Amazon Prime Is More Than Free Shipping
I’ve had Amazon Prime for years. I originally signed up for a free trial but then realized it was great for our family since all of my nieces and brothers are on the East Coast. Amazon sells everything so I can always find what they want and have it shipped in two days for free.
The thing is, when I did the math, I realized I would probably spend less shipping gifts on my own since I don’t shop online that frequently. I didn’t want to get rid of my Amazon Prime membership since I love the convenience of ordering something and having it ship quickly. I also love being able to send gifts to family without having to go to the Post Office. I hate going to the Post Office. The lines are long, the staff is indifferent and I don’t really have time to add that errand to my life.
Since I love the convenience of Amazon Prime shipping, I decided I need to maximize our usage so that we’re getting our money’s worth. When I’m organized enough, I purchase items like Pull Ups (my son refuses to potty train, despite our best efforts), shoes for my oldest because he destroys his shoes before he outgrows them and other odds and ends that I don’t need immediately.
I am also always able to get difficult to find vitamins on Amazon. My rheumatologist regularly recommends supplements that have been shown to help my autoimmune condition. Now, rather than driving to Whole Foods (which is not nearby), I search Amazon and have always been able to find my vitamin and they are usually eligible for Prime shipping.
Amazon Prime Features You May Not Know About
While I’ve upped my online shopping game, I decided to look for other Amazon Prime perks that I am not taking advantage of yet. If you are looking to get the most value out of your Amazon Prime membership, or considering signing up for Amazon Prime, here are some perks you should take advantage of.
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- Amazon Prime Photos: I will come clean and state that I am not a techy person, so my husband set this up. Essentially, you can use Amazon cloud to house your digital photos for free. We have it set up to automatically back up the pictures we take on our cells (both iPhone and Android) so I now can access the pictures my husband takes and vice versa.
- Amazon Prime Video: We use this feature daily. My three year old is obsessed with Thomas the Train and you can’t watch it on On Demand. On Amazon Prime, you can stream tons of shows and movies for free on your Smart TV or if you don’t have a smart TV, through an Amazon Fire TV stick or even an XBOX. We even take our Amazon Fire stick on trips and use it on hotel TVs when we can.
- Amazon Music: You can stream ad-free music for free. If you are paying for a music streaming service, this can save you money.
- Kindle Lending Library: The free books are my favorite Amazon Prime feature. If you search for Kindle Free Lending Library, there are 20 pages of free books to choose from to borrow. You can narrow the selection by genre to find the right book to read for free. You can “check out” one free book per month.
- Kindle First: Every month, you’ll receive an email from Amazon with a selection of Kindle books for the month. You can “purchase” one free book each month. Also, in case you weren’t aware, you don’t need to own a Kindle to read Kindle books.
- Amazon Prime Now: I don’t use this frequently, but on weeks when I’m really busy, it is fantastic to have groceries delivered to my door in a two-hour window for just $8. The groceries are from my local Sprouts and I have the ability to purchase organic items. The best part, the groceries don’t cost much more than they do in store so the only premium is the $8 fee, which is less than I make in an hour so it is a time-saving win.
- Early Access to Amazon Sales: Amazon Prime members get early access to Lightning Deals.
- Kindle Fire: While this isn’t a special membership feature, I just want to share that the Kindle Fire is a great tablet for toddlers (when coupled with a sturdy case). The regular price is $49.99, but we got ours for $39.99 when it was on sale near Black Friday. We don’t feel bad letting our three year old watch videos or play games on it because the cost was so low that it won’t be too painful if it breaks. However, he’s had it for a year and a half and it is still in perfect condition.
Now that I’ve explored more of Amazon Prime, I definitely feel like we are maximizing our membership. We use Amazon Video every single day and I get at least one free book each month. Coupled with the savings on shipping, I no longer feel like we’re wasting money.