Is Amazon's Subscribe & Save for You?

Be sure to budget your spending before signing up for Subscribe & Save. (Photo: Reza [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

Amazon sent me an e-mail about their Subscribe & Save program and how I, as someone "who's shown an interest in natural and organic food literature" could save money with their program. I decided to check it out to see if it could save me or you a few pennies. Here's how the program works.

  • You select an item or items that are eligible for the program their website.
  • Then you chose how often you would like to have the items delivered (once a month, once every two or three months, or once every six months).
  • Let them know where to ship your order and give them a credit card.
  • Your order will be processed and delivered automatically according to the schedule you set up. Your credit card will be charged upon each shipment.

There are 3,403 items that Amazon considers natural and organic groceries. I hunted down a couple of items that I buy regularly. I pay $1.19 for a Kashi GoLean Crunchy bar at the grocery store. On the Amazon site those bars are $32.72 for a pack of 24 or $1.26 per bar.

However, with the 15 percent discount I would get with the Subscribe & Save program, the price is reduced to $27.81 for 24 or $1.16 per bar. That’s a little cheaper than my grocery store.

Next, I checked out the Late July Bite Size Cheddar Crackers that I buy frequently. They are regularly $2.99 a box at my grocery store. They are $30.52 for 12 boxes on Amazon or $2.54 per box. With the Subscribe & Save discount they end up being $2.16 per box. That’s an 83-cent savings per box compared with my grocery store. Not bad.

I’m beginning to see how someone who is very organized with their grocery buying and their grocery money could benefit from Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program. The program has items like recycled paper toilet paper from Seventh Generation and Marcal; many organic, fair trade coffee options; and plenty of lunch box type snacks -- all things that a family can go through quickly.

The trick to a program like this is to know what you would pay for normally at your grocery store to make sure that you really are getting the items at a better price. Also, if you order more than you’ll use, you won’t be saving money.

Still, the Amazon Subscribe & Save program is worth checking into, especially if you’re trying to eke every penny out of your grocery budget.