Amazon’s Subscribe and Save – Do you really save?

Amazon’s Subscribe and Save – Do you really save?
Amazon’s Subscribe and Save – Do you really save?

I’ve always wanted to try Amazon’s Subscribe and Save service, but never got around to it until a couple months ago.  The thought of having some of our regularly-used needs just automatically show up on my doorstep got me thinking, and the promised discounts – 5% for 1-4 items in a delivery, 15% off for 5+ items, plus free shipping – got me to check out a little more.  I’ve seen other bloggers talk about it, so I decided to take the plunge.How does S&S work?  When browsing Amazon, on certain items, you’ll see a Subscribe and Save option near the Add to Cart button.  Usually, it will give you a price with the 5% discount already listed.  You can choose a quantity of the item you want, and a delivery schedule for that item.  When you first set up S&S, your card will be charged immediately for each item.  After that, your card is charged about a week before your scheduled shipping date.  I’ve got my monthly delivery set for the 9th.  My card is charged around the 1st of each month for that month’s scheduled deliveries.

 

The standard discount is 5%, but if your monthly delivery has 5 or more items, you get a 15% discount.  I’ve set up my S&S delivery schedule so that I get at least 5 items each month, ensuring my 15% discount.  If you have a stockpile of a certain item, you can skip delivery of that item for that month.  You can also change your delivery schedule.  For example, if my 45-ct box of garbage bags consistently lasts longer than 3 months, I could change the delivery schedule to every 4 months.

 

As I mentioned, not everything Amazon sells is available for S&S.  An easy way to find out what *is* available is to search for “subscribe and save soup”, for example (without the quotes).  It’s not entirely accurate – some items might have those search terms in their description, but not have that delivery option – so watch what you’re looking at, and keep looking.

 

Here’s a rundown of the items I currently have on my S&S roster, along with the pricing comparison with my local Walmart.

 

My husband is on the road a lot during the summer, and can’t always easily get off his mountain top sites to get some food at meal time, so he takes a cooler of food that’s easy to pack, shelf stable, and doesn’t necessarily have to be heated up to eat. I got him some Campbell’s Go pouch soups to try, prodded on by the $1 off coupon I got on coupons.com.   I picked some of the lower calorie flavors, choosing one each of two flavors and 2 pouches of a third flavor.  I’ve scheduled these soups for monthly delivery.

Walmart: $2.48 (no sales tax on food in my state)

Amazon: $2.11 (after 15% discount)

I never seem to remember that we’re out of garbage bags until it’s garbage collection day and we need a new bag … and I’m out.  A box of 45 Glad kitchen bags will last us 3 months or so, so I’ve scheduled delivery of one 45-count box every 3 months.

Walmart: $7.48 + tax

Amazon: $6.36 with 15% discount

Instead of using dryer sheets, I’ve been converted to the new dryer bars.  I started out with Bounce and switched to Gain.  Since it’s just the two of us, a 3-month bar lasts about 4-5 months.  I’ve scheduled delivery of a new dryer bar refill every 4 months.

Walmart: $5.47 + tax

Amazon: $4.65 with 15% discount

I do the “big” shopping trip once a month, so the cart fills up quickly with the big items.  Dog food sure takes up a lot of space!  There are some things that you’ve just got to have, you can’t do without … like toilet paper.  It might seem strange, but I’ve scheduled delivery of a 16-pack of Charmin Basic double rolls every month.

Walmart: 12 double rolls for $5.97, 20 double rolls for $9.97 – split the difference, you get 16 double rolls for $7.97 + tax

Amazon: $6.79 with 15% discount

The husband uses Suave Professionals 3-1 “manpoo” – body wash, shampoo, and conditioner, all in one.  He goes through a 28 oz. bottle every couple months, so I’ve scheduled delivery of one bottle every other month.

Walmart: $2.88 + tax

Amazon: $2.45 with 15% discount

His favorite toothpaste is Colgate Total Whitening.  I’ve scheduled a twin-pack to arrive every 3 months. This ensures that there’s a tube in the bathroom and a tube permanently in his suitcase.

Walmart: $6.48 + tax

Amazon: $4.22 with 15% discount

It’s no secret – I’m a big tea drinker.  Whenever I come back from a trip to England, I always bring back a few boxes of tea, but since I wouldn’t exactly save money if I had to pay $1000 for a plane ticket to bring back a 29p ($0.50) box of tea, I’ve got a few decent options here in the United States.  If money is tight, I will get the 80-ct box of Tetley.  Otherwise, I prefer PG Tips.  Every 6 months, Amazon will send me a 4-pack of 80-ct boxes.  This will last me several months, and even gives me a couple boxes to spare for a Christmas present for my grandma.

Walmart: $4.28 for a 40-ct box – $34.24 total

Amazon: $19.41 with 15% discount

There are certain things a girl needs on roughly a monthly basis, and yes, I’m going there.  I fell in love with Always Infinity products when they came out.  A 42-count box lasts me a couple months.  I’ve scheduled delivery of one box every other month.  I save a little bit with the Amazon order, and it saves me from embarrassing the guy cashiers I run into 😉

Walmart: $9.27 + tax

Amazon: $7.88 with 15% discount

My husband likes Mio water flavors.  The small container is handy when he’s on the road, and it gives his water a little bit of a flavor – a good bonus for a guy that’s given up diet pop.  There weren’t many varieties of Mio that were near the price that Walmart charges, but I did find a couple that were reasonable.  I’ve got one pod each of 2 flavors scheduled for monthly delivery.

Walmart: $3.78 each – currently on rollback at my local for $3.48 each

Amazon: Orange Tangerine for $2.72, Strawberry Watermelon for $2.86, both after 15% discount

 

For what I have chosen, it’s cheaper to order through Amazon.  You might find it worth paying a little more for the convenience of your goodies just showing up on your doorstep.  You might find yourself running to the store to pick up something if you’ve run out (see: The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of July 2013).  I can’t tell you what’s best for you; I can only suggest to check it out and see if Amazon’s Subscribe and Save is right for you!