Is Amazon Prime Pantry Worth It? 5 Things You Need to Know
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Allow me to start with two important remarks.

One, I’m a huge fan of Amazon Prime and I recommend it to pretty much everyone who has regular internet access. Two, even though I don’t personally use Prime Pantry, that doesn’t mean I think it’s a bad service. It’s actually one of the lesser-known benefits of Amazon Prime that can be great under the right circumstances.

But is Prime Pantry right for you? 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 best decision according to your needs.

Here’s everything you need to know about Prime Pantry.

1. How Does Prime Pantry Work?

As the name implies, you’ll need an Amazon Prime membership to take advantage of Prime Pantry, which means committing to $129/year. Is Amazon Prime worth it? I think so. The two-day shipping alone is fantastic, but you also get Prime Video, Prime Music, and more.

As an Amazon Prime member, you have three ways to shop Prime Pantry:

  1. On Prime Pantry orders that total under $35, shipping costs a flat $5.99.
  2. On Prime Pantry orders that total $35 or more, shipping is free.
  3. With a Prime Pantry supplemental subscription, orders that total $10 or more have free shipping. The supplemental Prime Pantry subscription costs $4.99/month on top of the regular Amazon Prime membership.

Only Prime Pantry-eligible items count towards Prime Pantry orders. The easiest way to shop Prime Pantry is to visit the Prime Pantry Store page. However, you can also browse Amazon normally as long as you look for the Prime Pantry label, which you can see on the items below:

prime pantry label example

When Prime Pantry-eligible items are added to your Cart, they’ll display separately from normal Amazon items. In your Cart, you’ll see a Prime Pantry item that has a bunch of sub-items below it, along with how much each item costs and the total cost of the box. You can also see any eligible coupons (more on this later in the article):

prime pantry shopping cart example

Note: If you’re a student with an active .EDU email, you can actually get Amazon Prime for 50% off through the Prime for Students program. This discount applies every year for up to four years or until you graduate, whichever comes first. This 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 details.

Only in the Continental US

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 US. (There are ways to get around this How to Buy on Amazon.com and Get the Items Shipped Worldwide How to Buy on Amazon.com 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 Amazon Prime. Do so at your own risk!)

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. Unfortunately, Prime Pantry isn’t included in the two-day shipping policy that makes Amazon so convenient. All Prime Pantry orders are shipped using ground shipping, which takes an average of four days.

Note: If you have non-Prime Pantry items in your Cart when checking out, they’ll ship separately.

Only for Residential or Business Addresses

For the most part, Amazon Prime can ship anywhere—including PO boxes, Amazon Lockers, and even APO, FPO, and DPO addresses. One major downside to Prime Pantry is that those exceptional address types are excluded: no PO boxes, no Amazon Lockers, no APO/FPO/DPO addresses.

3. Prime Pantry Is Mainly Non-Perishable Items

This point isn’t so much a downside as it is an observation: 99% of the items you’ll find in the Prime 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 eventually perish, but it’s shelf stable for quite some time.”

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

4. Prime Pantry Lacks Generic and Luxury Brands

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

I personally don’t care about brands all that much—I prefer to shop using value-to-price ratios—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 available through Prime Pantry, especially if your tastes lean toward the more expensive end of the spectrum. Then again, if you’re a bargain hunter and always opt for generic brands, you’ll also be sorely disappointed in the Prime Pantry selection.

5. Save Money With Prime Pantry Coupons

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

prime pantry digital coupons example

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 an entire Cart worth of stuff and all of it is discounted to some degree, the savings add up. If you have the time to clip coupons regularly, you might even save enough to negate the shipping fee.

Note: Each coupon is only available for a limited time and is 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 a great value for students (who get discounted Prime for Students memberships) and supremely useful for those who don’t have cars and don’t want to walk back from the supermarket with heavy bags of groceries.

Prime Pantry is NOT a way to save money on groceries. 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, but not a deal-breaker.

Get started with a free 30-day trial of Prime Pantry, only for current Amazon Prime members. Not an Amazon Prime member yet? Get started with a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime instead!

If Prime Pantry isn’t for you, Amazon Prime is still worth getting for other reasons. Perhaps the benefits of Amazon Prime Day, the fact that you can share your Amazon Prime with family, or the convenient Amazon Prime Reading What Is Amazon Prime Reading? Everything You Need to Know What Is Amazon Prime Reading? Everything You Need to Know What is Amazon Prime Reading? Who can use it? Which books are available? And how much does it cost? Here's what you need to know. Read More will convince you to become a member.

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  1. Cathy
    March 24, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Found great prices on Prime pantry until they added $7.99 fee! No savings here! I'd rather just go to the store

    • jober
      April 20, 2018 at 1:40 am

      Agreed!

