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I hear this question all the time in the Hip Homeschool Moms Community … “Is Amazon Prime worth the cost?” I’ll answer this question from my own personal perspective and share how I make this decision every year at renewal time.
I’ve been a Prime Member ever since Amazon first rolled the offering out in 2005. I know the cost of Prime has been increasingly steadily the last few years, so I wanted to share with you the factors I consider at renewal time each year.
Am I just lazy?
Ha! Because really, why don’t I just head down to the local shopping center to get all of my items? There are probably a gazillion different reasons why parents (especially homeschool families) can’t just up and run down to the local shopping center. But for me, I live in a very rural community with the closest grocery store being almost 30 minutes away. The closest shopping center is almost an hour! And I am now the primary caregiver for my mother-in-law, who is living with us for the summer. All of these things make it difficult for me to leave the house for extended periods of time.
But there are many different reasons why people prefer to shop online.
- Babies. Really, that is enough said, but I’ll explain a bit more. When we have babies and small children, they really prevent us from doing serious bargain shopping. If you are like I was when mine were little, you go into get-what-you-have-to-get-and-get-out-quick mode when shopping with little ones in tow.
- Homeschooling. You are busy homeschooling (oh yeah, THAT). I can grab a quick 15 minutes to shop online many times a day. But it is much harder to grab two hours to run to the store.
- Hate mirrors in stores. Please tell me I’m not the only one who despises changing clothes in stores now that I’ve seen all those shows about two-way mirrors.
- Crowds. I’m not scared of crowds or anything… I just hate the thought of getting into a brawl with another tired, over-worked, ready-to-get-home-to-knock-the-next-task-off-the-list mama. (This is the primary reason I don’t do Black Friday in stores, by the way)
Are you ruining small businesses?
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve asked myself if I am ruining the local community businesses by bargain shopping. Seriously! Does that surprise you? I really do believe in supporting the small business, but I also realize that all of us are trying to stretch our dollars as far as we possibly can. After all, most of us homeschooling families are on a one-income budget (or a smaller two-income one). But I still can’t get around the better price. Why would I want to attempt to bargain shop and spend the afternoon driving to three different stores on different ends of town to see who has the cheapest price when honestly, more often than not, I end up finding out that Amazon still has it cheaper!
Amazon keeps sweetening the deal!
Honestly, I love all the new offerings Amazon keeps giving the Prime members. It feels like we are part of an exclusive club! Prime membership offers the best of Amazon. The benefits included with Prime are:
- FREE Two-Day Shipping on eligible items to addresses in the contiguous U.S. and other shipping benefits. For more information, go to Amazon Prime Shipping Benefits.
- FREE Same-Day Delivery in eligible zip codes (Unfortunately mine is not one of them… but maybe yours is?). For more information, go to Order with Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery.
- Prime Now: Get FREE two-hour delivery or scheduled delivery on over 10,000 items, from groceries to electronics and more. Plus, get free delivery from your favorite local stores. Available in eligible zip codes only. Seriously, if you are one of the lucky ones… I’m jealous! For more information go to Prime Now.
- Amazon Restaurants: One-hour delivery from popular restaurants for Prime members in eligible ZIP codes. I’m dreaming of living close to Corky’s BBQ for a beef BBQ Brisket! Learn more at amazon.com/restaurants.
- FREE Release-Date Delivery: FREE Release-Date Delivery on eligible pre-order items delivered on their release date to ZIP codes within the continental U.S. For more information, go to Release-Date Delivery.
- FREE No-Rush Shipping: Don’t need your Prime order right away? Select No-Rush Shipping and earn rewards for future purchases.
- Prime Video: unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes for paid or free trial members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to the help center for Prime Video.
- Video Add-On Subscriptions: Members can purchase Video Add-on Subscriptions to premium content providers. Browse available Video Add-on Subscriptions, or manage your existing subscriptions.
Listening / Reading
- Prime Music: unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than a million songs for members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to About Prime Music.
