food too, and my dog has especially thrived on it since it launched.
  • Yfood / £varies - This is most of my diet. I love the taste. The subscription is good value that has never increased in price since the product launched on the market in Europe, whilst others have been peddling theirs up constantly. I’m expecting one eventually, but given that we’ve gone so long without one, including through what has been the worst cost of living crisis in my life time, I’ll gladly accept it when it comes. They’ve a customer for life in me unless they ruin the product.

2. On the chopping block

  • Disney+ / £109.99 per year - still a bit back and forth on this. On the one hand, I love Disney. On the other, the actual content they’ve been producing for the platform hasn’t been for me, and the switch up in their approach to cinematic releases diminished the value of it too, so besides the back catalog, which I very rarely revisit, there’s little there for me. And the films I’d go back for I already own on iTunes. Factor in the price hike and the move to redefine family to household, I can’t justify it any longer, unless my family of leeches contribute, which I can’t meaningfully expect when Disney are considering pulling a Netflix.
  • Halide / £9.99 per year - it never should have moved to a subscription model. As far as I’m concerned it’s killed the product and the trust I have in them as a developer. For a subscription app, it’s become very stagnant. Moreso than it was as an you could buy. As such, Apple’s default camera app has caught it and overtaken it now for me.
  • ITV X / £3.99 per month - keeping it whilst it remains at £3.99. Will cancel when it goes up to to £5.99 per month. I’d sooner give up the content I like than have to deal with their service at that price.
  • Emma Pro / £9.99 per month - I’ve given it a good go, and I do like it. But I don’t think the value I get out of it is worth £9.99 per month to me, so it’s going. If pro was the price of plus (and plus should be slightly cheaper than that IMO) I’d keep it,
  • HP Instant Ink / £3.99 per month - that’s the cheapest plan. For 50 pages. I’m not a big printer. It used to be £1.99 and I’d keep it for that, but it’s slowly crept up. I’m also not totally sold on the idea of ink as a service. It’s taken the price increase to push me, but I think just buying your ink when you need it is how it should be.
  • Philips Sonicare / £24.99 per 6 months - I think this is the one subscription service too many for me. This is the one I forget about, is a nightmare to manage, too inflexible (I lost one of the heads whilst travelling and it completely mucked my system up) so I’ve cancelled it. Will just go back to buying through Amazon subscribe and save instead.

3. Already killed in 2023

  • Netflix / £10.99 per month - they pissed me off with all price increases and their approach to policing how you can use the service, so they lost me. They’d be an occasional resub for me if they hadn’t also removed the option to do so via the App Store.
  • Paramount+ / £6.99 per month - there’s just nothing on there for me to watch right now, and they’ve squandered their licensing opportunities by just not bringing the content to the U.K. which they now own the distribution rights for in the UK. So there are some Paramount+ shows you just can’t watch legally as a result (Evil, the final season of the good fight). Will resub from time to time when there’s something to watch.
  • Amazon Prime / £95.00 per year - Don’t like the price increases. Don’t like Amazon. Don’t get enough value out of it to warrant the price. I only use Amazon now for subscribe and save, which you don’t need prime for. My goal is to use or rely on Amazon as little as I possibly can, if not move away from them completely (hence the Philips sonicare subscription above). For prime video I’m happy to sub via the App Store when there’s something I want to watch.
  • Monzo Plus / £5.00 per month - diminished in value over time, with the most recent changes being the final straw. Made little sense to keep it so it’s gone. Will resubscribe if it improves in the future.

4. New Subscriptions in 2023

  • Pokémon Sleep / £29.99 per 6 months - I’m not totally sure on the value aspect here, and how I’d get on with just the free version, but it’s a sleep app I’ve finally stuck with, and it’s helped with consistency, so I’m sticking with it for now. Wish I could pay annually though.
  • Project Harmless / £28 per 3 months - not the cheapest dog poo bags, but are the most environmentally friendly so I don’t mind the added expense.

Now to calculate my annual savings with Already killed in 2023 - New Subscriptions in 2023:
£370.76 - £171.98 = £198.78 (not accounting for the fact those poop bags replace the ones I used to buy, so actual savings here are a fair bit higher)

And my potential future savings if I go through with my chopping block:
£335.62 (not counting sonicare)

All in all, that’s not a bad subscription culling for me, and in truth I’m probably still spending a bit more than I’d like to be on these things (might have to see what Pokémon Sleep is like if you don’t pay). Ever so slightly closer to justifying that Apple Vision Pro purchase next year tho. :partying_face:

Happy new year everyone!


