Dog food, baby food pouches, diapers, batteries, air filters, K-cups, vitamins, face cream, breastfeeding pads, shower drain hair catchers, baby bottles, dry shampoo, baby nose saline, clothing, books, wipes, bottle brush, travel mug, razor, and a Bug-A-Salt (the non-traditional gift for the ninth wedding anniversary is a salt-based bug killing weapon, FYI)…what do all of these things have in common? They have been purchased by me on Amazon in the past 45 days. (My husband recently said, “you order a lot on Amazon.” He really has no idea.)
I decided to try Amazon Prime a few years ago when it was running a special, and I have never looked back. It is the best $99 I spend each year. If you want to give a beloved friend or family member the best gift ever, give them Amazon Prime. (Never mind the fact that it’s a gateway gift, and they will be roped into wanting it for the rest of their lives, but hey, the first year is on you!)
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Remember when you used to have to find $35 worth of items to put in your cart to get free shipping? No more. And it’s 2-day free shipping to boot. The reality is that many times, I am not going to be able to make it to the store in the next 48 hours. But I can place an order on the phone app while I am sitting on my couch or in a doctor’s waiting room, and then it will conveniently appear on my porch two days later. Even if I did get to the store, for me, it’s usually cheaper to get it from Amazon.
A number of the items listed above are included in our Subscribe and Save order. We get a monthly shipment of items that we use frequently. By including them in Subscribe and Save, we get an additional discount. I can either make a specific trip to the specialty pet store with one to two children in tow, haul a 30-lb. bag of dog food to my car, pay $4-$10 extra, and drive home, or I can let the post office delivery person bring it to my door every 30 days for a few dollars less. It pays to be lazy, people.
Amazon Prime also has a streaming service. I have watched lots of movies and TV shows when my 600 satellite TV channels didn’t offer anything enticing. These are good movies and shows, too, and for the whole family, including kids. There is also Amazon Music and Prime Photo, and I’ll admit I don’t know what they offer. I assume they’re great. Amazon can do no wrong.
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[Update: there is room for improvement…]
I order books for my Kindle, which is actually now in a drawer. I have since downloaded the app, so I can read books on my phone when I am out and about. (Who am I kidding, I’m usually scrolling Facebook. But I could be reading.) I am trying to commit to more books and less mindless scrolling and having an app on my phone to do so makes that a lot easier in bed when all the lights are off and my family is asleep next to me. I’m actually reading a book right now, and that would be all but impossible with small children in my lap at all times. But when it’s an app on my phone, I can nurse the baby and read with a free hand. Swiping is easier than turning pages. There are also a few select Kindle books offered for free for Prime members each month. I have downloaded a couple–one was good, and the other I felt no guilt in abandoning once I got bored since I didn’t pay for it.
Last week I downloaded four different books that were either $1.99 or $2.99 each. For me, digital books are better than real books because when we PCS, books are heavy and just extra stuff to deal with. (We were 3000 pounds under our weight limit when we moved last, so we clearly love a good purge with every move.)
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But wait, there’s more. There are a number of things that I don’t even take advantage of that undoubtedly make people’s lives easier. Dash buttons, which is a button (for say, Bounty paper towels) and when you run out, you tap the button. Wifi and magic means an order is placed and Amazon will deliver paper towels to your home. I’m sure this could never go wrong with toddlers in the house who love pressing buttons. I mean, you can never have too many paper towels.
I need to look into Prime Pantry, but as of now it seems a lot of the items are cheaper to buy locally. You can always get Alexa if you want some cyber lady listening all the time and googling stuff for you. Just be aware of OPSEC, as Alexa may actually be a spy… you just never know.
I didn’t get Prime until after we got back from our overseas tour (big mistake!), but I have heard from other moms currently stationed abroad that Prime allows them to get items from home to make them feel less homesick. Many times the OCONUS commissaries have limited inventory, or it’s just a pain to get there. With Amazon Prime, they can get lots of preferred products delivered to their APO/FPO/DPO to make life easier.
You can use websites to get an alert when an item you are eyeing goes below a certain price. Download a browser add-on to tell you in real time whether you can find the item cheaper elsewhere. You can almost always return items. I am dropping off a package today to return something it turned out I didn’t need.
One hundred percent of my Christmas gifts this year were ordered and delivered by Amazon. (I blamed it on having a newborn, but the truth is I will probably do the same thing next year.) During Prime Day last year, I got a stroller I had been eyeing for a great deal. (It folds up so small, we were able to put it under the seat on the airplane!) You can order a yodeling pickle. There are waffle makers shaped like the Death Star. Go to “Interesting Finds” and discover gifts and fun things you never knew you needed in your life.
I say this sarcastically but it is rooted in truth: Amazon Prime has changed my life. It fills a void in my life I didn’t even know existed. Life is simpler when I can order just about anything conveniently and at a great price. If it’s not on Amazon, I probably don’t need it. (The only caveat here is refrigerated food, but I think in some big cities you can get that, too. We don’t even have a Target here, so it’s safe to say we aren’t in a big enough area to warrant such metropolitan perks.)
In December a video went viral showing how to use Amazon Now to help the homeless in big cities. What a time to be alive! Go watch it and warm your cold, black soul.
So if you haven’t already, go sign up for Amazon Prime. It will change your life. For added fun, link the preferred payment to a credit card and you can forget how much money you spend until you get the bill. It feels like free money until then because your bank account doesn’t go down! And keep an eye out for a good gift for your mail carrier, because he or she is going to be working a bit harder. I bet you can find the perfect thing on Amazon.
Do you share my love for Amazon Prime? What am I missing?