Hunting for books, paper towels, speakers, and everything in between? Amazon is probably the first place you go to. After all, how many other places can you get everything in one quick online transaction? Even better than the convenience: There are a quite a few easy ways to save money during check out.
1. It pays to have patience.
Not in a rush to receive your package? Good — you will be rewarded. Prime members can select free, no-rush shipping to receive a complimentary promotional credit that can be used towards a future purchase on the site. If you're in a rush and the two-day deadline isn't met, you can get a one-month extension of your Prime membership (up to 12 separate times).
Not a Prime member? Keep adding items to your cart and once the total hits $35, you'll get free 5- to 8-day shipping. Hint: This total includes pre-order items, so you can even add a book that isn't coming out until the following month and the price will go toward your total.
2. Set your household staples on autopilot ordering.
Amazon's Subscribe & Save program works just how it sounds: You select various items you need on a regular basis (think: laundry detergent, coffee pods, baby care items and more), set your quantity and schedule, and then get up to 15% off and free shipping automatically. "The discounts are small, and in some cases the prices may not be any better than we could get elsewhere. However, the time we save by not having to re-purchase diapers, soap, and toiletries is worth it," says Julia Scott, the blogger behind . "Before my monthly shipment, Amazon emails me a reminder so I have several days to cancel any items I don't want."
3. The family program is a good idea if you have a baby or a diaper-wearing toddler.
Prime members can create a free child profile (you just need the baby's name, birthday, and gender) and save 20% on diaper subscriptions and additional family-centric discounts.
4. It's worth visiting the site daily.
Look carefully at the top of your Amazon.com page. See a little tab that says "Today's Deals?" Click on that and get ready to save. There you can find Deals of the Day (items discounted for one day only) and Lightening Deals (items discounted for a few hours or until the set stock runs out). "Many products are discounted to the lowest prices they've ever been, with some items discount by 70% or more," says Collin Morgan, of . "I recently scored some killer deals on outerwear, as they were offering up a whopping 75% off coats and jackets for the whole family!"
5. Shop the "warehouse."
is where returned, warehouse-damaged, used or refurbished products go to be discounted. Sometimes, that just means a box is missing or torn. "I got my wife a camera lens that had a damaged box, but the lens was in perfect shape," says Grayson Bell, from . "I was able to save $70 off the lens — thanks to a 35% discount — just because of a damaged box."
6. Yes, they offer clippable coupons.
Yes, you can use coupons! "Many of these special coupon codes can be found in the 'Special Offers' section on specific product pages," says Morgan. "You can also find loads of clippable coupons on Amazon to save on groceries, household items, and more." Simply click them and the savings are automatically applied during checkout. When this article was reported, there were coupons for $2 off an eight-pack of Bounty paper towels, 25% off select Lysol products and 10% off a Cuisinart coffee maker.
7. Set an alert to get the best price possible.
(perhaps the wackiest-named site on the Internet) will track the prices on Amazon as they change over time. You set a target price, and when Amazon hits that, you'll get an alert so you can swoop in. "I used it to track a computer I wanted to buy and was able to save $240 by having it email me when the price dropped," says Bell.
8. Or let your cart track prices for you.
If you're considering some pricier items that you don't need right away, consider putting them in your cart and clicking the "save for later" button. Then, check in on your cart a day or two later and Amazon will give you an alert if there have been any price decreases. (Sadly, sometimes the prices can go up, but wait a while and they could go back down.)
9. Keep shopping for TVs after you buy one.
"If you find a lower price on another qualifying retailer's website within 30 days after your purchase date, let us know and we'll refund you on an Amazon.com gift card," says their official TV policy. The same goes if the site's own pricing is lowered, as well.
10. Trade in the stuff you bought, but no longer need.
Have no use for that book you bought back in October? The Amazon Trade-In Program lets you swap eligible items (think: books, electronics, video games, DVDs and more) for an Amazon.com gift card. The process even includes a free, pre-paid shipping label.
11. Their app can help you save — even when you're in other stores.
Okay, so this won't exactly help you save on Amazon.com but it will help you save at other stores. Morgan scans a product's barcode (at, say, or ) and the Amazon app tells her how much the item costs on its site. Then, she can get a price adjustment in the store or just place an order on Amazon. "Using this app while shopping in-store allows me to easily see if I'm getting the best price around," she says.
But wait, what about Amazon Prime?
Sure, you've heard of Amazon Prime and you know that it costs $99 a year. And you probably know that it gets you free, two-day shipping. But how do you know if it's worth it for your family? Everyone we spoke to for this story said it was. Sara Skirboll, a retail and trends shopping expert for says it's essential if you think you'll place at least 15 orders a year. In addition to the shipping deal, Prime members also get a free Kindle book each month, access to free movies and shows, early access to Amazon Lightning Deals (more on this later), unlimited photo storage and more.