Is Amazon Prime Pantry Worth Your Money? 5 Things You Need to Know
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Let me open up with two important things. One, I’m a huge fan of Amazon Prime and I highly recommend it for pretty much everyone who has regular internet access. Two, I don’t use Prime Pantry, but I don’t think it’s a bad service. It’s one of the lesser-known aspects of Prime 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More that can be great under the right circumstances — just not for me.

But is it right for you? Maybe, maybe not. You’ll need to consider a handful of details that will inform your decision. If you decide that it won’t benefit you, that’s fine. If you think it will, even better. I have no stake in this — I just want to help you come to the right decision.

So here’s everything you need to know about Prime Pantry.

1. How Does Prime Pantry Work?

As the name implies, you’ll need a Prime membership Which Amazon Prime Subscription Is Right for You? Which Amazon Prime Subscription Is Right for You? Potential subscribers formerly only had one option when it came to Amazon Prime. However, now, Amazon is offering three different subscription plans so you can pick the one that best suits your needs. Read More before you can take advantage of Prime Pantry, which means forking over $99 per year. Is it worth it? Absolutely. The two-day shipping alone is fantastic, but you also get Prime Video 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money Netflix is undoubtedly the king of the movie and TV show streaming services. However, Amazon Prime has some fantastic television shows that make it worth the asking price. Read More , Prime Music Why You Should Give Amazon Prime Music a Second Chance Why You Should Give Amazon Prime Music a Second Chance There are several reasons why you might want to give Amazon Prime Music a second chance. It certainly deserves much more credit than it's currently getting. Read on to find out why. Read More , and more.

Once you have Prime, Amazon supplies you with a virtual “pantry box” that you can fill up with Pantry-eligible items. You can tell whether an item is Pantry-eligible or not by looking for the Prime Pantry label, which you can see below:


Every pantry box has a weight limit of 45 pounds. You can fill it up with as many, or as few, Pantry-eligible items as you want up to that limit. To add an item to your pantry box, do as you would with any other item and click Add to Cart. What’s cool is that Amazon will tell you how much of your pantry box an item will fill:


To see what’s in your pantry box, just go to your Cart. Here you’ll see a Prime Pantry item that has a bunch of sub-items below it, along with how much each item costs, how much of your box each item takes up, and the total cost of the box. You can also see any eligible coupons (more on this below):


The last thing you need to know is that each pantry box has a flat-rate shipping fee of $5.99. This is on top of your Prime membership and on top of the individual Pantry item prices. However, since normal shipping rates for parcels can be anywhere from $0.25 to $0.50 per pound, this isn’t a bad price at all for 45 pounds.

However, you may have noticed that there’s an easy way to get free Prime Pantry shipping: when you place an order with Prime, if you choose No-Rush Shipping instead of the free two-day option, you’ll get a $5.99 credit for Prime Pantry (sometimes you’ll be offered $1 toward an electronic purchase, like an ebook, instead). Just select this one, and you’ll essentially get free shipping on your next Pantry order.


Note that if you’re a student with an active .EDU email, you can actually get Prime for 50% off through the Prime for Students program. That discount applies every year for up to four years or until you graduate, whichever comes first. This huge cut in price makes Prime Pantry a much better deal for students!

2. Prime Pantry Shipping Restrictions

As far as shipping restrictions go, you’ll need to know three major things that might turn you off from Prime Pantry.

1. Only in the continental U.S.

If you live in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Canada, or any other country in the world, you can forget about Prime Pantry. Since its debut, the service has only been available to users in the 48 states that make up the continental U.S. (There are ways to get around this How to Buy on and Get the Items Shipped Worldwide How to Buy on and Get the Items Shipped Worldwide Have missed some great Amazon deals because the items were not being shipped worldwide? With the right package forwarding service you can buy on Amazon and have packages delivered to you. Read More but may violate the terms of Prime. Do so at your own risk!)

2. Only shipped by ground shipping.

Amazon Prime has spoiled me with its two-day shipping policy, so now anything longer than that feels like an eternity. And unfortunately, Prime Pantry is divorced from that two-day shipping policy that makes Amazon so great. All pantry boxes are shipped using ground shipping, which takes an average of four days.

Also, if you have non-Pantry items in your cart at time of checkout, they will not be included in your pantry box; they’ll ship separately.

3. Only for residential or business addresses.

For the most part, Prime can ship anywhere — including P.O. boxes, Amazon Lockers, and even APO, FPO, and DPO addresses. (Not always, but usually.) A major downside to Prime Pantry is that those exceptional address types are excluded: no P.O. boxes, no Amazon Lockers, no APO/FPO/DPO.

3. For Non-Perishable Items Only

This point isn’t so much a downside as it is an observation: 99% of the items you’ll find in the Pantry catalog are non-perishable household goods. You probably could’ve surmised that from the name itself (“things you’d put in your pantry”), but I just wanted to be extra clear on that. And by non-perishable, we mean “it might perish but not for a long time”.

