Why I Spend $9 a Month on Amazon Prime

If you’ve never taken the plunge and tried Amazon Prime the holidays are the BEST time to sign up for a free trial. When you sign up for Amazon Prime  you get a free 30 day trial. After the 30 day trial you can cancel your membership and you won’t be charged. 

However, being a frugal shopper, I like to save money and it rubs me the wrong way to spend money on things we don’t really need.

When Amazon Prime was first introduced I was skeptical.

I’m going to pay how much per year for what? 

My brother, who is always first to find out about these kinds of things, signed up for Prime right away. After a year of watching him order off Amazon and always get free shipping, while I waited for free shipping deals, trying to get my order value up to get free shipping, or missing out on great deals (for things I needed) while he was able to order them and have it delivered to his house in two days I decided to try it.

I signed up for a Prime free trial and I was hooked. After all a prime membership is only $10.99 a month or $99 for the year if you pay in full. I realized that the $99 yearly fee was only $8.25 a month, less than two trips to Starbucks. Would the savings really add up?

It did, and here’s how.

I absolutely love Amazon Prime. Not only do I receive free shipping on almost every item I purchase at Amazon, I also have free music, movies, and Kindle books! It's totally worth the membership price.

Amazon Prime is FREE for 30 days

Yes, this is a marketing tactic from Amazon, however you can use Amazon Prime for 30 days then cancel and be charged nothing at all, ever. So for the next 30 days you can enjoy all the Amazon Prime Day deals, free shipping, holiday playlists, free books on Kindle and movies for free. When I signed up for the free trial I had every intention of cancelling my Amazon Prime membership after the 30 days, but I got so much value out of it, I decided to keep it.

Important: You must cancel your Amazon Prime membership at the 30 day mark if you try it and decide it isn’t for you.

You can sign up for your trial membership here

After your free trial expires you have two payment options. A year membership costs $99 if you pay in full. Amazon Prime monthly payments are $10.99 a month, so you do save about $30 a year when you pay in full.

Amazon Prime gives you Free Shipping on thousands of items every day.

When I first signed up for Amazon Prime I had six kids at home. It was not easy to load them up and take them on errands. In fact I often avoided errands for as long as possible, because it was so much work getting them dressed to go outside in the cold, load them in the car, then unload them at a variety of stores.

What I realized was many of the items I purchase regularly (toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, etc) are available on Amazon for a competitive price.

If I can shop on Amazon instead of loading up the kids and taking two hours out of our day to shop it is worth it!

Also, if something is only available online, I usually purchase it from Amazon because I know I get free shipping and the price is better (which it usually is).

I do most my Christmas shopping on Amazon.

For most of my adult life I’ve lived away from family and have not spent Christmas with them. This means mailing gifts every single year. With Amazon Prime I ALWAYS have free shipping, never have to wait in line at the post office (seriously that’s a nightmare at Christmas) and the gifts always arrived in two days!

Amazon carries so many products it is almost impossible not to find a gift for a loved one on the site.

Amazon Prime gives you FREE Kindle books through the lending library.

I love to read, and we love to go to the library. Sometimes the books I want to read are not available at my library and I’ve waited weeks or even months for books to come in. When you have Prime you are able to “borrow” books for 30 days to read on your Kindle.

This is an awesome way to read without spending money, worrying about library fines, or lost library books. They have over 500,000 titles available in the lending library so there’s probably a few books available you have on your list.

Amazon Prime gives you unlimited photo storage.

This is a new feature for Amazon Prime and probably the one I’m most excited about after free shipping. Since I pay $30 a year to a photo storage company and another $10 a month to Dropbox to store photos this feature pays for itself every year.

Cloud Drive offers secure online storage, automatic photo backup, and lets you access your photos anywhere: on your phone, computer, tablet, or any Fire device.

After losing 40,000 and three years with of photos this summer when my son dropped my computer (some where backed up, some weren’t). I’ve been uploading photos to the cloud. I don’t want to lose any more photos and when you take as many as I do you need unlimited photo storage!

Amazon Prime gives you thousands of free videos and television shows.

I don’t use this one often because I’m not much of a tv/ movie watcher, but it’s definitely a great savings.

You can instantly stream Prime Instant Video titles from your computer’s web browser, Fire phone, Fire TV, Fire Tablets, iOS devices, and hundreds of other Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, set-top-boxes, and gaming consoles.

They have lots of kid’s shows available for free including Thomas, Veggie Tales, Angelina Ballerina, as well as lots of holiday movies.

Amazon Prime gives you free streaming music.

We’ve been paying $9 a month for Spotify for the past year. Now Amazon Prime gives you free streaming music. They have over a million titles including holiday music and playlists (yay! Love me some Christmas music!)

