Last week, I was splurging on books at Amazon.
I only shop there once or twice a month, so I haven’t signed up for a Prime Membership yet. Instead, I wait until I can cross the $35 mark for free shipping.
But you know how that goes.
I added items to my cart until I was close — I hit $32.16 in new and used books. I needed a couple dollars more to qualify for free shipping.
What do you usually do in that situation?
Probably what I was about to do: Return to my Wish List and add another item to my cart.
But those items were between $10-$20. Adding any of them to my order would push me well over $40 for this purchase, which I was trying to avoid.
How I Got Free Shipping Without a Prime Membership
Thankfully, a friend told me about this Amazon Filler Item Finder — it’s so cool!
I just entered the amount I needed to spend to qualify for free shipping — $2.84 — and the site brought up a list of items in that price range.
And I mean to the penny. The top eight items were exactly $2.84, and the top 26 items were within 10 cents.
I chose Oral-B Glide 3D White Floss Picks for $2.85.
So, instead of spending either $9 on shipping or an extra $10-20 on another book from my Wish List, I spent a couple bucks on something practical. I saved $9.44 on shipping — that’s an overall savings of $6.59!
A coworker pointed out it’s also a great way to use a gift card without overspending.
What do you usually do when you have just a few dollars left to spend on a gift card? You either buy an item priced well over that amount, or you let the gift card balance sit unused. Why not use just those few dollars and get something small instead?
This tool has the potential to save you tons a cash over time by helping you avoid overspending on these small purchases.
It was also a fun way to quickly discover something I was interested in trying but otherwise wouldn’t have spent the money on.
Oral-B floss picks aren’t typically on my shopping list — but in this case, they helped me save almost $7 AND I got a chance to try something new.
More Ways to Get Free Shipping on Amazon
Want some other ways to get free shipping on Amazon without a Prime membership?
Before you browse for new items with the Filler Item Finder, create a list of small items you buy regularly. Remembering to add these small treats and household essentials to your cart could help you save on shipping with items you’d buy anyway.
Are Filler Items Worth It?
If you rarely shop on Amazon like me, a Prime membership would, of course, cost you more money than it would save.
For example, if I have to purchase $2.84 in extra items to get free shipping every time I shop on Amazon, I’d have to make about 35 orders a year — or about three a month — to hit $99.
For me, that sounds like a lot of purchases right now. I think I’ll just stick with buying dental floss to save money.
Your Turn: Have you caught yourself overspending just to get “free” shipping on Amazon? Will you use the filler item finder in the future?
Disclosure: We have a serious Taco Bell addiction around here. The affiliate links in this post help us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, and she’s proud to finally be flossing every day.