Our family recently joined Amazon Prime. There was a membership discount (of course) which saved us about 25 percent on the yearly fee. Typically $99 to join for one year, I spent only about $75 for my membership. I learned, in the process, that there are a few ways you can save on an Amazon Prime membership even without the discount.
First, if you (or your college student) have an email address ending in .edu, you can receive a 50 percent discount on the purchase of a one-year subscription to Amazon Prime. Not sure if you really can save money using Prime? No problem. Students can sign up for a free six month trial period -- just remember to cancel the account prior to the billing that will occur at the end of the trial.
Second, watch for discounts on the membership itself. I was surprised by the savings I received in January. I was not looking for a Prime membership but I was interested in the deal once it presented itself. Now that I have looked into Prime and done some online research, I have learned that often Amazon will discount the Prime membership in the month of March. That is something you may want to watch for in the coming weeks.
So why would I purchase an Amazon Prime membership? After all, the statistics seem to show that people who have an Amazon Prime membership will buy much more on Amazon than they did prior to the Prime membership. For me, there were a few important variables I factored when decided to make the purchase.
First, I thought of all the times that a blogger like Colin at Hip2Save or Michelle at IHeartSavingMoney posts about some fantastic deal available on Amazon. Often, I would waste time hunting for a way to earn free shipping with Amazon. After all, not many things are great deals if you have to add the shipping fees to the sales price.
I figured that if there were just three or four times in 2015 when I was able to purchase something with no shipping fee (saving $4-$10 per order), I could save $16-$40. In addition, if there were just three times in the next year when I did not have to order $20 in extra merchandise to save the shipping fee, I would save about $60. Within a month or two, I could easily recoup the cost of the Amazon Prime membership.
Second, I have been surprised by the number of freebies and add-ons and unexpected ways that Amazon Prime helps increase the value of a membership. Amazon Music and Amazon Video are two unexpected benefits. My husband already has enjoyed catching up on a favorite television series that we no longer receive on our Dish subscription.
Another freebie for Amazon Prime members is the ability to join Amazon Mom. This program offers a one-time 50-percent off diaper purchase coupon and can save parents up to 20 percent on regularly shipped diapers, wipes and other baby items.
Third, I am looking forward to saving money on bulk items such as large toilet paper packages, paper towels and other hard-to-save-on items. People often ask me how to get the best price on these items. After all, when it comes to toilet paper, we all use a great deal of it -- and because of that, there is not typically a great deal of savings to be found. Here and there I will be able to combine a sales price with a coupon, but typically, toilet paper is not an item on which I can save. My husband laughed when my first purchase using my Amazon Prime membership was toilet paper.
Lastly, I appreciate the free two-day shipping. I can order items with the assurance that Amazon will have UPS deliver my items swiftly. In fact, my first purchase, the toilet paper, was delivered about 9:30 p.m. one night by a UPS delivery person. While I felt bad that he was working so late, I appreciated Amazon’s commitment to quickly ship the items I ordered.
I am looking forward to keeping track of the savings I achieve through my Amazon Prime membership during the next year -- while remaining committed not to falling into the increased spending trap as many do. Do you have an Amazon Prime membership? How do you use it?