Use the Tips in this Lens to Help you Stretch Your Family’s Budget
If you are like me, you probably love shopping on Amazon. After all, you can go to one website and order just about anything your heart could desire because this website carries a variety of different products that you may need or want. Better yet, in most situations, at least for me, the prices here are better than prices I can find on any other website. I know that low prices are a result of supply and demand, so i always make this website my first stop when shopping for items I want and need online. Since IÃƒ?Ã‚Â¢ m a huge online shopper, I have discovered ten ways to save money when shopping and I wanted to share them with others who may be able to take advantage of these tips to make their own family budget stretch as far as possible.
#1 The Kindle Lending Library
I’ve had a Kindle for a few years now and I can’t say enough positive things about the Kindle Lending Library and the amount of books that are available to download. Not only can you borrow from the Kindle Lending Library, but you can also score free downloads from time to time, especially if you have a Prime membership. (Don’t know what a Prime membership is? Don’t worry, we will discuss it soon).
To find the best deals for your Kindle, go to “Manage Kindle” tab in your account and sign up for Kindle Daily Deals. By doing this, you will be notified about the best Kindle downloads on a daily basis.
#2 Earn Free Shipping with a Prime Membership
Last year right after Christmas, I signed up for Prime. I was a bit hesitant because of the $79 price tag, but after nearly a year of membership, I don’t regret the splurge. I will admit that if you don’t shop here often, this might not be a great deal, but for avid shoppers like me, this is a great way to extend my budget. In fact, my membership more than paid for itself in just a few months. One of the main reasons, I love my Prime membership is because I get free two-day shipping on anything that is Prime eligible. To make sure I maximize my savings, I also sort by these products when shopping. This way I never have to pay exorbitant shipping fess.
As a bonus, I also get free, unlimited access to live streaming movies that I can watch right on my laptop. After I signed up for a Prime membership, I was able to cut even more money from my monthly budget by cancelling my Netflix subscription. I was paying around $10 a month for Netflix and with my Prime membership, I was getting exactly the same benefits.
If you aren’t sure whether you would use the membership enough to pay for it, find out if you qualify for a free trial membership. I took advantage of this offer last year and immediately knew I was a Prime member for life. I believe most trial memberships last for about 30 days and require a credit card for billing purposes to sign up.
#3 No Prime Membership? Take Advantage of Super-Saver Shipping
Some people think the only way to get free shipping on Amazon is to buy a Prime membership. While this certainly is worthwhile for me, it may not be for your family. Thankfully, a belonging to Prime isn’t the only way to score free shipping. To do this, you need to choose a seller that offer free shipping or opt for the website’s Super Saver Shipping.
You can earn free shipping by taking advantage of the Super Saver Shipping option. To do this, you must add at least $35 to your shopping cart. After doing this, go to your cart and look at your shipping options. Here, you should see an option that says “Super Saver Option.”
The only catch to this program is that not all items available on the website qualify for Super Saver shipping. For instance, some sellers may opt not to belong to the program and other items, usually household or incredibly inexpensive items, may be considered an “add-on” option. Add-on items usually ship for free with a certain amount, but don’t count towards the amount you need to earn Super Saver shipping.
To avoid being surprised by outlandish shipping charges, I encourage you to check and double-check your order before you click “place order.” This is especially true if you use the company’s 1-click ordering button.
#4 Get a Discount on Diapers and Wipes when you Join Amazon Mom
Although I don’t buy diapers and wipes anymore, I was once a trial member of Amazon Mom. I only did the free trial, but during that time I earned 20% off a wipe and diaper order and received free two-day shipping on many baby-related items.
As a member of this club, you can also get free access to instantly streamed TV shows and videos and get first dibs on member exclusive benefits. When I did my trial membership of this program, I received an extra percentage off my first diaper or wipes order and I remember that order being a very good deal on much needed merchandise.
As I said before, I am no longer a member of this program, mostly because I don’t need diapers or wipes, but I have seen deals advertised exclusively for this program. These deals have included some great prices for diapers, as low as .13 cents a diaper and I have seen great discounts on equipment like swings and crib mattresses too. So, while it isn’t a great program for me, if you are a mom of a newborn, baby, or toddler, it may be a great program for you. It is also probably a great idea for expectant mothers to join this exclusive program, so they can stock up on necessities before baby makes their arrival.
#5 Use Electronic Coupons when Shopping Online!
I love to coupon!! Okay, I’m actually obsessed with it, but I digress. One thing I love about Amazon is you can use coupons – well, electronic coupons. Most often, I find coupons for food and hygiene products, but I have also used their electronic coupons for cleaning products and diapers.
