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Black Friday 2018

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Get the Most Bang for Your Buck with Amazon’s Subscribe & Save Program

Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.

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Oh, how I ❤️ Amazon!

If you’re new to Amazon, it’s important to know the basics of the Subscribe & Save program so you can get the best bang for your buck.

If you’re an avid Amazon shopper, you likely have used Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program to save BIG on things like household, and personal care items, pet food, groceries, and/or diapers. I mean who doesn’t love the convenience of having products you need automatically delivered to your door each month!? BUT, have you ever wondered if you’re getting the most out of their subscription program?


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1. How does Amazon Subscribe & Save work?

With Subscribe & Save, you can quickly set up regularly scheduled deliveries (from monthly to every six months) on thousands of eligible products, AND you can even set different items to different schedules! Also, you can unlock extra savings on select subscriptions by clipping coupons or subscribing to five or more products in one month to one address on your monthly delivery day.

The best part, in my opinion, is that there’s NO commitment once you subscribe (even if it’s just for one month!) and you can cancel or skip your deliveries at ANY time by visiting your account!

AND…

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can often score exclusive Subscribe & Save deals/coupons only available for Prime members to get even more out your membership (more details below)!

Not yet a Prime member? Check out all the awesome benefits of being a Prime member – it ROCKS! You can even sign up for a FREE 30-day trial HERE to try it out!


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2. What are the advantages of Subscribe & Save?

  • Always Lower Prices.
    Subscribe & Save prices are always 5% lower than the prices of the one-time purchase options. However, when you subscribe to five or more items each month, you’ll save more!
  • Stack the Savings.
    You can save an extra 15% (or 20% for diapers) instead of 5% off all items in your subscription whenever you add five or more eligible items to your monthly subscriptions.
  • Save MORE with Coupons.
    In addition to the savings mentioned above, you can also clip Subscribe & Save Coupons for qualifying items to save even more! Keep in mind that these coupons often apply to the first time an item ships as part of your Subscribe & Save order.
  • No Contracts or Agreements!
    You can cancel your subscriptions easily in your Amazon account without being penalized. That means if you’re just wanting to snag a deal for the low price but don’t want the subscription, you can cancel it right after you receive your order.

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  • Free 2-day Shipping.
    Even if you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you’ll score free shipping on your Subscribe & Save orders – including qualifying Add-On items that have the subscribe option.
  • Convenience.
    Make life easier by automating the shipment of items your household needs with a flexible delivery date. You can always update your delivery schedule if you find you’re receiving too many or too few shipments for your personal use.
  • Flexible Delivery.
    You can also change your delivery date by a few days to get something you need or want sooner! So if you’re running low on dog food and need your dog food to arrive a week earlier, you can easily change the delivery date in your Amazon account.

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3. How does the pricing of subscriptions work?

“In advance of each delivery, we will send you a reminder email showing the item price and any applicable discount for your upcoming delivery. The price of the item may decrease or increase from delivery to delivery, depending on the Amazon.com price of the item at the time we process your order.”

The tricky part about Amazon Subscribe & Save is that the prices change often. Just because you subscribe to Tide Pods for a crazy low price the first month doesn’t mean your subsequent deliveries for the following months will be the same price. If the price changes, you’ll be charged that price.

Whenever you subscribe to an item the first time, that’s the price you will pay. So if you click the subscribe button and your order says $10, you’ll be charged $10 for that order.

BUT, if the price changes for a delivery from the first time you confirmed your order, you will be charged the higher/lower price unless you cancel beforehand! So if you paid $10 for a subscription the first month but then by your next delivery, the price has jumped to $20, you’ll be charged $20 for that month’s subscription. That means it’s really important to keep an eye on the prices for your orders!


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4. Getting the most bang for your buck…

  • Add five or more subscriptions each month.
    The best way to save 15% off your Subscribe & Save purchases is to schedule at least five items for regular delivery.
  • Clip available coupons to save more.
    Be sure to look for products where you can clip Subscribe & Save Coupons to save even more!
  • Watch the prices.
    The tricky part about Subscribe & Save is that prices on these items change often. Be sure to log into your Subscribe & Save account each month to make sure you’re not paying more for a particular item than you should. Amazon will send you an email a few days before your scheduled delivery with a list of current prices, so watch for that email!
  • It’s OK to skip shipments.
    If you’re not running low on an item when it’s scheduled to deliver, be sure to hit the “skip” button. This will push the item back a month and also reset your entire delivery schedule based on that shipment.
  • Set your delivery to every 6 months.
    If you only want to purchase a deal one time because it’s on sale for a great price, set your delivery schedule to every 6 months. That way if you accidentally forget to cancel the following month, you’ll have a little wiggle room and won’t be charged right away.
  • Watch for Prime Exclusive deals.
    If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can often score exclusive Subscribe & Save deals/coupons only for Prime members to get even more out your membership! But, if you’re not yet a member, you can sign up for a FREE 30-day trial HERE to try it out.

