How To Cut Back Now on Your Amazon Spending

WASHINGTON DC, USA - MARCH 15, 2018: A large Amazon Prime delivery consisting of several packages delivered to the front door of a home.
Jeramey Lende / Shutterstock.com

Amazon had an epic year in 2020 — as of the third quarter, sales were up 37% year over year, CNN reported. That’s because amid the pandemic, many shoppers turned to Amazon to get their everyday essentials delivered right to their doors rather than facing in-store shopping and the associated health risks. And while it’s still acceptable — and safe — to continue to shop for essentials on Amazon this year, you may be wanting to cut back on all of the impulsive “add to cart” purchases that you may not really need.

Check Out: 6 Tips To Cut Back on Your Online Spending This Year
Learn:
Tips To Get Your Mortgage Payments as Low as Possible

If you’re looking to curb your online shopping spending this year, consider these tips.

Stop Browsing Out of Boredom

“Many people fall into the trap of impulse shopping on Amazon when they browse without purpose, or when trying to kill time or when they’re bored,” said Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money-saving expert. “Even small purchases add up when you’re buying without thought or consideration regularly.”

Make Your Money Work for You

If you find yourself meaninglessly scrolling through Amazon, pause and put your phone or computer away before you buy something you don’t need.

Find Out: 11 Things You Should Never Buy New

Make It Hard To Mindlessly Spend

“Considering it’s so easy to buy with a single tap of the finger or click of the mouse, it’s really important to set hurdles for such impulse purchases,” Woroch said. “For instance, delete payment information or shipping information so that you have to manually enter these details whenever you’re about to buy something. The time it takes or extra effort may make you realize you don’t need the item.”

Spend Wisely: 15 Times You Should Splurge, Settle or Skip When Shopping

Think Twice Before Clicking ‘Buy’

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether an item is something you really need when you’re caught up in the moment.

“Walk away from the potential purchase to give yourself some time to think it over,” Woroch said. “When you’re shopping online or via your mobile device, add the item to your cart but then click out of the browser or app for a few moments. If it’s an unnecessary item, chances are the urge to buy it will pass and you will dodge that impulse purchase.”

Don’t Do It: 11 Things You Should Never Buy New

Don’t Just Buy From the Default Seller

“Shoppers often overlook that there are multiple buying options for a particular product sold on Amazon from a variety of third-party sellers, and the site doesn’t automatically list the cheapest option,” Woroch said. “It requires a bit of digging to find the least expensive product price on Amazon, but there are tools that can help you. Just download Cently to your browser and their Amazon Best Price feature will automatically alert you if there is a cheaper buying option from an alternative reputable seller for the same item on Amazon.”

Read: 50 Purchases Buyers Almost Always Regret

Earn Cash Back From Your Amazon Purchases

Even if you’ve cut out mindless purchases, chances are you may still be spending a good chunk of change on Amazon. One way to cut down on your overall spending is to get some of that cash back in your pocket.

Make Your Money Work for You

“There are a variety of ways to earn cash back when shopping at Amazon,” Woroch said. “For example, link your Amazon account to the free cash-back app Fetch Rewards to earn points good towards free gift cards to Amazon or other retailers like Target or Walmart. If you do most of your shopping on Amazon, check out the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which offers 5% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Food Market purchases. You can even get a $70 Amazon gift card upon approval when applying for the card.”

Good To Know: 23 Secret Ways To Save Money on Amazon

If you don’t have the Amazon Visa — and don’t want to open another credit card — consider making your Amazon purchases with a cash-back card you already have so that you will earn money back on every purchase you make on the site.

Manage Your Auto Deliveries

“The ‘subscribe and save’ feature offering 5% [savings] on purchases is a nice benefit for Amazon Prime members, but it also leads to overspending and can cost you more in the long-run,” Woroch said. “First of all, the 5% savings may still not be cheaper than if you shopped around.”

Retailers like Target and Walmart now offer free curbside pick up or free delivery with a minimum order amount, so it may be just as convenient to order from them, and they may have the same item you want for cheaper than Amazon. In addition, you might be getting unnecessary automatic deliveries.

“When you set up the subscribe and save, it’s set up on auto-delivery and most people don’t manage the frequency for their deliveries or end up setting up auto-delivery on items they really don’t need, which ends up being a waste of money in the long-run,” Woroch continued.

Helpful: 16 Effective Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

Don’t Just Buy Something Because It’s on Sale

Even if an item is a “necessity,” make sure you actually need it before purchasing simply because it’s a daily deal or lightning deal.

“Check to see if your supply of the current product is low instead of buying more units on top of what you already have,” said Rebecca Gramuglia, consumer expert at TopCashback.com. “By taking these few extra minutes, you will not only save yourself money but also space in your home.”

Make Changes: The Real Value of $100 in Every State

Set a Monthly Limit on Your Amazon Spending

Budget for Amazon spending just as you would any other line item in your monthly budget. Mason Miranda, credit industry specialist at Credit Card Insider, suggests this hack for making sure you never go over your allotted amount: “Preload an Amazon gift card at the start of each month with the amount you’ve budgeted for Amazon. Once your gift card is used up, you’re done.”

See: 50 Terrible Ways To Try and Save Money

Have a Designated Day To Shop

“To curb your Amazon habit, it could make sense to designate an Amazon shopping day, whether it’s once a week, twice a month or once a month,” said Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at TrueTrae.com. “Having only one day to shop on Amazon will encourage you to plan your shopping list. And because you can only shop on that one day, that will help to curb those random impulse purchases.”

More From GOBankingRates

Last updated: July 28, 2021

About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

Untitled design (1)
Close popup The GBR Closer icon

Sending you timely financial stories that you can bank on.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest financial news and trending topics.

Loading...
Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

For our full Privacy Policy, click here.