5 Ways You Save More with Amazon Subscribe and Save

by Ann Marie Michaels on June 14, 2013

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5 Ways You Save More with Amazon Subscribe & Save

This year, I finally abandoned Costco for Amazon Subscribe and Save. Why? Because I realized that I save time, I save more money, and it makes my life so much easier.

I’ve been an Amazon Prime member for years, but I only started using Amazon Subscribe & Save. (Thanks to my good friend, Emily Bartlett of Holistic Squid.)

I heard Amazon Subscribe & Save years ago, but I was scared to try it. I was worried that if I subscribed, I’d forget and end up with too much stuff and have boxes everywhere that I had to return. But Amazon makes it really easy to keep track of what you subscribe to, and the interface makes it easy to cancel or hold a subscription at any time.

How To Use Amazon Subscribe and Save

Here’s how it works. Think of an item that you buy over and over again. Like paper towels, maple syrup, that kind of thing. If you’re buying it in bulk (i.e. a case of something) look for something that has a long shelf life and you can store in a cupboard or in the garage. Like natural soda pop, batteries, paper towels, dog food.

Now, go to Amazon Subscribe & Save and start shopping. The shipping is FREE (you don’t have to be a Prime member). You just have to have 5 items in your Shop & Save delivery, in order to save 15%.

5 Ways You Save More with Amazon Subscribe and Save

1. Save 15% on Everything

For starters, you save 15% with Amazon Subscribe & Save (you just need 5 items in your order).

The savings on most items are comparable with Costco or other warehouse stores. Not all items will be as cheap as Costco all the time, but scroll down to number 5 and see why you should not concern yourself with details like these.

2. Get Only What You Need

Ever hear that joke about shopping at Target? You go in for one thing. Maybe you just need some batteries or shampoo. You come out with a cart full of stuff. And you end up spending $200.

This is one of the ways retail stores make money. They design their store displays to tempt you to buy more.

With Amazon Subscribe & Save, you only buy what you need, not what you’re manipulated into picking up.

3. No More Driving Around to Multiple Stores

I’m not one of those people who buys whatever they have at the regular grocery store. I have to get the grain-free cat food (because cats are carnivores and should not be eating grain). I have to get organic coffee beans (coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed crops). I only buy olive oil potato chips, not the chips at the store fried in unhealthy soybean oil.

So if I want to get what I want, that means multiple stores. And a lot of time driving. Time I don’t want to waste! Not to mention the wasted gas.

Nowadays, I automate everything I can. Why should I waste time driving around to the pet store for cat food, to Costco for paper towels and toilet paper, to the health food store for organic coffee beans, and to the grocery store for olive oil potato chips? I can get all of these things shipped for FREE, directly to my front door, with Amazon Subscribe & Save.

4. Less Stuff on My Shopping List

Why reinvent the wheel every week, writing up a new grocery list? There are so many things we buy over and over again. Why not just have them on repeat? It makes no sense to go to the store to buy paper towels when you can have them on autoship.

“Auto Ship, Out of Mind” is the way I like to think about it. And the less I have to juggle in my brain, the better. It’s hard enough trying to remember that I have to make a pasta salad for Katie’s martial arts class potluck on Saturday and that I need to buy flip flops for my vacation and get a passport picture made.

Too much stuff rolling around up in there! Now the paper towels and kitty litter are no longer taking up my precious brain space. They are relegated to the bowels of Amazon’s database.

5. Amazon Subscribe and Save is Always Cheaper When You Factor in Your Time

You might be saying to yourself, but hey, I can find stuff on sale locally and it’s cheaper than the items on Amazon Subscribe & Save. Or maybe you see one item that is cheaper at Costco than it is on Subscribe and Save.

Yes, that’s true… But I am making the argument that Amazon Subscribe and Save is always cheaper when you factor in one thing: your time.

Remember in your college economics class when they covered “opportunity costs”?

Opportunity cost – The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action.

Whenever you decide to do something, you cut yourself off from being able to do something else. You are losing out on something.

The opportunity cost of shopping at Costco is you lose 1-2 hours of your life every time you go.

Let’s just say you earn $20 per hour. And say you go to Costco once a month and spend a total of 2 hours driving there, shopping, and driving home. That’s $40/month. And almost $500/year.

And that’s just Costco! What about the grocery store, pet store, health food store, and so on? Not to mention the time you spend thinking about looking for sales or clipping coupons.

You could easily save 5-10 hours per month just by automating rote, repeated purchases via Amazon Subscribe & Save. Ten hours a month times $20 = $200/month, or $2,400 per year.

Just think of what you could do with an extra $2,400 per year. A family vacation? More money in savings? Pay off your credit card?

Yes, some of you may be saying, “But where do I get the extra money from the time I saved?” You could always start an Etsy or E-Bay store to earn extra money, or pick up a part-time job, or start a sideline small business (everyone should consider doing that, just for the tax breaks alone!) I go into a lot more detail about this in my other post, Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Real Food.

Want To Know What I Buy on Amazon Subscribe & Save?

I’ll be posting my Subscribe & Save next week. Check back!

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