To find these site-exclusive coupons, you can go directly to the coupon page. To find this page, search for coupons. Then, you will be taken to a page that has all available offers organized into easy to navigate categories. To redeem, simply clip the ones you want and they will be stored in your online account. It’s important to remember that these offers work just like paper coupons and do have expiration dates as well. There is also no need to go crazy worrying about whether you missed a deal or not. If there is an offer available for a product you are viewing, you will see a little box under the price that will prompt you to clip.
#6 Are you a Student? There is a Program just for You!
Great Resources to Help You Save Money
How To Save Money: A 21-Day Challenge To Save $500/Month
How to Save More Money: 349 Tips to Help You Keep Your Hard Earned Cash
How To Save Money On Groceries (Back To Basics: Recipes For the Savvy Shopper)
#7 Order Bulk Groceries and Have them Shipped Right to Your Front Door
This is another perk that I don’t take advantage of, but it’s mostly because I have a very small family. (There are only three of us). But, if you have a large family, or just like to stock up, it may be worth checking out the Bulk Groceries option.
I have also heard that Amazon is beginning a program that will allow you to order produce and have it shipped directly to your front door. However, this program is not very widespread at the moment and is only being tested in a few select cities.
If this program becomes available in my northeast suburb, I may never leave my house to buy groceries again. (I’m kidding…well, maybe, I’m kidding).
#8 Gold Box Deals and Lightning Deals
Every single time I log-in to this site, my very first stop is the “Today’s Deals” link. Here, you will find great deals such as Lightning Deals and Gold Box Deals. Both of these special types of deals often allow you to get great prices on highly sought after merchandise. The only downside is that the best items are prone to selling out quickly and these deals only last for a certain set amount of time. This year I was able to score some amazing deals during Christmas including a $10 Bear Gryllis survival knife, normally $45, and over 3,500 Rainbow Loom rubber bands for my daughter for less than $13.
The only part about this program that saves me from going nuts and stalking the page all day is the fact that you can preview the deals. Not only can you preview the deals, but in most situations, you can find out exactly when the deal will go live and what the advertised price will be. The only time you can’t preview a deal is when there is going to be a Mystery Deal going live. However, I don’t think I have ever purchased a Mystery Deal, so I haven’t worried about this problem.
#9 Did you Know you can Access Warehouse Sales?
Well if you didn’t, you do know. Like any retailer, Amazon has to deal with damaged, used, and returned merchandise. Many times, the types of products that find themselves in the warehouse are still in great condition, but don’t meet the company’s high-quality standards. When this happens, the products will be added to the Warehouse Deals section at significantly lower prices than if you purchased it brand new from the normally priced inventory.
Some of the different types of items that I have purchased from the warehouse have included food that is nearing its expiration date, mostly potato chips and k-cups, ink cartridges for outdated printers, a Blueray player that had no box, and some party favors for my daughter’s birthday party. Another occasion that allows me to score great deals on k-cups is buying holiday flavored coffee after the holiday. For example, shortly after Thanksgiving, I was able to buy a few boxes of Hot Apple Cider k-cups for way under the normal asking price. When I received the items, I had plenty of time to use them before their clearly marked expiration dates. I knew what I was getting when I ordered these items and all the other warehouse deals I have purchased and I can honestly say the condition and speed in which these items were delivered was pretty impressive.
The Subscribe & Save option is my favorite way to make my budget stretch just a little further. This unique program works exactly the way it sounds, I subscribe to a certain product and I save money doing it. For instance, toilet paper is something my family will never stop needing, so I order my toilet paper through this program. To do this, I looked up my favorite bath tissue, Scott’s, and chose the quantity I wanted, then I choose to use the Subscribe & Save method. By doing this, I got a reduced price on my toilet paper and I also signed up to have toilet paper sent to me automatically every three months. When the time to ship my toilet paper is getting near, I receive an email telling me when it will ship and how much it will be. If I don’t like the price, or simply don’t need any more toilet paper at the time, I can skip or cancel the order. After using this method for several months, I realized that I could get bigger savings, if I ordered more items. This is true because you can earn another 15% off your order, if you order a minimum of five items a month using this option. So now every month, I receive toilet paper, garbage bags, dishwasher soap, laundry soap, and fabric softener delivered right to my front door at a discounted price. Oh, and the best part…there is no cost to ship these items and I can use electronic coupons, if available.
If you are going to take advantage of this offer, you may want to consider ordering several things from the Subscribe & Save program. For every one item you order, not quantity, but items, you will receive 5% off. However, if you order five items every month your discount jumps up to 20% off. I always make sure I have at least five items in my monthly delivery because of the huge savings advantage.