This is a new benefit for Prime members that I’m excited to try out. I’d love to cancel my Spotify account and save!

Amazon Prime gives you early access to Lightening Deals.

I love Lightning Deals around Christmas time and on Prime Day because the prices are really amazing. A Prime membership gives you access to these deals 30 minutes early, so if it is something you really want to buy it will be available early and you’ll be able to get it before it sells out.

Six Month Free Trial for Students!

If you have a child with a .edu email address they are eligible for a free six month Amazon Prime Student membership. The benefits are the same for a student membership but if you decide to continue with the program it is only $50 for the year instead of $99.

Sign up for the student membership here

For my family Amazon Prime adds up!

Amazon Prime yearly membership $99 or $8.25 a month.

Things I don’t need because I have an Amazon Prime membership:

  • Dropbox $10 a month
  • Spotify $10 a month
  • Netflix $8 a month
  • Photo hosting $30 a year

Total savings each year: $366 

If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership this is the BEST time of year to start your free trial! If you don’t love it, cancel before your 30 days are up and you pay nothing.

I think it is worth the $9 a month that a membership costs because I use Prime almost weekly. I’ve purchased fixtures, fans, lightbulb, paint, even wallpaper scrapers from Amazon in the past year and I’ve never had to worry about waiting for an item to arrive or paying for shipping!

Do you have Amazon Prime? Do you think it is worth $99 a year? 

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. I am a grad student and have Amazon Student but we will definitely pay for standard prime when we have to. As a full – time wife, mom, homeschool mom, and student with 5 active kids I don’t have time to shop around. We live in tiny town and our options are walmart and the grocery store, if they don’t have what I want then I order from amazon. Most of the time (especially near the holidays) they offer credits for videos or books if you don’t need it in 2 days.

  2. We love amazon prime!! But isn’t it $8.33 a month? $100 a year divided by 12 is 8.33.

  3. Toni Anderson says:

    Yes! I put the # of months in the year not the cost, but I’ve edited it. 🙂 Great catch!

  4. Christina V. says:

    I’ve done a free trial or two … loved it but, I did not justify the expense at the time … last year was my first year paying for Prime. At $79 last year – it’s more than paid for itself! I’ve only placed 20 orders so far this year: some gifts, some electronic accessories almost impossible to find locally, appliance parts for home repairs. pet supplies … so, it computes to: $3.95 @ 20 packages for 2 day delivery and I haven’t done my Christmas shopping yet! On top of that, I just found out you can SHARE YOUR PRIME MEMBERSHIP! Go to Your Prime, under Member Quick Links, go to Manage Prime Membership, scroll to the bottom of the page, in orange type it says: “Invite a Household Member,” click on the downward arrow off to the right! Invite up to four! Out of 3 invites sent, I’ve only had my sister accept … and she has not used it yet 🙁 but, I will be renewing mine ever at $99!

  5. We do have Amazon Prime, and it makes sense for us. We order a lot of things for our family and for business off of Amazon. It’s nice to know when items will arrive. We also use Prime video.

    For sharing your Prime membership, don’t forget to read the small print – “Free or paid Amazon Prime members can share their shipping benefits with up to four additional family members living in the same household.” And people you share with don’t get free videos.

  6. I love this post! We also have prime, but I use it mostly for shipping and a few shows like Reading Rainbow for the kids. I had no idea about the music or photo storage! Now, I love my membership even more!

  7. DgsandBjsMom says:

    We have used ours for 3 households since May and have made 51 orders in the last 6 months. 2 of the households use the Amazon Video. We love it.

  8. I love it just for the piece of mind of knowing exactly when my packages will be arriving. I was using PRIME before they added the music, videos, or books and still was ecstatic about my shipping benefits. I just worry Amazon will go broke giving me so many free benefits!!

  9. Thank you!

    I just discovered the free photo storage, and while it’s been time consuming to back up our photos, I know I won’t regret it. That’s the only thing I’m afraid of when our computers start to get old and even my external hard drive is aging.

    You’ve inspired me to make better use of my Prime membership!

  10. I’ve been a Prime member since the day it started. It’s one of the few plans that’s actually added on features, rather than restricting them. I figure, between the Kindle library and free shipping, I make my membership fee back within three months. I love it!

  11. Alison Palmer says:

    You’re right! Amazon Prime is definitely worth it. Also I always check to see if the item I am buying is included in the list of things they discount through Ebates.

  12. Toni Anderson says:

    I do the same thing! I love Ebates and love the checks I get even more!

  13. Toni Anderson says:

    I agree! I love the free 2-day shipping. This year I did a lot of school supply shopping on Amazon, it was better than fighting the crowds at Walmart.

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