Digital Living Frugality

Seven Easy Hacks to Using Amazon Without Letting Amazon Use You

How to benefit from Amazon without a Prime Membership and Why I Love Amazon But Don’t Have Prime

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At some point in our lives, we throw in the towel and admit defeat.  More specifically, we throw our wallet to monolith that is Amazon and admit convenience is more important than cost, privacy, and pretty much everything else in life.

I’ll admit, I’m an Amazon addict: most of my technology was purchased through Amazon, and most of that was made by Amazon.  I have an Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Dot, Fire TV, and Fire TV Recast.   Most of the content I watched was consumed through Amazon Video.  Most of the audio I listened to was through Amazon Music.  Underlying that entire experience was Amazon Prime.

And then I realized, you don’t have to leave your wallet open to enjoy the benefits of Amazon.  In essence, you can pocket the $119 that you would normally spend each year on prime and yet still benefit from what Amazon has to offer.  Here’s how:

1. Coupons

Although some of Amazon’s Digital Coupons are Prime exclusive, most can be clipped without paying for Prime.  Shop around and take advantage of the digital coupons that are available for non-Prime members.

2. Free Trials

Although free trials are usually limited to 30 or 90 days, it’s still great to snag a few free songs or books.  Keep an eye out for Amazon’s Music Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited, or Audible free trials.  While these are usually for new customers only, sometimes Amazon will make them available for those who haven’t subscribed for a certain period of time.

3. Free Digital Content

Amazon has multiple ways to consume free digital content, including its relatively new IMDB Tv service.  Plus many apps on the Fire TV and other physical Amazon devices provide access to free content, such as Sony Crackle and Pluto TV

4. Feature-Rich Digital Products

Although you can always find free digital content, you can also leverage many features that are a core part of Amazon’s physical device ecosystem without paying more.  Physical products like Fire TV, Fire TV Recast, and the Echo Dot all have highly useful free features that can be used without Prime.

5. Sit Out Prime Day

Amazon’s Prime Day 2019 shattered sales records and put both Black Friday and Cyber Monday to shame – but is shopping on Prime Day really necessary? I sat it out for the first time in many years, and now have fewer devices to worry about setting up.  Although some products may not dip as low in price as they did on Prime Day, not buying something you don’t really need is always going to be the cheapest option.

6. But What About Free Shipping?

Most folks forget a good portion of Amazon’s products still provide free shipping, even if you’re not buying it with a Prime Membership.  Cancel your Prime membership and look around – you’ll find the products you need with free or cheap shipping.

7. Get A Reduced Price Prime Membership

And if you can’t give up on Prime entirely, at least consider a month-by-month Prime Membership.  Even though it costs more per month, if you go just a few months of the year without using Prime – it’ll pay for itself.  You can even get steeply discounted Prime Memberships if you’re a Student or Low-Income family.

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