If you’re trying to save money on a tight budget, signing up for subscription services is probably the last thing on your mind. After all, things like cutting your cable subscription or canceling underused subscriptions are quick ways to lower your monthly bills.
But subscription services aren’t necessarily bad for your wallet. While subscription boxes aren’t always worth it, e-commerce giants like Amazon have created a new way to save time and money when ordering everyday essentials.
With Amazon Subscribe & Save, you can simplify your life and save up to 15% on thousands of Amazon products. If you’re tired of overpaying for daily necessities and want to spend less time shopping in stores, Subscribe & Save is definitely worth trying.
How Amazon Subscribe & Save Works
It’s already easy to save money by shopping on Amazon. Between competitive prices and free shipping on thousands of products through Amazon Prime, it’s clear why Amazon dominates e-commerce sales in the United States and much of the world.
Amazon Subscribe & Save is simply another program in Amazon’s money-saving toolkit, albeit an incredibly powerful one. With Subscribe & Save, you save money by subscribing to regular Amazon deliveries for thousands of different products. Household items, grocery store products, cleaning supplies, pet food, and personal care products are popular categories, and getting started with the program takes only four steps:
- Select Products. Shop for eligible Subscribe & Save products from the subscriptions page. Eligible items also have a Subscribe & Save option on their product detail page that you can select when browsing Amazon.
- Choose Quantity and Schedule. Select the product quantity and shipping schedule for every product you add to your subscription. Your auto-delivery options range from two weeks to six months.
- Create Subscription. Confirm your subscription and delivery address. Each product indicates its delivery date so you know when to expect your first order.
- Manage Existing Subscriptions. Amazon sends a reminder email in advance of their next delivery. This email outlines the products you’re subscribing to, their current prices, and any price changes since your last order. You can change delivery frequency, remove products, skip deliveries, and change delivery location as long as you make changes before your next order ships.
Almost every Subscribe & Save product saves at least 5% for creating a subscription. Plus, shipping is always free for Prime members, though non-Prime customers may pay shipping costs for their first delivery (but not subsequent deliveries). Whether you’re a Prime member or not, there aren’t any cancellation fees for ending your subscription.
However, Subscribe & Save truly shines when you get serious and add more products. If you add at least five products to an order for a single address, you save 15% on everything. When you consider how affordable Amazon is alongside these savings, Subscribe & Save is an effective way to save money on household products and other essentials.
As with other Amazon products, prices fluctuate. If you check your subscription reminder email and don’t think the extra savings are worth it, you can always swap products or skip your upcoming subscription.
How to Save Even More Money With Subscribe & Save
Adding at least five products to save 15% is the best feature of Subscribe & Save. However, truly frugal shoppers can also make use of other strategies to cut costs.
1. Join Amazon Prime
An Amazon Prime membership is already a worthwhile investment for avid Amazon shoppers since it provides free shipping on thousands of products and exclusive deals. Additionally, your Prime membership can help you save money on baby expenses through the Amazon Family program.
Prime members who order at least five products are eligible for 20% off diapers, baby food, and a range of vitamins and supplements. Having a baby is expensive, so a 20% discount on child care essentials certainly lessens the financial strain.
You don’t have to order five baby products to get 20% off. As long as your total Subscribe & Save order has five products, products eligible for 20% off get that discount. If you don’t need enough available baby products, you can subscribe to filler items you’d buy anyway, like paper towels or toothpaste, or grocery products you might normally buy in the store to maximize your discount.
2. Clip Coupons
If you’re a fan of coupon apps or extreme couponing, you can get similar savings by clipping Subscribe & Save coupons directly on Amazon.
Subscribe & Save coupons provide discounts on your order that go beyond regular savings. Many Amazon coupons offer 20% to 40% off your first order or $5 to $10 off regular pricing the first time you order a product. Plus, coupons are available for a range of products, including:
- Cleaning supplies
- Beauty products
- Pet supplies
- Food and kitchen products
Once you select “clip coupon,” your discount automatically applies when you add the product to your Subscribe & Save order and check out. Coupons stack with existing Subscribe & Save deals, meaning you can save an impressive amount.
3. Use the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa
Another way to make the most of Subscribe & Save is to shop with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card. This cash-back credit card has various Amazon-specific perks, making it a must-have for any regular Amazon shopper. Cardholder benefits include:
- 3% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods
- 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
- 1% cash back on utilities, rideshares, and all other purchases
- A $50 Amazon gift card sign-up bonus
There’s no annual fee, although you must be an Amazon Prime member to become a cardholder. However, the $50 free Amazon gift card already covers a significant portion of your annual Prime membership, and it’s a strong cash-back credit card overall for anyone who regularly shops on Amazon.
4. Get Creative for 5 Products
If you don’t add five products to your Subscribe & Save order, you’re missing out on a lot of savings. However, you can get creative to reach five products and get the most benefit from the program.
Start by reviewing your weekly shopping list and then check Subscribe & Save for those products. Toilet paper, grocery items, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and garbage bags are examples of eligible products, so adding these products to your subscription is a straightforward way to reach five products.
You can also add things you need to replace on a specific schedule, like air conditioner filters or toothbrushes. Putting them on Subscribe & Save acts as a reminder to change them out.
