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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013

Amazon offers automatic scheduled delivery, extra savings



By Clark Howard


Amazon's Subscribe and Save program offers automatic scheduled delivery and extra savings on your most frequent purchases through the online retail giant.

My associate producer Joel introduced me to this program. Joel recently scheduled a delivery of 6 boxes of Kashi cereal for his wife at a cost of $11 (no shipping charges) through this free program. The Kashi 6-pack of cereal is now available for $13.83 through the Subscribe and Save program as I write this. (Many common purchases through the Subcribe and Save program are eligible for a 5% discount.)

When you consider that Kashi cereal often sells for up to $4 a box in the grocery store, you know you're getting a deal. And with the subscription component, you estimate when you'll need another 6 boxes from Amazon and schedule delivery on a regular basis. Your subscription can be discontinued or modified at any time.

So the beauty of this program is that instead of lugging, say, 30 rolls of toilet paper from the warehouse club, they could just show up at your door as often as you want them.

Amazon's prices are good, but The New York Times shopped item by item and found Costco was significantly cheaper. The difference is with Costco -- or any other store -- you do all the labor of going to get the item and waiting in line at checkout.

If convenience is what you love, but you don't want to throw money away, the Amazon program could be great for you. It includes so many grocery and general merchandise items you would find at a supermarket or a Wal-Mart or Target.

Meanwhile, another longstanding player in the online grocery market called PeaPod has a new initiative they're trying in New Jersey. PeaPod is putting up billboards at train stations with big pictures of products and QR codes that let you use your smartphone to order your groceries while you're waiting for your train!