Grocery

12 Bulk Buys From Amazon Prime We Love to Stock Up On

Everything we need, right to our door.

April  8, 2019
Photo by Julia Gartland

With about 600 million products on offer in the U.S. alone—from breakfast sandwich makers to vacuum cleaners to gluten-free cake mix—it's no surprise that Amazon is our go-to for, well, everything. The wide availability of items, all in one place, makes it pretty hard to beat. And how about that two-day shipping?!

This is why Amazon Prime Pantry and AmazonFresh—its separate marketplaces for groceries and household products, in bulk and everyday sizes both—have been unbelievably useful to me (hi, it's your favorite New Yorker with serious grocery-shopping issues), as well as a number of my colleagues at Food52.

The concept is pretty simple: You order enough stuff to fill a "box" (the threshold for free shipping here is $35), and everything comes to your door just a couple days later. The items are steeply discounted to begin with, and there are constantly offers and coupons to lower the cost even more. It's that easy.

So, with such endless possibilities, what kind of things should you fill your box with? The Food52 team is here to help with some ideas. Read on for the 12 items from Amazon Prime Pantry that we swear by. You might even find yourself loading up a box of your own as you scroll through the list.


The Prime of Prime Pantry

Liquid soap, in all forms, is an unexpected nemesis of mine. Heavy, leaky, and in oddly shaped packaging, it runs out far too quickly, forcing me to return to the store and face my fears much more often than I'd like to.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“No. I understand the convenience but I would recommend purchasing from a local supermarket and using a delivery service. Amazon has taken over the market and is putting small shops out of business, treat their staff like slaves and have far too much power. No competition isn't a good thing and their original cheap pricing and convenience has changed retail completely - and I don't think for the best.”
— Michele
Comment

To combat this, I buy Method dish soap and Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day hand soap refills from Amazon Prime Pantry on the regular. The bulk refill containers allow me to top up my current dispensers for months on end. Plus, I can "set it and forget it," signing up for a repeat version of the same box at intervals that fit my household needs.

1. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap Refill, 33 oz., basil

2. Method Dish Soap Refill, 36 oz., Lemon Mint

Photo by Amazon

"My roommates and I always buy paper towels, TP, and dishwasher tabs on Amazon Prime Pantry. Having it sent straight to our home instead of getting it at Target and lugging it in an Uber is always a plus." Rebekah Daniels, account manager

3. Bounty Select-a-Size Paper Towels, 6 double rolls

4. Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong Toilet Paper, 12 double rolls

Photo by Amazon

5. Tide Free and Gentle Laundry Detergent Pods, 72 count

6. Cascade ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent, 60 count, Fresh Scent

Photo by Amazon

"Same. I go for TP, dish soap, detergent, and trash bags." —Karen Levi, executive assistant

7. Glad Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags, 13 gallon, 90 count

"Prime Pantry is my go-to for bigger bulk items like toilet paper, tissues, and detergent. Also for boxes of cereal and snacks. Looking at my order history, Peanut M&Ms and pretzel twists make recurring appearances." Joanna Sciarrino, executive editor

8. Kleenex Ultra Soft Tissues, Medium, 120 count (4-pack bundle)

Photo by Amazon

9. M&M's Peanut Chocolate Candy, 11.4 oz.

10. Rold Gold Tiny Twists Pretzels, 16 oz.

Photo by Amazon

"I once read a statistic that Korean people eat 168 bowls of instant ramen a year. Which…lines up with my habit of ordering those huge 20-pack cases of spicy Shin Ramyun." Eric Kim, senior editor

11. NongShim Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup, 4.2 oz., 20-pack

"I buy cases of La Croix! Who can lug those even a few blocks? My favorite flavors are lime and lemon (I am boring)." Victoria Maynard, director of finance

12. LaCroix Sparkling Water, 8 pack, lemon flavor

All products are independently selected by our editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission.
Photo by Amazon

What do you like to buy on Amazon Prime Pantry? Let me know what I should start adding to my box in the comments!

18 Comments

Natasha April 8, 2019
Hi Food52 Team,
Is this article a paid testimonial? Is Food52 or the author, receiving any compensation for it from Amazon? If yes, Food52 and the author need to disclose that clearly and conspicuously per U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules on testimonials and advertising.
I agree with other commenters who have discussed the adverse ecological impacts of Amazon's packaging. I also think a lot about the carbon footprint involved in getting all these boxes of things shipped to us, including basic things like paper towels and soap. The total environmental impacts between the packaging (throw away cartons, etc.) and delivery (carbon pollution) is staggering. Recycling the packaging helps some except that we now know that China, which took a huge amount of our "recycling" off the U.S.' hands, is not interested in taking our garbage anymore, including "recylables". It sounds like a lot of our recyclables are going into U.S. landfills at this time. That in itself is pretty shocking.
And then there are the other non- recyclables in the online supply delivery chain - those millions and millions of air pockets/bags generated every year and used as padding inside the delivery packages. There is no easy or convenient way to return these to Amazon or any other retailer for the air packs to be re-used.
I think it should be mandatory for Amazon and other online shippers to have convenient drop-off spots for consumers to return these air packs and online shippers like Amazon should be required to re-use them.
If we're concerned about the environment -and we really all should be- than we have to evaluate our buying habits and their environmental impact. Online purchasing provides major convenience and major, negative environmental impact, too. All of us who use Amazon and other online providers to have goods delivered to our doors, are responsible and own this.
Our household has cut way back on online purchases as a result. We shop a lot more locally. We also pay a lot more attention to products that use less packaging and more environmentally friendly packaging like paper rather than plastics.
 