Common Pantry-eligible item types include:

  • Snacks, like cookies.
  • Canned and bottled beverages, like soda.
  • Cleaning supplies, like bathroom sprays.
  • General supplies, like paper towels.
  • Laundry supplies, like detergent.
  • Food storage, like containers.
  • Hygiene products, like soap and makeup.
  • Healthcare products, like vitamins.
  • Medication and first aid products.
  • Pet care products, like litter.

As you can see, Pantry covers a lot of categories — along with several others that aren’t mentioned above. However, you will not find any fresh produce or groceries in the Pantry catalog. For that, you should look to Amazon Fresh instead.

4. No Generic or Luxury Brands

Here’s another detail that might seem unremarkable at first but could end up being quite the deal breaker: the Pantry is only stocked with “regular” brands.

I personally don’t care about brands all that much — I prefer to shop based on value-to-price ratio — but I know a lot of people who are picky about this sort of thing.


If that’s you, nothing wrong with that. I’m not here to judge. Just know that some of your preferred brands won’t be in the Pantry, especially if your tastes are more expensive.

On the flip side, if you’re a big bargain hunter and you always opt for generic brands, then you’ll also be sorely disappointed in the Pantry’s selection. In fact, if generic is all you buy, then switching to Prime Pantry will significantly increase your spending.

5. Save Money With Digital Coupons

Did you know that Amazon has a Coupons program for Prime members? I admit that I had no idea this existed until I began my research for this post. In short, you can browse Amazon’s catalog of coupons and click Clip Coupon to get an instant discount on that item at checkout.


As it turns out, a lot of Prime Pantry items are also eligible for these digital coupons. Individually these discounts may seem worthless, but when you have 45 pounds worth of stuff in your box and all of it is discounted to some degree, it adds up.

If you have the time to clip coupons regularly, you can save enough to negate the shipping fee and then some. Coupons are only available for a limited time and are only applicable up to a certain quantity.

Is Prime Pantry Right for You?

After looking at all of these facts about Prime Pantry, a couple things become very clear.

Convenience is the main reason to use Prime Pantry. You don’t have to leave your house, you can shop at your own leisure, and everything gets dropped off right at your doorstep. It’s great value for students (who get discounted Prime memberships) and supremely useful for those who don’t have cars and don’t want to walk back from the supermarket with ten bags of groceries.

Prime Pantry is NOT the best way to save money on groceries How to Use Technology to Spend Less on Your Groceries How to Use Technology to Spend Less on Your Groceries There are tons of places you can save money, and the grocery store might be the most important. Here are a variety of ways to save at the supermarket. Read More . It’s convenient, but that convenience comes at a cost — namely, flat-rate shipping and the lack of generic brands. The four-day shipping is also a bit disappointing. Only you can decide if the convenience is worth it.

How do you feel about Prime Pantry? If you use it, what do you like most about it? If you don’t use it, why not? What would convince you to try it? Share your thoughts with us below!

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  1. Kathy
    December 7, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    There is no way I'm paying extra for a Prime Pantry delivery because Amazon wants to fill a shipping box. I don't need extra stuff just to satisfy them. I already paid $99 for a Prime membership, I'm not ponying-up for an additional delivery charge. I took advantage of a $6 credit for Prime Pantry by choosing a delayed delivery on a previous order. Now I feel mislead & see this is an effort to get me to spend more money, just like that scam African-Prince e-mail people get.

    • Cheryl
      December 19, 2017 at 12:42 am

      Did I miss that there's a minimum amount you have to purchase cause I'm sure that' s the way it works and why I don't use it. I don't want to be told what I have to buy. I'm really mad cause I received a sample of their Amazon coffee and was going to purchase it and see it is Prime Pantry only. Amazon should be ashamed.

  2. Tamara
    November 30, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Fantastic article. You broke down the pros and cons beautifully and I definitely decided "NO" on Prime Pantry. I buy so many of these non-perishable items the local 99 Cents Only chain (the best "dollar store" ever)-- much of it name brands-- that I refuse to pay a minimum of twice as much.

    Many thanks!

  3. Kevin
    November 16, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    I just discovered Prime Pantry was a thing last night. We generally use Amazon, Jet, and Boxed to order groceries you don't need fresh. They all arrive about the same time, and usually one of the three has (or had) a better price than local and free shipping over a certain price. The LAST place I expected to shipping charges was Amazon... I cannot say how disappointed I am with this, as it's just a way for them to take back the benefit offered with Prime in the first place. Since I also have Hulu and Netflix, I may just cancel. Free shipping coupons for other Amazon items are all over the internet, so they've basically given me a reason to leave.

  4. ButlerCam
    November 4, 2017 at 2:33 am

    I personally find prime pantry frustrating. Unlike subscribe and save, there's no way to opt out of prime pantry for a single item. This means that there are often items that I can't buy on their own without paying for a pantry delivery box. I would be willing to pay a couple of bucks extra to buy just one item, but that isn't an option. This is the same complaint I have about add-on items.

  5. Margie Rose
    October 28, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Items I used to get with free shipping because I'm a prime member are now only available in Pantry with $5.99 shipping unless I want to pay the increased price for same item which is equal to the shipping! So I feel like I've lost the biggest advantage of Prime - free shipping.

