A Home Leave’s Best Friend: An Ode to Amazon Prime Pantry

Amazon likes to boss me around. T and I pretty much share my account for simplicity’s sake, and combining our disparate interests plus buying gifts for people on the site, Amazon is confused. But it still likes to tell us what to do by sending us emails reminding us of the services we haven’t taken advantage of, the items we probably would like to buy, and that an item we saw a while ago is on sale, so we should buy it now. T and I invested in Prime a few years ago, lured not only by the free two day shipping (so convenient) but also by the promise of tv and movies. Granted, with the slow internet connection down here, we haven’t used the tv and movie function as much as we would like–but we have definitely used the Prime shipping to quickly ship items when we know we’re making a quick jaunt home.

Amazon sent me another one of their bossy emails a while ago advertising the Prime Pantry service. Much like Subscribe and Save, it allows you to purchase items that you use everyday and have them shipped to your door–a sort of virtual Costco or Giant. In the Prime Pantry version, you can pop in your zip code and, for $5.99 flat rate shipping, purchase a full box of groceries (non-perishables only, at least in my market), personal care items, pet items, and household cleaning products. One of the biggest frustrations I’ve had so far on my trips home has been trying to remember what I still have in stock in our US house. I always clear out any food before we leave to avoid mice and bugs, but I can never remember if I left my face wash or deodorant there the last time I was home–or if I brought it down to Argentina with me.

It’s such a pain to have to make a Walmart run for the essentials after already being in transit for over 36 hours. At that point, all I want generally is a shower, a snack, and a nap! This is where Prime Pantry comes in. This trip home, I created a “care package for myself” filled with my favorite brands of toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, and of course some Velveeta Mac and Cheese for that first lunch back in the States. I had my lovely in-laws bring the box over to our house (we have all our packages delivered to them, since they have been so kind to check on our house while we’re away), and it was like heaven when I saw it. No run to Walmart, no US-shopping sensory overload, just exactly what I need, when I need it.

We’re planning on making up another one of these when we come back for our “real” home leave in December. I’m not sure about T, but at least for me, I find it overwhelming to go from rural Argentina, fly for so long, and then get thrown right into American commercialism in the form of Walmart, Target, etc.  I need a few hours to decompress and remember what fast internet feels like!  It will be so nice to just have all of our necessities there and ready to go!

At some point, I’ll write a series of posts with our tips for being temporary expats. It’s a niche group, and it can be tough to find helpful information on the web. (A lot of broke college students, a lot of long term expats, but not a lot of information for those of us in the “temporary expat” category!


Nope, I haven’t been comepnsated by Amazon for writing this at all. I was just super-happy to solve one of our bigger “going home” issues!


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