- Prime Reading: You can borrow books, magazines, and more from the Prime Reading catalog and read them on your Fire tablet, Kindle e-reader, or the Kindle reading apps for iOS and Android. For more information, go to Borrow Books from Amazon Prime Reading.
- KOLL – Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and read them on your Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone. For more information, go to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library help page.
- Kindle First: Early access for members in the U.S. to download a new book for free every month from the Kindle First picks. For more information, go to Kindle First.
- Audible Channels for Prime: Get access to Audible Channels, a $60/year value, for free. Audible Channels includes unlimited listening to original audio series and playlists handcrafted for every interest. You’ll also receive access to Prime Exclusive Audiobooks, a collection of streaming audiobooks including best sellers, family favorites, celebrity-narrated classics, and more. Just download the free Audible app and sign in with your Amazon account to start listening.
- Amazon Music Unlimited: Prime members can get discounted Amazon Music Unlimited monthly plans and there are annual plans available exclusively to Prime members. For more information, go to Amazon Music Unlimited.
- Washington Post Free Trial: For a limited time, enjoy unlimited access to The Washington Post with a six-month free trial.
- Deals and Discounts, Compliments of Amazon Family: These include 20% off diapers through Subscribe & Save and 15% off eligible products from your baby registry and Amazon Family registry. For more information go to Get 20% off Diaper Subscriptions or About the Completion Discount.
- Prime Rewards: Eligible Prime members can earn 5% back at Amazon.com using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card or the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card. Alternatively, all Prime members earn 2% rewards with Amazon Prime Reload.
- Prime Pantry: Access to Prime Pantry, where members can purchase and ship to addresses in the contiguous U.S. low-priced grocery, household, and pet care items for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 for each Prime Pantry box. Prime Pantry orders cannot be shipped to addresses in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
- Amazon Elements: Access to Amazon Elements products, Amazon’s own line of everyday essentials.
- Amazon Dash for Prime: Never run out of your favorite products with the Amazon Dash Button. For more information, go to Amazon Dash Button.
- Prime Early Access: Get 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon.com. For more information, go to About Prime Early Access.
- Twitch Prime: Get free game content every month, ad-free Twitch viewing, Twitch Channel Subscription, and more.
- Prime Savings in Video Games: Prime members get exclusive discounts on pre-orders for PC, PlayStation 4, XBox One, Wii U, 3DS, and more.
- Prime Photos: Secure unlimited photo storage and enhanced search and organization features in Amazon Drive for you and the members of your Family Vault. For more information, go to About Prime Photos.
- Membership Sharing: Two adults living in the same household can create an Amazon Household to share certain Amazon Prime benefits. For more information, go to About Amazon Households. If you have a paid Prime membership under your personal account, you can share your shipping benefits with your Amazon Business user account. Go to Amazon Prime and Business Accounts.
Upgrades for Prime Members
- Amazon Music Unlimited: $7.99/month for Prime members. Start a 30-day free trial to access tens of millions of songs from today’s most popular artists. Listen ad-free with unlimited skips. Download for offline listening.
- Amazon Channels: $4.99–$14.99/month for Prime members. Watch your favorite shows and movies from HBO, SHOWTIME, and STARZ channels — no cable required, cancel anytime, and no additional apps to download.
- Amazon Fresh: $14.99/month for Prime members. Skip the trip to the grocery store and spend more time doing the things you love. Produce, dairy, prepared meals, household essentials, and more delivered to your door as soon as next day with AmazonFresh grocery delivery service.
- Amazon FreeTime Unlimited: $2.99/month for Prime members. Unlimited access to thousands of kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games.
See what I mean? Prime Membership has so many rewards and gives you so much more now that I just can’t turn it down. So for me, when it comes to renewing (or encouraging you to purchase), a Prime Membership… there is just no question I will say YES you should!!
Want to see where all the best Amazon Day Prime Deals are? Click here to read the article.