I used to mention Amazon's Subscribe & Save program frequently in the Daily Roundup, and that's because it's one of the best ways to save money on everyday items. Although I no longer post a Daily Roundup, I wanted to share how to maximize your savings on things you can have delivered right to your door.
In case you're not familiar with Subscribe & Save, it's a program that pretty much describes itself - your first order creates a subscription, or a recurring order that you don't have to place again. Your Subscribe & Save orders are delivered once a month, and you can choose a frequency for each subscription that's between one to six months. By subscribing, you get 5% off, and if you have five or more subscriptions delivered in a month, you usually get 15% off each subscription.
Subscribe & Save can be extremely convenient: imagine never running out of toilet paper or toothpaste! But that convenience can come at a cost if you're not vigilant.
You'll want to be familiar with the page for managing your subscriptions, which can be found by clicking or hovering on "Account & Lists" at the top right corner of every page (just under your name), then on "Your Subscribe & Save Items."
It's extremely easy to manage your subscriptions: Just click on an item and then click "Edit" ...
The good news is that spending just a few minutes each month to manage your subscriptions can help you get the most out of your money:
Only ship orders when you have 5 or more subscriptions. If you have 5 or more subscriptions, you get a 15% discount off most items, instead of just 5%. That can result in a substantial savings across your order. It does mean you might have to delay receiving something, or move up an order for something you won't need for another month, but manipulating your subscriptions in this manner to always get the 15% off discount will save money.
Only ship what you need. The corollary to the tip above is that you should only order what you need. Keep an eye on what's in your pantry, cupboards, and closets. Don't stock up more than a month or two ahead of time unless the deal is a rock bottom price.
Look for coupons. The best way to maximize savings is to combine a coupon with the 15% off discount. The caveat is, of course, that you won't always be able to find a coupon. But at least finding out whether there's a coupon for an item you want to subscribe to is easy - just go to the listing for that item, and if there's a coupon, it'll be under the price.
Delay or cancel subscriptions when they're not a good deal. You can cancel a subscription at any time, even before your first shipment. So if you change your mind about an item, don't hesitate to cancel. This tip is especially applicable to items that you bought using a coupon, since it was likely the coupon that made the item a great deal. Coupons are only good for the first order and won't be applied to future subscriptions, so you should definitely cancel any subscriptions that you wouldn't want without a coupon.
Check your order every month before it ships. Amazon will send you an email about a week before your Subscribe & Save shipment is set to arrive. It will contain a list of all of your subscriptions that are shipping that month, and it will tell you the price, and whether it's changed since your last shipment. This is the time to skip or postpone items that have gone up in price that you don't need right away, cancel subscriptions for items you no longer use, and even to see if you can find a better price somewhere else, like Target or Costco.
Do you have any tips for saving money with Amazon's Subscribe & Save program?