Are you hiding Amazon deliveries? Do you have a pile of empty Amazon boxes in your garage? Are you on a first-name basis with the delivery person? If so, you may have an Amazon addiction.
Amazon makes it so easy to purchase almost any item you could want or need. And before you know it, it's arrived right at your doorstep. But has this ultimate convenience turned into a problem that's busting your budget? Here are 20 ways to wean your Amazon addiction.
1. Stop Buying From Amazon for a Week
It's hard to go a day without buying something from Amazon because they deliver things so quickly and conveniently. But try this for just one week: don't order anything. By the end of seven days, you might realize that you don't need all those things you thought you did.
2. Give up Amazon for a Month
If you found giving up Amazon for a week relatively easy, try and give it up for a month. While you might not want to give up Amazon during the holiday season, give this challenge a try! See how you feel at the end of the month; you might be surprised to find that you've formed some better money habits.
3. Shop at Other Stores
We all love Amazon for its convenience, but it is not always the cheapest place to shop. A recent study showed that Amazon was on average 2-2.6% higher for pet supplies, beauty, and CDs. Try to broaden your horizons and shop elsewhere to see if you need to buy everything on Amazon.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Shop at your local grocery store for food items.
- Go to the hardware/home improvement stores in your area for appliances and home goods.
- If your kids need something for school, check out a dollar store first.
- If you need clothes, go to a department store or fashion boutique instead of Amazon. Or perhaps visit a small business in your town you've never been to before.
- Did you think about buying the item used? Check out Craiglist, Facebook Marketplace weekend yard sales , and your town's buy/sell groups instead! Many of these sites have free sections where you can get what you need without buying anything.
4. Create an Account on Swagbucks
If you know you're never going to give up Amazon completely, download Swagbucks. You can earn points by taking surveys, watching videos, and playing games that you can redeem for Amazon gift cards.
This is a great way to reduce the amount of money you're spending on Amazon. If you're looking to cut the amount of money you spend dramatically, you could only shop on Amazon with your rewards points.
5. Avoid Impulse Buys
Impulse buys can really add up over the course of a month and a year! Try writing down the things you need before hopping on Amazon. Then, you don't forget anything essential or buy items you want but don't really need. Making a list helps cut down on impulses purchases no matter the type of shopping you're doing! Give this budgeting tip a try at the grocery store as well.
6. Don't Shop on Amazon During Happy Hour
When you're under the influence of alcohol, you lose your inhibition, and you're more likely to spend money impulsively. According to a Finder study, the average happy hour shopping session totals $139. Surprisingly, men outspend women when shopping intoxicated, spending on average $233, while women spend $54.
7. Don't Browse Amazon in Bed
Do you lay in bed shopping on your phone when you can't fall asleep? Well, you're not alone. After midnight shopping has become the new self-soothing tool for millions of people who have trouble sleeping.
If you know that you can't resist late-night Amazon browsing, leave your phone in another room to help break your addiction. Put a pen and notepad next to your bed instead and jot down things you may have forgotten to purchase during the day.
8. Remove the Amazon App From Your Phone
Speaking of mobile shopping, if you find that most of your purchases are made from the app on your phone, try deleting it. It will stop the app notifications and give you more time to think about purchases. Email yourself reminders of items you need to purchase instead of immediately placing an Amazon order.
9. Clear Your Browsing History and Cookies
You can remove your browsing history, so Amazon stops targeting you based on your shopping history. For example, in Google Chrome, you go to chrome, clear your browsing history, and cookies all in one place.
10. Avoid the \\”Customers Who Bought This Item Also Viewed\\” Section
If you go to Amazon for one item but buy more, avoid looking at this section of the site. You won't get tempted by other related items and end up spending more money than needed. This one behavior change could help you cut your Amazon orders in half!
11. Total Your Amazon Yearly Spending
The average Amazon customer spends about $600 a year shopping on the site, with Amazon Prime members spending more than double – $1,400 a year. While it may be hard to look in the mirror, seeing the amount spent on Amazon a year could be a big motivator to end your Amazon addiction. Set a new goal for yourself and limit your monthly Amazon spending to a smaller dollar amount.
12. Buy an Amazon Gift Card Once a Month To Help You Budget
After you total your spending and set a new budget for Amazon shopping, switch to shopping with Amazon gift cards to make it a reality. If you are struggling to give Amazon up completely or rely on the site for hard-to-find items, gift cards can help keep you on track.
Whether you pick them at the grocery or convenience stores, commit to shopping the site this way. Remember, once your Amazon gift card is up, so is your time shopping on the site.
13. Don't Keep Credit Cards or Debit Cards Linked to Amazon
If you know that you're shopping on Amazon too often, then removing your credit and debit cards from your account altogether will slow down the purchase process and remind you of your monthly spending limit. If you don't want to switch over to gift card-only shopping, this approach will force you to add your credit card information every single time and give you time to think about the purchase.
14. Turn Off One-click Settings
Another way to slow down purchases on Amazon is to stop using the one-click option. If you prefer to still keep your credit card linked, you can disable one-click purchase on all of your devices and browsers by going into your Amazon account settings.
15. Add Items to an Amazon List Rather Than Your Basket
Add any potential purchases to an Amazon list and leave them there for a week- or longer! If you still decide you need them in one week, then make the purchase. If you're really trying to cut down on shopping, leave items there for one month. Chances are the initial rush will have worn off in 30 days, and you will decide you don't need all the items you thought you did.
16. Use Camelcamelcamel
By giving yourself time before completing purchases, you can comparison shop. Sites like CamelCamelCamel can show you if Amazon has it for the lowest price or if you can get a better deal shopping somewhere else.
17. Disable All Amazon Communication Preferences
Do you find yourself spending more time on the site or making purchases from Amazon emails or notifications? Then disable all communication and stop the temptation. Log into your account, and in the account settings, you can review all the types of communication you're receiving and what you'd like to turn off.
18. Review “Subscribe and Save” Orders
Amazon's Subscribe and Save service is convenient, but when's the last time that you've taken a look at your automatic orders? Review any products you have on Subscribe and Save and ensure that you get the best value for money. Do you have a backlog of monthly items that you're not using? Cut back on your deliveries or eliminate items you've found better prices for.
19. Don't Shop With Alexa
Yes, it is fun to shop like the Jetsons, but the ease of shopping via Alexa might be adding to your addiction. If you have Alexa, be sure to disable buying permissions until your addiction is under control or your kids are old enough to pay for their own orders.
20. Limit Your Time on Amazon
Even with these tips, if you find yourself endlessly browsing on Amazon, the odds are that you'll still buy items there eventually. Set a timer on your phone to see how much time you're actually spending on Amazon every day. Often, the first step in changing behavior is gaining awareness of how much you're actually doing it!
How To Get Over Your Amazon Addition: Final Thoughts
It's hard to resist the allure of Amazon, especially during big sales or when life gets hectic. But it can be easy to go overboard during Prime Day or let conveniences become a bad habit. While Amazon makes it so easy to shop at home, don't let it get in the way of your personal finance goals, or even worse, get you into debt.
Mary Elizabeth is a self-taught finance nerd and money master. At the age of 21, she bought her first house, and by the time she was 30 had paid off all student debt and saved 100k.
She founded MeMoreMoney.com to help others achieve their own financial goals with uncomplicated advice that works for everyone from just starting out to those who have been saving for decades.