This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
While most of us that fall into the low-income bracket have learned to survive on very little, actually thriving on a tight budget is definitely more of a challenge. Surviving is all about living to see another day, both metaphorically and physically. We’re surviving on a low income when we manage to scrape together enough money to pay for the rent, utilities and groceries all in the same month. Thriving, though, is about flourishing. It’s about growing, blossoming, having the opportunity to expand your horizons and move up in the world. That, my friends, is where things get tricky.
Although I had a few good years here and there, I’ve spent most of my adult life learning how to stretch a dollar as far as it can go without breaking.
I’m going to share with you a few ways that Amazon Prime has really helped my family both survive AND thrive on a tight income. Before I do that, though, I really want to share some great news that will help other low-income families take advantage of these savings and ideas.
Amazon Prime now offers discount for families in government assistance programs
Amazon recently made a huge announcement that benefits people participating in numerous government assistance programs. Low-income families (or individuals) in those programs can now get Amazon Prime at a discounted monthly price ($5.99 versus $10.99). Currently, you’ll need a valid Electronics Benefits Transfer, or EBT, card to qualify. Signing up is crazy easy. Just head over to this Amazon Prime page and follow the directions. You’ll need your EBT card number and a photo of the front of the card handy. It takes less than five minutes to complete and you’re enrolled instantly.
Once you’re enrolled, you’ll enjoy all the fabulous benefits of Prime, including: Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Reading, Prime Photos and, of course, unlimited fast free shipping, all for just $5.99 a month. You can qualify every 12 months up to 4 times, and you can cancel at any time. If you don’t have an EBT card, Amazon will be adding other ways to qualify in the future.
Who does this benefit?
Families receive government assistance for many, many reasons. A few off the top of my head include:
- A single mom working 18 hours a day to stay afloat but still needs a little extra help keeping food on the table.
- An elderly couple who worked their whole lives but can’t quite make ends meet on their pension.
- A man who worked 40 years and suddenly lost his job after his company went bankrupt, and just needs a bit of help while he gets back on his feet.
- A veteran who was wounded serving his country and wants to work more than anything but can barely make it out of his door without doubling over from pain.
- A family who used to live in a low-cost area, but then the half of the city moved in and drove up the costs, so now they can’t afford to survive in their own town anymore and can’t afford to move out.
- A single mom who was doing a pretty good job making it on her own until she got sick and had to put all of her resources into just staying alive.
The list goes on and on. Every person with an EBT card has their own story, and each one deserves to thrive just as much as the next person.
How Amazon Prime Helps My Family Survive and Thrive on a Tight Budget
When I sat down to make a list of all the ways Amazon Prime has helped me save money and live a better life over the years, I was actually surprised at just how many things I came up with.
1- Great prices on the things my family needs
This is probably the most obvious. From food to toiletries to back to school lists, Amazon almost always has what I need at a price that fits into my budget. Here’s my biggest problem when it comes to shopping locally for necessities: I live within 90 minutes of multiple major cities. Our area caters towards tourists from New York and New Jersey, people who are used to paying big city prices. They come to shop here because our goods are “cheaper.” What that means is that our prices are just slightly lower than city prices. Enough so that our tourists feel like they’re getting a good deal, but still too high for many of us who actually live here and work here.
When my husband and I got back together a few months ago, he moved back here from the Midwest. He was shocked at our food prices! He said that just about everything costs at least twice as much as it did out there. Prices fluctuate all over the country, but Amazon gives me the chance to shop from a more even playing field.
2- I save money on gas & wear and tear on my ancient car:
My car is quite literally on its last leg (wheel?). Like, at any moment now, I will no longer have transportation. I can’t really afford a new car unless I find a way to buy it outright (mostly because insurance rates are astronomical in my area, because of aforementioned proximity to just several major cities). Pennsylvania also currently has THE HIGHEST gas tax in the US, at 58.20 cents per gallon AND my town was recently named as having the worst commute in the country. Yep, little old East Stroudsburg beat out Los Angeles (look up “America’s lousiest commute” if you don’t believe me)! There are times when it takes me 30 minutes to get home from a store just 8 miles away. All of those things add up, so a trip to the store for toilet paper can end up costing me a lot more than expected.
3- Outstanding coupons and sales
Amazon has some pretty outstanding coupons and sales all year long on everything from essentials to gifts. Those sales have saved my son’s birthday and holidays more times than I can count. I save up Amazon gift cards all year long and use them to buy my son’s presents. I also track how much I save versus spend. When my son was really little and still played with toys, the savings was astronomical. One year, I got $750 worth of gifts for him for $150 just by watching the sales like a hawk and jumping on them with Early Access to Lightning Deals. I really miss the days of Jake playing with toys! Look how little he was!
