It’s no secret that I love shopping at Amazon.com. I’m a busy woman, and I love that I can get just about everything delivered right to my door. I even have an Amazon Visa card, which essentially gives me cash back that I can use at Amazon.
I also like a bargain and I do my best to balance convenience with getting the best deal I can. One service that Amazon.com offers is Subscribe and Save. If there are items you find yourself regularly ordering from Amazon, you may be able to subscribe to regular deliveries of those items. By subscribing, you automatically save 5%. You can have these items delivered at intervals from monthly to every six months. If you subscribe to have five items delivered in a month, you save 15% on each of those items. So it’s definitely worth putting at least five items on Subscribe and Save.
Find that you’re not running out of something as fast as you thought you would? You can shift that delivery later without penalty. You can also schedule a delivery to come earlier if you need.
The downside? Let’s say you’ve got an order of five things coming monthly, but you find that you really only need four of them this month. You can delay the fifth item without any trouble, but then you lose your 15% off. So you think to yourself that it’s worth it to get all five, and you’ll just be a bit stocked up on that fifth item. And sure, sometimes that’s worth it, especially if the fifth item isn’t something that’s going to go bad. But what happens if that fifth item is, say, a hair product that you find you really aren’t using. What if it’s a snack food that your kids no longer want to eat? Suddenly, things start to go to waste. So you have to plan smart. I have definitely made this mistake in the past and ended up with things getting thrown out.
If you only have two or three items that you really want to put on Subscribe and Save, but you really want that 15% off, you can find some inexpensive Subscribe and Save fillers to add that are under $5, frequently personal care items or household cleaners. No, if an item is only $5, saving 15% doesn’t make it that much cheaper, but if you’re also ordering some more expensive items, it could be worth it. Again, though, make sure that inexpensive item is worth it, or you’re not really saving much.
Just sit down and do the math. If I have four items and need a fifth and I add on a $5 bottle of body wash to get my 15% off, I’m spending an additional $4.25 to ensure my discount. If I’m going to use that body wash, it might be worth it, regardless of total savings. But let’s say my other items only total $60. Going from 5% to 15% savings only nets me an additional $6 in savings. Yes, spending $4.25 to get $6 is still saving money, but the savings isn’t as great, and if that body wash goes to waste, it’s really not a great value at all.
Also, remember that you aren’t locking in your prices. If the prices at Amazon change, you will be paying those changed prices. That might mean your items are cheaper, but they might be getting more expensive, so be sure to pay attention before your shipments are locked in.
So in sum, Amazon’s Subscribe and Save is a great program, but you have to do your research and make sure that you’re making smart choices. Don’t just assume that you’re saving money by subscribing to five items and getting 15% off. You might be missing on cheaper deals elsewhere.