I love to shop. Grocery shopping, clothes shopping, shopping for my daughter, Ilse. I love it all. I just don’t have enough time. What parent really does? Online shopping has certainly been a gift, particularly when I can use multiple shopping discounts and free shipping in a single transaction. I sign up for the all the shopping promotions at my favorite retailers like Loft, Carters, Gap, Target, and Safeway, but my favorite way to shop and save money is through Amazon’s “subscribe and save” feature. My husband jumped on that feature long before it became popular. Now, I can’t imagine shopping without it. I “subscribe & save” because it is cost-effective, features door-to-door delivery, and it helps us track our consumption of goods we use frequently.
We “subscribe & save” to the items we use the most: diapers, body wash, whole bean coffee, and body lotion. For my personal use, I have also added my favorite face cream. Before we started “subscribing” we checked the costs of these items across several retailers including Safeway, Target, and Costco. After doing the math, it was cheaper to “subscribe,” especially since we are loyal to certain brands and products. I encourage you to do the same. Figure out what your family purchases the most and see if it’s cheaper to subscribe.
Coffee and diapers are heavy and bulky. If your family lives in an apartment like mine, lugging up bulky grocery items from the parked car to your building can be loathsome. In addition to saving money, subscribing also means delivery to my apartment building. No more schlepping boxes up the street. Now, we just shove the boxes into the elevator and carry them a few steps to our apartment.
Track Consumption of Goods
With the aforementioned diapers, body wash, and coffee, we also track how quickly we consume those items. For example, as Ilse has gotten older, she has begun to use fewer diapers. At the same time, we are also consuming more body lotion, because she uses more of it now. With the subscription purchase, we can easily adjust the delivery of items when we need them so we can receive the items we use the most more frequently. It also prevents us from “overstocking” on items, since storage space is premium real estate in our apartment.
Raising a family in San Francisco (and the Bay area) is expensive. Between preschool, social activities, toys, and basic necessities, we are constantly spending money on the things we “need” to do. “Subscribing & saving” is like the coupon-clipping of my childhood, but quicker. Besides saving money, the best part of “Subscribing & Saving” is that it returns a little bit of time to us so that we can engage in other activities, like spending the morning at our favorite playground or watercolor painting. After all, family time is worth saving. What will you “subscribe & save?”