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Getting $99 out of Amazon Prime

Updated on September 26, 2014

How We Saved over $300 with our Amazon Prime Membership

When we heard the news that Amazon Prime membership was going up from $79 to $99, my husband asked me if I thought it was worth it to continue our membership. My answer? Hell Yeah!! In our first year using Prime, we had not only saved on shipping costs on over 38 orders, but had streamed numerous videos for both us and our kids, downloaded Kindle books for the entire family, and saved money on everything from groceries to birthday party favors.

Are you on the fence about signing up for Amazon Prime at the new higher price? If so, follow along to learn how we got well over $99 of value out of our Prime Membership last year.

Get 13 Months of Amazon Prime for the Price of 12

Start with a 1-Month Free Trial

If you are still reading this, I'll assume you are a current Amazon user who makes occasional purchases. Perhaps you also have a kindle and download a book or two here and there, and possibly you have a new Smart TV which has access to Amazon Instant Video. All of these are good reasons to start thinking about Amazon Prime.

The best first step? Sign up for a 1-month free trial of Prime. When it ends, it will roll over into a 1-year membership for $99. In effect, giving you 13 months of Prime for the Price of 12.

Congratulations, you just saved your first $8.25

Now, keep reading to see how I saved over $300 by using my Prime account last year, and you can too.

Amazon Prime and Smart TV
Amazon Prime and Smart TV

Share Your Amazon Prime Membership

Family members don't let family members pay for shipping on Amazon!.com

The first thing my husband did after he signed up for Amazon Prime was to share it with me. Amazon allows users to share their Prime membership with up to 4 household members. This means that no one in your immediate household should ever have to pay for shipping on their Amazon Prime eligible purchases.

The main subscriber is the one who will have access to the kindle lending library through their Amazon account, so if you are signing up with your partner, make whichever one of you is the avid reader is the one who signs up first.

Additionally, Amazon Instant Video access will be through the main account - so make sure that person knows how to work the Smart TV.

Find Smart TVs on Amazon

Samsung UN46F5000 46-Inch 1080p 60Hz Slim LED HDTV
Samsung UN46F5000 46-Inch 1080p 60Hz Slim LED HDTV

Read the great reviews on this Smart TV by Samsung. And then shop Amazons extensive collection of smart TVs at great prices.

 
amazon prime shipping cost
amazon prime shipping cost

How Much Can You Save on Shipping with Amazon Prime

For most people, Amazon Prime pays for itself in saved shipping costs alone. Even if you are not an Amazon Superuser.

Remember when I told you to share your Prime membership with all members of your household? Well, this is key to getting the most out of your Amazon Prime membership.

When my husband and I sat down to do the math, we looked at both of our Amazon accounts for the past year. He had 5 orders...and I had 33. Out of the 38 combined orders. 30 of them were Prime Eligible.

We then hopped over to this Amazon Prime Shipping Calculator which assumes average shipping of $3.99. At that rate, we saved $119.70 in shipping costs minus the $79 we paid for Prime, that nets us out to $40.70 in savings assuming this "average" shipping cost of $3.99.

That's another $40.70 saved with Amazon Prime!

What is the difference between Amazon Prime and Prime Pantry
What is the difference between Amazon Prime and Prime Pantry

Buy Your Groceries on Amazon

Use Amazon Prime or Prime Pantry to save on groceries

Amazon Prime and their new service, Prime Pantry, both allow Prime users to buy their non-perishable groceries on Amazon and save over grocery store and warehouse club prices.

Here's the difference between the two services:

With Amazon Prime, many items that you would buy at your grocery store are available online in regular and bulk packaging, for lower than normal prices. With Amazon Prime you get free, 2-day shipping on these items. Here's an example:

Hunt's Tomato Sauce is available on Amazon Prime in a case of 12 for $17.35 - that's $1.45 each.

Subscribe for an automatic delivery of this product every 1-6 months and the price drops to $16.48 - that's $1.37 each.

