11 Ways to Save Money Using Amazon Prime
With Amazon Prime Day on the horizon, I want to share many of the benefits of Amazon Prime that have saved me time and money and can do the same for you too.
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How Amazon Prime has helped me save money
One weekend day a few years ago, my husband asked me what I had planned for the day. My plan was to spend the afternoon going to Target for something very unexciting like laundry soap.
He asked me why I didn’t just order it off on Amazon Prime. It would be delivered to my door in two days, and I could avoid going to the store altogether.
I didn’t know the breadth of Amazon’s offerings, how quickly I could receive items, and how easy it was to use. In the years since, I’ve saved so much time and money using Amazon Prime.
Instead of spending countless hours going from store to store running errands, looking for the right items, and buying gifts, I spend a few minutes ordering it off of Amazon. Then I spend that extra time with my family and working on my side hustles, which actually make me money. How great is that?
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is a subscription service that gives subscribers special access to products and services available on the Amazon marketplace. These include free two-day shipping, discounts at Whole Foods stores, access to stream videos and music, and more.
The cost is $119 per year as of this writing or about $10 per month. I know many frugal people don’t want to join subscription services. I try to keep my expenses as low as possible. I avoid subscription services wherever I can.
But Amazon Prime costs only about $10 dollars per month. I save more than that with the products I buy, and I make more than that with the hours that I save and can put toward my side hustles. So it’s been well worth it for me.
Another perk of this service is that you have access to Amazon’s new features and services as they come out. When Amazon took over Whole Foods and started offering discounts to Amazon Prime members, I was at my local Whole Foods ready to take advantage of that.
Amazon is constantly trying to improve and remain up-to-date with the times, so you’ll find something that benefits you with membership.
More Ways to Save Money on Amazon
1 | Try Amazon Prime free for 30 days
Amazon Prime has a free trial for 30 days, which allows you to see if you like it and it’s worth it for you. That’s how I started using it, and I found it valuable because I made purchases for myself, my husband, the dog, and family and friends.
I’ve since sent last-minute birthday and baby shower gifts directly to recipients through Amazon Prime. I’ve helped my tech-challenged parents find and purchase things they’ve wanted, then had them sent directly to their house.
Try out Prime and decide if it’s worth it for you. If it is, great! If not, cancel before the trial is over. Mark your calendar for a few days before it’s set to renew so that you cancel within the trial window.
2 | Shop with an Amazon credit card
I love cash back credit cards because they help me earn money while shopping for things I need to buy anyway.
I have an Amazon Visa credit card which gives me 5% cash back on purchases made on Amazon and at Whole Foods, 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. You do have to be an Amazon Prime subscriber to qualify for the card.
Just be sure to review your bill each month and pay it off in full. You don’t want to carry a balance and pay interest on any credit card.
3 | Get discounted membership depending on income status
Prime is available for $5.99 per month to qualifying customers with EBT or Medicaid cards. You can still take advantage of the free 30-day trial first before paying for the service. You can cancel membership at any time.
Amazon offers full-time students Prime Student membership for $6.49 per month. Currently you can get a 6-month free trial for new members only. Then you’d have to pay $6.49 per month to continue. You can cancel at any time.
4 | Shop Amazon through Rakuten (formerly Ebates)
Select Amazon categories and items can earn cash back. For example, 5% cash back on certain apparel, 4% cash back on Amazon devices such as the Echo and Kindle, 3.5% cash back on luggage and jewelry, 2% cash back on office and school supplies, and more.
The dollars and cents add up. There’s really no reason not to use Rakuten when it’s so easy, free, and earns you cash back.
5 | Use Amazon Subscribe & Save
Subscribe & Save is a service where you purchase items received on repeat and you receive a discount in return for it. You pick which items you want to be sent to you regularly such as diapers, toilet paper, and laundry detergent. This is so helpful for mothers and other people who need regular supplies but cannot get out of the house.
Amazon delivers them to you in the quantity and schedule that works for you, anywhere from monthly to every 6 months. You receive up to a 15% discount when you receive 5 or more of your subscribed products in a month. You can cancel the subscriptions any time.
Amazon Family provides up to a 20% discount when you receive 5 or more of your subscribed family-oriented items (e.g., baby, family, and household products).
6 | Take advantage of no-rush shipping bonuses
When you purchase something through Amazon Prime, you’re given several shipping options. One of those options is free no-rush shipping, which allows Amazon to send it to you slower. It’s usually about a week’s delivery time versus two days.
In return for selecting no-rush shipping, you’re given a small bonus. It’s usually a $5 reward towards a Prime Now order (household and grocery items delivered to your door). I’ve seen credits offered towards purchasing streamed music or videos as well. It’s a nice small perk if you don’t need an item right away and don’t mind slower shipping.
7 | Use Amazon Wardrobe
Amazon Wardrobe is a free service for Prime members. This service that lets you order clothes, try them on at home, and return what you don’t want. You have 7 days to try on the clothes and decide what you want to keep. It’s free shipping both ways, so there’s not much risk in trying it out.
Some of the brands sold on Wardrobe are Nike, Clarks, Adidas, and Levi’s. Do you have a hard time shopping for yourself? Buy several items in different sizes and try them on at home to see what fits. Then return the rest.
Are you tired of trying to shop with your children in tow? You don’t have to drag unwilling family members to the stores and force them to try on clothes. Order a bunch to try at home and send the rest back.
8 | Use Prime monthly membership
Let’s say the $119 Prime membership doesn’t fit with your budget. Or you know it’s not worth it because you don’t need a year of membership. Try Prime by the month for $12.99 per month.
This is worth it for the big shopping month of the year such as November and December for the holidays in July for Amazon Prime day. Use the service for a month and then be sure to cancel before it automatically renews.
9 | Watch items you like
Prices of Amazon items vary from time to time depending on what’s available, how many items are available, time of the year, etc. One way to get the lowest prices on items you want is to use a price tracking software that notifies you when prices drop. Probably the most popular price tracker is camelcamelcamel, which is free to use.
There’s also the big holidays of Black Friday and Prime Day. Amazon’s items like Echos and Kindles are sure to be on sale. If you’re considering an Amazon tech device, make a note to look during big holiday sales to get the best discounts.
10 | Choose entertainment through Amazon
Amazon Prime Video has thousands of movies and TV shows that you can stream at no additional cost. When you’re feeling the itch to go to the movie theater or sign up for another streaming service, head over to Prime Video and choose something to watch there instead.
The selection is getting better over time with lots of BBC shows, older films and documentaries, and even Amazon original series.
11 | Share Amazon Prime membership with others
You can use the Amazon Household feature to share Prime membership with others in your household totaling two adults, four teenagers, and four children. Everyone can share digital content and access benefits including fast delivery streaming Prime Video, and more.
An alternative option is to share Prime membership with a family member, friend, or roommate so that you both reap the benefits but can split the cost.
Despite the cost of Amazon Prime membership, it has many perks and benefits that can save you both time and money as long as it’s used smartly. Use the above ways to save on Prime today!
Do you have an Amazon Prime membership? How has it helped you in your life?