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(what else?) Amazon Prime (One Year Membership). Read on to discover why it’s TOTALLY worth the money, and can easily save you more money than the asking price. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.
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I’ve been an Amazon Prime member going all the way back to 2011, and even after the price went up from $79 per year to $99, I didn’t hesitate to renew because I know my Amazon Prime membership saves me money! Here are five ways to make Prime not only worth the asking price, but easier to afford as well.
1. Share Your Prime Shipping Benefits With Up To Four Household Members or Co-Workers
One of the major draws of Amazon Prime is the fantastic FREE, two-day shipping for any item you order that’s “fulfilled by Amazon”. Did you know you can extend this benefit to up to FOUR members of your household / co-workers at no cost? From an email I received from Amazon customer service:
As a member of Amazon Prime, you can share your shipping benefits with up to four additional people. They can be family members living in the same household or co-workers if the membership was purchased for a small business. Household members can include spouses, children, extended family members or housemates living at the same address. You’ll only need to share your e-mail address and birth date with those you invite to use your membership benefits. They won’t be able to see any other information from your account. This program is not available for customers who purchase products for the purpose of re-sale.
A phone call to Amazon confirmed all “household” members must have the same shipping address listed to take advantage of this offer, but that’s not necessarily any obstacle. For example, four roommates can split the cost of Prime in order to share the free shipping benefit at a cost of just $24.75 each. And assuming they’ve got a web-enabled TV or a streaming box like a Roku or Fire TV in their shared home, all of the housemates can enjoy watching free Prime Instant Videos, too!
Note that one household member must actually sign up for, and pay for, the Prime membership first, then add the other household members (and collect their share(s) of the Prime fee).
This is also a great benefit for folks who have ‘boomerang’ adult children or older relatives living with them: people who have their own separate Amazon accounts but currently share a mailing address.
To add household members to your Prime account, login to Amazon, mouse over the “Manage Your Prime” link at the upper right (next to the “Your Account” link), then click on the Manage Prime Membership link at the bottom of the pop-up menu box (click or tap on image to view an enlarged version in a new tab or window):
Scroll to the bottom of the Manage Your Prime Membership page and click on the Invite A Household Member link. Easy peasy!
2. Cancel Premium Streaming Services Like Netflix and Hulu+, Start Watching Prime Videos Instead
The first year that I had Amazon Prime, I paid for it by cancelling my Netflix subscription. At that time I was paying $8.95/mo for Netflix, which came out to $107.40 per year. By switching to Prime (then at a cost of $79/year), I was immediately saving over $28 per year. It seemed like time and again I’d be disappointed when looking for specific films to watch on Netflix, so I was very happy to try something different.
The Prime Instant Video catalog is HUGE and getting bigger every day. Since it includes HBO, Starz!, Discovery Channel, Comedy Central, BBC and Nickelodeon content on top of thousands of movies, the kids and I are never at a loss to find something great to watch.
What About Netflix-Exclusive TV Series?
Good question! If you’re paying for Netflix just to get access to Orange Is The New Black, House of Cards or The Killing, you’re not getting your money’s worth. You could BUY the entire season of THREE series for $25 – $30 each and still have money left over at the end of the year versus continuing to pay your $8/month ($96/yr) to Netflix.
House of Cards is already available in the Instant Video catalog, and The Killing is even part of the Prime catalog! Orange is the New Black isn’t on Amazon yet, but you can bet it’ll get there once Netflix has decided they’ve leveraged it as much as possible to lure new subscribers.
If you’re thinking, “Yeah, but I want to see it NOW, while my friends are all talking about it,” then you just have to ask yourself: is it worth $96/yr to see it now instead of later, especially when for just $3 more, you could get a Prime membership that includes not only Prime Instant Videos but free 2-day shipping and other Prime benefits as well?
3. Start Buying Certain Household And Grocery Items From Amazon Instead Of The Grocery Store
Buying grocery and household items from Amazon isn’t very convenient or economical if you have to pay for the shipping, or order at least $25 worth of eligible items to get free 5-10 day shipping and then wait up to ten business days to get your stuff. But as a Prime member, it’s a whole different story. Now, I routinely check Amazon first for grocery and household items I used to buy in stores, and very often I find that not only are they eligible for Prime shipping, but they cost less than I’m used to paying in stores, too!
For example, I haven’t paid $13 for a box of 12-16 coffee k-cups for my Keurig coffee maker for years. Now I get a bulk pack, like the Brooklyn Beans 40-count Variety Pack, from Amazon. I’m saving anywhere from 30-60 cents per k-cup, getting access to a much wider variety of k-cups, and having them conveniently delivered right to my door at no extra cost!
Similarly, buying a 12-pack of Lime-A-Way toilet bowl cleaner for about $30 saved me nearly 50% per bottle compared to what I usually pay in stores (as of this writing the 3-pack is priced at $14.51 at my local Target), and I didn’t have to lug a heavy bulk pack to my car or into my home as I’d have to do if I’d bought the product from a warehouse store.
Not every grocery/household product will be priced lower on Amazon—some food items are priced considerably higher, actually—, and not every product will be eligible for Prime shipping. But it’s definitely worth checking when you’re a Prime member; just be sure to tick off that “Prime eligible” box in the left-hand sidebar when searching so your results will be limited to products that are eligible for free Prime shipping.
4. Get The Free, Monthly Kindle First Book
A recently-added Prime benefit is Kindle First. At the start of each month Amazon selects four new release Kindle books from the Kindle First catalog (books that are only available in Kindle format for a period of weeks or months before hard-copy release) and offer Prime members their choice of one of those books to download and keep at no cost.
One of the books I got this way is the Historical Fiction novel Inamorata, which went on to become a Historical Fiction bestseller and earn an average review rating of 4/5 stars. The book is currently priced at $5 in Kindle format, which might make you think it’s not really such a valuable benefit after all. But look at it this way: even if every single Kindle First book you get through Prime ends up being priced at $5 you’ve still saved $60 at the end of the year versus buying them all, and each one you end up enjoying is adding to the value of your Prime membership.
5. Cancel Premium Music Subscriptions and Take Advantage Of The New Prime Music Feature
Most premium streaming music subscriptions cost $10/mo, or $120 a year. That’s $20 more than Prime, and it doesn’t get you free shipping, streaming Instant Videos or Kindle First books.
Take the money you’re currently investing in a Spotify or any other premium streaming music subscription, get Prime instead, and enjoy all the same music benefits (ad-free listening, huge music catalog, pre-curated playlists or create your own, download for offline listening, more) PLUS all the other great Prime benefits.
It’s a no-brainer.
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By now it should be readily apparent why an Amazon Prime (One Year Membership) is not only worth the cost, but can actually save you money in the long run.