I’m a loyal member of Amazon Prime, but, to be honest, I’ve never given much thought to Amazon Subscribe and Save.
Since I live in a two-person household, it’s never seemed worth it. Do we go through enough stuff?
So I decided to do some research. I found some Amazon Subscribe and Save deals and tactics that might make it worthwhile for any consumer.
How does Amazon Subscribe and Save work?
Amazon Subscribe and Save allows you to sign up for regular deliveries — between once a month and once every six months — of certain items. You’ll receive 5 or 15 percent off the retail price on whatever you order.
The cool thing is the service is virtually obligation-free. You don’t have to order the same items every month, and you can cancel at any time, even after the first order. As long as you adjust your order before the lock-in date, you can switch the items you receive, skip a shipment, or cancel your subscription entirely.
You also don’t need Prime to get free shipping (although there are additional discounts for Prime members sometimes).
5 ways to take advantage of Amazon Subscribe and Save
Ready to subscribe and save? Follow these five tips.
1. Shop specific items
Based on advice from the deals blog Hip2Save, here are some of the best Amazon Subscribe and Save deals:
- Baby products: especially diapers and baby food, which are 20 percent off for members of Amazon Family
- Household goods: toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, trash bags, and batteries
- Toiletries: tampons, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, makeup, and contact solution
- Other: pet food and vitamins
You also can order oft-forgotten items — such as water and air filters — to arrive as frequently as you should replace them.
Josh Weinberger, who lives with his wife and 6-year-old twins in New York City, has used Amazon Subscribe and Save for a few years. He estimates it saves his family $50 per month.
“The items that save us the most are supplies for our kids — lunch snacks, yogurt ‘squeezy packs’ — and bathroom supplies like shampoo, toothpaste, etc.,” he said.
2. Order at least 5 items every month
If you remember nothing else, remember this: Always order at least five items in a month because the discount will jump from 5 to 15 percent.
Since you can save a significant amount of money this way, Weinberger said, “We often do some rejiggering right before our monthly lock-in date to make sure we’re getting exactly five items.”
If you need help meeting the threshold, look around online for Amazon Subscribe and Save deals that are under $2.
3. Clip coupons
The fact that you’re shopping virtually doesn’t mean you can’t use coupons.
“Just as at your local grocery or drugstore, the real savings come in when you combine that sale price with a coupon,” wrote Mashup Mom.
To find them, she recommended checking the product page — either under the price or above the description — as well as this page with all the available coupons. Although coupons apply only to the first delivery, she said the site often runs similar or repeat offers so you can get great deals again.
4. Consider the Amazon credit card
If you become an Amazon Subscribe and Save convert, you might want to consider signing up for the Amazon credit card (but only if you’ll pay the bill in full each month, of course).
By using this card to make purchases, Prime members can get 5 percent back. Combine that with the 15 percent discount you’re already getting, and you could have a sweet deal on your hands.
5. Be mindful of fluctuating prices
I probably don’t have to tell you that Amazon’s prices change all the time. But you might not know they can change even if you’re already subscribed to an item.
One New York Times reporter tracked prices for 50 Subscribe and Save items over several months — and found that prices were anything but static.
“As often as weekly, prices rose, dipped, and rose again like a roller coaster,” he wrote. “In extreme cases, prices for items like instant coffee and napkins jumped between 90 and 170 percent.”
Complain if you will, but this is how Amazon runs its business. The good thing is it sends an email several days before each shipment — so all you have to do is read it carefully to make sure you’re OK with the prices listed.
Although you should never purchase more than you need for the sake of a “good deal,” Amazon Subscribe and Save is worth exploring if it’ll save you money on items you’re already purchasing.
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