Author Comment
Brinda A. April 9, 2019
Thank you for these thoughtful comments, Natasha. This article isn't a paid testimonial—some of the team just uses these items in our homes, and thought it might be helpful to share with the community.
 
Smaug April 9, 2019
Those air packs- the ones made of a series of tubes filled with air- can easily be deflated by holding a sharp blade in place and pulling the strip under them; they are then recyclable (they are HDPE). Unfortunately, plastic recyclers receive a huge amount of garbage and have a tendency to toss things that aren't instantly recognizable, so there's a good chance of them ending up in landfill anyway.
 
Michele April 9, 2019
Interesting comment. A couple of points to follow on. Until recently Amazon would ship single items purchased but apparently this style of shopping has crippled major cities with huge increases of delivery vehicles bringing single items. Amazon now has stricter policies on how they ship. I am waiting for the day when they have so much control, and the monopoly, they will decide when your delivery happens. Also, regarding the packaging in the UK there is a move at the moment to return all plastic and unnecessary packing to retailers as shoppers there are more aware of pollution and excessive packaging. They actually unpack their food in the supermarket and leave the excess with them to deal with. Hopefully online retailers will see the wisdom and reduce the amount of excess packaging to help, along with manufacturers.
 
Jacob C. April 10, 2019
I like how you state your household has cut way back on online shopping! Like it's okay to bash this article because you only do it every once in a while....give me a break. Hypocrisy at it's finest!!
 
Natasha April 10, 2019
Jacob, it sounds like you may live far from any stores so have to rely on Amazon and other online merchants to order the majority of items you need for daily living.
Thankfully, our household lives 2 blocks away from an independent, family-owned grocery store where we shop for food and household items, a Trader Joe's 1 mile away for other items, and have a twice weekly farmers' market in our town where we often ride our bikes to buy food grown in our area. We try to shop carefully and mindfully, and we don't buy a lot of stuff. We try to shop local as much as possible - whether at our local bookstore, local baker, or other smaller merchants.
We've also taken other steps to be more "green", such as removing all our lawn 2 years ago and putting in a native plant garden. We do what we can, in our own way, to try to live in a more environmentally friendly manner. If we care about the planet, it's important that we each think about what we can do in our daily lives, to be good stewards of the "Blue Dot" that we live on.
 
Dianna J. April 8, 2019
Did I miss something OMG
 
Alice F. April 8, 2019
For me (over 70 with health issues) Amazon is a Godsend. Shopping with my husband is rarely a pleasant experience (he’s a very negative person). With Amazon, I can get what I want quickly and pleasantly. It’s outstanding for hard to find equipment and ingredients. We do plenty of local shopping for things I don’t need to see, although Amazon’s descriptions and the reviews are very helpful. We recycle paper and plastic and cardboard. My county offers curbside recycling.
 
Toby M. April 8, 2019
Why no prices?
 
Smaug April 8, 2019
I don't think that, strictly speaking, this is a paid ad: at any rate, Amazon prices are constantly shifting and often items are available from multiple sellers at different prices.
 
Michele April 8, 2019
No. I understand the convenience but I would recommend purchasing from a local supermarket and using a delivery service. Amazon has taken over the market and is putting small shops out of business, treat their staff like slaves and have far too much power. No competition isn't a good thing and their original cheap pricing and convenience has changed retail completely - and I don't think for the best.
 
Author Comment
Brinda A. April 9, 2019
Thanks for reading, and for your considered comments, Michele.
 
Gammy April 14, 2019
Amazon is doing to America what Walmart has done to small towns over the last decade. Offer convenience and one-stop 24-hour shopping and soon the smaller stores, who offer better prices along with keeping most of the money local won't be able to compete. My local chain grocery ran a special Friday on the same size Bounty paper towel package shown above. Amazon price = $10.49 Ingles grocery = $5.47. I bought 2 packages and saved $10.00 over the Amazon price.
 
JenniferJ April 8, 2019
I definitely can appreciate the convenience here, but I really struggle with all the packaging of buying things like this from Amazon. It feels to me like creating that much waste is not worth the trade off of convenience. I also feel guilty about the delivery people having to lug around the heavy stuff. It’s funny: I don’t feel guilty about a lot of things, but that one definitely gets to me.
 
jecca April 8, 2019
I feel you. There are definitely ways Amazon could reduce its packaging, but those of us without cars already have a much reduced carbon footprint, and it's our best option for buying in bulk - which often reduces the overall packaging. I don't feel guilty about the delivery people - they're better equipped to carry that stuff than I am, and they get paid for it - BUT I often opt out of the free one- or two-day shipping to give the warehouse workers a break, which probably doesn't make any more sense!
 
Smaug April 8, 2019
Very good point about the packaging- not only is it wasteful- even if it's recycled- and I think the amount of tape and labels on Amazon boxes is making it difficult to sell to recyclers- that's a pretty wasteful process. When you start talking about things like paper products in bulk that's some pretty big boxes; personally I kind of like cutting up boxes, but observation of my neighbors indicates that most of them do not.
 
ktr April 9, 2019
I live an hour from the nearest city, so I order a lot of things and am very grateful for the option to do so. The packaging is wasteful but for me, so is driving an hour to get toilet paper.
 
Smaug April 9, 2019
True, often there is no really neat solution. I don't drive, so Amazon is very convenient for me for a lot of things. I'm fortunate to have a Safeway in walking distance- if you're careful to watch for sales their prices are OK on paper products.