Monday, June 23, 2014

Mama Monday: Amazon Prime/Mom

Hi, my name is Erika and I'm an Amazon addict.

Another thing several people have asked me about lately is how we like Amazon.

Short answer? We love it.

Long answer? It involves so much shipping that we have a relationship with our UPS guy.

We have had Amazon Prime for a long time - since Hans was at UT and got a student account. We used it pretty regularly for books and gifts and random things. But in the past few years, we seriously use it 3-4 times a week. Almost any thing I want to buy, I get it from Amazon. Here's why:

  • I don't have to leave my house. I don't have to pack Punkito in the car and visit multiple places to find what I'm looking for. I don't even have to put on pants (and that's a major tally in the win column).
  • It's usually cheaper. Not always, but most of the time I can find what I want and save a little. Case in point: Last week I needed to get some new Sunday shoes for Em. I knew the ones I wanted. I checked the websites for Stride Rite, Dillards, and Nordstrom and they were all the same price ($30), but then I'd have to pay for shipping. I don't mind going to the store to pick them up, but dreaded dragging Punkito to three stores looking for them. I didn't expect to find Stride Rite shoes on Amazon, but low and behold, there they were. For $23. And free shipping. Done and Done.
  • I can find obscure things! If you've ever felt like your local store has a limited selection, you don't need to worry about that on Amazon. You'll find what you're looking for offered in fifteen colors. Yeessssss.
  • Two-day free shipping. I hate paying any kind of online shipping now. So spoiled.

So on to Amazon Mom. To be honest, I don't really know what the difference is between Amazon Mom and Amazon Prime. So maybe you don't need Mom, you just need Prime? Sorry, I just don't get it. In any event, back when Punkito was just a little bean in my belly, we started shopping around for the best prices on diapers. We price-compared Costco, HEB, Target, Babies R Us, and Amazon. Now I know it probably depends on what kind of diapers you prefer, but we liked the Huggies Little Snugglers and the price comparison on those had Amazon way cheaper per diaper. I wish I could remember the exact numbers, but hey - it's been two years since I compared. I think Costco was close, but it was the only one remotely close and they don't actually have Snugglers - they have the snug and dry which I didn't like as well. And did I mention that they come right to your house? Excellent. Never have to worry about running out for diapers.

We set our subscription to ship a giant box every month. You can always one-off an additional box if you're running low between regularly-scheduled shipments and it'll be at your door in two days. You can also cancel a regular shipment if you don't need it. And returns are very easy. When we moved from size 2 diapers to size 3, I wasn't able to update our subscription before our monthly box of 2s was sent out. All I had to do was sign into my Amazon account, print off a return label, tape it on the box, and drop the box off at the closest UPS store. That was it. Don't have to pay to return it and the amount was credited right back to our account.

Another great thing about the subscriptions (Subscribe-and-Save) is that the more subscriptions you have in your monthly shipment, the bigger discount you get. We have a few staple items on there that we go through every month, so we save a little more. We do diapers, wipes, diaper genie refills, fabric softener, cliff bars, lysol wipes and a few other things. You can add things like shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste - pretty much anything you can imagine. I may never have to leave the house (or put on pants!) ever again! I think with the amount of items we get per month, we get 15% off the whole order.

Our primary purpose for having Amazon Prime is for the free two-day shipping and the subscribe-and-save options, but I find that we use it for all kinds of things now, because we have it. They have instant video streaming that is very similar to Netflix, but offers a few things Netflix doesn't. And since it's free with Prime, why not? If you didn't want to have Netflix, you could do with just Amazon Prime Videos.

On top of that, I still do something called Swagbucks, a search and win site that rewards you for using it. You do things like answer surveys, search the web, watch videos, answer polls, complete special offers and you get rewarded with points that you can redeem for prizes. I always redeem mine for Amazon gift cards and then use those gift cards on my Prime orders. I think I actually have $30-$40 in gift cards sitting in my Amazon account for my next purchase. I just looked it up and in the past few years, I have earned $710 in gift cards just through Swagbucks. If you're interested in getting started with swagbucks, please use my referral link ( because then I'll get a nice bonus for you joining :)

Come Christmas time, Amazon Prime is my life-saver. I do half or more of our Christmas shopping online. I don't have to hunt for it, I get the best prices, it's shipped for free in three days, and I use my gift cards to cover a good portion of it.

Have I convinced you yet? We love Amazon Prime. If you still have questions about getting started or using it, please feel free to contact me directly and I would love to indoctrinate you.

As a parting shot, here's a look at the last few months of our orders on Amazon, just to give you a real idea of the extent of our addiction:

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