On the Philips front, you can buy a sonic brush with 8 heads for £15 on Amazon.

Amazon Prime… If you or your kids are in uni, you get It free for six months and half price after that. I have timed how long stuff takes to arrive on free Vs Prime and there’s rarely any difference for me i.e. it’s the video you’re paying for.

Disney is a benefit with Club Lloyds so free if you pay in £2000/month or £3 if you don’t.

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I’m very particular about my brush heads! A3 brush heads only. They clean teeth the best. Hence the £25 every 6 months. £32 RRP on Amazon.

I have never paid for this and I currently have a trial up to 2033 on a plan of 1500 pages/month subscription value of £44.99 per month.
How I did this is by leaving my referral code and link on many questions on Amazon HP printers that are eligible for instant ink. I keep getting referral credit now and then and there are periods when promos give 3 months for each referral.
I will keep it for as long as it remains free to me.
It is not that I print that many pages a month, I maxed out because I can downgrade and upgrade anytime.
On average I print about 150-200 pages a month.

Amazon usually runs discounted promos for these, are you able to time them and may be stock enough?


@N26throwaway I haven’t heard of some of these services, may check them out.

@Amazon_Parcel brilliant use of a referral code!

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Yes, I’m with you on the Emma Pro. I liked the app, but even though I have turned off all notifications, it continues to try to push its financial products at me, when I just want it to work properly with the financial products I already have. I don’t want their savings account, nor their investment platform. I’m going back to the big ol’ spreadsheet. :rofl:

Also, Apple One and Parcel are great too.

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I’ve never seen those particular brush heads to be on any decent discounts. They’re never sold at RRP but have never been as cheap as £25. I’ve gone back to getting them delivered through subscribe and save via Amazon. Even with the discount, it’s more expensive than Sonicare direct, and there’s no recycling service for the old brush heads, but it’s far more convenient.

Parcel has gone up to £4.49 a year.

An eye-opener indeed. I didn’t realise the extent to which folk use subscriptions to manage supply.

I must admit my portfolio is really limited largely, I suspect, because subscribing to anything other than streaming services never occurred.

I guess subscription provides certainty - of supply & cost.

Me? I’ve got a Readly account which I blow hot & cold over. Sky (and a Firestick) pretty much account for my audio/visual needs. Oh and Amazon Prime.


I noticed this, too. Still great value, though :slightly_smiling_face:

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Could you link them? I have a Phillips Sonicare something 9000 and I wanna get some fresh heads to last me while I’m away

I was thinking as I read this that one of the issues around subscribe & save is the unannounced price increases one can encounter.

Taking @Recchan’s question, isn’t it just easier to spot-purchase ?

It’s still always 5-15% cheaper at the moment of processing compared to buying. You also don’t need prime, and delivery is fast and free. Subscribe and save is also more convenient. That’s why I use it. Some products just work better on a subscription model and this is one of them. So subscribe and save is both easier, more convenient, and cheaper. Especially with the level of control Amazon give you for managing your subscriptions.

Depending on the colour of your brush if you want them to match.



Thanks. if I set up an Amazon subscription for it will it come once ordered? Thinking then I can cancel it in Feb so I don’t get the next one :slight_smile: but still get the 10% off haha

I think you get the base discount if you set up the subscription to be delivered now. The full discount if you set it up to be delivered with your next subscribe and save order (assuming you meet the 5 items requirement) you can then cancel, pause, delay or whatever once the order has been shipped.

These are the options you get when you go to set up a subscription with Amazon.

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I usually just postpone future deliveries until when needed so that I do not have to verify card again when setting up a new subscription

You seem to need to redo the card verification now and again to avoid declines. Extreme case was my daily top-up for the TSB offer which was declining every day until I set it up again.

Only when I’ve used Monzo have I had to do that. My other cards have never had that issue.

These happened 2 weeks in, then verified it’s been months since I last verified.

For the Subscribe and save I only get to do it at sign up.

Yeah, mine was OK up to a couple of weeks back then it got worse and worse til it reached daily declines. It’s been fine since I reset it.