This is not a drill! Amazon's big annual sale is right around the corner, and we want to help you sort through those deals and gear up to save. Keep reading so you can learn how to shop Amazon Prime Day and get the most bang for your buck!

couple on couch shopping on Amazon, from Fun Cheap or Free

PSA: If you missed the announcement, Amazon Prime Day is June 21 and June 22, 2021. We're not sure why it's called Day instead of Days, but we don't make the rules! đŸ˜‰ Whether you've been eyeing a new TV or saving up for an Instant Pot, make sure you're ready for the big sale!

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

We'll tell you how to spot the best deals, go over all the rules, and share our best advice for sticking to your budget. It's time to learn how to shop Amazon Prime Day. Epic deals are coming right up, so put on your game face! Who's ready to do this?!


AMAZON PRIME DAY 101: ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT DETAILS

Alrighty, before we share any of our tips for shopping these epic sales, we thought we'd start with a primer (ha)! So here's what you need to know about Amazon Prime Day 2021:

  • Who – Prime Day Deals are only available for Amazon Prime members. So, if you've been on the fence about joining, now might be a perfect time!
  • What – Amazon Prime Day is Amazon's huge annual sale. You'll find deals on just about everything! In addition to shopping, you can also tune in to a special live concert to celebrate.
  • When – This year, Prime Day runs from June 21 – June 22. Early access deals kick off on June 18th, so ask Alexa for those deets! đŸ˜‰
  • Where – You might think these deals are exclusive to Amazon.com, but guess what? You can score deals on groceries, too! Don't forget that your Amazon Prime membership is valid at Whole Foods. And yep, they're running sales, too. Prime members save 10% at Whole Foods all year long and get free two-hour delivery, so don't forget to use those perks!

Now that we've gotten all the Amazon basics (sorry; had to!) out of the way, what do you say we talk about saving some cold hard cash?


3 CLEVER WAYS TO SAVE EVEN MORE ON PRIME DAY

woman shopping online with a credit card, from Fun Cheap or Free

Want to help your dollar go further during Prime Day? These tips will help:

  • $10 Credit for Shopping Small – This year, Amazon is offering incentives to encourage shoppers to buy from small businesses. Shop with participating small Amazon retailers, and you can earn a $10 credit.
  • Earn Extra Cash Back When You Use Your Amazon Credit Card – Amazon Credit Cardholders normally earn 5% cashback on all Amazon purchases, but during Prime Day, Amazon is offering 6% back. Use that extra money for Christmas shopping! Also, if you don't have a card right now, they're offering a $150 gift card when you sign up. That online covers the $119 yearly Prime membership fee and leaves with some extra cash for shopping Prime Day Deals. Just make sure you pay down that monthly balance! You can read all about the Amazon Credit Card in this post we wrote about rewards credit cards.
  • Use the App – See an item you've been wanting but notice it's not part of the sale? That may change! Amazon releases new deals by the hour, so here's a handy little trick. Go ahead and add that item to your cart, but don't check out just yet. If that item gets added to a Prime Day deal, Amazon will send you a push notification, and you can snag that sale before it sells out. Score!

Traditionally, Amazon will release early deals, too, so it doesn't hurt to start looking now! What they say is true, the early bird gets the worm! In the past, many of the best deals go quickly, so make sure you are ready to commit if you see a great bargain.


ARE OTHER STORES RUNNING SALES ON AMAZON PRIME DAY?

Because Amazon Prime Day has become such a huge deal, many other big-box retailers run their own epic sales in an effort to compete. So, what's in store for 2021? Here's what we know about a few more of your favorite stores:

  • TargetTarget just announced their own sale, called Target Days, which will run from June 20-22. Unlike Prime Days, you don't need a membership to cash in on their sales. They're teasing bigger, better deals than ever, and you can find all the info on Target Deal Days here!
  • Walmart Not to be outdone by Amazon or Target, Walmart is getting in on the action, too. The longest sale of all, their “Deals for Days” kicks off on June 20 and runs all the way through the 23rd. They've promised the deals will be just as good as Black Friday!
  • Best Buy – While they haven't officially confirmed it yet, Best Buy always runs sales of their own that coincide with Prime Day. So keep an eye out for their next sales flyer!

It's worth checking with local small businesses, too. Many run sales of their own around Prime Day, so don't be afraid to call and ask!


DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE BUDGET RULES

Alright, we're going to share our take on what to buy and what to avoid during Prime Day, but first, it's time for a quick reminder. Big sales don't give you the license to throw caution to the wind and pretend your budget doesn't exist. So even during Amazon Prime Day, keep these two rules in mind:

  • 70% Rule – Our 70% budgeting rule guideline is straightforward, but it works! Each month, you should only spend 70% of your take-home pay. The rest goes to savings. No exceptions! So, if you're not yet putting aside 30% of your income each month, it may be best to sit out this Amazon Prime Day.
  • 3-Month Rule – If you're not familiar with our 3-month rule, here's the short story: if you want or need something that either doesn't fit your normal budget or costs more than $100, wait three months to buy it! That gives you time to save up, and it also helps prevent impulse buys. So, if you've been following the 3-month rule and saving up for a new TV or kitchen gadget, now might be just the right time to put those savings to good use and score a crazy good deal on that wishlist item.

Need a little help with your budget? You should check out Budget Boot Camp! Remember, frugal living sometimes means delaying instant gratification and focusing on long-term wins. So, if you don't have the money to shop on Amazon Prime Day this year, step away from the laptop. And, of course, we never condone shopping just to shop, so unless you truly need it AND have the money to buy it, just wait. Promise? We hate being the bad guys, but you'll thank us later!


WHAT TO BUY AND WHAT TO AVOID ON AMAZON PRIME DAY

woman researching Prime Day on laptop, from Fun Cheap or Free

Okay, assuming you've followed the 3-month rule and the 70% rule and you've got the funds to go shopping, are there certain things you should look for on Prime Day? Other things to avoid? Let's talk about how to shop Amazon Prime Day for the best possible deals! Here are three general tips for scouting out the best deals:

  • Check Prices Now – Before the deals start, take a quick peek at the items you might want to buy and check out their current prices! Jot them down, so you'll remember. That way, you'll know if the deal is really that great.
  • Price Compare – Look on competitors' sites, too, and don't forget to check sites like Facebook Marketplace. If you can get that Instant Pot you've been saving for new with tags on Facebook for $20 less than the Prime Day Deal, then that's a no-brainer!
  • Consider Annual Sales Cycles – It pays to do a little research! Read up on annual sales cycles, so you know which items may be a better deal later in the year. For example, a lot of items get their biggest markdowns heading into the holiday season.

All that being said, here are our picks for the five things to buy and the five deals to ditch!


5 THINGS WORTH BUYING ON AMAZON PRIME DAY

Which Prime Day items are the best deals? Well, that's a matter of opinion, but here are a few items catching our eye this year:

In general, remember a little research goes a long way! Before you press “buy now,” make sure you can't find a better price at Target, Walmart, or Best Buy.


5 THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID

makeup by Shine cosmetics, from Fun Cheap or Free

Have you ever wondered which deals aren't really a deal at all? Here's the harsh truth, sometimes retailers mark prices up just to turn around and “mark them down” for a big sale. That's why we like to do our research in advance! In general, here are a few items we think you may want to avoid:

  • Skincare Products – It's almost always a better bet to buy your skincare products direct from the seller. Dime Beauty and Shine Cosmetics are two of our absolute faves, and we've got promo codes for both, so you don't need to wait for Prime Day to get your favorite serums or mascara! Use the code JP20 for 20% off Dime goodies and JORDAN for 10% off any Shine Cosmetics purchases.
  • Game Consoles – While Amazon's prices are hard to beat, they do have a hard time competing on game consoles. And you'll usually find the best deals on gaming systems closer to Christmas, so if we were you, we'd wait!
  • Toys – First of all, do your kids really need more toys? Most of the toy deals look much better than they actually are. You're better off stocking up at a kid's consignment sale or yard sale.
  • Laptops – While Prime Day will likely feature some laptop deals, we'd wait! Black Friday laptop deals are some of the best, but back-to-school sales in late July or early August are even better. And if you live in a state that observes a tax-free shopping weekend, that's the best time to stock up your laptops.
  • Items from Unverified Sellers – Steer clear of these basement bargain deals. We live by the motto “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!” So stick with reputable sellers and save yourself a whole lot of money and disappointment.

Pro Tip: When in doubt, head over to camelcamelcamel. Just enter the URL of the item you're considering purchasing, and they'll give you a full history of the pricing over the last six months!


DO YOU PLAN TO SHOP ON AMAZON PRIME DAY?

Well, we think that just about covers it all! Now you know how to shop Amazon Prime Day like a pro. We hope you score some awesome deals, but remember, it's okay to walk away if you don't need anything! No peer pressure around here.

Do you plan to buy anything during the Amazon Prime Day sale? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for more shopping tips or deals?

Now you're ready for Primetime!