    • Kim
      June 16, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      I spent about 5 hours over 4 days fiddling with finding items I actually will need/use at prices equal to or better than I can get elsewhere.... and only then finding out that there was a monthly fee ON TOP of already having paid for prime.

      I wish I had read your review before I wasted all that time. It's been getting harder and harder to use Amazon's services as they keep adding new ones with new rules. This is the first time Amazon truly let me down, I'm sure it will not be the last.

  2. Snowball
    March 7, 2018 at 8:53 am

    They changed it again and raised the shipping to 7.99 or a 4.99/month subscription for just the pantry subscription. You get pantry “ free shipping “ with your prime membership 109.00$$ plus your pantry subscription of 4.99/m and if your order is over 40.00$$

  3. Jean-Pierre White
    January 19, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    I've used Prime Pantry a few times. It can be tough to find enough items you actually need to fill a box, often times the item or brand you want isn't available for Pantry. The cost of some items was very good, especially with the digital coupons.

    The first order was free shipping thanks to a no rush credit I had. The second we did pay the $5.99 shipping fee. There are some items I like that are only available with Prime Pantry.

    The second shipment arrived with damage to both laundry and dishwasher detergents covering everything inside with detergent. The box prior to being opened leaked detergent on the floor. The liquid items were frozen. I took plenty of photos and shared those with an online chat support agent. One I explained the issue the agent was very gracious and offered me a refund. 3 of 7 items were damaged the rest were fine after being wiped clean. However the agent offered a full refund without prompting from me and said it was OK to keep the undamaged items.

    Of course I was very pleased with the customer service having got a full refund on over $65 of pantry items some of which I am using.

    I'm not sure how Amazon will make money on pantry if they don't take better care of packaging items and labelling that the box contains liquids. I can't blame UPS at all.

  4. jwoolman
    January 19, 2018 at 7:11 am

    In mid-January 2018, I'm seeing an Amazon prime pantry delivery fee of $7.99 rather than $5.99 (still just the $6 off for five select items, same long delivery schedule) and no more percentage of box information. Tried to find out if this was a temporary glitch but chat guy didn't know and said pantry support was only by phone. (Don't do phone and hate chat....) Couldn't find any way to contact customer support by e-mail, that's new also. They deleted the help forums, so I couldn't ask about it from other customers. I hope this doesn't mean we've lost easy resolution of order problems.

    Is everybody seeing this? My December order was normal, $5.99 delivery with the percentage of box given for each item.

    I gave up after no change in a few days, deleted my cart, and just ordered what I needed from Walmart Online, prices were actually similar. We shall see if it all arrives intact (pantry was always a gamble that way, some packers were not very bright, but getting refunds was easy).

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    • James
      February 16, 2018 at 9:49 am

      I am a 47 year old male with severe arthritis and own my own vehicle. I can drive, I get out and about when I need to but I also live in a rural area and have limited help for the things I just can't do myself. Being able to shop from home on Amazon pantry is awesome. So many of you are just spoiled to the modern online shopping experience, and that's fine. For you. For me, this service fills a niche market quite nicely, and I am grateful to have it. 5.99 to deliver up to 45 pounds of groceries to my door? That I can negate the charge on in multiple, easy to achieve ways?
      Yes please.

    • Ann Marie
      July 12, 2018 at 6:59 pm

      I absolutely agree that , for those of us who find it difficult to carry large quantities, prime pantry has been a great help. I would have to load fifty pounds of groceries into a backpack, dodge four lanes of traffic, and walk over the hill and through the woods. Now all my canned and bottled and boxed items come to a little locked room down the hallway from my apartment. I take my little cart down and I sm done. The only items I have to lug home are perishables, maybe 8 or ten pounds. Thanks, prime pantry!!

  11. 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.

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

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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?

  17. 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

  18. JOHN ZIPPERIAN
    May 20, 2017 at 3:11 am

    MY HUSBAND AND I ARE 80 YEARS OLD ; SHOPPING IS DIFFICULT FOR US. HE CAN'T DRIVE, AND IS ON OXYGEN; SHOULDER AND BACK PROBLEMS COMPLICATE DRIVING FOR ME. WE LIVE 15 MILES FROM TOWN; AT OUR AGE MOST GROCERIES ARE "HEAVY" FOR US TO MOVE AROUND. PRIME PANTRY SOLVES NEARLY ALL OF OUR SHOPPING WOES IN ONE FELL SWOOP. AS FOR ECONOMY - I FIND THE COST TO BE ABOUT THE SAME AS GROCERY STORES, IF ITEMS ARE CAREFULLY SELECTED YOU CAN EVEN SAVE SOME. CONVENIENCE OF HOME DELIVERY AND LESS WEAR AND TEAR ON US EASILY COMPENSATES FOR ANY EXTRA THAT MIGHT BE PAID USING PRIME PANTRY - OVER THAT OF STORE PRICES,

  19. 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.

  20. 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! :-(

  21. 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.