For years, the only thing I ever ordered from Amazon was the occasional book. But, as we all know, the online store branched out long ago and now sells everything from furniture to farm equipment. And if you have an Amazon Prime membership, you don’t need to pay for shipping on most items.
I try to support my local stores whenever I can, but during the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon sure came in handy. There are certain things for which I keep returning again and again. Here are some things I almost always buy on Amazon.
1. Dental-care accessories
Our household features a teen wearing teeth aligners and adults who have had orthodontic treatment and wear retainers. Your standard drugstore doesn’t sell what we need — flossers for braces, “chewies” for aligners and retainer cleaner.
Not everyone needs these specialty items, but if you do, Amazon is a one-stop tooth-care shop.
A word of caution, though: When it comes to your teeth, there are some things you shouldn’t buy from brands that are not household names, like some brands on Amazon, as we detail in “5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic.”
2. Face masks
I’d never once worn a face mask before the coronavirus pandemic, but now my house and car are overflowing with them.
Mask mandates across the country are fading away, but masks may stay a part of our lives for a while.
“If you are in an area with a high COVID-19 Community Level, wear a mask indoors in public,” the CDC says, and there’s always the sad possibility of another variant surging.
Amazon is a great place to order up an inexpensive pack of disposable masks (we like the multi-color pack, so various family members each can claim a color). The site also sells a variety of washable, reusable masks with a bit more style to them.
If you’re like me, you always forget to pick up batteries when you’re out at a store. When you’re at home and you realize it, it only takes seconds to order some online.
The Amazon Basics brand offers bulk packs of the most-popular battery sizes, so your flashlight or remote control need never sit unusable again. I’ve found them to be much cheaper than batteries sold elsewhere.
I’ve long since left the diaper days behind, but I still remember what a dent to the budget it was to stock up on this oh-so-necessary baby item.
Whether you’re using cloth or disposable diapers, parents always seem to need more. Not only are diaper prices on Amazon competitive, the site often offers online coupons. Also, you can sign up for Amazon’s Subscribe and Save plan and knock the price down even more.
5. Musical supplies
Our household includes a guitar player and a clarinetist. During the pandemic, the music store closest to us closed down. So, back to Amazon, where we ordered clarinet reeds, cork grease, guitar strings and more necessities to keep the music flowing.
6. Charging devices
Smartphones, laptops, tablets, smart watches — so much of our digital life needs to be recharged, day after day.
We need cords of different lengths, of different sorts, chargers for our cars, and even the big plug-in blocks that let you charge more than one device. These may be the most ho-hum things I buy on Amazon, but they’re also some of the things that I just can’t get by without.
7. Light bulbs
As with batteries, I like to keep the storage closet stocked with Amazon Basics light bulbs.
Whatever the wattage and shape of your bulbs, these multi-pack prices are hard to beat. Think ahead, and Future You will be grateful the next time a bulb burns out.
8. Alexa, in all its forms
This one’s a “duh.” If you use the virtual assistant known as Alexa, you’ve probably got an Echo, an Amazon product (Alexa is also built into other smart appliances). Amazon, of course, is the place to buy an Echo, in a variety of sizes and types.
If you want a really good deal, wait for Prime Day.