‘Tis the season, so gift yourself something that keeps on giving month after month. We’ve got deals on security services to keep you safe online, activity boxes to keep your kiddos occupied with fun activities, and food boxes to keep your belly full and happy. Hey, notice the theme? It’s all for peace of mind. Now there’s a badly needed theme to close out 2021.
Check out our Deals newsletter to stay up-to-date on our Black Friday coverage over the coming days and our Black Friday tips guide for advice on shopping wisely. We’ll also keep this article updated regularly as deals come and go throughout the weekend.
Updated November 26: We’ve added several new deals, including Hulu, meal kits, and tea subscription services.
The internet is a scary place full of Mountain Dew-swigging desperados eager to rob your digital bank of passwords and credit card numbers. Let them know the jig is up by protecting yourself with the Best Password Managers and Best VPNs.
Senior product reviewer Scott Gilbertson gave NordVPN one of his highest recommendations in his guide to the Best VPN Services, thanks to its severs’ snappy performance and the company’s relatively transparent business practices. The catch? You have to choose (and pay up-front for) a two-year plan to get the big discount. Still, it’s not much more than the $59 sale price for a one-year plan.
The free version of NordPass ties only to one device and doesn’t allow syncing. These days, when almost everyone has at least a couple of devices, step up to the $24-per-year deal so that you’re never without your passwords, whether you’re at your computer, on your tablet, or out and about with your phone.
Hulu is one of our favorite TV streaming services because of its wide variety of television shows and movies, both new and classic. Both new customers and returning customers can return for this buck-a-month deal, as long as they haven’t been subscribed to Hulu at any time in the past month. You will, however, have to put up with advertisements during most shows. But hey, that’s what bathroom breaks and refrigerator runs are for.
Surfshark has some of the fastest VPN speeds senior product reviewer Scott Gilbertson has ever tested. Its claims of not logging customers’ data are relatively untested, although it did pass an independent audit recently—a good sign for data privacy.
Sometimes the internet of 2021 feels like the internet of 2001. Advertisers and scammers have gotten good at dodging the built-in browser and operating system features that block pop-ups and embedded ads. Slap them down again with AdGuard, a highly customizable ad-blocker that lets you whitelist and blacklist individual sites to your liking.
An RSS reader is like a loyal Golden Retriever who trots out to your lawn to fetch your daily news, except the internet is a very big lawn and an RSS reader can fetch a lot of news. Inoreader Pro was named best overall in our guide to RSS readers due to its depth and ease-of-use. It’s deep enough for rich features, such as keyword monitoring, and simple enough for beginners and casual users.
Deals You Can Drink
This is one of both my and senior product reviewer Scott Gilbertson’s favorite coffee subscription services, thanks to Trade’s enormous and constantly rotating variety of roasters from across the US. Not only that, but if you don’t like your first bag, Trade will replace it with one you do like for free. I took advantage of that myself, and every bag I’ve had since then has been on-point.
Free Your Tea aims to help you figure out which types of teas you like by asking you about preferences and rating the samples you receive, and eventually it’ll hone in on your particular tastes. If you sign up for a six- or 12-month subscription during this promotion, you get 50 percent more tea each month. You can also specify that you want exclusively caffeine-free teas if you want to keep away from the jitters.
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Tea Runners is a relative newcomer since it was founded in 2016, but they’ve built up a hefty collection of more than 300 loose-leaf teas. Each box contains four sample teas, which are good for about 40 cups of tea, along with tasting notes and instructions. You can select certain types of tea, such as a black-tea-only box or an herbal-tea-only box.
Atlas is an exploratory experience for those interested in single-origin beans, as Gilbertson puts it. Rather than focusing on blends, each shipment from Atlas dives deep into a single country and gives you background context on the beans and tips for making the best brew from them. If you’re a new customer, you can choose from a free bag (a $14 value) or you can choose two bags for your first shipment for $13 (a $28 value).
This is for the crossover dog- and coffee-lover. Twenty percent of Grounds and Hounds’ profits go toward animal shelters. If you stick out a weekly subscription for a whole year, they say that’s enough to provide 800 meals for dogs in shelters. Plus, they had some of our favorite dark roast blends.
