Does using Prime Pantry save money?
Is Amazon Prime Pantry a Good Deal?
by Paige Estigarribia
As a working mom of three busy kids, I juggle many plates. Moms typically have long to-do lists, so an opportunity to save time and cut out a trip to the store here or there (especially if it will save money too), I'm all for it. I've been doing a little research on Amazon's Prime Pantry service (specifically for Prime members) to figure out how it works. Could it be a mom's ideal grocery solution?
I'm a Prime member, and I/we received no compensation of any kind from Amazon for writing this article. That being said, in case you are unfamiliar with the specifics of Prime, here's a little info:
First off, it costs $99.00 per year (or $49.00 if you are a student).To some, $99.00 may seem like a lot, but for me and my family, paying for Prime services is a big benefit. Here's just a few of the things included with your prime membership:
- Free two-day shipping on any Amazon product with the Prime logo
- Free access to Prime music library, which includes access to over a million songs
- Free access to Prime Instant Video, which is a vast instant streaming video library with movies, tv shows, and kids shows too.
My family takes advantage of the free shipping perks and the Instant Video access VERY OFTEN, which makes Prime a good deal for us.
How Does Amazon Prime Pantry Work?
But what about this Prime Pantry? How does this compare with just going to the store? The way that Prime Pantry works is Amazon gives you a virtual "box," which they ship to you for $5.99. You can add any of the Prime Pantry items to the box, and check your percentages to see how "full" your box is. Once you've chosen all you need, Amazon charges the cost of the items, plus the shipping charge to get your goodies to the door.
And what about the item prices? Is it cheaper to shop Prime Pantry? Well, I actually went to the grocery store last night, so I pulled out my trusty receipt to compare Amazon's prices. First off, after searching a few items on my receipt, I figured out that Prime Pantry doesn't carry everything. For example, the rice cakes I brought home? Not on the Prime Pantry list. Fruit bars my kids like? Nope. My dishwashing liquid? Not there. And my coffee? Nope. And obviously you won't be buying store brands or perishable foods through Prime Pantry. That being said... My kids love fish crackers, and I purchased some last night at the store. I bought the small bag which contains 6.6 ounces of crackers. I paid $2.49 for the bag, or $.37 per ounce. Prime Pantry offers a 30 ounce box of the same crackers for $5.98. This is only $.20 per ounce. Quite a savings. Especially for a mom whose kids can scarf down a bag of fish crackers in mere minutes.
Here's a few other price comparisons to Prime Pantry Prices that I made looking at Walmart.com's online prices today:
- Tide Pods 72-Count detergent is $17.72 at Walmart.com, and only 15.00 on Prime Pantry.
- St. Ives Blemish Control Scrub is $3.51 at both Walmart.com and on Prime Pantry
- Purina Cat Chow Indoor, 3.15 lbs is $4.88 at both Walmart.com and Prime Pantry
Is Amazon Prime Pantry Worth it?
There are pros and cons to this service, and I think it warrants more price research if you are considering regularly using it instead of going to the store. Yes, the convenience factor is a big plus, but you also must pay (albeit a lower shipping rate) for shipping the products to your house. It looks like, depending on where you shop, that Prime Pantry has a decent variety with many different kinds of everyday items offered. It might be worthwhile to sit down and go through the Prime Pantry items to see if they offer what you typically buy - things like toilet paper, special cleaners, laundry soap, maybe? Prime Pantry also offers coupons, which appear right under the product. Jot down the Prime Pantry price (and coupon price if applicable), and just compare it to the same items the next time you go to the store. If you find that Prime Pantry is actually cheaper for some of the items you buy, think about planning purchases through Prime Pantry to save some money. Just remember the box costs $5.99 to ship. And the service is only for Prime members.
As a really busy mom, I can definitely see the Prime Pantry box benefit. Depending on the offers at your local grocery, you could definitely save money using Amazon. And saving time not making that extra stop to the grocery store after a long day at school or a tiring soccer practice? Priceless.
Paige Estigarribia is a writer for The Dollar Stretcher who enjoys writing about food, frugal living, and money-saving tips. Visit Paige on Google+.
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