Are monthly meat subscriptions really worth it?

Our culture is all about ease and simplifying tasks to make life less complicated. Subscription box services were designed to do just that. This new way to shop really ramped up in 2010 with the subscription cosmetic service, Birchbox. In less than a year, Birchbox had racked up over 45,000 subscribers and became a pioneer of this business model (via Clutch). 

To this end, a survey created to analyze the e-commerce growth around subscription services found that 54 percent of online shoppers say they subscribe to a subscription box service. And why wouldn't you? These services offer the convenience of being delivered to your doorstep, and, well, who doesn't like getting a box in the mail filled with items you need or products picked out just for you? The anticipation is like having your birthday or Christmas every four weeks. These monthly retail subscriptions can range anywhere from $10 to $100 and up. 

Today, subscription box services have permeated just about every market and industry. One product that has gained popularity with these monthly box services is food. Subscribers can receive a range from complete meals to prepare at home with online food retailers like Blue Apron or Sun Basket to boxes that concentrate on a specific category of nourishment like monthly meat subscriptions. 

Omaha Steaks, Butcher Box, the Carnivore Club, and Kansas Steaks are among the many retailers who have been selling monthly meat subscriptions. But are they worth it?

Pros and cons of monthly meat subscriptions

There are a lot of pros to signing up for a monthly meat service. It's convenient, there may be meats in the selection you've never tried before or would never have thought to purchase if you were selecting your own meats, and there is also a potential savings that can result with these services — which is generally at the top of the list for subscribing in the first place. 

However, there are also some real downsides to consider. Not every cut of meat is created equal. When you select your own produce, you are able to check it out and pick exactly what you want. That's not the case when someone else is doing the selecting for you. Even if you get to customize the meats in your box, going to your local grocer or butcher and seeing the meat with your own eyes before plunking down those Andrew Jacksons is a totally different buying experience. Moreover, some of these subscription services have been compared to joining a gym when trying to quit. Translation: They don't make it easy (via Moneycrashers).

Bottom line: Shop around and compare prices of different meat cuts before you sign up (via The Spruce Eats). If you look at online reviews, read them all. Check-out what the community on Reddit has to say about specific meat subscription retailers and decide what qualities, be it value, quality, grass-fed, or free range, are most important to you before becoming a subscriber.