No no, I’m not out of ideas! I’m trying to be clever so I could build it up to something later. This is my thrifty Amazon haul for the month of May. I love Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program. I get a box every month at super low prices that majority of brick & mortar stores can’t compete with even at wholesale. Plus, it’s delivered to your doorstep.
“Honey, I’m trying to fight myself on this. Who is going to read this? Why would they care?” I asked my husband.
“Well not everyone knows it’s possible. People think Amazon is always more expensive than traditional stores so they don’t bother to look. You learned how to get around it.” Hubby replied.
Frugality as a Past Time
I always get a huge kick reading about somebody’s thrifty finds. I use to binge watch YouTube videos of hauls where the YouTubers talk about how they got so and so and how much they paid for it.
It’s the cheapo in me. I get a high from it. Have you seen that show Extreme Couponers? The feature guests on that show devote their entire time to clipping coupons and hoarding basement full of stockpiles, free! They have 30 bottles of mustard and 40 jars of peanut butter purchased with coupons all for free!
It’s not the most economical use of time (although it’s definitely entertaining). Every single episode makes me ridiculously hyper. When I re-watch it, I can’t even pause it until the episode is done. The couponers devote to it full-time and even dumpster dive for coupons everyday. I’m not that extreme and I think the opportunity cost is high with a “hobby” like that. There’s no need for 87 boxes of Raisin Bran. Err…OK bad example…I actually do but I’m a host! 🙂
I focus on Amazon which is something different and much less work in my opinion than going at it with scissors. I’ve been doing my Amazon S&S monthly hauls for 12 months now but I only started documenting it a little over a month ago (results in infographic below). This might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I figure it’s worth sharing to test the waters. I’m too lazy and disorganized to clip actual coupons more than once a week but I can still manage to do AirBnB and live car-free with Amazon’s help.
The Set Up
Just making it clear that besides grocery shopping for the basics of food (meat, produce, grains) I don’t do much shopping in discretionary departments like snacks, beverages, or pre-made products. You can see our monthly income and spending report. We reserve $500 a month for food for 3 adults (me, hubby, and dad.)
Don’t you run 3 AirBnBs?
Doesn’t AirBnB guests need snacks and drinks?
You don’t even have a car – how do you buy that stuff?
Amazon is my shepherd; I shall not want.
My hubby and I live car-free so some things are harder on us. Necessary things like toilet paper, dog food, rice, detergent, drinks…anything bigger/heavier than what would fit in my shopping trolley is pretty much impossible.
Since we live in a large metropolitan city and a good portion of our property tax funds the public transportation system here, it’s smarter to live car-free. We save $600 every month by not having a car. We give our driveway parking space to our AirBnB guests and can charge more per night for that benefit. Even if I didn’t get my Amazon finds at discounted prices, it’s still worth it.
I don’t even bother going into Safeway or Albertson’s anymore. I go to the Asian supermarket nearby to get the necessities like produce, meat and eggs then I go home. That’s it. That’s the entirety of my in-person shopping.
Amazon to the Rescue
Amazon is the reason I don’t buy discretionary items anymore. I go to the grocery store and get the basics knowing I can just wait for Amazon’s price on certain things (without urgency) to drop and then I’ll pick it up. Good things come to those who wait. Often the items sold are in bulk since it saves Amazon shipping and probably helps clear space in the Amazon warehouses too.
Amazon has constant price fluctuations so the key here is catching it when it dips to a low. The best part is the free shipping! I don’t have to lift a finger and it comes to my doorstep. I’m pretty sure Amazon is losing profits with me though. The shipping alone would cost more than what I paid for the price so…yeah..
- Common scenario: 24 packs of pita chips that’s $2 less than my wholesale’s club with free shipping.
- Uncommon scenario (but does happen): 6x full size packs of shampoo for $3.99 (possibly because of a pricing or inventory mistake.)
- Seasonal scenario: last summer it was super hot so Amazon had a massive chocolate blow out from their warehouses. I’m talking 24 bars of full-sized Mars candy bars for not even $5 delivered. I’m talking Lindt white chocolate truffle wholesale boxes for $9! These things retail for at least 3x times as much anywhere else! And Amazon’s only getting rid of it because it’s going to be hot and they need it out of the warehouse before it melts. I still have candy left over from last July!
Since we run AirBnBs it’s really not a concern when it’s in wholesale size bulks. Amazon has amazing steals. The brick & mortar wholesale stores are not always guaranteed to be a good deal for things like bulk snacks, shampoos, detergent, floss…actually most things I consider expensive actually.
Dog food is a great reason why Amazon is saving my car-less rump. Grace’s bags of kibble ranges from 30 to 50lbs. I’m only 100lbs. Brick & mortar stores won’t fly even if I did have a car. Who in the world is going to help me load kibble (or rice!) from the store and into my car? I can’t lift past 25 lbs! Holds head in shame.
Amazon, along with free shipping, have huge discounts on high end dog food via S&S. I stockpiled 80 lbs of premium dog food in the garage that I paid no more than $80 for it on Amazon. My only requirements are for the kibble to be higher grade than Alpo and I want to make sure it’s around $1 per pound for kibble and under $1 a can for high grade wet food. Usually in the wholesale clubs, they have generic/low grade dog food starting at $1 a pound. Anything better than the lower grades will be inching towards $2 a pound.
PetSmart/Petco subscriptions aren’t great either. They usually have more hoops you have to jump through. There are shipping minimums/restrictions or “you have to buy this to get this” nonsense. PetSmart/PetCo products are always taxed. Notice below some of my Amazon items are not taxed.
- Look under the S&S section on Amazon.
- Check camelx3 for the history on the item.
- Cross reference with Walmart (don’t shop at Walmart. I just check to see if Walmart thought it was an enough drop to match Amazon’s price.)
- Apply for the Amazon Store Card. The rating is justify but-but-but extra 5% off! 🙂
- Make sure S&S is always over 5+ items to get the 15% off.
- Remember to cancel the S&S item after delivery.
- Bing Rewards has Amazon gift cards for searches.
- Download and use Edge browser for extra Bing points.
- Check out with smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a small % to the donation of your choice.
Brick and mortar chains are just an overall disappointment to this millennial. Can they just die already?
Did I mention free shipping?
Also the extra 5% off (always) with their store card?
Chances that it might be tax-free. TAX-FREE!
Don’t forget the $600 saved a month and not having to leave the house for bulky groceries!!!