  6. Shanny
    October 15, 2017 at 3:04 am

    It isn't only students or households without cars that benefit from Prime Pantry. We do have a car and get around when we must, but we are elderly and live in a remote area. Even if we have help at the store getting our groceries to the car, at home we must still lug it all into the house. Having it delivered to our door by the mail carrier is convenient beyond measure. Plus I've compared prices between our local markets and Prime Pantry, and often PP is lower. We will continue to use this program as long as it is this much help to us.

  7. Mel W
    September 12, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    I have just started using prime pantry and I love it. I guess it depends on what you are looking for and what your lifestyle is. I live in a decent size city, but with 4 kids I don't have a lot of opportunities to go shopping alone. I also have a terrible habit of impulse buying when I am at the store. I go to get a few things and end up getting several. This is a budget killer. What I have noticed with Prime is that I can stick to the list, get exactly what I need and go to the store for fresh food items. I did save a lot on diapers that I normally get at Walmart because of the coupons and prime pantry discount. I also noticed that the tax seemed to be a lot less on Amazon vs the local Walmart. I spent around $100 for household cleaners, toiletries and bath items and only paid a few dollars in tax. So, needless to say if you have an impulse problem when buying in the store, maybe prime pantry is a good option.

    • Jill
      January 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      I'm considering Prime Pantry strictly for convenience as well. With having 3 small children at home, this might allow me to shop uninterruptedly while oldest is in school and others are napping.

  8. Lynn Petrica
    September 6, 2017 at 4:27 am

    I am using this for the first time. I will write a comment after delivery.

  9. Aural
    August 16, 2017 at 12:58 am

    I live in a small town, so everything is usually $2 more expensive. Prime pantry saves me from driving two hours away to obtain the same deals. These deals are actually better than what I'm used to. There's a lot more variety in product and brand. If you live close to a target, then you might find the concept of prime pantry somewhat baffling, but if everything is crazy far away, this is so great. So great. I love it.

    • Barb
      September 16, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      Same here, the nearest decent size grocery is $20 worth of gas away. Plus we eat lunch there, another $15-$20. At that rate, $5.99 is a bargain. All I have to buy at our small town high price grocery is meat/produce/frozen.

  10. John Young
    August 7, 2017 at 4:19 am

    I use prime pantry & really like it
    I try to get free shipping by choosing
    NO RUSH SHIPPING on a few prime items. You can also get free shipping
    by choosing 5 free shipping items
    Saves me time in a grocery store, which I love

  11. Yo-Yo-Ma
    July 14, 2017 at 4:32 am

    Right but the prices of items on Prime Pantry are absolutely terrible. You'll pay significantly less if you shop at your local grocery store, especially if you use coupons. The Amazon Prime membership for $99/year is definitely worth it in my opinion, but not for using Prime Pantry.

  12. Brian
    July 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Pantry seems to be a total rip off. The max benefit you can use is $5 even though I have about $20 in rewards. So it only ends up being like getting free standard shipping but why not just have it shipped prime instead?

  13. Karen
    July 1, 2017 at 12:10 am

    How do I know if my items are eligible for free shipping? I currently have 13 items in my cart and they all say prime pantry but the shipping fee is still included.

    • Joel Lee
      July 1, 2017 at 12:12 am

      Hi Karen. Prime Pantry boxes have a flat-rate shipping fee of $5.99 and are therefore exempt from Prime's free shipping.

    • Wendy Elmore
      July 9, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      This article stated that if you select "No Rush Shipping", the items will ship free. Wish I had read this before making my purchase last week ;0) If you want your items in 2 days or less, the cost is $5.99 per box.

    • Denneille Luke
      July 14, 2017 at 12:38 am

      Hi Karen. As you add items you will see a message that states that you can add 5 qualifying items to get free shipping. A portion of that message should be highlighted in blue, just click on it and it will show you items that qualify.

    • Lynn Petrica
      September 6, 2017 at 4:32 am

      I think you will get the shipping credit with your next order

    May 20, 2017 at 3:11 am


  15. Tanner
    March 1, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Got my first delivery and 8/16 items were damaged due to poor packing. They placed a soft bag of cereal in the section with canned goods and turned my captain crunch to dust. Paying $6 for week long shipping and damaged items is a waste of time. Wal-Mart and Kroger in my area do the shop online and pick up for free, so that's what I'll stick to for groceries.

  16. Glen
    January 16, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Disappointed that items I used to get shipped free with Amazon Prime are now Prime Pantry items that cost more and arrive slower! :-(

  17. D Badami
    December 15, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    I notice that if i leave the Amazon site then return later, my pantry box is empty and i have to start shopping all over again. Bummer.

    • Stephanie
      December 30, 2016 at 4:18 am

      D Badami- There is a button that you can choose to add it to a list rather than your cart. This list can be saved and you can transfer it over to the cart with one click when you are ready to buy.
      I'm excited to place my order now. I am not a fan of going shopping and I like the fact that i can create my list over a period of time, so I (hopefully) wont forget anything when my order gets placed.