If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
Receiving subscription boxes is always a lot of fun for me. The surprise element coupled with finding something I love that I never would have considered buying keeps me subscribing. My boys watch me open my subscription boxes all the time. In May 2015 while planning my son’s fourth birthday party, I decided I wanted to order him a subscription box of his own. After doing a little research, I chose Citrus Lane.
I missed the cutoff for the May 2015 box, so his first box would arrive in June. That was actually neat for two reasons. His first box would come around his actual birthday making no mistake about what the subscription was for. Also, he did not miss his item choice for his first box. Like my favorite subscription, Birchbox, you get a choice on one of the items. As long as you like the options, you get at least one item that will please you. At nearly four, I felt he was old enough to make his own choice, and he did.
I selected a six month subscription, which is not something I usually do with a brand new subscription. Usually, I try them out for a while and upgrade to a larger subscription only after I’m sure I like it. With this box, I decided four-year olds are so fickle that he may hate one box but love the next. Six months is more than enough time to make a long-term purchase decision. Plus, this subscription offers a decent discount on longer terms. A one month subscription is $29. Three months gets you down to $27 a box. Six months gets you down to $24 a month.
I also saw a promotion for 50% (or $12) off the first box. That is the highest amount I had ever seen, so I know that discount does not appear often. Usually, the standard offer is 40% or 30% plus a welcome item. On a six month subscription, the difference between 30-40% on the first box is only $2.40. If the welcome item is something you’d want, I’d easily give up the $2.40 in savings.
I opted for the 50% off over the 30% off and the item, because the $4.80 difference was worth more to me than free item that accompanied the 30% offer, but that is not always the case. Some of the offers before this and after have been incredibly cute. Always look at all available offers before subscribing. I post all offers I am aware of here. My six month total, including discount was $132. As I paid $12 for the first box and $24 for each future box, I will use those prices for the box values.
The first thing I noticed was the product card is slightly different from the average product card in subscription boxes. It listed all the items like most do, but it also provided discount codes and URLs on where to get those discounts. As someone who loves discounts, I appreciate this added touch. Only one of the five items in the box was without a code, so I assume they actively try to lock in discount offers when they secure the product for the box. If Connor really likes any of the items, I like that we have discount codes to buy more. The expiration dates are also generous. Two expire over a month away, one over two months away, and the last does not expire until the end of the year.
His first box arrived via USPS the day before his fourth birthday, which was perfect because his birthday fell on a Sunday this year. We also had his birthday party the same day the box arrived, so he opened the box as soon as we got home from the party. He knew he was getting a book, because it was the item he selected. The choice was between this book and another, and I know how much this kid loves the beach and the sand. It was not surprising at all that he wanted the Beach House book.
This book retails for $16.99 at Chronicle Books. It retails in hardcover, and this is paperback. As I cannot find a paperback price, I will use the price to purchase a physical copy of the book. With the 30% off code provided, I could buy a second copy there for $11.89. That is cheaper than the $12.67 price now listed at Wal-Mart. My older son learned how to read when he was three, so this would have been a perfect gift for him. Most of the words are phonetic, which I prefer for young readers. Even long words did not intimidate him when they were phonetic. He tackled those as easily as smaller words. Unfortunately, my younger son cannot read yet, but I will read this to him. I will list this in his value and hope he can one day use it on his own.
The irony of finding Color & Shape Wallet Cards in a box with an early reader book did not evade me. I cannot imagine a kid who could use both (except maybe a younger kid whose parent reads to him but even then, the kid is not really using the book). If a kid can read, the kid probably already knows his shapes. My kid did years of Gymboree and just finished his first year of preschool. His shapes and colors have been long mastered, so these flash cards would most likely bore him. As such, I will list these in box value but not his value. These will either be gifted to a younger kid or put away if I have any more of my own. These retail for $9.99 at YouGuysAreSoAwesome.
My kids have a mixed diet. There are certain things I only buy in organic form, like fruit, vegetables, milk, butter, etc. Other things, like cereal, are usually more traditional kids cereals. Connor’s favorites are Froot Loops, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Frosted Mini Wheats. While I do not buy organic cereals often, he has liked some of the ones we’ve tried. These were no exception. He said he liked them, so I will probably buy a box and see how it goes. When I find something organic he enjoys, I like to change his diet to include it. I’m hoping future boxes include more organic snack items, because I love sampling items before buying them. We have encountered some misses on our search for hits, and organic offerings are not usually cheap, making it harder to swallow (pun intended). This Snackimals Cereal in chocolate crisp offering from Barbara’s retails for $5.29 for a 9oz box. That makes this 1.05oz sample bag worth about $0.62.
Connor loves robots, so I think he will enjoy the hello books robot mission. It is a create your own space adventure story. My create your own story experience is limited to watching it discussed in the movie Big when I was a kid. I thought it would be cool, but I never had one of my own. I’ve bought completely blank books for my kids, so they could create an entire story. My older one really took to that, but I feel my younger one is still a bit away from exploring that. This self guided one with a format is more his current speed. This DIY book retails for $9.95 at Karma Kiss. I wish Citrus Lane mentioned where to get it, because it seems like a waste of whoever provided to not have their credit mentioned.
I actually saved the best for last. All Moms want kids to read, learn, and eat well. Kids mostly just want to play though. This was the first item Connor snatched out of the box, and the item he still grabs the most. This Fun Flyer by Stephen Joseph retails for $6.95. It is a water-friendly neoprene that makes this adorable crab a great toy. He can come with us to the beach or almost anywhere, and with lots to do this summer, I know he will take trips with us. There are so many great and fun looking toys I can buy with the 20% off coupon code provided, so I will probably use it.
This welcome box cost me $12. Its value is $44.50. Connor will not use the wallet cards, so his value is $34.51. Even if we paid the full $24, I feel that is a good value. We’re happy with this box and look forward to seeing what comes in the future. If you’re ready to subscribe, do not forget to check sign up codes before heading over to Citrus Lane. See all Citrus Lane Subscription articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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