Now that he’s older, Twitch Prime still helps me stretch my holiday budget by offering discounts on video game pre-orders (and within the first couple of weeks after the game releases). He loves it because it also gives him access to in-game loot.
For parents with kids still in diapers, Amazon offers a ton of great discounts, including 20 percent off diaper subscriptions. By combining coupons with Subscribe & Save, you can get some pretty amazing deals!
4- Free or Super Inexpensive Entertainment
Your Amazon Prime membership comes with a bunch of fabulous entertainment benefits. Bond with your kids during a family movie night with Prime Video, get fit together while dancing to millions of songs on Prime Music or find an escape from all the stress of worrying about money by diving into a good book with Prime Reading and Kindle First.
In one year alone, I read about 50 e-books that I got either for free or super cheap through Amazon. Plus I’m supporting indie authors, which is something I’m passionate about! We also watch a lot of Prime Video.
I’m kind of in love with it because of the X-Ray feature. Whenever I see an actor and think “where do I know them from?” I can just click on the screen and find out. Hey, it’s the little things that make the world a brighter place!
My son is currently obsessed with Prime Music. I got him an Echo Dot for Easter and he uses it to listen to music (loudly) in his room. I can’t complain, I’m sure my music was even louder as a tween/teen. Prime Music has around 2 million songs that you can listen to as part of your membership. If you want more songs, you can get a Echo-only Music Unlimited subscription for just $3.99 (but it can only be used on a single Echo device, which is fine for us).
5- Free and Cheap Educational Resources
Those same benefits that provide your family with a much-needed entertainment break also give you access to some amazing free and cheap educational resources. Did you know there are tons of free classic books, magazines and even reference books available through Prime Reading? Plus, every day, tons of authors offer up their works for free or at a deep discount to help promote it and get it in front of more eyes. Whenever I want to learn more about a subject, I check Prime Reading first.
While I’m a visual learner and absorb information by reading, a lot of people are auditory learners. If you find that you can absorb knowledge by listening, you’ll love Audibles Channels for Prime. It gives you access to exclusive audiobooks, audio series and original podcasts. Prime Video also has plenty of fabulous documentaries and educational content for kids, including a great variety of Amazon Original Kids Series.
Amazon Prime probably helps me save money in a dozen more ways that I don’t even realize. I’ve been a member for so long that I honestly don’t really remember life before it. Amazon really does let you shop smarter, and I’m so happy that they’ve made it more affordable for low-income families to access all these great ways to save money.
I think this is a great move not just for the people who need it, but for the economy as a whole. After all, when we can save money on surviving, we can put a little more towards thriving. In the long run, that’s going to help people better their situations. I’m not saying a discount on Amazon Prime is going to save the economy and the world, but hey, it doesn’t hurt either! Every little step counts!
Find out if you qualify for a discount on Amazon Prime and sign up for a 30-Day Free Trial to experience the savings for yourself.
Already a member? Tell me how Amazon Prime helps you save money!
Amazon prime is a great service for those on a tight budget.
I was on assistance at one point in my life and it was such a help to pull my family and I out of a tight spot. We have had Amazon Prime for years and it has come in very handy. I love buying my diapers from there as they end up being cheaper.
I have been seriously considering getting Prime lately. My only hold back is that I hardly order anything online. I suppose the other perks would be worth it!
The other perks totally make up for those weeks (or months) that you don’t shop online. I go in spurts. Some months, I order a lot. Others, nothing. The books and videos alone totally make up for it!
I wish we had Prime over here in Australia! We are getting Amazon opening here shortly though so may be sooner rather than later!
Hooray for Amazon coming to Australia! I hope they add Prime along with it!
I love how much Amazon Prime helps people save money, it’s definitely worth it. They offer a lot of discounts and sales and you can get a lot of the things that you need at home there! It’s just awesome!
I love that Amazon is extending their Prime membership at a reasonable price to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it. That’s a company that cares. Great job, Amazon!!
Amazon Prime helps me save a lot. Great to hear that they are making a reasonable membership prize.
Amazon Prime has saved us so much money. We LOVE the Amazon Original kids programming. We must have watched The Snowy Day 100 times this winter and it didn’t even annoy me.
