Barry and I live in the buzzing metropolis of Southwest Virginia. When looking out the window or driving to the grocery store, you never know when you might be passed by a horse or a tractor (watch out for poop!)…and we wouldn’t have it any other way. BUT, because of that factor, our choices for shopping are very limited.
I shop at Kroger and Sam’s Club for the most part. I am not a Wal-Mart shopper, even though I know I could get a few things cheaper there. We enjoy supporting small local businesses as much as possible, but when it comes down to it, I can’t find everything I need here. And it doesn’t make sense to drive 45 minutes-1 hour (one way) to find things that I need…fuel costs negates any savings.
Because of that, we choose to do a lot of online shopping – so I thought I would talk a bit about the places we use over the next few months. The first, and probably my favorite, is Amazon.com.
Special note: All links used in this post are affiliate links. Part of the way that we make money with SMC is by being an Amazon affiliate. See that Amazon search box on the right side of my blog over my Vitacost button? When you search for Amazon products that way, I make a small percentage of your purchase – it’s just another way we keep this site up and running at no cost to you. And really, I don’t share ANYTHING I don’t use and love – that’s not how I roll.
Last year, Barry and I decided to give Amazon Prime a shot – because we were using it so much that the two day shipping was a big perk. Yes, the initial cost of $79/year was hard to swallow at first…and that’s why we waffled…but after using it for almost a year, we are totally sold.
Included in Amazon Prime: free two-day shipping on all “prime-eligible” items, unlimited streaming of 41,000+ movies and shows (we use this a LOT), and over 350,000 Kindle titles that you can borrow for FREE.
If you’re not sure if Prime is right for you, you can try it free for 30 days! However, if you’re a mom, dad, grandparent or caretaker, you can get Prime free for 3 months with an Amazon Mom free 3 month trial. Or, if you’re a student, you get Prime free too! Just make sure to cancel your subscription before it’s over if you don’t love it as much as we do.
Annie and I do a lot of crafting, so I try to find everything I need at the Dollar Tree…sometimes that doesn’t work though, so I buy craft supplies on Amazon. For the most part, it’s cheaper than any other craft store anyway…and most of the time it’s cheaper than eBay!
I would encourage you to price check Amazon before you purchase somewhere else – it might be cheaper…then again, it might not. But for us, a lot of time it works out…because it might be $1 more on Amazon, but I’d have to drive an hour to purchase it from the store. No savings there.
Amazon used to ship most items free with a $25 order, but that rate has increased to $35, which is another plus for having Prime…no minimum order.
We also purchase toiletry items from Amazon. I am known to wait for good sales on Amazon for toilet paper…I am usually notified about those from Deal Seeking Mom. I can get TP, using Subscribe and Save (which will be its own post), for cheaper than I can get it at the store…I don’t like paying more than $.25/regular roll. And Barry is quite particular about his TP.
I also wait for good deal alerts from Organic Deals – sometimes I get some GREAT steals on natural and organic things from the Amazon warehouse…so sign up with these two deal sites to keep up with those.
And finally, let’s talk food. I buy a lot of food from Amazon. Around these parts, people aren’t really into the natural living thing…so even if YOUR Kroger sells yadda-yadda, chances are mine does not. And for those of you who can buy Kerrygold at your Sam’s Club, consider yourself lucky and go eat a buttered muffin for me. I can find things at Amazon that I can’t find locally – like these quick cooking steel cut oats. Which makes natural living a lot easier.
I keep up to date on good deals with the two sites I mentioned above and also from Heavenly Homemakers, who posts Amazon deals on Saturday. I always set aside grocery budget money for monthly Amazon shopping.
One last thing – sometimes even if my store carries certain items, I can find them cheaper by purchasing in bulk from Amazon. Case in point, Chi Chi’s green chilies. My local store hardly ever runs a sale on chilies, but we eat a lot of them. The cheapest I can usually find them is $1.25/can. When I use Subscribe and Save on Amazon, I can get them for $1.16/can. Not a HUGE savings, but when you eat a lot of chilies, it adds up. However, if my store runs a sale, I stock up there instead.
So, if you’ve never thought about purchasing food, toiletries or crafts from Amazon, hopefully I’ve opened that door for you.