I have been using Amazon Prime for several years now. I have found it to be extremely useful and even though I’m sure I could live without it, I don’t want to! The $99 yearly fee has been well worth it, and we save a lot of money every year.
I’ve had several questions about Amazon Prime, how to use Amazon Prime, and how to get the most out of an Amazon Prime membership. I want to share some tricks that I’ve learned while using Amazon over the years. If you don’t already have an Amazon Prime account, you can try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days.
What you probably already know is that Amazon has great prices, and offers 2 day shipping on Prime eligible items. What you may not know is that there is much, much more to Prime! Keep reading to find out how to use Amazon Prime and get the most out of your $99 subscription.
How to use Amazon Prime
Utilize Amazon Subscribe & Save
I have found that Amazon Subscribe and Save is hands-down the cheapest way to buy most common household items. I use it for toilet paper, diapers, trash bags, and other items. Best of all, it is so simple! You can order the items that you need on a schedule (for example, diapers delivered every two months) but I personally go in and change the schedule to ensure that I order 5 items at a time.
Ordering 5 items at a time maximizes your savings, as all 5 (or more) items will be an additional 15% off. Diapers will not be 15% off, but they count toward your total. If you sign up for Amazon Family (free, with Amazon Prime) diapers will be 20% off! There are often coupons that can be used, so the savings can really add up.
When you click on an item, you will have the option to use subscribe and save or buy it now. If you need something immediately, keep in mind that subscribe and save items only ship once a month. If you can wait, it’s worth it because subscribe and save prices are typically much lower.
Another important note on subscribe and save – you can cancel your subscription at any time. Once your items are shipped, you can cancel further shipments with no penalty from Amazon. Don’t forget to periodically check and make sure you aren’t surprised by any unexpected orders.
Prices also change frequently, so it’s good to double check what you paid last time or compare to other stores to make sure you’re still getting the best price.
Related Post: What to buy with Amazon Subscribe and Save
Watch free videos and TV shows
There are so many free videos that you can watch through Amazon Instant Video. We love all the kids movies, documentaries and TV shows that we can watch. You can watch Amazon Prime through a variety of methods, including apps on most video game consoles, a Roku device, or a built-in app on many TVs. You can also watch Prime videos directly from your computer.
Since Amazon Prime only costs $99/year, having the free videos and TV shows is a great add-on that some Amazon Prime members don’t even use. We love Netflix but Amazon Prime has some great shows that aren’t available on Netflix, and it’s cheaper.
Check out the daily deals
Become friends with no-rush shipping
Wait, isn’t one of the best parts of Amazon Prime the free 2-day shipping?? Maybe. If you need something right away, 2 day shipping is great. If you can wait, no-rush shipping is pretty awesome for several reasons. When you are getting ready to check out, Amazon will ask if you’d like to choose no-rush shipping. Your item will ship in 3-5 days, instead of the usual 2.
Amazon offers incentives to use the no-rush shipping option. Most of the time the incentive is $1.00 credit for qualifying digital items, although sometimes it is $5 towards a Prime Pantry box. We don’t have cable, but there are some shows that we want to watch shortly after they air to avoid spoilers. We use the credit to help purchase the shows. Most shows are $1.99, so two shipped items = a free TV show!
Like Pandora? Try Prime Music
I just starting using Prime Music, and it’s pretty awesome! In addition to being able to listen to over a million songs for free, many purchases include a digital copy that is automatically added to your library. I just purchased a copy of the Rock of Ages soundtrack (don’t judge me) and was able to listen to the digital copy within minutes.
Hate the grocery store? Try Prime Pantry
Prime Pantry doesn’t offer any frozen or fresh foods (yet) but you can order up to 45 pounds of items for a flat rate of $5.99 to ship. This is a good option for those wanting to order staples on Amazon, without purchasing items in bulk. I don’t personally use Prime Pantry, since I have a Thrive Market membership, but I’ve heard lots of positive things about it.
Related Post: Amazon Prime vs Thrive Market
Read free books on your Kindle
Kindle owners with Prime are allowed to “borrow” a free book each month from the Kindle Lending Library. You can also lend books for up to 14 days, so it’s a great way to share books you’ve purchased with your friends. You can also get several completely free Kindle books just by browsing for them.
If you don’t have a Kindle, they price was recently lowered to $49! I bought a 8gb Kindle Fire and I am very happy with it. I paid $200 for my first Kindle Fire, so I thought $49 was a steal. I should note that I would probably still have the first one, but it met an unfortunate end when my son closed it in the door of the car.
You can also get access to over a million books and thousands of audio books for $9.99/month with Kindle Unlimited. While it isn’t included with Amazon Prime, I thought it was worth mentioning because it could be very worthwhile if you enjoy reading. Click on the link above to get your first month of Kindle Unlimited for free!
Amazon Cloud Drive
As a photographer and someone who has dealt with hard drive failure, I think that backing up photos and documents is very important. Amazon now offers Prime users to store their photos, videos and files through Amazon Cloud Drive.
As you can see, Amazon Prime is much more than free 2-day shipping. I love using Amazon to watch TV, listen to music, order some grocery items, and save a bunch on household items. How do you make the most out of your Amazon Prime subscription? I’d love to hear your favorite things about Amazon Prime. If you have any questions about how to use Amazon Prime, ask them in the comments and I will give the best answer that I can!