Amazon Anonymous, Anyone?

(I hope I haven't offended anyone with the cheeky post title.)

But.

It's true.

My name is Smella and I'm an addict.

My Amazon spending is way, way, way out of control.  

I know I am not the only one struggling with this.  I hate  Amazon, and everything they stand for! I hate their packaging. I hate everything I've learned about labour conditions in their warehouse. I hate the quality of their products, and the preponderance of counterfeit.  I hate that their interface allows me to purchase impulsively, while zoned out on a screen.  I hate that this purchasing keeps me out of local business that I want to support. I hate that all the dollars I spend at Amazon on god-knows-what make me feel like I can't afford to buy well-made, sustainable products. 

But despite all this, I haven't been able to change my ways. 

 

I'm seeking Amazon avoidance tactics, accountability buddies, and if there's interest, maybe a group of YNABs to do a 30-Days-Without-Amazon challenge (yes, my orders are that bad, and that frequent, that 30 days is the longest break I can even fathom at this point).   

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  • I have a similar problem. I have a tendency to justify it as stuff we need. I’m on subscribe and save too, so...I get that sent every month on top of whatever I’ve justified. I’ve been a little better since starting YNAB in late March, but have been falling off the bandwagon lately. I would love to go 30 days, but I think I will have to start with maybe 2 weeks, then try to go longer from there. God forbid I have to cancel subscribe and save, and have to pick up laundry detergent at a brick and mortar store!😩

    I’ve done a little better by being granular with my categories. If it’s not there, I can’t spend it. I have to wait till the next month, if something doesn’t take priority over that order first. I browse a lot, and I really, really don’t like window shopping. But I just add stuff to my wish list instead of my cart. Sometimes, if the money is there, I order it later.

    Reply Like 2
      • smella
      • smella
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Budget-ish  I hear you.   I'm not buying anything glamorous. My last ten orders have been:  the hard to find granola bars my son eats, some professional development books for me, child-proofing supplies for cables and outlets, a reusable water bottle, and some potty-training transition underwear.    When we lived in NYC, we did a lot of subscribe and save, but now we live elsewhere and have a car, so I'm back to buying cat litter, diapers, shampoo, etc at the grocery store along with the rest of our food.   Yet the transition wasn't smooth.... I actually got a subscribe and save shipment of superfluous stuff (sunscreen, lotion, wipes) I had completely forgotten about not too long ago. Boy, was that embarrassing.   I have stopped all S&S but we are still prime members and the thought of giving that up is scary...

      I also looooathe the act of shopping, so the convenience helps.   But in theory, I want to move towards some habits that are more environmentally friendly if no more or less expensive, like:
      -buying things second hand whenever possible
      -riding my bicycle to brick and mortar shops 
      -stop shopping in general! 

       

      Want to try to give it a 2 week go?! And we can take the YNAB "roll with the punches" approach ;) 

      Reply Like 1
      • Budget-ish
      • Orchid_Welder.1
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      smella Sure! Let’s do it! Worst that could happen is I spend less money. And that’s a good thing. We can check back in here if we need to be pulled away from the cart. 

      Reply Like 2
  • I'm going to keep a running list (here!) of things I think I "need," for self-reflection purposes and to reassess at the close of the 2 weeks. 

    Reply Like 3
  • Similar problem here. My prime account ends in July, so I am hoping that will be motivation for No-Spend Amazon months. Having to pay extra for shipping, or having to get to a certain amount for free shipping might be deterrent enough. I do better with community challenges, so I am in starting July 1st.

    Reply Like 1
      • smella
      • smella
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      veggiegeek Yay!!

      Reply Like 1
  • Contemplating this, as I've definitely gone a little overboard lately with organization/diy/hardware/decor items on Amazon related to my recent move (not helped by the fact that USPS change of address scored me a 10% off all Amazon purchases for 3 months coupon! Luckily that has finally expired, haha).

    However, I do have Subscribe & Save for my monthly cat food & litter purchases and do want to retain that, as I've found it a worthwhile convenience (& cost savings!) while I'm focusing on other things (I totally hear you about ultimately not wanting to support Amazon, but right now I'm not ready to let go completely!) :)

    I'd be in for attempting no non-S&S purchases through July, and also critically reviewing my upcoming S&S order to trim it of any unnecessary items that might have snuck in (as they too often do!), at least! :)

    Reply Like 1
    • Okay, went through my upcoming July 15th S&S order and skipped a few things that aren't needed or could wait another month. Here's what remains:

      1. 3 flavors cat food, one case each (they eat closer to 2 cases/month, but Amazon has occasionally been out of stock on one flavor or another lately so I want to stock up on one more case of each for now. Could probably skip these in August though!)
      2. Large bag kitty litter (these last somewhat longer than a month so I might be able to skip at some point)
      3. Small bag of kitty treats (Greenies) - *might* have enough on hand to skip this month, but at $2.12/bag I think I might play it safe rather than risk starting a war... ;)
      4. case of Soylent "coffiest" drink - this feels a little silly/indulgent but has proven to be a useful option for rushed mornings, so I want to keep doing a case per month for now, at least.
      5. pack of earplugs (essential for household harmony!) :)

      All have been entered as scheduled transactions in YNAB, and will be budgeted for with my paycheck on Friday. Let's see if I can avoid slipping anything else in!

