Since I work from home and my husband gets free, company comped transportation to work so we never needed a car (except for the occasional car rental for weekend trips.) We do depend on Amazon Prime to get things on shorter notice. For the convenience and the shipping benefits, people think you can’t find thrifty items on Amazon – but it’s just not true.
This is a typical rundown of our monthly subscribe & save whereas you can see we try to 1) buy in bulk, 2) use coupons like prime pantry, free shipping program, no rush reward, and additional pantry discount. 3) buying only what we need.
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Sometimes there are “posh” organic/gluten-free items that are almost as cheap as the non-posh (store brand) so we get it anyway if we need it. Especially because it’s free shipping.
Here’s our haul:
1. Use Coupons & Discounts Available
Amazon provides daily coupons and discounts to their products almost on a daily basis. You can find different deals from different kinds of products. All you have to do is to find the items that you need and clip a coupon on this page if it’s available. Common discounts you can see are up to 15% off on featured items.
2. Purchase in Bulk for Free Shipping
If you’re already subscribed to Amazon Prime, you can also subscribe to Amazon Prime Pantry for $5 a month. This gives you access to low-priced grocery and household essential items. Products include snacks, personal care products, and grocery products. You can check on current promotions in the Prime Pantry store. Prime Pantry members usually have a minimum of $10 requirement for free shipping and pay $5.99 if the minimum requirement is not met. This is super convenient, especially if you want to save on gas or doesn’t want to leave the house for groceries.
3. Amazon “Subscribe & Save”
Subscribe & Save is an Amazon program that lets their users save on regular item. You can save up to 15% on products as well as free shipping. You do not need to be an Amazon Prime customer in order to take advantage of Subscribe and Save. The more item you have a subscription with, the more savings you will usually receive.
What makes Subscribe & Save to Amazon Prime Party different is that you don’t need to be subscribed to Amazon Prime to get the benefits of free shipping and discount. There is also a certain date each month where you receive your items (not instant shipping).
4. Subscribe to Amazon Prime with a Partner
Amazon also offers the sharing of Prime benefits with just one account. The cost of the subscription can be shared with two adult members of the family, and up to four children. Even children without an Amazon account can benefit o Prime’s numerous benefits.
5. Use Prime Student
Students can try the Prime benefits and see for themselves if the program is for them in a 6-month trial with Amazon Student Prime. They also get unlimited photo storage as well as free 2-day shipping during the six-month trial. After that, they can avail for a 50% discount in Prime membership.
6. Amazon Family subscription
Amazon Family Subscription gives deals and coupons to family-related items. This is a free program for a family subscribed to Amazon Prime. Families can save up to 20% on diapers and baby food, as well as on family essentials. If you’re expecting a baby, you can get up to 15% on your early baby-related items.
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7. Visit Amazon Warehouse or Amazon Outlet
Item returns are pretty common in the Amazon operations, with people returning their stuff because of a defect or even because of change of mind. These items cannot be sold as “new”, and therefore sold as used items with huge discounts. You can take advantage of discounts and coupons if you don’t mind used products. Outlet usually offers new items cheaply because there is no middleman.
8. Trade-In Tech
Considering an upgrade for your devices? You can ship your old devices to Amazon and get a trade-in dollar amount for your item. Once you ship your item to Amazon and your item was verified to the description and condition submitted, you’ll be rewarded with a gift card which you can add to your next purchase. Amazon Trade-In is only available on supported items (mobile phones, gaming, books, tablets, etc.).
9. Use Notification Apps
Third-party apps are available to track the price of the item that you want to buy. Sites such as CamelCamelCamel.com sends a notification if the item you want drops prices to the price you want. Another service called Honey sends deals before you buy the item.
10. Consider Package Forwarding Services (International Customers)
International shipping can be a pain in the neck for international customers. Sometimes, the shipping fee is even more expensive, or the item is not available at all in your region. If you’re an international customer and you want to save money, consider using a package forwarding service or purchase digital items instead (if applicable, e.g. games, music, etc).
11. Check Amazon Lightning Deals
When checking for promos, one would likely find Lightning Deals among the daily promotions. Lightning deals are offered in limited quantity that runs for a limited amount of time or until the supplies last. You can save more than 50% of the original price if you’re lucky.
