As a mom, and possibly just a woman in general (but I’ve been a mom almost as long as I’ve been an adult), I know the biggest threat to my bank account and budget is going to Target. I can head in there only looking for a bottle of dish soap and bag of epsom salts, and much more often than not I end up scanning my debit card for $70 at the register, even if I’ve been at Target and spent a similar amount earlier that week!
I’ve found a great way to stay out of Target. It saves me time, it saves my daughter from being over stressed, and it saves me money because it’s easier to avoid impulse purchases when shopping online.
Amazon Prime is my solution. Just about everything available on Amazon can be to your door in 2 days, and you don’t pay shipping even if you’re only buying one thing. So this means that you put on the last roll of toilet paper, and instead of having to write it on your list, remember to bring your list, and head out to a big box store in the next 2 days, all you have to do is make a few clicks on Amazon and the UPS man brings you toilet paper. Subscribe and Save is even better, because when you subscribe to 5 things a month that you need to purchase anyway, they give you a bigger discount, and you will never run out of toilet paper or dish soap or shampoo again.
I started Amazon Prime (click here to sign up) when my daughter was a toddler who was super easily overstimulated (thankfully this has calmed down quite a bit) and literally every time I had to go in Target or a grocery store she was so overwhelmed that she would fuss or scream, while on my back in the Ergo, most of the trip. It was a nightmare for both of us, but there were just necessities that we had to purchase and I couldn’t always plan to have someone else watch her. At the time we were super broke but for $6.95/month it was completely worth the investment, even if it just saved me a couple trips to Target, Best Buy, or another big box store.
Even if you go once a week, that’s $1.75/trip, which I’m pretty sure I would spend in just gas getting there!
Warning: If your budget is super tight you might want to skip the subscribe and save option, since the order automatically gets placed at the time you specify- when we were living paycheck to paycheck I didn’t use automatic things like this since if I forgot about one thing, overdraft fees would occur. But Prime still was worth it since it helped me avoid making impulse purchases and allowed me to easily comparison shop. If you’re curious, our family pretty much exclusively uses Dave Ramsey‘s budgeting advice and it’s been really effective for us. You can learn from him for free on many Christian radio stations, or on Hulu.
Some things that I thankfully do not have to visit a big box store to purchase because I get them through Prime:
Printer ink (this is the easiest thing ever, as soon as it starts warning me it’s low, I place the order and it’s here in 2 days, plus I no longer have to keep the top of the ink box in my purse to remind me what one to purchase at Best Buy)
Office Supplies (it pays to read the reviews before buying office supplies!)
Car seats (the best price that I’ve found by far for the highest safety seats)
Toys and gifts and books (I love that I can read reviews and similar items are suggested so I know I’m making the purchase we actually will use- also, if we’re going to a birthday party this avoids the whole trip-to-target-on-the-way-better-buy-a-gift-bag-too trap) I read a lot of nonfiction, and because what I’m interested in is so specialized I generally can’t find the books I’m looking for at local book stores.
Real Food things that I can’t find elsewhere:
Grassfed Gelatin (for gummies!)
Subscribe and Save items I buy- some of these are set to ship only every 6 months, some every 2 weeks:
Wipes (I still keep these in the car)
Diapers back when we used those
I wanted to share this with you since I know many of my readers also are super busy trying to juggle health issues and/or children with special needs, cooking food from scratch, and spending quality time with their families!
I estimate that Prime saves me at least a couple hours a week, that’s awesome, right? Do you order online? Are you on a first name basis with your UPS guy? ~grin~