It’s that time of year again — tax time. And if you’re anything like me, tax time means it’s time to think about how to get the biggest bang from your tax refund buck. At the Wittekind homestead, that means catching up on a few bills, buying a thing or two that needed to wait ‘til tax time, paying for the upcoming year of home phone service, and renewing our Amazon Prime membership.
An Amazon Prime membership isn’t right for everyone, certainly, but the amount of money we’ve saved by taking advantage of our membership benefits has paid for the annual fee several times over. Even with the price increase this year, we’ll still come out on top. That makes our Prime membership a must for us.
When I first signed up for my Amazon Prime Free Trial, I didn’t really see how it was going to save me money. After all, I’m a value-conscious gal. I didn’t need to pay for the luxury of free shipping when I could get it by combining orders strategically and spending at least $25 on eligible orders. By the time the trial period had nearly ended though, I saw the utility in getting onto Amazon, ordering something that I wanted or needed, getting it within two business days, and not having to worry about purchasing items that I didn’t really need at the time just to save a little cash on shipping.This year, my Prime membership is going to cost more money, but the program has really grown since I joined back in 2012. They’ve added several benefits that I couldn’t imagine finding useful just a few years ago. Now though, there are Prime benefits that I find downright indispensable.
- Free two-day shipping — This is the benefit that most people think of when they think of Amazon Prime, and I suppose that’s because it’s probably one of the most valuable benefits if you order much from Amazon. Just a few years ago, it didn’t seem like I’d save much money; I didn’t seem to order much from Amazon. But as their product line has grown, I’ve really enjoyed the convenience of ordering some groceries, a gift, or something that the kids need for school and having it here in two business days. And what’s even better is the fact that I can upgrade to overnight shipping for a small, per-item fee. That’s really handy if something breaks or there’s an unforeseen and urgent need. I don’t live in a city that has same-day shipping, but paying $3.99 to have something here on the next business day is awesome to me!
- Free Kindle e-book borrowing — Once a month, I can borrow a Kindle book as part of my Amazon Prime membership. My son (who never has his head out of a book) has picked most of the books we’ve borrowed, and I love the fact that I haven’t had to pay for a single one of them!
- Free TV and movie streaming — It wasn’t that long ago that I discovered this benefit, and I’m hooked! I do have a Netflix account, however there’s content available as part of my Prime membership that isn’t available on Netflix. We really enjoy the versatility and variety we get from the free Amazon Prime video content.
- Free music — Several months ago, I discovered the huge selection of music that I can stream because of my Amazon Prime membership. I’m a music junkie, and the free content through my Prime membership isn’t redundant (even though I have a SiriusXM account with internet and app streaming.) I’ve found some of the Amazon-exclusive content really interesting.
- Early access to some lightning deals — I don’t know how long Amazon’s been doing this, but it wasn’t too long ago that I discovered Prime members get early access to some lightning deals. That means that I’m less likely to lose out on those batteries, chocolate bars, or printer ink that I’ve been eying because I can’t purchase before supplies run out. There have been some particularly “hot” items that I wouldn’t have managed to get had it not been for the early access we Prime members get to some of those deals.
If you’ve been thinking about an Amazon Prime membership but you haven’t tried one out yet, try the free trial. See what you think, and if you don’t like it, cancel it. In my view, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!