      Reply Like 2
      • smella
      • smella
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller Sending strength!

      Reply Like 2
  • Hey folks! 

    3 days in to the detox and so far it's going much better than I imagined. I've actually decided to up the ante and do a full on shopping ban for the month of July (details in my journal).  I had been buying a ton of secondhand books on Amazon, and while the marketplace is a great and super affordable way to find obscure used titles, I ended up going to the library and checking out a nice stack which was the cheapest way of all.    I also snapped my Theraband recently (I'm a ballet dancer and use it to keep my ankles strong), and while I'd normally buy that kind of thing on amazon, I happened to be in a neighborhood yesterday that has a locally owned foot health/running shoe store and they sell therabands by the foot. 

    Reply Like 3
  • I haven't bought anything off of Amazon! Yet... I'm eyeing some water shoes for my son. One of his is beginning to get a hole in the toe. This is an acceptable relapse, right? 

    Reply Like 2
      • smella
      • smella
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Budget-ish do you have any kids consignment shops in your neighborhood?  I nabbed some gently used Native shoes (those foam slip on that are way cuter than crocs but more or less the same idea) for my kiddo recently.  They were $14 which I consider a lot for used shoes but those suckers retail for $36 

      Reply Like 2
  • What a great idea!

    Maybe a developer out there could make a browser plugin that enforces a 2 week cooling off period. Add to cart, then be prevented from purchasing unless you come back 2 weeks later to confirm you still want the thing. Items could auto delete from your cart after 3 weeks. If you've forgotten about it by then, you don't need it. 

    Reply Like 5
      • smella
      • smella
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Scott cool idea, I'll try to get my partner interested 

      Reply Like 1
  • I'm ambivalently okay with the things I tend to buy on Amazon, but I am boycotting them for EU/US Prime week. We usually get six pounds of coffee and two dozen bags of peanut Bamba from them every month via Suscribe and Save, but I canceled this month's shipment and ordered directly from the coffee company's website instead. We'll live without Bamba for a bit. Depending on the outcome of the strikes, I might make that a permanent change.

    Reply Like 5
      • Samantha
      • Digital Strategy Manager and YNAB fangirl
      • Digigeek
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      crassusmoray  Live without Bamba?!? Actually, I've never had it because of food allergies but lived in Israel for a while and know so many people there and back in the US that couldn't imagine going without Bamba.  Hope everything works out and you don't have to make that a permanent change (though even more so, hope the workers get what they deserve. Now I need to go do research because I've been so absorbed in my own life, I forgot to see what happened with that, which is terrible.  

      Just needed to share my excitement over the mention of Bamba. Have a lovely day!

      Reply Like 2
    • Samantha I actually started giving my kid Bamba to prevent allergies! There was an amazing study called the LEAP Peanut Study, which showed that kids who were exposed to peanut products (actual whole peanuts and undiluted peanut butter are choking hazards, so it has to be processed) starting around six months of age are vastly less likely to develop peanut allergies! Scientists noticed that Jewish kids in Israel who grew up eating Bamba had a low rate of peanut allergies compared to Jewish kids in the UK who weren't allowed to eat peanut products until toddlerhood. The study proved conclusively that Bamba was a great tool to prevent peanut allergy, so I started giving some to my kid once every few days, and now the whole family are big fans. They're essentially puffed corn snacks with peanut powder on them, so they're not the healthiest thing in the world, but they don't have any added sugar, and they're really tasty. For almost a year, my kid's word for anything delicious was "Bamba!" and he still calls cat food "kitty Bambas!" 

      Reply Like 2
    • crassusmoray Your kid sounds so adorable, as always 😄 Kitty bambas!!

      Reply Like 1
    • crassusmoray Ohh no I totally want to try these Bambas now, they sound amazing! :)

      Reply Like 1
  • I did not renew my prime membership, which ended on 7/28. I believe not having access to 2-day prime shipping will curb my amazon spending. I just made a spreadsheet with my amazon purchase prices for 2018 (Jan-July). I was SHOCKED that I spend $831 in "fun money" over 8 months on amazon alone. Even though I budget fun money and track it in ynab, I was not fully aware of how much went to amazon purchases. I'm excited to see how much less I will spend without prime. Planning on updating my spreadsheet through Dec.

