*This is an unsolicited review*
I tried out Amazon Prime through their Free Trial last March since I was already a fairly frequent Amazon shopper and I kept seeing the ads for it. I loved it so much that we signed up and paid the $99! Now that we are finishing up our first year, I wanted to share my review.
Why I tried Amazon Prime to begin with:
I was buying a ton of diapers (still am) and wanted a better deal. The “Subscribe and Save” for Amazon Moms is what I wanted to use for big diaper savings (you get the exact same deals as a “Prime” or “Mom” member). The other thing I liked – I generally shopped for things that had free shipping anyways, but the 2 day free shipping really appealed to me. There are several other Prime perks that we ended up using that really maximized our savings.
What you get for $99/year
- Free 2 day shipping on a TON of items, but not everything. I have not spent a dime on shipping all year. I also bought every single Christmas gift (except the homemade ones, of course) through Amazon Prime.
- Subscribe and Save benefits. You get on a set monthly shipment for diapers and other reusable items. The more items you subscribe to for automatic shipping, the more you save. You CAN edit this before it ships, and cancel things if you still have plenty.
- Prime Movies and TV. (Amazon Instant Video) You can access this benefit through free apps for your phone, iPad, Kindle, and smart TV. Free remote app for your phone and tablets also. OPTIONAL: We bought the Fire TV Stick on sale at $35.99, currently priced at $39.99. This gave us better access to the Movies and TV that is included with Prime. Note that not ALL selections are free. A lot of the newer movies and such have a rental fee. Avg $3.99 rental. For us, there are so many free selections that we only actually buy a rental once every few months. *Note that you can earn credits towards free rentals and more using No Rush shipping, see #4 below*
- Selecting Free No Rush Shipping. If you are not in a hurry, you can earn money (Amazon credits for books, music, and movies) by selecting the free No Rush shipping option on select purchases. If I’m smart and ordering gifts and such ahead of time, this is a great way to earn credits for music, books, and movies that you want to listen to/read/watch.
- Prime Books on Kindle. I LOVE to read, and I read 5-10 books a month. There are 800,000 titles you can borrow on the Kindle for free. However, this only works on the actual Kindle, not with the app.
- Photo cloud storage. I have used Snapfish for online storage and photo printing for years, but have gradually been migrating to Amazon photo storage also. The app is good, it’s included free with my Prime, and I can access it on my TV and be really cute and have an album rolling on screen with the grandparents over. 🙂
- Prime Music. Again been migrating over and using this a lot. I have the app (free again) on my phone and can get tons and tons of music included in the Prime membership. Cuts your iTunes bill! I use this app on my TV also, and have music playing while I do house chores, or classical while the baby sleeps. Choosing No Rush shipping can get you credits here too, since not every album is free this can be handy.
- Discounts, Deals, and Coupons. Lots of options here. As you are shopping you will see some items marked with “exclusive Prime member pricing.” This can save you little extras like 5-10% here and there on clothes, $1.00 off coupons (like on my new toothbrush), and special deals you’ll see upon sign in. These I don’t shop for, I just use if it is something I was buying anyway. This way I don’t spend more money buying what they advertise! I just take the opportunity to save on purchases I was already going to make.
- Prime Pantry. This is the only option I have not used (yet). You can get credits using No Rush shipping for the Pantry too. So far, the deals I have seen here are pretty comparable or often above the price of my grocery store. So, I stick with my grocery and use my coupons at the store. Example for today’s prices: Lays potato chips are $3.50 for the party size bag, if I buy 3 of the same size bag at Kroger with my Plus card I get them for $1.77 a bag. A 12 pack of Coke today on Pantry is $4.68, but buy 3 packs at Kroger and get them $3.00 each. Now for convenience, you may like this feature. Please let me know in the comments if you’ve used Prime Pantry and what you think!
My Savings for 2015:
- Shipping – I’m not even going to count this as a dollar amount since I almost always bought items with free shipping anyway, but I’m giving MAJOR points for convenience on the 2 day shipping.
- Subscribe and Save – Diapers, gotta have them (unless you like cloth, and I don’t). This is based off of my actual purchases of 1152 diapers in a 12 months period (GASP! That’s an = number of actual diaper changes. mostly done by me!!!) I started with Luvs and switched to Huggies about half way through the year due to leakages. I use a LOT of store brands with other things but with diapers I need the good ones. Prices increased with size and the brand swap, but I paid from $0.13/per diaper with the smaller size Luzs to my current $0.18/per diaper with the size 4 Huggies (I also clipped a Prime coupon and saved $1.00 when I switched). I spent a total of $175.68 in a year using Subscribe and Save. If I bought the same brands, same sizes at Target I would have paid $211.46. I also purchased my diaper pail refills here for an additional $8.50 savings for the year. You could definitely save more here, if you need more items on auto ship, I just didn’t. I still saved $45.28 here!
- Prime Movies and TV – Here’s where we saved big. We were paying for satellite and the streaming only plan on Netflix. There are SO MANY free TV series, movies, shows on Amazon that we shut off both our satellite TV ($79/mo) AND Netflix ($7.99/month). I won’t lie, this was an adjustment for both my 10 year old daughter and my husband who loved his History channel. After a couple of months they were both very happy with the change. Although you do have the option of purchasing full seasons of shows from the History channel and others for around $12.99, we never did. My husband instead subscribed to a few good YouTube channels and he really enjoys that. You can get the YouTube app through the Fire TV Stick or your Smart TV. My daughter was very happy with her new Prime show selections, and I like them a LOT better also. I’m finding better tween shows with good morals here. Also great PBS shows for the toddler when (you know we all do it) I need him out from under me for 5 or 10…or 20 minutes. ANYWAYS I spent $35.99 for Fire TV Stick (optional) $12.97 renting movies that weren’t Prime read: free. So, subtract what I spent on the Stick and rentals from the $948 (insert fist pump!) I saved by cutting off satellite and Netflix and I saved $899.04 in this section!!!!
- No Rush Shipping savings – I didn’t use this as much as I should have, but I still managed to rack up $18.00 in credits!
- Books – Since I read a lot, I racked up a lot here too. You get free borrowing on your Kindle device, which is great for my daughter, but since I read on the Kindle app on my iPad I also purchased the Kindle Unlimited subscription (optional) at $9.99/month for me to use. Again a huge and awesome selection of books to borrow, plus one free full download each month to keep via Kindle First! I did buy 4 books that I wanted to read that were not available to borrow spending $23.96 in book purchases. So I spent $143.84 in the past year. I WAS spending (eek! I did not realize this until I just added it up) a whopping $431.40 the previous year on e-books. That’s being conservative, at 5 books a month averaging $7.99 a piece on my Nook. Some months I read more like 10. Ouch. On the bright side, $431.40 I would have spent-$143.84 I DID spend still saved me $287.56.
- 7. 8. & 9. above I’m not going to put a savings dollar amount on. I spent hardly any money on music the previous year (literally, like $5) so I didn’t have a good comparable. I also did not track my actual coupon or discount savings, so won’t make that up, but I can remember at least $3.00 in Prime Clipped Coupons. The Pantry I mentioned that I didn’t personally use, so don’t have any savings here to report. I can tell you that I feel I really used the music a lot, and the photo storage a little, and I liked having both!
So I spent $99 on a Prime Membership, and saved $1249.88!
That’s a NET savings of $1150.88!!!
So do I recommend purchasing Amazon Prime? Ummm, YES!
Try it out for FREE and see what you think! Please use my link below to sign up for your trial!
Using this link is the only way I get “paid” on this review, I’m using the same link any Amazon Prime member can use to send a referral to friends. You can do the same thing for your friends, and earn $5! Another advantage of Amazon Prime!