Amazon Prime: A Great Way to Cut Costs On Several Different Fronts

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I rarely talk about specific products on this blog.  However, I do like saving money and telling other people how they can save money. Yesterday, I was telling my wife that I’m glad we’ve got Amazon Prime, and today I was trying to think about a topic to write about. So, here goes nothing …

Benefits of Amazon Prime:

Unlimited Streaming of Instant Videos and Movies

Amazon has over 41,000 movies and videos that you can watch for free.

This is the reason we decided to try out Amazon Prime.  We had Netflix and we were paying $7.99 per month for that service.  Netflix seems to have more options than Amazon Prime, but we’re not big movie watchers so it only takes an episode or two of TV shows that you enjoy watching to justify the cost.  There often aren’t movies we’re interested in on Amazon Prime, so we’ll usually rent a movie from Redbox on family movie night. (However, we are currently watching A River Runs Through It, in honor of our recent move to Billings, Montana.)

You can use several of your at home electronic devices to watch your Prime shows – X360, PS3, Kindle Fire, Wii, and more.

The only thing that I don’t like about it is that you must be using Wifi to watch something.  If you’re on a 3G or 4G network, you won’t be able to watch it.

Kindle Borrower’s Library 

If you have a Kindle fire, then once a month you’re able to borrow a book free of charge from Kindle’s 350,000 lenders library titles.  When you borrow a book, that book is visible for you to read and highlight on your Kindle.  However, the next month when you borrow a book, you’ll no longer be able to view that book as it is returned to the library.  It’s a great way to read some fiction books, but for non-fiction books I’d personally rather just buy a copy so that I get to keep all my highlighting and notes.

Free 2 day shipping on almost everything

Amazon does mark certain items as ‘add on’ items, and these things are excluded from two day shipping.  These are typically smaller items (cost) that Amazon can’t justify sending by themselves.  The other day I saw a coupon code for some Mio water flavoring.  Not surprisingly, the item that came to $2.12 wasn’t eligible for the free two day shipping unless combined with another order over $25.

This is actually one part of Amazon Prime that I’ve dramatically underestimated.

It allows us to order time sensitive items we otherwise would have had to pay more for in a store.

Last week, the internet router went out at the church building.  I looked around a little bit and Amazon had the best quality and the best price.  I wouldn’t have considered Amazon if it wasn’t for the two day shipping (or I would have had to pay extra for faster shipping).

It allows us to buy sale items.

I have a couple of apps on my smart phone – iSlick and Slick Deals (both free).  They alert to special prices on certain items.

As an example, I just pulled up the Slick Deals app and they have a USB car charger at Amazon that is $9.70.  However, there is also a $10.00 off coupon for the item.  Typically, I’d need to pass over the offer, pay for shipping (about $3.99), or buy other things to make my total equal $25 or more.

I’ve been buying things like shaving cream, soap, and detergent from Amazon whenever I see those items on sale with an attached coupon.

The Cost of Amazon Prime:

A year long membership costs $79.00.  Since we were paying $96.00 per year, we decided that it was worth giving Prime a shot.  Like I said above, we’re actually getting a lot more value out of the other two benefits and not just the TV and movies.  You can get a 30 day free trial with Prime.  That’s how we started off and decided that it was definitely worth the $79 per year.

Do any of you have an Amazon Prime account?  What do you think?

Comments

  1. Wes Smith says

    We have Amazon Prime as well and it has been a great value. We even bought a “student driver” magnet for our car when our son is driving with free shipping. The only “downside” is my other son is hooked on the Star Trek Voyager series. We watch our shows on a Roku device (which also has some free channels for viewing other content).

  2. Sharon says

    Another great benefit of the free 2-day shipping: No time and gas wasted shopping from store to store, and standing in line. Also, as I live on the top floor of a walk-up, I really get the value of having things delivered to my door.

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