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What Is Amazon Prime Pantry?

Shop for nonperishable foods and household items, all shipped to you at a flat or monthly fee.
Amazon Prime Pantry

Have you heard about this grocery and household item service from Amazon? Wondering if it's right for you? Read on to see how you can save money on canned goods, paper products, and more.

What Is Amazon Prime Pantry?

Prime Pantry is a section of Amazon where Prime members shop for nonperishable foods and household items. These bulky staples are typically expensive to ship, but this service sends filled boxes to your door at a flat rate of $7.99.

SEE ALSO: Amazon Prime Benefits You May Not Know About

Although the service was free for Prime members, recently Amazon has started moving to a subscription-based model. Prime members must pay $4.99 per month to subscribe, unless they're already a member of Amazon Fresh. Members in select regions will receive free shipping on Pantry orders of at least $40, or they can opt to pay a flat $7.99 fee for every order if they choose not to subscribe (or if an order is under $40). The flat fee isn't affected by the number of items or the number of boxes.

How Does Prime Pantry Work?

Beyond having its own stock — Amazon items marked with a blue and black "Prime Pantry" label can only be bought through Prime Pantry — Prime Pantry just doesn't work like the rest of Amazon. Instead of adding products to your shopping cart and checking out whenever you want, you create a separate Prime Pantry order. Depending on the order size, you'll receive Prime Pantry boxes that can hold up to 45 pounds, and items are packaged using dividers. These items ship together, but may arrive separately from other Amazon Prime items you've ordered.

Amazon keeps track of what you've ordered before, so it's easy to re-order a box of your regular items, which can simplify your grocery shopping routine.

Prime Pantry items ship together, but may arrive separately from other Amazon Prime items you've ordered.

While the concept isn't too complicated, you'll need to adjust how you think about shipping fees. (No, your Prime account does not automatically give free shipping on Pantry, as it does with other Amazon orders.) When you shop Prime Pantry, you save by taking advantage of Prime Pantry promotions and pile on other discounts.

How Can I Save With Prime Pantry?

Even with the subscription and shipping fees, Pantry can provide savings. Amazon offers a lot of deals for anyone who takes the time to bargain-hunt through the Pantry store. Here are four ways to save with Prime Pantry:

Save $6 if you add five "qualifying" items to your Pantry order. (Though the rotating selection of qualifying items can be a hassle to sort through.) As with any promotion, if you would buy and use these qualifying items anyway — and they aren't out of line with what you'd spend elsewhere — it's worth picking them up to save on shipping.

Get a Pantry credit when choosing no-rush shipping on other Amazon orders. If you're a Prime member and don't need your order in a rush, selecting slower shipping could give you money off your next Prime Pantry order.

Stack coupons. Amazon makes it easy to browse coupons on Prime Pantry items, so take advantage of it.

Snag everyday discounts. While your costs will vary, Amazon offers competitive pricing on Prime Pantry items. It's worth doing a rundown of your local grocery store prices and Amazon's prices to see if you save on your regular staples.

You can certainly save with Prime Pantry, but you'll need to do a little homework to see if these deals are worth it for you.

What Are the Limitations of Prime Pantry?

Though stock selection and shipping fees are the biggest snags to Prime Pantry, the service's shipping speed isn't great, either. Despite the "Prime" in the name, Prime Pantry items don't arrive quickly. All boxes are shipped ground (to the contiguous 48 states only) and should arrive within one to four business days. This is great for anyone who plans out their shopping lists in advance, but won't work for spur-of-the-moment necessities.

SEE ALSO: How to Add Family to Your Amazon Prime Account

How Does Prime Pantry Compare to Subscribe & Save?

If you're shopping for regular deliveries of groceries and aren't in a rush to get them, both Amazon Prime Pantry and Amazon Subscribe & Save could fit into your shopping routine. However, determining which (if either) to use will require some number crunching on your part because each service has its own stock and pricing.

SEE ALSO: Can You Get Groceries Delivered If You Don't Live in a City?

Beyond cost, it's just about delivery speed: Prime Pantry boxes arrive after you order them, while Subscribe & Save orders are scheduled in advance to arrive as needed. This means Pantry is typically better for replacing a grocery store trip, and Subscribe & Save is usually better for keeping stocked with staples. If both services offer the items you need, just check the prices and coupons to find the best deal.

Is Amazon Prime Pantry Worth the Money?

It's hard to justify subscribing to Amazon Prime just for Prime Pantry, but if you're an existing subscriber, Pantry could simplify your shopping.

Our advice: Do a cost comparison on your commonly purchased items to see whether you can save. Even if you're only saving a little, the convenience of Prime Pantry may be worth skipping your next grocery store trip.

Readers, if you use Prime Pantry, how has it worked out for you? Do you think it's worth trying? What are the best ways to save with it? Let us know in the comments below!

Contributing Writer

Originally working in IT, Elizabeth now writes on tech, gaming, and general consumer issues. Her articles have appeared in USA Today, Time, AOL, PriceGrabber, and more. She has been one of DealNews' most regular contributors since 2013, researching everything from vacuums to renters insurance to help consumers.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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Ok, let's make this a teaching moment.
1.) @GLVegas "Like a lot of others here, I dropped Amazon when they started collecting taxes" ~February 1, 2014. You know your comment history is available?
2.) The fabled liberal agenda. Let's focus on Amazon for a moment, (bear with me, this might be difficult). There is a difference between revenue and profits, an example would be from the latest 2018 Quarterly Report (available free from the SEC or if you hate the government, NASDAQ) showing that the total profits since Amazon's inception are less than Apple profits from the March 2018 quarter or $9.6b < $13.8b.

How can such a large company have relatively puny income? Their retail operations are run at very low margins and the company reinvests into a large swath of experiments (many of which fail- Fire Phone)

Also, Amazon is not a cookie jar for Bezos, the vast majority of his worth is his ownership of shares, he isn't the only one who benefits.

Not all Facebook memes/comments are true.
The liberal agenda must be costing a lot more money these days. I checked it out, I'll pass.
So let's regular Prime subscription is going up by 20% this year, and now this Prime Pantry service is no longer included in the price, it costs and additional $5 per month?

I was considering check this service out, but now....forget it. I'd rather make the drive to Walmart and fight the crowds.

What's driving all of these price changes at Amazon...their annual revenue intake is still not enough? Mr. Bezos needs a bigger house?