I seldom shop online, but Amazon Prime comes in handy when I need it! I like that Amazon is making the Prime feature feature more attainable for more and more families.
I couldn’t live without Amazon Prime as I love how you can ship most things next day without having a minimum spend x
Thanks for these great tips! I’m already an Amazon Prime member and love it!
You’re never going to regret being a member! There’s just so many things to love about it! I think it’s a great way to avail deals and discounts and save money while getting what you need.
I hear such great things about Amazon Prime. I had two trials and need to take the plunge and sign up for it!
I’ve saved so much using Amazon Prime! I use it for all of my kids bulk items and most of my groceries. I started after I had my second baby.
We love Amazon Prime here! I couldn’t live without it. And you’re totally right you can certainly save yourself some money using it. There have been many times where I don’t purchase something because I know I can save using Prime instead.
I’ve had Prime since 2001 and I still love it. I was disappointed that they raised the cost to $99, but I’ve found so many bargains, that the memberships pays for itself.
I’m new to Amazon Prime, and had no idea about a few of these. This list makes me even more excited to use the service. I love thier daily deals so far.
I totally love having Amazon Prime. I did not know they have Amazon Prime for low income families receiving public assistance.
Wow, East Stroudsburg’s traffic must be INSANE. I live in Los Angeles and my commute is horrible. I had to have my brakes replaced on my new car at 12000 miles because I’m on them my whole commute. And even though I used to live in PA, I though Cali had the worst gas tax. The things you learn.
I love the free books! That is such a great benefit of Amazon Prime.
Oh yes, our traffic is quite insane. I don’t think it’s worse than LA as far as number of cars on the highway go, but it’s bad. More than that, though, is the fact that our roads weren’t really built for the amount of traffic we have now, so things get backed up really fast. A simple drive to a store 5 miles away can become a nightmare at rush hour because it’s a one-lane road. As for taxes, nope, PA surpassed CA! I double checked that against a few sources because I thought CA was higher, but now we have that lovely honor.
Wow this is life changing. I think this would be really helpful for people who do have an EBT card. People with lower income deserve to use the services that Amazon Prime has to offer what a great company.
Should offer a discount price for seniors over 62 on fixed income and people on Medicaid/Medicare
This is such a great service to help people with paying for Amazon prime and you get a lot of benefits of Prime for so many items and the shows to watch are great!
It is nice that people who need to save on necessities have the option to get a lower cost on prime. I just don’t buy enough to make it worth it for me right now but when I do I always wish I had prime. I have only bought like 5 things from there my entire life so it seems like a big price tag for me but it pays itself off if you make a lot of purchases.
That is a really good option for low income families and I like how cheap and affordable it is. It is so much cheaper than in the UK, we have to pay like £79 which is quite expensive x
I love Amazon Prime! The prices are so much better and it saves you from having to make a trip to the store.
I really need to join Amazon Prime! I did a trial for Christmas and canceled it, but now I see it really do have great benefits to it’s membership. They are stepping up their game, especially for low income families…awesome!
We love Amazon Prime and use it so often. Most times I end up with the free one day shipping by spending over $35 and it turns out to be a huge lifesaver.
I love, love, LOVE Amazon Prime! I have saved so much money on shipping that it has more than paid for itself and we aren’t even halfway through the year!
I love that Amazon Prime does this now. It’s such an awesome resource for my family to save money!
We’ve had Amazon Prime for a number of years now, and I’ve really come to rely on it. In fact, my son and his wife live three hours from me and I’m always sending them things via Amazon Prime. It’s so easy, I just point and click, a day or so later it shows up on their doorstep.
I’m so glad you wrote too about the benefits for lower income families. The reality is, so many families are one big life event away from needing some kind of assistance, and I’m so glad we as a nation offer it. They are definitely a leg up for people who have hit a rough patch in life and have offered a leg up to so, so many x
This sounds like a great program. It’s nice that they are doing something for lower income families.
My only hope is those on EBT have enough for this as a monthly expense, many dont. I cant qualify but know many who can I will pass this along.
Omg I’m a total amazon junkie!!!! So is my hubby. It gets dangerous for our bank account sometimes with two prime junkies in the house lol
I love Amazon Prime! The prices are so much better and it saves you from having to make a trip to the store. I honestly never really dug into it’s other uses like their e-books or any of the entertainment benefits. Thanks for the heads up!
Amazon is getting really big these days with the numerous programs it provides. It’s a lot of help especially for those who need financial assistance. You get more savings and tons of coupons to get household essentials at a cheaper cost.