Subscribe & Save has thousands of eligible products, so reaching five products isn’t a challenge for most. In fact, surpassing five products in your subscription is likely once you get used to ordering online since Amazon is both affordable and convenient.
If you’re still at a loss, you can create an order for yourself and a family member, close friend, or neighbor. Subscribe & Save orders must ship to the same address to get the full discount. But if you regularly see the other person, you can simply hand off their products and have them transfer money to you.
Finally, if you’re a business owner or plan to start your own business, check out eligible office products to reach your five items. That’s a simple way to cut costs for your business and maximize Subscribe & Save’s potential.
5. Always Read Subscribe & Save Emails
Amazon emails you before every upcoming delivery, listing the products in your order and their prices. It’s crucial to read the email to confirm you need to replenish the products in your order. Additionally, Amazon prices are dynamic, and the last thing you want is to overpay because you skipped an email. That also means it pays to keep track of what your local brick-and-mortars charge for the products on your list.
It’s free to skip or modify your order if you’re fully stocked or dissatisfied with the price. Keep stock of essentials you’re running low on, and regularly check Subscribe & Save to see if there are more affordable alternatives. It takes an order or two to get your delivery frequency right, but the savings are worth it.
6. Compare Different Quantities
You can select a two-week delivery window for Subscribe & Save. But it’s often cost-effective to buy in bulk and have less frequent deliveries.
For example, categories like pet food, toilet paper, and batteries often become cheaper the more you buy. While spending more upfront is unpleasant, if you know you’re going to use the products and they won’t go to waste, bulk shopping can save more money. Plus, you can always update your delivery dates and quantities if you start running low on something or decide bulk shopping isn’t for you. Just make sure you have the space to store everything you buy.
7. Don’t Stop Deal Shopping
One risk of subscription services is that you end up paying for something you don’t use. Subscribe & Save is different in this regard since it focuses on everyday essentials. But that doesn’t mean you should become complacent.
Amazon prices are generally competitive, but there are other ways to save money on everyday purchases. For example, shopping in bulk at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club might rival some of your Subscribe & Save products in price and quality. Alternatively, for some essentials, local or online dollar stores might be a cheaper option.
There are also plenty of shopping sites with free shipping and perks that can rival Amazon. For example, both Walmart and Target offer fast and free shipping on orders over $35. Walmart also offers Walmart+, a membership program that grants free delivery, free shipping, and faster in-store checkout. And customers who use the Target REDcard also receive free two-day shipping. (Though neither has a subscription program if that’s what you’re looking for.)
Ultimately, think of Subscribe & Save as one of many platforms to help cut down on spending, not your only shopping option.
8. Use Shopping Browser Extensions
There’s no excuse for not using a shopping browser extension to find deals and save money if you shop online.
That’s also true for Subscribe & Save, and there are several browser extensions you can use to maximize savings:
- Honey. Honey automatically adds coupon codes when you check out at thousands of online stores. On Amazon, Honey also compares prices between products you’re considering to ensure you find the best deal. You can also create price-drop alerts to receive an email when Amazon products you’re interested in drop in price. Read our Honey review.
- Capital One Shopping: Like Honey, Capital One Shopping also automatically applies coupon codes to save time and money when shopping online. You can also shop at Capital One partners to earn credits, which are redeemable for various free gift cards. If you have a specific product in mind, the product search feature helps you find better prices online, so you can check whether Amazon is the most affordable option. Read our Capital One Shopping review.
- CamelCamelCamel: If you want to time your shopping trip to buy products when they’re at historically low prices, CamelCamelCamel is a powerful research tool you need to try. This Amazon price tracker displays price history charts for millions of Amazon products and lets you create price-drop alerts. While it’s difficult to time your shopping for Subscribe & Save orders, CamelCamelCamel is an effective way to reference price history to avoid scheduling at historically peak price windows.
Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the browser extension using the links provided.
9. Try Cash-Back Rewards Websites
Another simple way to save more with Subscribe & Save is to earn cash-back rewards for your online shopping. Websites like Rakuten and TopCashback partner with thousands of online retailers and pay you cash back for shopping. Both platforms are free, and you can also earn a $10 sign-up bonus for joining Rakuten to kickstart your savings.
Amazon discounts aren’t always available on these platforms. However, if you can time a Subscribe & Save order with a cash-back bonus, you’re looking at even more savings. Plus, Rakuten and TopCashback work with thousands of other online retailers, so they’re worth trying even if Amazon savings aren’t currently available.
Rakuten pays out cash back quarterly through PayPal or check as long as you have more than $5 in your account. TopCashback lets you withdraw any time through PayPal or free gift cards. You can also install the Rakuten extension and TopCashback extension to receive notifications when the website you’re shopping on is eligible for cash-back rewards.
When you consider how affordable and convenient shopping on Amazon is, it’s easy to understand why this e-commerce giant is so popular.
Subscribe & Save is yet another Amazon feature that rewards you for your loyalty. At the very least, you can save 5% on products you use regularly and cut down on gas costs by shopping in person less frequently. At best, you can save 20% or more on everyday essentials and simplify your life without committing to expensive subscription terms or locking yourself into a contract.
The only caution is to avoid buying products you don’t need or overstocking on perishable goods. It might take time to get your delivery frequency and products right, and you have to be diligent with reading order emails. But once you get into a rhythm, there’s no reason to pay full price for most of your daily necessities thanks to Amazon.