I did the research, and here’s why Amazon Subscribe and Save is my go-to for monthly purchases

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Soon after our first child was born, as I sat rocking his sleepy newborn self and browsing on my phone, I “discovered” Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program.

I’m sure I’d heard of it before, but as a sleep-deprived mom who no longer wanted to drive places but who still needed baby, household and personal items, the Amazon subscription service emerged as a shopping godsend in my life.

After my husband and I price-compared our chosen diaper brand in stores, online and even at the tax-free military commissary and exchange, Subscribe and Save won out on price per diaper. And when our son began to eat solid food, we added oatmeal and baby food pouches to our monthly shipments.

Screenshot from Anna Weaver

I’ve continued to add more items as I’ve price-compared things I use regularly — my daily moisturizer, dental chews for our dog, my hard-to-find contact solution, protein shakes, paper towels, and the toilet paper brand I prefer but which Costco (where it’s cheaper in bulk) often doesn’t stock.

How Amazon Subscribe And Save Works

When you order five or more qualifying Subscribe and Save products in a month, you get 15% off the order. You can also add the same product more than once but as separate items to help you hit your five-item discount threshold. Or add some cheap but useful Subscribe and Save items to get you to that 15% discount level.

If you’re a Prime member, diapers, baby food and other kid-related products are bumped up to a 20% discount through Amazon Family.

Plus, there’s often an introductory coupon option you can add on top of a new Subscribe and Save item in the first month you order it.

Shipping is free no matter how many items you have or whether you have Prime.

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Here in Hawaii, almost everything is pricier than it is on the mainland. But even if you’re not here in Hawaii, Subscribe and Save still wins out. When we lived in Seattle, I found most of my needed items were still cheaper via the subscription service.

The time savings are also a huge factor. When your only other options are a 45-minute drive or a longer ferry and car ride to the big box and chain stores, home delivery is compelling. With small kids, I was especially ready to click that Subscribe button rather than hauling items home from a store.

Other Things To Note When Using Amazon Subscribe And Save

Don’t need a certain product every month? You can change the frequency of shipping so that items arrive up to six months apart.

Also, the prices of Subscribe and Save items can fluctuate. Amazon now sends you an email before your monthly shipment goes out to tell you if any prices have risen, giving you the option to unselect a product if you’re not happy with the higher price.

And as for the discounts, those can vary, too. Some items are only discounted 5–10%, even when in a five-plus item shipment. So be sure to check that when choosing your purchases.

And if you’re concerned about the amount of shipping materials used to ship your items, you’ll be pleased to know that Amazon almost always bundles all of my monthly items together in one big box, which we then recycle.

So if you have far to travel in order to stock up on essentials, or you feel like you don’t have enough time in your schedule to get to the store, Subscribe and Save is a win-win.

About the Author

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Anna Weaver

Anna Weaver is a writer and multimedia journalist born, raised, and living back in her home state of Hawaii. Her two young kids keep her on her toes and hooked on online shopping. Learn More.