It took me a while to get on board with Amazon’s Prime Pantry. I expected to find grocery items that were grossly overpriced due to the convenience of having them shipped to your doorstep.
Turns out this is only partially true! 😉 Some items on Prime Pantry are definitely overpriced.
But the prices of most items are comparable (or lower) than what you would pay at your local grocery store. AND there are a few tricks I’ve learned that will bring the cost of those items down even more.
I estimate that in 2016 I’ve received about $50 in free groceries through Amazon’s Prime Pantry using the three steps I’m sharing below. Amazon is constantly changing their policies, so I can’t guarantee that this approach will continue to work in the new year. I promise to update this post if I learn that any of these policies have changed!
For now, here is a fairly easy way to get free grocery and personal care items if you are a regular Amazon shopper. Note: You do have to be an Amazon Prime member to use this service. You can take a free trial here!
Step 1: Choose No-Rush Shipping at Checkout
The first step to getting free/discounted groceries with Prime Pantry is to select the No-Rush shipping option when you are ordering something from Amazon. Unless I absolutely need the item in 2 days, I select the free no-rush shipping option.
Throughout the past year Amazon has been offering a $5 or more in credit on your next Prime Pantry order for selecting the no-rush option. After the item(s) you have ordered ships, you will receive an email from Amazon stating that you have earned a Prime Pantry credit. Mine always goes to my spam folder, so I usually don’t bother checking!
The next time you place a Prime Pantry order, you will see the credit applied to your total at checkout. You don’t have to enter any codes or do anything additional. You can only use one credit per order, even if you have accrued more than one credit.
Step 2: Earn Free Shipping on your Prime Pantry Order
Shipping on Prime Pantry orders is supposed to cost $5.99 per order. But Amazon seems to always be offering free shipping on your Prime Pantry order when you add five select items to your order.
I start a Prime Pantry order by seeing if I can find five items that qualify for free shipping that I would buy anyway at the store. Here’a a link to all of the items that qualify for free shipping. I’m particularly on the lookout for items with digital “coupons” you can clip the lower their prices.
If I can find an item for a price that is comparable to what I would pay for it at the store, I get it on Amazon. The reason is that if your order qualifies for free shipping, your $5 no-rush shipping credit will be applied in addition to the free shipping credit.
This essentially nets you $5 in free items on every Prime Pantry order! This likely wouldn’t be enough incentive for me to spend time putting together an order, but you can combine both of these discounts with coupons, providing even more savings (read on to learn more about clipping coupons on Amazon.)
As an example, here are the five items I added to my recent Prime Pantry order that qualified for free shipping (keep in mind that these items may no longer be available by the time you read this):
After clipping the 15% coupon, this Near East Rosemary & Olive Oil Quinoa Blend was $1.70, which is a great price for this item. It is about $3 at my local grocery store.
$3.31 isn’t the best price on this Cracklin’ Oat Bran Cereal, but it is my daughter’s favorite and they don’t carry it at our local Food Lion. I got two boxes – each counts towards the five item total needed to earn free shipping. It is nice to be able to get hard-to-find items on Prime Pantry, too!
And finally I grabbed a box of White Cheddar Cheez-Its, which are my husband’s favorite. I paid $2.17 which is what I would expect to pay for them when they are on sale at the grocery store.
I grabbed a box of this Pasta Roni for only $0.80 after the 15% off coupon. I honestly wouldn’t buy this regularly, but I needed another item to get free shipping, so I’ll give it a try.
Step 3: Use Coupons for Even More Savings
After I’ve earned free shipping, I head over to the Prime Pantry coupons page. There are always coupons available exclusively for Prime Pantry items, and all you have to do to redeem them is click a button. I can do that. 😉
Here are some items I added to my order that were a great deal after coupons:
I got more of what has become my favorite shampoo, Herbal Essences Blowout Smooth Shampoo. It was only $1.50 after I clipped the $1 off coupon.
I also grabbed more of my favorite conditioner, Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner, which was $1.99 after clipping the $1.00 off coupon.
And last, while there wasn’t a coupon available, I got a good deal on this Twin Pack of Secret Shower Fresh Women’s Deodorant. I paid $3.97 for two large tubes, which will last me about 9 months.
So here is the summary of my order. I got
- two boxes of cereal
- two side dishes
- a box of crackers
- two-pack of deodorant
The total for my order after all of my discounts (including my $5 in free items!) was $14.08 with free shipping. I would definitely pay WAY more for all of this at the grocery store! I spent less than 10 minutes shopping and it will arrive at my doorstep in just a few days.
Have you given Prime Pantry a try? Please share you thoughts in a comment below!