Amazon’s new service, Prime Pantry, delivers non-perishable foods, household supplies and personal care items straight to your door. However, Prime Pantry has faced a lot of criticism online recently, because it entails a $5.99 shipping fee for every 45-pound box of items a customer purchases and is only available to Amazon Prime members. While Prime Pantry might not be the most cost-effective way to shop for everyone, for college students, it’s prime (pun definitely intended). Here’s why:

1. Amazon Prime is cheaper for us.

Amazon Student (which includes all Prime benefits) is free for 6 months and $49 annually after that, while Amazon Prime is $99 annually. We pay less to have access to Prime Pantry, plain and simple.

2. We have transportation issues.

Getting to a grocery store, especially in this weather, is no easy feat. Most college students don’t have a car and are either forced to walk to the grocery store or pay for public transport and/or Uber. The former is inconvenient and the latter can be quite expensive. That means for us, having groceries delivered to our door is even more valuable in terms of time and money saved than for other people.

3. Groceries from a supermarket are more expensive for us.

It’s prohibitively expensive for us in time and transportation costs to comparison shop, so we often have to buy all of our groceries in the same place and therefore spend more than the average shopper. Here’s a price comparison between Prime Pantry and Georgetown Safeway’s popular products:

  • Oreo Double Stuff Sandwich Cookie, 15.35 ounces: Prime Pantry – $2.98, Safeway – $4.99
  • Nutella Hazelnut Spread, 13 ounces: Prime Pantry – $3.31, Safeway – $4.59
  • Stacy’s Pita Chips, Simply Naked, 8 ounces: Prime Pantry – $2.49, Safeway – $4.29
  • Annie’s Shells & White Cheddar, 6 ounces: Prime Pantry – $1.67, Safeway – $2.09
  • Vita Coco, Coconut Water, 33.8 ounces: Prime Pantry – $3.98, Safeway – $6.29
  • Maxwell House Original Roast Ground Coffee, 30.6 ounces: Prime Pantry – $7.98, Safeway – $12.59
  • Special K Cereal, Red Berries, 14.7 ounces: Prime Pantry – $3.48, Safeway – $5.19
Prime Pantry

Photo by Xinwei Zeng

Given that the above items take up less than a quarter of the space in a Pantry box, and you’d save over $8.00 (after accounting for the shipping fee) purchasing them on Prime Pantry than at Safeway, it seems like a no-brainer.

4. We’re less picky.

Some people have criticized Prime Pantry for its lack of variety. However, we college students don’t have to buy for picky 8-year olds who insist on a particular brand of juice or Skippy instead of Jif. For us, Prime Pantry has enough variety.

5. We don’t cook as often.

Because many of us have meal plans, we tend to buy snacks like nuts, granola bars and candy rather than ingredients. So while an average parent will still need to get dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables at a grocery store, we might be able to eliminate our grocery store trips altogether with Prime Pantry.

Overall, Prime Pantry is a way to save serious cash while grocery shopping from your bed. And if nothing else, we love to stay in bed.

Prime Pantry

Photo by Xinwei Zeng

Looking for more ways to save $$ on food? Look no further: