Single Dad Essentials: Amazon Subscribe & Save

Every now and again I’ll be devoting some posts here to products and services that I couldn’t live without, and the first, and biggest, and most indispensable in our lives by far, is Amazon Subscribe and Save. For years now, it has spared me an incredible amount of time, money, gas, stress and heavy lifting. Despite this, I still run into tons of people who haven’t even heard of it, let alone use it.

I’m a single father of three kids. This naturally means that we need lots of stuff from the store, and pretty frequently. I’m not a fan of store trips, because store trips take up a lot of time, they use gas, they take up a lot of time, they put miles on my car, and oh yeah, they take up a lot of time. I hate things that take up my time, because I don’t have a lot of it.

Subscribe & Save lets you “subscribe” to certain items and have them delivered every X number of months (determined by you), automatically.

Let’s start with the money savings. First, you start with Amazon’s regular prices, which are usually already very competitive with, if not cheaper than, the Wal-Marts and other deep-discounters of the world. Second, you get an automatic 5% discount off that price if you subscribe to it via Subscribe & Save. Third, if you subscribe to at least five items, they up the discount to 15% off the entire order. And shipping is always free.

Dude, let me recap that for you: Everything’s already cheap to begin with, then you get 15% off of the already-cheap prices, and then they deliver it all to your door. For free.

I have no idea how this has not spread to every household in America.

So the money savings are already crazy, but even more so when you figure that this saves me the gas associated with a handful of trips to the store each month. And then, the hours associated with those trips, picking out what I need off the shelves and lugging it all to my car and then lugging it inside the house from the car.

Those are hours and effort I’d much rather be putting into hanging out with my kids, taking them places, helping them with homework, and a million other things more worthy of the ever-expiring hours of my existence here on Earth.

Not all of Amazon’s 87 trillion different products are available for Subscribe & Save, but plenty are. And like most families, we generally use the same few dozen products over and over again each month, and because Amazon has done its homework and knows this perfectly well…all that stuff is available.

Here’s ourĀ current subscription list.

What I buy on Amazon Subscribe & Save:

  • Dog food (no more lugging a 40-pound bag over my shoulder. Thanks for jumping on that grenade for me each month, UPS Guy!)
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • All toiletries (razors, body wash, shampoo, conditioners, shower puffs, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair gel, face cream…you name it)
  • Lysol wipes (you can never have too many of those in a three-child household)
  • Kind bars
  • Protein bars and shakes
  • Beans, lentils, etc. (bagged, not canned)
  • Dryer sheets
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dish soap & dishwasher detergent
  • Duct tape
  • Super glue
  • Ibuprofen
  • Trash bags
  • Batteries
  • Ziploc bags
  • Pens and pencils

What I don’t buy on Amazon Subscribe & Save:

  • Anything frozen or refrigerated (e.g., meat, dairy, frozen vegetables, ice cream)
  • Produce
  • Soda (it’s too heavy for Amazon to offer it cheaply, apparently)

…and that’s about it. If Amazon’s willing to give it to me at a steep discount and deliver it to my door for nothing, freeing me up for more quality time for the kids and myself…I’m in.

So if you’re a single parent like me (or even if you’re not — I mean, you don’t have to have kids to want to save time and cash!), you should check it out.

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