Confused by Amazon’s many grocery delivery services? I get it. That’s why I put together this ultimate guide to Amazon Pantry.
Amazon Pantry ships (mostly) non-perishable household items and dry goods like cleaning products, canned goods, and medicine cabinet necessities in everyday sizes straight to your door. Amazon briefly paused Amazon Pantry in late March due to shortages caused by the panicked response to the coronavirus outbreak, but the delivery service is back — with a couple new changes.
Without further ado, here is your ultimate guide to using Amazon Pantry.
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1. What is Amazon Pantry?
Amazon Pantry is a service that delivers a variety of items from Amazon.com — from traditional food pantry products to beauty and health items — straight to your door.
The service’s main benefit/schtick is that you can load up a box full of smaller, everyday items (versus bulk) that might not be worth the shipping fee they’d incur if shipped individually. Amazon Pantry groups them together so they can ship out all at once in the same box, minimizing both waste and shipping costs.
2. What can you buy from Amazon Pantry?
Amazon Pantry categories include: Grocery, Snacks, Beverages, Cleaning and Home, Beauty and Grooming, and Health and Wellness. While not every item offered is non-perishable, you won’t find anything that requires freezing or refrigeration in the Amazon Pantry store. (A can of soup does go bad eventually, after all.)
Here are some examples of items from the Amazon Pantry:
- Gain Detergent, 150-ounce jug, $13.44
- Dawn dishwashing soap, 2-count of 19.4-ounce bottles, $5.28
- Crest mouthwash, 33.8-ounce bottle, $4.64
- Ritz crackers, 11.8 ounces of 8 packs, $1.96
- Folgers coffee, 38.4 ounces, $6.76
- Bubly sparkling waters, 12-pack of 12-ounce cans, $5.07
- L’Oreal Paris Collagen Face Cream, 1.7 ounce, $8.98
- Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion, 18-ounce bottle, $8.68
- Pantene Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner Bundle, $5.92
3. Amazon Pantry boxes ship for $5.99 for non-Prime members, but free for Prime with a $35 order.
Anyone with an Amazon account can use Amazon Pantry, but each order will incur a $5.99 shipping fee.
But, Prime subscribers can get Amazon Pantry orders over $35 delivered for free. If you’re a Prime member and your order is less than $35, you’ll pay the $5.99 fee (so you always want to wait until you have $35 worth of items in your Pantry box).
That being said, Prime subscribers who see a benefit to frequent use of the Amazon Pantry service can choose to be billed $4.99 monthly in exchange for free shipping on all Pantry orders more than $10. This might be a good option if you are car-less, but not so much if you’re a couponing mother of three who has to make frequent trips to the grocery store anyway.
Also, don’t forget you can always try a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime if you’d like to try the service.
4. Amazon Pantry boxes can hold up to 45 pounds of products.
There is no limit on items per Amazon Pantry orders, but each Amazon Pantry box can hold up to 45 pounds of products (boxes can’t exceed 4 cubic feet).
While Amazon Pantry is billed as a service to save shipping costs on a sizable number of small items, it is actually great for bulky purchases, too, because of its 45 pound limit. The elderly, house-bound, those without access to a vehicle — and shoot, anyone who doesn’t want to lug around heavy items — can order them through Amazon Pantry instead. Some examples might include: bulk laundry detergent weighing over 13 pounds, bags of pet food or kitty litter, or cases of soda.
5. Specialty brands are limited in Amazon Pantry.
Amazon Pantry is full of basic/popular brands you’d find on store shelves— think Kraft, Nestle, and General Mills — as well as Amazon-exclusive brands like Presto!, Happy Belly, and Wickedly Prime. But if you’re looking for specialty products or small-name brands, it’s unlikely you’ll find it in Amazon Pantry.
