Go here to see how it saves my sanity. And again, I’m going to stuff this post with Amazon affiliate links. Because I can. And maybe someone will click on one for toilet paper but end up buying a ridiculously expensive TV. And then I’ll get the commission on the TV. Here’s hoping y’all are in the market for a TV that costs more than a car!!
Prime is great, but there’s also this thing called Subscribe & Save. I’ve started using it on some things, and though it’s not the perfect solution like I hoped it would be, it’s pretty awesome.
How does Subscribe & Save Work?
You can set up your Amazon account (even if you don’t have a Prime membership) to automatically send you (and charge you for, of course) certain things on a specified schedule.
For example, I have toilet paper on Subscribe and Save. This means that every other month, I get a package of 27 rolls of Scott toilet paper delivered to my front door. I never have to think about it. I get a big box of trash bags every six months. And because they’re set up like that, I save 5%. It’s kind of like magic, but there are a few things I’ve learned about how to (and how not to) do it.
The first thing I learned is that it doesn’t work like prime the first time. What I mean is that if you put something on subscribe and save, the first item isn’t going to ship in two days like it would if you just bought it by itself without Subscribe and Save. I tried. I think it was with trash bags. I went to buy some, saw there was a Subscribe and Save option for them, and did that instead of just purchasing them right then.
When I did that, my shipment was moved to a week out or so. I couldn’t wait a week. So I canceled the Subscribe and Save, ordered them normally to be delivered in two days, and put a reminder in my phone for six months later to order them through Subscribe and Save.
But How Do I Know How Often I Should Get a Shipment of this Item??
Did you read that with panic in your voice? You should. That’s what the double question marks are for.
How did I know a box of trash bags would last me six months? Amazon has the perfect feature for people like me who suffer from T.P.A.D (Time Passage Awareness Disorder). If you look up something on Amazon that you’ve ordered before, if you’re signed in, there’s a little blurb on top of the item’s page that says “You purchased this item on __________.” For real, y’all. So, if I think about ordering toilet paper in time to put it on Subscribe & Save (before we need it NOW), I can see when I ordered it before and calculate my Subscribe & Save frequency according to that.
But, but . . . what if I was wrong and I don’t need it that often?? Or . . . I don’t have the money right then??
Don’t worry. I hear those double question marks in your voice.
You’ll get an alert before it sends.
I was concerned that things would ship and I wouldn’t actually need it yet, and might not have the room in the budget that month for something I didn’t actually need right then. This was one of the reasons I didn’t go crazy setting up Subscribe and Save items. But, you get an email letting you know it will ship soon, and giving you the opportunity to change your subscription. If I get that email, and we still have a month’s worth of that item, I’ll go in and change the frequency from two months to three, or whatever I need.
More Tips for Using Subscribe & Save on Amazon:
Set it up for right after payday.
I set my subscribe and save items to ship right after payday. This is usually when I do my bulk shopping trips to Costco anyway. It’s important to note, though, that it usually ships before the actual date. You’ll be given a date when it will charge you and another date when it will ship, sometimes ten days apart. Every time, though, my items have gotten to me within two or three days of when I was charged.
Sometimes they don’t send it.
If the item is no longer available (sometimes it’s just the specific amount you ordered, like 24 rolls of paper towels), you don’t get it. You’ll get an email, though.
Set up a specific card to be charged.
With various accounts for various budgets, I have multiple payment options set up on Amazon. My household account wasn’t the default payment method, though, so I was concerned that it would charge the wrong card and mess up our budgeting system. You can go into your Subscribe & Save settings, though, and name a certain card to use for these purchases.
You can even put chocolate on Subscribe and Save.
I don’t eat chocolate, since I’m allergic, but a lot of people do. There are food options that are available through Subscribe and Save. Here’s one example of something I’d never have thought to look for:
Additional Discounts are Available.
If you have four items shipping in the same Subscribe & Save shipment, you save 15% off of all of them. I haven’t done this, mostly because I’m letting myself slowly figure out what I want to purchase this way. And I kind of like spacing these larger purchases out from month to month. I don’t want to blow one month’s budget buying three months of toilet paper, paper towels, etc. all at the same time.
Ready for the future?
Before I stop writing this post, I have to mention something new that I haven’t tried yet. Are you ready to feel like you’re living in the era of the Jetsons?? Amazon Dash.
Get this. You buy a button for a certain product for 4.99. You stick it to the wall next to that product. When you notice you’re going to need it soon, PUSH THE BUTTON. Seriously. It orders for you, and at the time I’m writing this post, you’ll get 4.99 off your first order, making the button itself free.
There are only a limited number of items that have a Dash button available, and I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s so cool!
I’d love to hear about your experiences using Subscribe and Save (or Amazon Dash) and any tips you have to share. While it isn’t perfect, it makes my life easier. It’s one thing to forget to buy butter. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to forget to buy toilet paper. I’m amazed at how much it relieves mental stress in my brain when I don’t have these things nagging at the back of my mind.
Please note that you should never order anything without double checking prices and projected delivery dates. It’s possible that I’ve missed something, that something will change by the time you read this, or that I’m just flat out wrong about something. Always double check before you finalize an order.