Amazon Prime is a paid service for Amazon customers whereby you pay an annual fee of $79 in order to receive 2-day free shipping on all items that fall under the Amazon Prime qualification. Although not all items qualify for the Amazon Prime program, many of them do.
Recently Amazon announced a price increase on their program from $79 annually to $99 annually. Don’t let the price increase scare you away. You can still join the program without having to reach into your family’s budget to cover the annual fee. Here’s how:
Pre-Work Before Joining Amazon Prime
First you need to broaden your opinion of shopping on Amazon. Although it’s great for purchasing electronics, hard-to-find gadgets and out-of-print books, it’s also a convenient venue for purchasing every day items such as vitamins, coffee, dog food and beauty products. Open your pantry, refrigerator, medicine cabinet and storage closet and look at the items you buy each week at the grocery store.
What you want to do is compare the cost per unit of the items in your household versus the price per unit for the same Amazon Prime qualifying item. If your item isn’t on the Amazon Prime program but displays an Add On button act as if the Add-on item is part of the Amazon Prime program. Add-ons ship for free when your order exceeds $25.
Create a Shopping List
Now that you’ve looked at the pricing for items you usually purchase, create a shopping list. Look around your house to see which items you’re running low on and create your usual shopping list. The only difference this time is you’ll first check Amazon to see if the pricing is better and whether or not the items qualify for Amazon Prime.
From personal experience, health items are far cheaper on Amazon than they are in the health store. For example, our morning green juice cocktail made with Green Vibrance works out a lot cheaper when purchased on Amazon.
In the photo below you will note that our local health store charges $49.95 for a 30-day supply of Green Vibrance ($3.90/oz).
Now let’s compare that to a 60-day supply of Green Vibrance purchased on Amazon. Although the image below shows a price of $49.98 ($1.95/oz), we actually paid $49.50 (an indicator of how prices fluctuate so never take the price for granted).
We actually purchased a 60-day supply for less than what we were paying for a 30-day supply, a $50 savings!
Do Not Join Amazon Prime Until…
Do not sign up for Amazon Prime until you’ve created a shopping list that realizes a savings of more than the $79 annual cost to enjoy the Amazon Prime benefits. When you are satisfied that your shopping lists results in a savings of more than $79 ($99 after 2015) then sign up for the 30-day free trial. During the first 30 days, place your money-saving order.
Two business days later when you receive the order, re-calculate the savings. Take $79 of the amount saved and place it in the Amazon Prime membership fee fund. When the 30-day free trial is over, use the savings to pay for the annual fee.
If you continue using Amazon Prime to buy items previously purchased at the grocery store, your savings will continue to grow. With our first order, we saved a little over $100 on items we purchase month after month at the health store. After realizing such a savings, we combed the house for additional items we buy weekly. Another savings example is dog food.
The Halo dog food brand that we purchase from the health store at a price of $15.29 for a 4-pound bag ($3.82/pound), is sold on Amazon Prime for a price of $53.59 for a 28-pound bag ($1.91/pound). We go from spending $61.12 a month on dog food (16 pounds x $3.82/pound) to $30.56 (16 pounds x $1.91/pound). That’s $30 in monthly savings. Even if we continued to purchase the 4-pound bag, Amazon sells that for a few dollars cheaper than our health store.
Conservative Savings Guesstimate with Amazon Prime
The amount of monthly or annual savings varies from household to household. Conservatively speaking, we’re saving about $150 a month by using Amazon Prime. That’s a savings of $1,800 annually. With that type of savings, do you think spending the $79 or even $99 annual membership fee is worth it?
And There’s More
In addition to the free two-day shipping and savings on commonly used items, there’s the entertainment aspect. With Amazon Prime you can stream movies and check out books from the Kindle library. Visit the Amazon Prime Video page for more information.
If you approach Amazon Prime in the right way, you’ve got nothing to lose and much to gain. Don’t let the membership fee stop you from saving.