6. Amazon Pantry prices are competitive with Walmart and Target.
In my research, I found that Pantry prices — especially for snacks, soda, and beauty and personal care products — were often close to or identical to those on Walmart.com or Target.com. Here are some examples:
That being said, Amazon is NOT the place to be buying items like paper towels, toilet paper, or hand sanitizer — the trifecta of sold-out items due to the COVID-19 response. You simply won’t find those three items in Amazon Pantry right now. Or if you do, they’ll be crappy quality and wildly overpriced.
7. Not all delivery locations or states are eligible for Amazon Pantry.
Amazon Pantry is only offered in the continental U.S. (so not Hawaii and Alaska). Pantry boxes also can’t be delivered to P.O. boxes, dorms, and Amazon Lockers.
Check to see if your zip code is Amazon Pantry eligible by logging in to your Amazon account, selecting Amazon Pantry, clicking “Select your address” in the upper left-hand corner.
8. Amazon will sometimes give you money for not rushing a shipment.
Not in a big rush to get your Amazon item? Get a $5 Amazon Pantry credit each time you pick no-rush shipping during checkout.
These kinds of credits from multiple different orders can’t be stacked — meaning you can only use one $5 credit per purchase — but can be put toward your next Amazon Pantry purchase or while browsing on your Kindle device for MP3 music, books, and Prime Videos.
Another note about shipping: Amazon says Amazon Pantry shipping usually takes about one to three business days, but I’ve found during the coronavirus pandemic for many orders to take as many as five business days.
If this happens, you can contact customer service. In the past, I’ve received Amazon credits or even an extra free month of Prime for a Pantry order that came two to four days late.
9. Currently, there aren’t discounts for ordering items in bulk.
In the past, Amazon has done: “Buy 15, Save 15%” or “Buy 10, Save 10” or “Buy 5, Save 5%” deals on certain items.
Amazon Pantry currently doesn’t have any such promotions. But an Amazon rep mentioned they might bring back this deal in the future.
10. But you should always look for Amazon Pantry coupons.
Items are usually comparable to grocery store prices, but I always double-check to be sure. Many items on Amazon Pantry have clippable coupons that show up automatically. You can also search coupons on the Amazon Pantry deals page.
Amazon Pantry coupons are by percentage; some are by dollar amount. The most common coupons range from 10% to 20% or for $1 to $3 per item. Here are some examples:
- 20% off Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, 2.03 Pounds (reg. $26.49), final price with free shipping $21.19
- $2 off Tide Tide HE Turbo Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent, 96 Loads (reg. $24.33), final price with free shipping $22.33
- 20% off Brothers-ALL-Natural Fruit Crisps, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Lunch Box, Apple, 1.23 Ounce, 5 Count (reg. $3.05), final price with free shipping $2.44
PRO TIP: Check Krazy Coupon Lady’s site for the latest Amazon coupons and deals.
11. You can shop FSA and HSA eligible items through Amazon Pantry.
Certain items in Amazon Pantry can be purchased with an FSA or HSA card. (Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts are benefit programs offered by employers that allow you to set aside a portion of your paycheck, tax-free, to pay for medical and health items.)
You can click the “FSA or HSA Eligible” box on the left-hand side menu while searching Amazon. Items include most anything you’d stock your medicine cabinet with, including: tampons, contact solution, over-the-counter medicine, toothpaste and oral care, sunscreen, baby care, First Aid kits, batteries, laundry detergent, and more.
12. Amazon Credit Card holders get 5% back on all Amazon Pantry purchases.
If you are a Prime member and Amazon credit card holder, you’ll receive 5% back on all Amazon purchases, including Amazon Pantry ones. That 5% is essentially a credit to your account that can be used for future Amazon purchases.
The Amazon credit card offers 2% back on gas, dining, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
13. You might be able to use your SNAP benefits for Amazon Pantry.
You do have to be a Prime subscriber to use your EBT or Medicaid card — but the Prime membership is discounted from $12.99 a month to $5.99 for card-holding folks. The $35 minimum to get free shipping still stands. Register your SNAP benefits on Amazon Prime.
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