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I’ve updated my list of strategies that can help you stretch your dollars using Amazon.com. We use these tips to save hundreds (possibly thousands) of dollars every year by taking advantage of all Amazon has to offer!
1. Maximize an Amazon Prime Membership
In case you’re not familiar with Amazon Prime, here are the basics. You pay a yearly fee to be an Amazon Prime member (currently $99). As a member, you’ll receive unlimited free 2-day shipping on millions of products, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, free Kindle books, lots of free music and more.
We use it to get everything from office supplies to gifts to toilet paper. As long as the price on Amazon is the same or even a tiny bit higher than a local store, I buy it at Amazon. Delivered to your doorstep in 2 days versus dragging myself and the little one out to the store? No question for me.
First of all, anyone can take a 30 day free trial of the program. But there are a few ways to get a longer free trial and even discounts on purchases and the membership fee. If you have a little person in your life, you can sign up for the Amazon Mom Program. You can be a mom, dad, aunt, grandpa, loving friend, etc. You will get a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime and a 20% discount on diapers.
Even better, if you have access to an email account that ends in “.edu”, you are eligible for the Amazon Student Program. If you sign up for Amazon Student you can get a SIX month free trial and after that membership is half the normal rate – that is, $49 per year. After four years in the program, you will have to verify that you are still enrolled as a student or pay the regular price for your Prime Membership.
2. Use Subscribe & Save for Essentials
Subscribe & Save is a great way to get household essentials delivered automatically every month and save money on top of Amazon’s prices. We use this to get our paper products, snacks, diapers, cleaning products, cereal, etc! If you have at least 5 items in your subscription delivery each month, you will save an additional 15% off your order.
You can view all Subscribe & Save eligible items here. If you select the “Subscribe & Save” option when you add an item to your cart, you will be assigned a monthly delivery date. You can change this date later to work with your family’s needs. As I mentioned, the best savings come if you add any 5 items to your monthly delivery. You will receive 15% off the regular prices of all items.You can cancel your subscription at any time so you can always just get an item once and then cancel. I do this all of the time.
There are also coupons that you can digitally “clip” from an item’s page before you add an item to your cart. Take advantage of these to save even more! You can often times get items for under $2 when you combine a coupon with your Subscribe & Save discount. These are a great way to get an extra item or two in your shipment to reach 5 and get your 15% discount. Click here to see all of the current Amazon coupons.
Here is an example of the great price you can get on diapers using a coupon and Subscribe & Save:
Huggies Economy Pack Snug & Dry Diapers Size 1 (276 count) $44.49
Use $4.00 off digital coupon
Get 20% discount when you add 4 more subscriptions
$31.59 after coupon and discount (that’s 11 cents/diaper)
For comparison, the same box of diapers on the shelf at Target is $47.19. You will save about $16 plus the cost of gas and time to drive and get them!
If you need ideas for what you can get through Subscribe & Save at good prices, here’s a sampling of what we have ordered in the past:
- Ground coffee & coffee pods
- Diapers & wipes
- Toilet paper & paper towels
- Larabars, KIND bars, Nature Valley Granola Bars
- Shower Gel & soap
- Dish sponges
- Annie’s Mac & Cheese
- Terra Chips
- Muscle Milk powder
- Face moisturizer
3. Wait for That Price to Drop!
The prices of items on Amazon fluctuate, sometimes wildly and daily. It is helpful to know about what you should expect to pay for an item and sometimes it helps to know the price history of the item to know if the current price is a good deal. The website Camel Camel Camel does just that – gives you alerts when the price drops on items you are interested in and also the price history of the items. I have no idea why it is named after a camel… maybe you can figure it out?
The easiest way to use this free service is to add items you want to watch to an Amazon wishlist. You can find this in the top right corner of the Amazon page, right next to the shopping cart.
Then you can add your entire wishlist to your account on Camel Camel Camel at once. You can set the alerts to trigger for a specific price on a product and see the price history of the items as well.
4. Choose the “No-Rush Shipping” Option for Additional Perks
Recently Amazon has been offering Prime members the option for “No-Rush” shipping at checkout. They have been offering some perk when you choose this option. Currently, it is a $1 digital media credit, though in the past it has been a $1 book credit and a $5.99 credit towards an Amazon Pantry shipment.
I have scored multiple free books, free TV shows and am working on my first Amazon Pantry shipment. I don’t think Amazon Pantry offers a good deal unless you can score free shipping ($5.99), so take advantage of this offer if you see it and try it out!
I hope these tips and tricks will help you and your family save money and have more time together. Please comment below with questions or more ideas!