    Reply Like 3
    • veggiegeek Not renewing Prime is a huge step, congrats! You got this!!! :)

      Reply Like 1
      • veggiegeek
      • veggiegeek
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller 1.5 months in to "no prime" and, while I still use amazon for some things (and pay for shipping), it has been bulk groceries and book orders that were planned and "slept on" for 1-2 days each time. Feeling much more in control of my amazon spending without the "twitch factor" of having prime.

      How's everyone else doing?

      Reply Like 1
  • Reporting in for July with mixed success! 😅

    My plan was to stick to ONLY my S&S subscription order, as outlined below. But I'd forgotten I was almost out of my daily Vitamin D pills, so I added that one additional thing in - but removed the kitty treats to compensate (since I found an additional bag that was still packed from my recent move, so they're not going to run out anytime soon!). :) So that felt like a reasonable swap. And then one of the cat food flavors ended up being not available, so that felt like a win overall. :)

    But then, I ended up buying a gift for a bridal shower that I'd entirely forgotten to plan for, sigh.

    But NO random impulse purchases for myself of stuff for the house like I'd been doing so much of lately, so I'm still counting this as progress overall! :)

    My goal for August is to again limit myself to ONLY my S&S order, which I've whittled down to:

    1. The one cat food flavor that was out of stock last month (skipping the others since I have plenty on hand now, AND also skipping my normal litter order for the month since I've got plenty of that on hand as well!)
    2. The kitty treats I skipped last month :)
    3. Essential monthly earplugs
    4. Trying a different brand of protein drink in lieu of the Soylent this month
    5. Large bottle of omega-3 fish oil which I'll run out of this month.

    I'm pretty satisfied with how I've streamlined things down, so *fingers crossed* I can avoid any last-minute additions or random other purchases this month!

    How'd you all do for July?

    Reply Like 2
      • smella
      • smella
      • 5 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller 

      Thanks for the check-in!

       

      I did great for July.  I thought it would be really hard to stay away from Amazon impulse purchases, but it just wasn't. I didn't slip up at all until July 31st, when I bought blackout curtains for my bedroom in a moment of sleep-deprived rage.

      I'm going to continue with the "no amazon" rule.   In July, I visited so many more local shops in my area and I really enjoyed it.  Yes, their good are more expensive, but I end up buying so much less when I can see the items before purchasing.

      My spouse doesn't want to cancel our (her) prime account because she has more obscure hobbies requiring more obscure goods, and Amazon is a big help there.  She's also reduced her purchases to <1 per week, though! 

      Reply Like 4
  • This is definitely one for me.  I just counted up my orders.  So far in 2018 I've placed 69 Amazon orders and I haven't even started shopping for Christmas.

    I just deleted my debit card from Amazon so I'll have to type out the numbers each time (to slow things down) and I deleted the Amazon app from my mobile phone

    Reply Like 1
      • veggiegeek
      • veggiegeek
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Diana Deleting the app was key for me. Not renewing prime has also been helpful. Nothing like confronting the numbers to keep it real! Good luck!

      Reply Like 1
  • I've been having Ethics-Related Feelings about Amazon lately & have been trying to figure out how to replace them for some purchases, especially for subscribe & save and free shipping.

    In the US, I figured out today that Target has a thing called REDcard membership that gives 5% off almost everything, plus free shipping (with 2-day on a lot of stuff).  There's no annual fee, but the card has to be your payment method.  They have a credit version, as well as a debit version that links up to your checking account.  Their subscribe & saves are also 5% off, and the discounts DO stack.  I transitioned my amazon S&Ses over and... they were all cheaper than Amazon.  They also have the option to convert an upcoming S&S to an in-store pickup..  I am pretty impressed & planning to move a lot of general merchandise business over.

    Again in the US, both Chewy & Petco have pet-related subscribe & saves.

    Reply Like 3
  • I've been struggling with the same problem, except for me it's mainly books. I read a lot, and buy even more. Which is actually an ethical problem, since I don't want to kill of those small brick-and-mortar bookshops. My plan: once christmas shopping is done I'm going to ask my other half to change my password. This will hopefully force me to walk into an actual bookshop and place an order.

    Reply Like 2
  • Sarah I've gotten my book spending under control by using the public library's e-book collection. I've still purchased things they don't have or that have a long hold time, but they've probably saved me at least $1000 in less than a year. If you have library access & you're willing to read some things on your phone/tablet/computer, you could cut down on the ones you don't really care to own after reading & support independent shops for the strange, unexpected, and re-readable. I keep track of the library books through goodreads.com so I can find them again when bits surface that I'd like to revisit.

    Reply Like 1
      • Scott
      • scott
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Sarah Jon great plan! I love my local library, including their ebooks. Note that good reads is owned by Amazon, soooooo be careful. :-)

      Reply Like 1
  • Yes! Turning off my amazon prime on Mar 1, very afraid as students we love the free shipping on books, but hardly use it. And the spending is out of control!

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