Thrifty Thursday – Amazon Prime

Thrifty Thursdays

I am a HUGE fan of Amazon Prime.  If you aren’t yet familiar with this service, you should definitely check out what it has to offer.  We have been members for about two years and it has saved us a lot of money and truly transformed the way we shop here at the FireStation.  It is one click shopping at its best.

Amazon prime has been around for 10 years, but I frequently run into people who aren’t familiar with it.  I describe it as like a membership at Sam’s Club or Costco, but online through  It costs about $99 a year, although they sometimes run specials where you can subscribe for less.  The benefits are that you can shop for over 20 million products, on your computer or phone, and get free two day shipping to your house.  It’s a game changer for us.

As an example, here are 5 things I have bought recently on Amazon Prime and saved a lot of money & trouble:

1. Refrigerator Water Filter – I used to buy these at Sear’s.  Very expensive.  Then I started buying them from a filter website.  Now every time I need a filter, I just scan the empty box of the last one and  one is quickly on its way to my house.  Cheaper & easier than the alternatives.  I don’t have to go to the mall.  I don’t have to “log in” to some specialty website I rarely go to (and always forget my user ID and password).

2. Graphing Calculator – Our Dear Son needed a specific Texas Instruments graphing calculator for high school.  We went to Staples and they had one on display.  We used the camera feature to scan the display model in the store and found the same model on Amazon Prime for $15 cheaper (on a $50 calculator).  He couldn’t take the calculator home that day, but he had it in two days – plenty of time before he needed it in class.

3.  Cashmere Scarf – My wife was looking for a green scarf to support my son’s school color’s at a football game.  She told me that she had looked at several places in town and went to the mall (20 minutes away), but couldn’t find one the right color or quantity.  While sitting in the bleachers at the game, I search for “Green Scarf” on Amazon and immediately found a nice cashmere one for less than $20 dollars.  In two days it was at our house as promised and she wore it to the next game, the following Friday night.

4. How To Book Title – Someone recommended a book to my Dear Wife.  It was at the bookstore for $22, but I found it on Amazon Prime for less than half of that – $9.  Books seems to be a particularly good deal on Amazon Prime.  While I like to go to the bookstore to browse, I typically only buy books through Amazon Prime.

5.  Teeth Whitening Gel – This was a huge money saver.  My wife & I sometimes use Philips Zoom Day teeth whitening gels.  We’ve been buying them through our dentist’s office for years.  Recently, she ran out of the gel and they sold her two 3-packs for about $100.  When she showed me the packages, I went on Amazon Prime to see if they carried something similar.  In fact, they had the same brand & gel for $64.  My wife actually returned the gel to the dentist office the next day.  A day after that, we had a box on our door.

You can see the variety of things we buy on Amazon Prime.  We also get a free movie & song streaming service and other benefits, which are nice.  We dropped Netflix when we subscribed to Amazon Prime, so we also have that saving.  One time my son and I were shopping at Walmart, which is known for good prices on everyday staples, and actually bought four different things off of Amazon Prime while we were in the store.  The items ranged from an HDMI cable, a WIIu game, a Lego set, and a calendar.  All cheaper on Amazon Prime and easy to shop for wherever you are at with one click.

What do you think of Amazon Prime?  Has it been a game changer for you?

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