Don't want to buy in bulk? Buy a single can of Hunt's tomato sauce on Amazon Prime Pantry for $1.00 - but pay $5.99 shipping on a full 4 cubic foot box of low priced groceries from Amazon.

Want to see Amazon Prime's low pricing in action? Click here to see my in depth analysis of Amazon Prime Pantry vs other online grocery services.

Get the Lowest Prices on Pantry Staples

Hunt's Tomato Sauce, 15 Oz.
Hunt's Tomato Sauce, 15 Oz.

Get lower than your local store prices on pantry staples with Amazon Prime Pantry, a service only available to Prime subscribers

 
Loads of family friendly movies on Amazon prime, make for a free movie night with the kids.
Loads of family friendly movies on Amazon prime, make for a free movie night with the kids.

How to Watch Free Movies and TV Shows with Amazon Prime

You don't need a Smart TV...start now

You may think that you need a Smart TV or a Roku box or some special equipment to stream movies from Amazon Prime, but you don't. As long as you have a computer with internet access or a smart phone you are all set. You can watch movies directly on your computer or via the Amazon Video app. But I can tell you that having a Smart TV makes your Amazon Prime membership all the more worthwhile.

My husband and I average one movie per week, and our kids watch one or two episodes of their favorite cartoons each week as well. Occassionally we do a "Movie Friday" and find a family fun movie for the whole family. Last week we all watched Night At The Museum together, one of the many free movies available to Amazon Prime subscribers.. But I have friends getting even more value out of their Prime membership by cutting the cord on cable and using Amazon Prime to supplement their Netflix and Hulu watching.

For us, I figure we save about $5 a week that we would have spent renting movies via the "On Demand" feature of our cable service. Multiply that by 52 weeks in the year.

We just saved another $260!

Amazon Mom discount referral program
Amazon Mom discount referral program

Join Amazon Mom for Even More Savings, Free!

Anyone with an Amazon Prime membership can add an Amazon Mom membership to their account free. With Amazon Mom you get a discount on everything you need for baby when you "subscribe and save" on items that you buy repeatedly like diapers and wipes.

My advice? Don't put your diapers on an auto re-order program because babies grow and you don't want to be stuck with outgrown diapers. Plus, the regular diaper prices on Amazon are already cheaper than other sites like Diapers.com. Where the savings come in handy is with things like baby wipes, and cleaning supplies and detergent that you need constantly no matter what size your child is.

And with their referral program, you can earn a $10 Amazon credit for every friend you refer who signs up to Amazon Mom too!

buy birthday party gifts on amazon
buy birthday party gifts on amazon

Save Money on Gift Purchases with Amazon Prime

My best trick for getting the most out of Amazon Prime membership

I have two kids ages 5 and 8, and they are each in large classes at school. That means lots of birthday parties. Around these parts, the average sticker price of a birthday party gift is $20. My town has a a great educational toy store where everyone shops for birthday presents, but at $20 a pop, I could easily spend $600 on birthday party gifts for my kids friends parties each year.

My trick? Amazon carries the same brands of toys as Learning Express, for far less. And with Prime, I don't have to pay shipping, and I know I can order a gift on Wednesday and have it before the usual weekend birthday party crunch. All the gifts with a $20 price point at my local store can be found on Amazon for $14-$17. Plus, I save the gas that a trip to the toy store would use!

Lets assume an average savings of $4 per gift, and 30 kids parties a year between my 2 kids, I just saved another $120!

ALEX Toys Craft Color A Peace Bag
ALEX Toys Craft Color A Peace Bag

My go-to gift for 5 & 6 year old girls. They will love coloring in this bag, and then taking it everywhere they go.

 
Wood Stacking Robots
Wood Stacking Robots

My go-to gift for 3 year old boys. Stacking Robots, only $15 on Amazon

 

How Much Have You Saved With Your Prime Membership? - Share your best tips here.

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