5. Some of the best deals with Subscribe & Save:

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What items do YOU subscribe to on Amazon?


Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off running long distance, bargain shopping, warm weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.

Join The Discussion

Comments 58

  1. Heather C

    Nice job Mary, this looks like it was a very challenging article to write. I commend you for your hard work

    • Jess

      Agreed! I love this article! Now I need y’all to write one on Prime Pantry, I don’t understand that program at all!

      • Jacki

        Me either

      • Lisa

        I don’t understand it either.

      • Kimbul

        I don’t understand Prime Pantry either!

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Thanks Heather and Jess!

  2. Amy

    Great tips! I’m a huge S&S fan. To keep myself in check I buy a gift card for my monthly budget. When you mark to pay with a gift card it will instantly come off your gift card balance. That way I can easily see how much I’ve spent and I’m not adding it up at the end.

    • Amy

      I think my favorite thing is how your 15% and any coupon discount both are taken from the same price, and not one then the other. For example if something is $10 and there is a 35% coupon and you have reached 15% you’ll actually get 50% off. Love that!

    • Cortney

      That’s a great idea!! Maybe I’ll start that in August! Prime day blew any chance of staying below my ideal threshold! Whoops!!

  3. Maria

    Question.. I ordered two things this month and haven’t found anything I want / need but I really like to get FIVE things for the extra savings. Can I *skip* a delivery and still pay (for my first delivery) my initial price ?

    • David

      The 15% is conditional upon actually having 5 qualifying items in that same shipment. If you are due for exactly 5 items in an order but skip 1 (or more) of them, the discount would drop from 15% to 5% on the other items.

      • Nora-Lee Rodriguez

        What I do Maria is find things for 0.99 or 1.50 to make sure I keep the 5 items and 15% off on my order, like lip balm, which I use anyway. Hope that helps

        • Anne

          ^^^Exactly like Nora said. You can look for inexpensive filler items to get to your five items. If you do the math, those items might be “free.” For example, if you have $20 box of diapers, 15% off is $3 vs $1 for 5% off. Let’s say your second item is a $12 pack of Kind bars then 15% off is $1.80. So if you can find the inexpensive fillers like mascara or lip balm, the difference between 5% and 15% might make it worth it to purchase the extras. Of course, if you won’t use the extra items, it’s better not to buy them!

    • Megan

      Maria, I think you can skip this month, and still pay the initial discounted price next month if you choose to go forward with the shipment. I’m pretty sure I did this with a few S&S items last month and still got the discounted price.

      Can anyone else confirm this?

      • Sarah!!

        I tried this with prime day deals and lost my discount so I don’t think you can

      • Ellen

        In my experience, any changes you make to your initial order will cause you to lose your coupon discounts. Also, if you cancel your first order and place a new one, the coupon likely won’t be available to you, since you already redeemed it once (even though you can cancelled.) Learned all this the hard way. 🙂

        • Nina

          OK. So For example, I subscribed Huggies size 1, 276 count on Amazon prime day for about 0.06/count price, but I postponed my delivery date. Today I checked my s/s, and it says the price is 0.12/count. Does it mean I lost the prime day benefit? OTL… I though my first shipment price is locked, and the following shipments price would be vary, but Amazon agent I spoke with today says, the price for the first shipment is not locked either. I am so disappointed. Could you people confirm me what is the truth?

          • PJ

            Omg– You’ve answered the question I had that no one at Amazon managed to do– I have a bunch of S&S items with a price increase before the first delivery. Reading this conversation reminded me that I moved my S&S delivery date up a week or so. (Like, my deliveries had been coming on the 12th, and I moved it to the 6th.) I probably moved it after adding some items, so I lost my discount on those! Why no one at Amazon (I talked to many) thought of that if it’s a policy is frustrating, But at least I might know why now. Maybe I’ll try it again one day.

            • Dave

              Wait….is this true ? I typically buy one item when it’s a good deal with subscribe and save and then I always cancel the subscribe and save after the item is delivered. Are you saying that the price of the item may increase after I buy it (before the 1st delivery) and then I would be charged a higher price than I originally agreed to ? That would be completely unfair if true. Please clarify !

            • Nina

              (Please consider Jess’s reply below) I just checked my credit card account, but unfortunately, Amazon didn’t charge me for my s&s order. I didn’t get my first delivery yet, and they didn’t charge me yet, probably meaning I won’t have the benefit of the price point on Amazon prime day. Dave and PJ, why don’t you check your payment account to make sure? I clear this so that I wouldn’t make this awkward error again.

