I'm a self-proclaimed Euro-shopper…in theory. Giving little thought to future grocery trips, I yearn to shop day to day, meal to meal. In Barcelona it’s easy to do where bountiful fresh produce cascades from street-side stands, and biking to the market requires a maximum of two pedal strokes. Yet, here in northern rural America where the growing season is three months at best, it's not exactly my reality.

So, I've resorted to other, more sedentary, methods. Rather than hoping on my bike and filling my basket with produce, while stopping for a cheap cappuccino on the way, I use the click of my computer mouse to arrive at bulk coffee and dried fruits (among a plethora of other goods) on Amazon.com.

Amazon is my go-to for stocking my cabinets with family staples. Admittedly, some days I relentlessly trudge to the computer, dreaming of ripe nectarines and kalamata olives, to pleasantly realize my grocery needs are only a click away. Additionally, the money saved buying bulk, not driving my car, and making my own cappuccinos just may amount to a European holiday in the near future.

Learn tips on navigating Amazon's site to get the most bang for your buck…

1. Subscribe and Save: Amazon's first lure is their Subscribe and Save program. They hook you in with a savings of up to 30% on frequent-use items. By enrolling for a regularly-scheduled delivery (monthly or up to once every six months), you claim your discount plus FREE shipping. Choose this option for diapers, household cleaning supplies, coffee, snacks ,and bulk foods. Additionally, you pay only when the item ships and can cancel at anytime. For further information on enrolling, visit Amazon's Subscribe and Save page.

2. Amazon Prime: Amazon originated as an online book retailer, providing inexpensive options for National Bestsellers. Today they continue to expand their offerings for personal entertainment. Amazon Prime is a subscription program tailored to movie buffs and book-lovers. Prime members enjoy FREE 2-Day shipping, with no minimum order, on any Amazon product. In comes the gravy boat with unlimited streaming of movies and television shows and a monthly Kindle book. The cost, only $79 a year, pales in comparison to annual cable bills. Over the holidays, take advantage of the program's FREE 2-Day shipping for your last minute Santa gifts.

3. Amazon Mom: Attention, new mothers! Don't miss out on Amazon Mom, a FREE membership program designed specifically for busy moms. This no-stress option grants you 20% off diapers and wipes when you enroll in Subscribe and Save. Benefit further from FREE 2-Day shipping for three months. Bump this up by earning an additional month of FREE shipping for every $25 spent in their Baby Store. Receive email updates on special promotions and have stockpiles arrive at your front door. This means one less trip to the store with cranky kids. Go here to sign up.

4. AmazonLocal: Daily Deals: In an effort to promote local commerce and tantalize those who spend close to home, Amazon launched their newest site, AmazonLocal. By partnering with Living Social, Amazon sneaks daily local deals into your inbox. These deals offer steep discounts at participating restaurants, spas, theaters and more. Click to buy, and the coupons move to the "Your Deals" section, waiting to be printed and used. Also, through the end of the year, each dollar spent at AmazonLocal earns you 5 points on your Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card. After that, continue to receive 3 points on each Daily Deal.

Daily Deals help this ecommerce giant promote local economies. Thus, creating the potential for Euro-shoppers like me to "buy local," consume less gas, and contribute to conscious-spending.

With the innovative saving strategies Amazon offers, I am no longer troubled by the lack of fresh produce stands in my neighborhood. Items arrive at my doorstep, allowing me to keep my car parked. Better yet, the Daily Deals option makes it possible for me to continue to save when I get the urge to indulge in a local cappuccino, homemade ice cream, or a cutting-edge Indy film.

This has been a guest post by Christine from Tetonia, ID
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