12. Buy From Trusted Third-Party Sellers to Avoid Taxes
Items that are provided and delivered by Amazon can give assurance that the item is at the good condition with minimum risk of shipping damages. But if you want to save money on taxes, buy items from third-party sellers. Third-party sellers are not taxed and mostly have lower prices to compete with Amazon’s items.
13. Do Not Ship Broken Items Back Yourself
Receiving a broken or defective item can be a pain in the neck. People would want to get rid of the items immediately, so they would contact Amazon customer service and will return the item themselves. But it is advised to get refund or replacement without shipping it back.
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14. URL Extension Technique
Amazon’s filter usually doesn’t allow to filter their items based on the amount of discount. If you want to shop your item via the amount of discount, you can add a certain “extension” in the URL. An example of the extension format is like this: “&pct-off=70-” which means 70% off. This only works on product list pages.
15. Use Your Unused Old Gift Cards
Money is still money, that’s why it is sometimes very difficult to throw away VISA and Mastercard that still has some money below the withdrawal requirement. By buying an Amazon virtual gift card, you can use the remaining funds from your old VISA and Mastercard to shop on Amazon. Small funds, when accumulated, will become a big fund that you can use to supplement your purchases.
16. Make Your Purchases Seasonal
There are certain times each year where some of the items are offered at a discounted price. Back to school sales period is where you can see laptops and computer prices drop. Meanwhile, games and consoles are up for sale during the Christmas holidays. You can save hundreds of dollars if you time your purchases right.
17. Leave Items In Carts (Works Sometimes)
If you leave the item that you want in the cart, Amazon will give you a little push to make the purchase. You might receive a deal if you leave the item for a few days. This doesn’t work all the time, but it’s worth a try.
18. Utilize Cashbacks and Rebates
Shoppers who usually use Amazon’s service in order to make their purchases can benefit by acquiring Amazon Prime VISA and Reward cards. You can receive cashbacks and rebates by using these services. Loyal Amazon customers can receive accumulated savings in the long run by collecting points.
19. Answer Surveys
Earn Amazon gift cards just by giving your opinion by answering surveys. Online survey sites such as SwagBucks and Opinion Outpost gives “points” to each completed surveys. These points can be used to redeem Amazon Giftcards or Paypal money, so you can also use your rewards on other shopping sites.
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20. Sign up with Amazon Email Subscription
Deals and offers are hard to find, especially if you’re looking for a certain item. After signing up in Amazon’s email subscription, you can receive deals based on your spending habits and search history. There are rare times when Amazon sends a good deal exclusively. (This actually works, it happened to me while looking for a budget laptop)
21. Use Snagshout
A site called Snagshout offer discounts on items such as groceries, media, pet supplies, clothing electronics, and more. The only thing you need to do is to make an account on the website via using your email or via Facebook. Find an item you want, and click on “Snag it”. You will be given a coupon which you can use when checking out using the Amazon site.
22. Credit Loose Coins to Amazon
Did you ever wonder what you’d do in the penny jar that has been accumulating hundreds of pennies at the side of your room? You can turn it into an Amazon Gift Card by using Coinstar Kiosks nationwide. Coins that are converted to make an Amazon Gift Card are not required to pay the usual Coinstar fee for cash.
23. Bulk Add-ons
To qualify for free shipping, you will need to purchase items worth $25 or more. This is where add-ons shine to save money in shipping. Buy vitamins, toiletries, and other cheap “add-on” items until you reach $25. These items are cheaper than Amazon’s shipping fees.
24. Consider Refurbished Items
Amazon has a high standard in order to qualify an item as brand new. The company will qualify something as renewed or refurbished even if the problem is just minor scratches. If you want to save and get the same functionality, refurbished items are your best friend.
25. Consider Slower Shipping Options
Faster shipping means more convenience but more expensive shipping fee. If you don’t need the item ASAP, consider for the free but slower shipping option. You can even get a shopping credit if you choose the option as an Amazon Prime user.
26. Swap Color or Size of Item
For items with different color schemes available might have different prices. The difference in color usually affects the price because of its demand. Very limited item color can fetch higher prices while the generic ones will receive the generic price.
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Bonus Tip: Buy Bulk, Check DealNews (App) & Be Patient
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, has 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.
Quick Tricks To Save on Amazon Shopping
- 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 enough drop to match Amazon’s price.)
- Apply for the Amazon Store Card. The rating is justified 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!!!
All hail our Amazonian overlords.