            • PJ

              I usually keep reloading my Amazon gift card and pay with that. I think the amount was on hold/pending when I placed the order.
              For my very last would-be S&S order, I got the your-shipment-is-almost-ready email with the increased prices, and flipped out. I think I contacted chat 2 or 3 times, email once, and maybe even a phone call, but I think I avoided that because I like things in “writing.” Every rep told me prices were not locked, and seemed oblivious when I insisted these were first-time items, so the price when I initiated the subscription should be honored. (If it wouldn’t be honored, why even show prices at all for S&S?) I hadn’t even thought about the date-shift, so I didn’t mention it to any of them, and none of them brought it up to me. I’m not sure if that was the cause, but I’m hoping it was , because I have been avoiding S&S deals since I don’t know if they’ll actually work.
              I cancelled everything with a price jump, waited for the other items to be marked as sipped, then cancelled them, too. I was only charged for the items shipped.

    • mel

      A filler item I always add is tampons or pantiliners. I might pay a little more but it’s something that’s always nice to have on hand!

      • Jess

        No, no, no. When you click subscribe and save for the product you want, it charges your credit card and the item is purchased. That is the price you pay, the initial cost. They just wait and ship the item until your ship date, even if the price fluctuates before you get your shipment, you are golden. You already made your purchase for the cheap price. Hope that helps.

        • Jess

          This reply is meant for Dave and PJ, sorry!

          • Nina

            Thank you, Jess. I just checked my credit card account, but unfortunately, Amazon didn’t charge me for my s&s order. I didn’t get my first delivery yet, and they didn’t charge me yet, probably meaning I won’t have the benefit of the price point on Amazon prime day. Dave and PJ, why don’t you check your payment account to make sure? I clear this so that I wouldn’t make this awkward error again.

    • heather

      Rather than skip a delivery you could just push back your delivery date until you find additional items you need. I’ve altered my delivery date multiple times and didn’t miss out on the initial purchase sale price.

    • d

      I skip deliveries all the time until I get to subscribe to 5 things.

  4. Ashley C.

    I order most of my household items with subscribe and save. Diapers, Toilet paper and paper towels are the most savings because I only buy them when there are coupons to stack. As a mom of six kids (7 and under) anything I can get delivered to my door while still sticking to our strict budget is an amazing thing.

  5. Susan

    I’ve found it’s easier to just cancel my subscription as soon as I get the shipment email and then I never have to worry about forgetting to cancel it later or paying higher prices. When I’m getting low, I just start a new subscription if the price is good.

  6. mbamamablog

    Another tip, sometimes items that are in your future scheduled deliveries will have new coupons. Check what’s scheduled for the next month a few days before, click through to the item and see if the price has lowered or if there’s another coupon. I save a lot of $ this way!

    • Laura

      I do this too!

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Great idea!

  7. David

    My favorite S&S find is..socks! I never would have expected socks to be a S&S item but for some reason the kind I wear are S&S eligible. The discount is 5% and does not jump to 15% with 5+ S&S items, but the socks themselves do count as one of the five items needed to drop the price of the other items by 15%.

  8. Stephanie

    Thanks for the pricing explanation. I’ve always been confused on how it works. So if I get the email with the new pricing, I can still cancel the subscribe and save? Or is it too late by that time and the item has already shipped?

    • mbamamablog

      Yes, you can cancel, for instance, mine ships on the 1st of every month, and around the 27th/28th I get the email with the list, so I have a few days to go in and skip items (or cancel) that I no longer want or are too expensive.

      • Stephanie

        Thanks!

  9. Ann

    I have a subscribe and save shipment come almost every month. I place the order when I see hot deals for items my family can use here on Hip2Save. I always end up with at least 5 items, so I get the 15% off. Once I get the order I cancel all the subscriptions and start again, so I always get the coupon and/or prime savings on each item.

  10. bdubs

    I keep a few things in my s&s arsenal to “pad” so I always have 5 items. These are things like gum, lip gloss, one thing of deodorant. Most are under $3.

  11. Heather

    I love the S&S deals! Been ordering for three years now. I grab deals as soon as Hip2Save posts them, then review everything before the monthly cut off date. I have found that the quality control for packing boxes is not as great as with normal Amazon orders. I semi regularly have damaged or missing items. But customer service always takes care of the issue and either refunds or replaces the product. Keeps me coming back!

    • Missylew

      Thanks for that site!!! (The under $2.00) that’s awesome! I will be using it!!

  12. CJ

    I had to laugh, my son’s gaming headphones (only $25 so not super high quality) is S&S…like they know they are going to break and you’re gonna need another one soon! haha!

