If you've been reading AOC for awhile, you may remember that I used to write a lot about ways to save. Some things, like menu planning to make the best use of your food bought on sale and to minimize waste, or making things like soft 100% whole wheat bread for a few cents rather than paying $3 to $4 a loaf, I still champion. Other things like couponing and playing the drugstore game have gone by the wayside. Coupons because I don't buy many of the regular coupon products, our area doesn't get many coupons anyway (I would sometimes buy coupons, if you can believe it) and couponing deals took so much time - the drugstores because they changed their games and I got burned one too many times by the new expiration dates of the rewards since we live further from town (one time to the tune of $27 - ack!).
To try to save on bulk purchases, I used Azure Standard for awhile to buy flour, oats, organic corn products, etc. but there were a number of things that made it difficult for me. The biggest issue was that the only drop-off point available to me was the other side of town, a 40 minute round-trip. The driving distance also meant that I couldn't get any cold or frozen items. I also found the $50 minimum to be a hinderance for the times I only needed one or two things, like flour. Since I needed the flour, I found myself buying things we didn't need in order to get the flour - not the best way to save money.
So I was thrilled, honestly - thrilled, when I finally discovered how to use Amazon's Subscribe & Save program to it's full potential, in order to get quality bulk foods for a good price delivered right to my door. The only time I had used it in years past was to take advantage of a one-time price that I would then cancel right after receiving. I have to give all the credit for my finally seeing the savings behind the program to Laura at Heavenly Homemakers, and I want to share how I'm using it, too, so you can see how you can save through this program!
To give you an idea of what you can get and prices, I'll start with a couple of our examples, then explain how to save with Amazon Subscribe and Save:
The photo above shows what came this month through our Subscribe and Save order and our totals (prices do fluctuate on Amazon):
- Craisins: regular $5.92, $3.56 with discounts (this exact size isn't offered right now)
- Dagoba Organic Cacao Powder, 5-lbs: $40.58 regular, $32.46 discounts ($6.49/lb)
- 7th Gen Dish Liquid, 6 bottles: $14.98 regular, $11.98 discount - $5 off coupon = $6.98!!
- Whole Bean Decaf Coffee, 2 lbs: $17.54 regular, $14.03 discount (while this isn’t the best price -we aim for $5/lb- we’ve had a hard time finding whole bean decaf in our usual places, so this was great to be able to get it delivered! I may not continue with this - but that’s easy to change!)
- Safflower Oil, 32 oz: $8 regular, $6.40 discount
- Not pictured (came in separate box): Natural Value unbleached waxed paper, 75 sq.ft: $2.49 regular, $1.99 discounts
This order was from the previous month and what we paid:
- Kettle chips, 6 8.5-oz bags: $20.23 reg; $16.18 discounted ($2.69 each)
- Organic Oat Flour, 1-1/2 lbs: $3.99 regular; $3.19 discounted
- Wholesome Sweeteners natural cane sugar, 6 24-oz bags: $22.62 regular; $18.10 discounted ($2/lb is a good price for this!)
- Bob’s Red Mill Organic cornmeal, 4 24-oz bags: $13.16 regular; $10.53 discounted
- Bob’s Red Mill popcorn, 6 27-oz bags: $13.32 regular; $10.66 discounted
A few other favorite deals have been:
- Kleenex Ultra 120-count tissues, 8 boxes: $11.74 regular; $9.39 discounted - $1.50 coupon = $7.98 (less than $1 a box!!)
- Nutiva Organic EV Coconut Oil, 2 15-oz jars: $17.18 regular; $13.74 discounted
- Bob’s Organic Flaxseed Meal, 4 16-oz bags: $12.44 regular; $10.57 discounted
- Organic WW Pastry Flour AND WW Bread flour, 25 lbs bags: $27.05 regular, $21.64 discounted (.86/lb!!)
How anyone can save with Subscribe & Save:
While they show how easy it is-
There were two things it took me awhile to figure out:
- 5% didn't seem like such a great deal. I didn't realize the savings goes up to %15 when you have 5 S&S eligible items scheduled to go out at one time.
- When I did subscribe, the Amazon interface actually looks like I'm ordering it and I didn't realize that it went to the 'manage subscription' page of my account and not the shopping cart. This is probably just me - I thought I was ordering and couldn't see how to make the list of 5 that would go out all at once. Yes, I felt silly when I realized there was a whole separate section for the S&S items.
So here is what you need to do:
- Create an Amazon account if you don't have one.
- Go to Amazon and under 'shop by department' scroll down to 'Beauty, Health & Grocery' then choose 'Subscribe & Save' from the pop-up menu.
- You can then shop by category (there are a LOT), view popular S&S items, and see deals. Tip: what I suggest to save the most time is to think what you'd like to get and search for that item (is it hard to find organic cornmeal, bulk flour, or specialty items for you? Search for those and see if you can get them delivered on a regular basis!).
- Find 5 items to subscribe to (tip: to fill out your order, look for single subscribe and save eligible items for $2-5 to keep the total lower), click the button to subscribe and follow the directions (I usually choose a 6-month subscription unless I know we'll use it quicker, but you can always change this later). They will not be in your cart, but will be in your account under "your subscribe and save items."
- Once you've got 5 items set up, go to 'your subscribe and save items' on your account page so you can see when the items will be delivered (which you can change if you want), how much they'll be with the 15% off, and if you want to change how often the item will come.
- That's it for now, unless you'd like another shipment the next month - then you'll need to find more items to add to your S&S page on your account.
Here's how you can save even more!
- Everyone gets the %15 discount with 5 items through Subscribe & Save, but if you become an AmazonPrime/AmazonMom member, your discount goes up to 20%!(**Update: Amazon changed the policy and removed the 5% extra, sadly!! Amazon Mom still offers exclusive coupons, so it might be worth it to sign up if you already have Amazon Prime**) Go here to sign up for Amazon Prime which also gets you free 2-day shipping on anything, lots of free movies and TV to stream, books to read free and more - we have it and I do like all the perks! (note: Amazon Mom is a Prime account you can join just like the regular Amazon Prime program - but if you're already a Prime member, be sure to sign up for the AmazonMom program - it won't cost more - so you can get the extra perks!)
- Subscribe & Save Coupons - they are in addition to the 15% savings and can really make the deals good (like the kleenex deal above that was delivered to my door instead of me running around to stores...oh, I've mentioned that, huh?).
- Use Swagbucks or become an Amazon affiliate (if you have a blog) to earn gift cards and buy your household items with them.
There are a couple of things I've really come to appreciate about this program:
- It's been so nice for odd items that I had a hard time finding in my regular stores (like the organic cacao powder, and cornmeal)
- Having heavy bulk items delivered to my door, free, which saves me gas and time.
- Being able to order things like mascara, the concealer I use, etc. on a schedule so I don't have to worry about remembering to get them.
- Having everything delivered free to my door.
- Being able to adjust when items are scheduled to come - if we use something faster, I can have it come sooner or visa-versa.
- Did I mention the free shipping to my door? 🙂
Right, I think I've covered everything, but let me know if you still don't get it - I want to help so you're not in the dark like I was, ha! And tell me, do you all use this program and I'm the only one who didn't get it?
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