Why Amazon Subscribe and Save Is Great for Moms

Alden Wicker
Posted

It’s not often we find a way to save money and make your life easier, but when we do, we get excited.

When we heard about Amazon’s best-kept secret, Subscribe and Save, we thought to ourselves, “Our LV Moms just have to know about this!”

In a nutshell, Subscribe and Save is a service from Amazon that delivers items to your door on a regular basis. It can cut down on trips to the store, plus save you up to 30% on the items you run through the quickest, like diapers, toilet paper and even organic fruit snacks.

Could this new service, which has been flying way under the radar, improve your life? We did some digging.

Pro: No More Diaper (or Paper Towel or Dog Food) Schlepping

If you’ve ever decided to skip your gym workout after ferrying two jugs of orange juice, a 15-pound bag of dog food, ten soup cans and a wriggling three-year-old home from the grocery store, you’ll understand the appeal of having all that show up at your front door (well, except for the three-year-old). With no charge for shipping. We especially like this for urban moms, who might not have the use of an SUV for hauling supplies back home. 

Amazon boxPro: Set It and Forget It

Amazon Subscribe and Save lets you sign up for recurring shipments of household basics at intervals of one to six months. Many mothers might be nervous about setting up a recurring shipment in case they unwittingly end up with five cases of baby food, but Amazon isn’t sneaky about it. Before every shipment you get a courtesy email, so you can pop into your account to change anything or even cancel the order altogether. You won’t be charged until your items ship.

Pro: Impressive Discounts

Free shipping and an automatic discount of up to 15% on all items can add up to some serious savings. The program also regularly runs deals on lots of specific items so you can snatch them up for huge discounts. What makes it even more compelling is that you can stack your Amazon Mom discount (learn about this and sign up here) on top, which would give you an extra 20% off diapers and wipes and 15% off almost everything else.

Pro: Variety of Choices

The days of Amazon selling just books and movies are long gone. Among the items eligible for Subscribe and Save, you’ll find organic and conventional groceries, office supplies, cleaning supplies, baby products and beauty supplies. (Pet products, unfortunately, are pretty slim pickings right now.) Because everything you buy has to be shippable, however, you’ll still need to pick up things like fresh produce, eggs and bread in person from the store. You can’t win ‘em all.

How Do You Save on Family Stuff?

What tips and tricks do you use to save money throughout the year? Have you used Amazon Subscribe and Save? What was your experience?
DISCUSS

Pro: Stay Away From Temptation

If you’ve ever come home from the grocery store with a trunk full of doughnuts, tabloids and other impulse buys, Subscribe and Save is a great way to stay firmly on budget and within your shopping list. Searching digitally will shield you from the tempting smell of the bakery, and your child from the candy at the checkout counter.

Pro: Save Gas and TIme

Also remember that you’ll be saving on gas by avoiding a trip to the store. And, of course, you’ll also be saving time. To find out how much your time is worth, use this calculator. To figure out how much you spend per hour on gas when you’re driving around, use this calculator.

Con: Not the Guaranteed Lowest Price

Because everyone prices their items differently, the Subscribe and Save discounts might not make everything on your list a better deal than you’d find at Target, Walmart or Costco. Using the Amazon Mom discount on top of the Subscribe and Save discount will tip wipes and diapers over into “great deal” territory, but you’ll want to comparison shop for the best price on everything else. We recommend checking in every month to see how prices compare.

A New York Times writer compared his particular basket of goods from Amazon and Costco and found a 17% lower price overall at Costco (though that’s related to the fact that Costco requires buying in bulk). One trick is to stay away from heavy items that are costlier to ship when using Amazon, like economy-sized detergent, because—even though shipping is free with Subscribe and Save—it seems that Amazon builds the higher shipping cost into product prices.

Con: Prices Change Without Warning

Amazon’s prices fluctuate regularly, so the system will update the price of your items before shipping them out … without updating you. That’s great if Amazon happens to run a special on something that is on your list. But if the price goes up on an item, you risk paying more than you expected. Make sure to check the prices on all your items when you get the confirmation email before each shipment. 

Also note that if you start a recurring shipment of something because there was a one-time discount, the price will go back up to normal moving forward.

The Final Word

If you’re an urban mom without a big suburban car, we say you should sign up! The savings on time, money and schlepping big packs of diapers and other supplies are worth it. In fact, we think the only moms for whom Subscribe and Save doesn’t work best are the relentless comparison shoppers with time for thorough shopping trips and handfuls of coupons.

Otherwise, Subscribe and Save should make life easier and cheaper. Can’t argue with that!

More From LearnVest

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If you’re always multitasking, you might want to rethink your strategy. Here’s why.

Photo credit: MikeBlogs/Flickr

  • NYCmom17

    The problem with Subscribe and Save is that you can only order one item at a time…so if you know you want to have toilet paper, soap, detergent, snacks shipped every 2 months, you have to place all separate orders and then receive all separate shipments. So it’s kind of an inefficient way of shopping and, I think, a waste of shipping resources. Why would I want to get 6 different boxes every 2 months, when it could be combined into 2 or 3, at most? I’ll rethink Subsribe and Save when I can do it more efficiently.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=665157433 Natalie Grantham Friend

    While I agree it’s an inefficient use of shipping resources, it saves time and my back. I have three children 4, 2 and 6 months. With 2 in diapers it’s a life saver.  I started with just diapers and wipes, but have added other things to my subscribe and save.  I love it and will continue to recommend it to other Mom’s.  My kids love to make things out of the big boxes before they head to the recycling center.  Currently we have a bus in our living room.

  • HB

    Ive looked a bit on a web site “ALICE.com” they have free shipping and although I’ve not ordered from them yet,I am planning to. The site is fun and easy to use, seems like they have a gr8 variety and good prices.

  • Ilovemyapplesduh

    Checkout  http://amazongrocerysteals.blogspot.com/ to find the best daily deals!

  • Rvnangl69

    Amazon notifies me by email if prices change well in advance of shipment so I can cancel if I desire. They also ship everything in a single box if you request all items delivered on a single day, say the first or fifteenth of the month.