Ways to let Amazon improve your life

Amazon is taking over the world, and that is a little scary, but I have sort of given up. I'm in the Apple ecosystem, the Google ecosystem, and the Amazon ecosystem, so I figure I've pretty much sold my soul to the devil in one way or another among the three.

Amazon, though, is CONVENIENT. As long-time readers know, fundamentally I believe that the easiest way is the best way. I am lazy at heart and also love a good bargain.

I am therefore surprised I didn't know until relatively recently about some of Amazon's offerings that cater to the cheap and lazy: Prime and Subscribe & Save.

Prime costs $79 per year, which is probably why I didn't investigate for a long time. Another subscription fee? No thanks (even though it's only $6.60 per month, less than I pay for Spotify and other stuff). It's totally worth it, though. Here's why.

  • Free 2-day shipping on tons of stuff. Cutting the shipping charge off saves so much money that it probably pays the $79 itself, depending on how much you buy. I don't have figures for comparison because I buy way more now than I did without free shipping.
  • Fantastic streaming video offerings. I'm seriously thinking of canceling Netflix because the Prime video offerings have gotten so good. Stream to tablets or smartphones, no problem. Check out this Mashable post on "Why Amazon Prime Is Better Than Netflix" for more Prime kudos.
  • Kindle lending library. You have to have an actual Kindle device for this (the reading app on a non-Kindle device won't work), but if you have one, it's a nice benefit. Each month you get to borrow a book, and the available titles are pretty good. Also, this is not a Prime thing, but speaking of lending, you can also loan Kindle books you own—another well-kept secret.
  • Add family members to your Prime. You can add up to four family (or "family") members to your account, and they will get the free shipping benefit, although not the streaming or lending library. Still, very handy.

Convinced? NEARLY convinced? Try it for a month for free. Become addicted.

Finally, Subscribe & Save is an incredibly well kept secret. It is not attached to Prime. It allows you to buy in bulk on a schedule, and you can save major money if you choose wisely. The selection is getting bigger every day, so it is worth checking out.

Amazon doesn't make things easy or obvious, but it's worth poking around. Sign up for a Prime trial, and see if Subscribe & Save could work for any of the stuff you regularly buy. There's nothing to lose.