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.
This is such a good shout to check on my own subscriptions
Netflix we’ve a gift card credit slowly whittling down (now I can no longer leech off my parents). I’ve just switched to the ads version to see how it is and stretch the credit a bit longer. We don’t use it as often as other streaming though.
Amazon prime runs out in Jan, I’ve paused it. It’s useful, but we don’t stream much on there and can wait for deliveries or shop local. I got a years free last year so no extra cost/savings.
Disney keeping - we’ve 2 kids so it’s on constantly, can’t be rid of that.
Apple care watch I’ll get rid of. £3.99/month, only took it out as I thought I could repair a scratch but no deal. Also with Apple is £8.99/m for cloud storage and £2.99 NYT games which I’m doing daily at the mo, so keeping that.
Spotify, £14.99/m. My husband and I use it most days so keeping that one. I use it all the time at work.
NowTV, we have tv and cinema with this. I usually cancel every few months so they give me a new deal, fluctuates between £1/m and £4.99/m usually per service. Keeping this as well regularly watch. If it ever goes above that though I cancel.
There’s actually not much I could cull from mine, other than Apple care. Agree with @ndrw that it’s ridiculous how much things are becoming subscription based nowadays. It’ll have to give eventually…
So many of the services (Music/TV) can be had with free trials instead - if you’re wanting to cut down, but retain them! Not sure how it works with the sharing etc. etc. etc. So might not suit you.
I find this insane - as a subscription model
I highly recommend you cancel this, and go here instead:
This will give you Spotify for £8.25/month
I think - depending on if you got a deal - you can cancel, and then pay £1 for a 2 week period each time. I got that offer twice (but then foolishly let it auto renew!), so might be a way to save money.
My monthly subs are pretty limited, I try to offset to annual payments as much as possible:
Netflix, I buy a gift card and load it on to my account
Spotify, I use the above gift card (need to renew!)
Apple TV, on my free trial game with that, not sure when I last paid for it
Disney+, leaching off my sister at last
Amazon Prime, leaching off my mum
Xbox Game Pass, never auto-renew & play as/when I want, just purchasing ad-hoc for the month if I want to play.
iCloud Storage, can’t bin this, negligible amount
I have Smarty for phone - which I’ll probs look to switch tariff this coming year, but will probably stick with them.
Already done that. Not quite ready for the renewal period yet. Plus 3 months free with new Xbox means less outlay for another quarter
(Other than Netflix, I purposely didn’t show how little I’m paying for those listed services…)
I’ve never paid the monthly subscription fee though. I keep getting vouchers for birthdays/holidays so I just never see it as a subscription. I think mine is good and free until July next year, but there’s another birthday between now and then.
(Sorry, I will have to escalate this.)
Disney - recently renewed £79.90 on Dec 5th before the increase
Spotify - £10.99 (I keep forgetting the yearly hack to save £32)
Google One £1.59 (just finished trial could swap to £15.99 yearly to save £3).
Adobe CC - £31.27 (should be £56.98 but say it’s too much so pay a lower amount)