Frugal Living: Using Amazon to Save Money

By ERIN TURNER

I’m asked all the time about ways of saving money besides using coupons.  Sometimes using coupons overwhelms people yet they still want to save money and live frugally.  One of my recommendations, especially of late, is to utilize Amazon.com.

Most people don’t realize they sell groceries and household items.  Yup and they even have an extensive Natural and Organic food section.  It’s actually quite amazing what they offer–everything from diapers to fruit leather.

Now, Amazon’s normal prices aren’t anything to get overly excited about.  They generally are comparable to the local stores and usually any order over $25 dollars qualifies for free shipping.  But there are some ways which you can lower the prices and save a decent handful of cash.

Save money using Amazon.comThe first way is to sign up (free) for their program called “Subscribe and Save”.  There are a vast amount of items which qualify for this program.  By signing up for this, you will get a decrease in price for the item you’ve selected.  Now, the principal is you subscribe for an ongoing delivery of these specific items to be delivered however often you need them.  But the great thing about this service is that you are not required to have these deliveries repeat again if you don’t want.  You just mark “Unsubscribe” and you won’t receive it again.  So, if there is a killer price this week on peanut butter through the Subscribe and Save program, order it but then cancel the subscription for future deliveries.  Just a heads up, if you get the killer price this week it may change for future deliveries.  So don’t assume you are locked into that price every time.  Now, if you order 5 items or more at the same time using Subscribe and Save then they will give you an extra 20% off! Score!

There are also two other savings programs within Amazon.  One is Amazon Mom and the other is Amazon Student.  Amazon Mom is obviously geared towards moms and gives you 20% off diapers and wipes everyday plus lots of other savings on household items. As you would expect Amazon Student focuses on items students would need.  Amazon allows the savings of all these programs to be combined.

Now, you may have heard about Amazon Prime.  This is a paid membership which entitles you to free 2 day shipping, free downloads of movies and books plus lots of other benefits.  I resisted the temptation of this membership for years but knowing I’d be ordering lots from Amazon during the holidays, I broke down and decided it made sense for our family at this time.  Our oldest son has a Kindle Fire and reads like a maniac so I knew he’d utilize the free book downloads.  And did I mention how much I love the FREE two day shipping?

The other cool thing Amazon offers for those of us frugalites are coupons!  Yes, coupons!  They have a page you can click into and see all the coupons they are offering.  You simply click on the ones you want and then they are applied at checkout once you put that item into your shopping cart!  And once again, if you have a coupon on an item which is in the Subscribe and Save program you can use it.

Amazon also has a Visa credit card.  Since our bank Visa was not offering us any sort of benefits, we decided to apply for the Amazon card.  With every purchase, whether it is at Amazon or at a local store, we earn credit at Amazon.  I love when I’ve already saved a bunch of money and then I’m ready to check out and it shows I have bonus points which are subtracted from my total!

Amazon offers consumers lots of different money saving options through their programs, coupons and memberships.  But the real savings for me comes in the form of time…when I can order household necessities, healthy snacks or beauty care after the kids are in bed and I don’t have to leave my house.  Also, by not entering a store I’ve reduced any chance of spending money on unnecessary items or having my kids convince me we need some utterly overpriced snack.

I highly recommend checking out this website to see what they offer and see if it is a good fit for you and your family.   At this time, it is a great fit for our family and I have saved lots of money and time utilizing Amazon and their programs.  Plus,  we’ve gotten to know our UPS guy on a first name basis!

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 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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