  13. Oatbunch

    I’ve had a monthly S&S delivery since 2011 (occasionally I’ll have 2 by switching dates). Anytime a deal is posted for something I want or need (or think I need), I subscribe to it. Then Amazon sends me an email and a text 1-2 days before my order “ships” and that’s when I go through and whittle down my order to actual needs and things within my budget. I’ve never once had issues meeting the 5 items in my order since I’ve been buying diapers and wipes using Amazon Family since its inception.

  14. sometimessewist

    It’s worth noting that Amazon has changed the S&S discount on some items, and you don’t receive ANY discount at all on some things unless you have 5 or more subscriptions. They used to offer 5% off every subscription, but no more…

  15. thrift

    I have found you can change the date of your s&s items if you are close to the delivery date and don’t have 5 items. That way you can get more time to accrue your 5 items. I just did this about 10 days ago. My delivery date was July 20, but I changed the deliver date on my 3 items until Aug. 20 and still kept all discounts (coupons clipped). Hopefully I’ll find 2 more items…if not, I’ll change the date again (if it is allowed). hth.

  16. Briana

    Is the price definitely locked in on first subscription? I thought I had read that the price
    Can change before ship date.

    • Oatbunch

      So the price you originally sign up with is the price you get the first months delivery with, unless the price drops before the order ships (this doesn’t include coupons, you have to manually add those). However, if you do the item as recurring, the price fluctuates constantly, so you’d have to resubscribe (and then delete the first one) if you want to guarantee your price.
      So say I’m buying diapers and they’re the same diapers I buy monthly. Then there’s a great deal posted in here on said diapers–then I have to manually go in and resubscribe to that item if I want that price. Amazon also doesn’t add new coupons to recurring orders, you have to manually keep up on that.
      So managing the S&S list can be time consuming.

      • Nina

        Be careful about first shipment price lock. I recently s&sed on diapers(Huggies and Luvs) during the Amazon prime day, then postponed the first delivery to next month and the price isn’t locked. It shows as the price of today even if I request to move it to July delivery. I chatted with a Customer Service agent and he said the price is not locked. I am so frustrated, but I guess that’s how it is now.

  17. Laura

    I S&S big items like dog food, paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent… then add smaller things to get the 15%. I never run out of staples which is amazing and I don’t have to load all the big stuff, it comes right to my door! I find even if the prices are a little higher it’s worth it!

  18. Jae Lynne Hargis Dykes

    I’ve been using Subscribe & Save for a couple years now and I probably learned about it on this blog. Most couponers know their prices anyway so that helps. Great article!

  19. jen

    Thanks to hip2save I’ve been loving this for years. My helpful hint to make sure you have the 15% off with 5 items instead of 5% off with 1-4 is to add to your calender a reminder to check your s&s at least 1 week b4 the ship date. If you don’t have 5 items yet, select a new later ship date. It will keep the price and you have time to add more items to get up to 5. However make sure it’s a week b4 ship date or more because if they begin preparing your items for shipment you can’t change order. I love s & s so much that I ordered so much once the ups driver had to back into my driveway to unload😂

  20. Nina

    Somebody! Please share correct information about ‘price lock for the first delivery’ matter. I have read many comments so far about “1)it’s locked for the first delivery even when you postpone the first delivery”, but some people say 2)”it’s not locked and the price will be vary by the time of the delivery(even for the first delivery”.(Please read Ellen, Pj, Dave, Jess, and my comments above. And I read several others from other Amazon s&s postings. So confusing!) My recent personal experience is, the price was not locked! I placed s&s orders when the price was really good then I didn’t need the items too soon, so I postponed the deliveries, and yesterday, I found out that estimated price was a current price of the items. Even an Amazon CS chatting agent said it’s not locked. Do you have experience with this? I hope someone can clarify this serious question that may have lead(and will lead) many of Hip2Save readers into a trouble and disappointment:(. I really appreciate you have wonderful community like this. Thanks in advance!

  21. dan

    so if i use a coupon and order a subscribe and save item for a delivery on the 18th, then decide i don’t need it for another 10 days and change my delivery date to the 28th, will it remain at the discounted price? or does the coupon get removed?

  22. D

    I also use an Amazon charge card that saves me an extra 5% on top of everything else. It really comes in handy.

  23. Jason C.

    I have been using S&S for a while now and it’ nice. However, the availability of what you actually want is difficult. Seems most of what I actually want isn’t available on S&S. Disappointing.

  24. Anna

    I just saw this post! Can anyone answer my question? I did s&s for the first time for a bunch of diapers on prime day. I have more than 5 subscriptions, however I don’t want to pay and need that much diapers all next month. Can I skip my subscription to next time and still get that price? (With the first subscription discount & coupon)

    • Anna

      OK nevermind saw my answer in the comments

    • Holly (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You can skip your subscription anytime, but you won’t get the Prime Day price whether you skip it or not. Subscriptions go back to the regular price on the second shipment.

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