Deals You Can Eat
Everybody likes to eat, but few like to eat the same old thing day after day. Variety is the spice of life, they say, so spice up your life with our guides to the Best Snack Boxes and Best Meal Kit Subscriptions.
Product reviewer and writer Louryn Strampe called Blue Apron the best meal kit for most people, thanks to its easy-to-follow recipes, good quality of ingredients, and wide range of dietary customization, such as diabetes-friendly options. While it’s meals aren’t exactly restaurant-level expensive, keep in mind that its lowest price per serving is $7.49.
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There are tons of Japanese-themed snack boxes out there, but Bokksu caught product reviewer Louryn Strampe’s eye for centered each box’s theme around a unique region of Japan, such as a cherry blossom box or one featuring the foods of Osaka.
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Buy a nine, 14-, or 24-item box of this all-vegan meal delivery service, and get the second box free. There are lots of filters for lifestyle options, such as gluten-free and keto. Daily Harvest was named the best meal kit for solo snackers because, unlike many meal plans, they’re given as single-product servings.
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Named the best meal kit subscription for beginner cooks, Home Chef is particularly comprehensive with its directions and tips throughout the cooking process, such as saving you uneccesary effort by reminding you not to clean a pan that’ll later be used for a sauce. There’s an option to select only meals that take less than 30 minutes to cook. Like Blue Apron, the lowest price per serving isn’t particularly cheap—in this case, $7 per serving.
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Ugly produce is perfectly nutritious and delicious. It just ends up in landfills far more often than “pretty” produce. Misfits Market buys up aesthetically different fruit and vegetables to sell to hungry folks who know beauty is more than skin-deep. They’ve also branched out beyond produce these days, too. Choose the bigger box, even if you’re cooking for one or two people. You want to make sure you get enough of each type of vegetable or fruit to make an entire side dish or snack.
Deals for Your Pets
If you can’t bear the thought of living without a little buddy, don’t fear. We’ve got lots of pet-lovers at WIRED who’ve put together comprehensive guides, such as Best Pet Supplies and Tips for Newly Adopted Dogs and Cats, Best Cat Toys and Supplies, and Best Essentials for Your Dog,
You have to sign up for a subscription plan to receive this offer. Every box centers around a new theme, such as A Charlie Brown Christmas or Home Alone, and includes two bags of all-natural treats, two toys, and a chew.
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Every monthly or bimonthly (your choice) themed box includes a mix of five or six toys and treats, and for every box sold Meowbox donates food to a shelter. The mix of quality toys and altruism made it our favorite subscription box for cats.
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Plants are pets. You feed them, give them water, have to cure their illnesses, and occasionally get your hands dirty and smelly while taking care of them. Horti’s subscription sends you a new plant in a six-inch clay pot every month, along with instructions on how to keep them alive and thrivin’. Over time, the plants get more exotic and trickier as you grow out of being a beginner plant parent. You can specify pet-friendly plants if you don’t want to receive anything toxic to cats and dogs.
Subscription Boxes for Kids
Kids are fickle, so offload the heavy decision making to a company. Just sit back and watch the pre-picked goods arrive month after month with the Best Kids’ Subscription Boxes and non-kid-specific Subscription Boxes.
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Each crate comes with a collection of gifts centered around a theme, selected for a range of ages from toddlers under two years old to teenagers. If you’d prefer to select a theme, you can pick from specialist interests such as robots and music as you like. You can purchase three months for $45, six months for $90, and a year for $180, all based on a $15-a-month price.
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Many of the boxes contain a themed mix of physical objects and apps which are, thankfully, free of advertisements and in-app purchases. Senior associate reviews editor Adrienne So calls the Sago Mini Box the best subscription box for youngsters, particularly for those aged two to five years old.
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As the name suggests, this box is heavy on arts and crafts. This one’s only for new customers, but you can get 40 percent off your first subscription box. If you choose a month-to-month plan, that makes the normally $30 box only $18. Also part of We Craft Box’s Black Friday sale is a free mystery box if you choose to prepay for three or more months.
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If you or your kid are a sucker for learning about different cultures, this is the box for you. Say you choose the World Edition box for kids aged six to 10. Each month, the themed box will center on one country, teaching your child a diverse range of topics about that country through stories and activities about its people, holidays, environment, or food. You can also select boxes about various US states, science, math, and engineering for ages three to 12 years old.