We’ve had a rough couple of years, to say the least. But companies like Amazon have only benefitted from the socially distanced world. Amazon claims that more people shopped on its website in 2021 than in any previous year. Chances are, you’re one of the many people who helped Amazon reach that goal.
Unfortunately, a 22% increase in Amazon sales means that you probably bought more crap than you’d like to admit. That’s a lot of wasted money! If you want to confront and change that habit, then it’s time to shamefully look back at your 2021 Amazon orders.
Checking your Amazon order history is a little too easy. In fact, you probably visit the “Your Orders” page all the time—just open the Amazon website, hover over the “Account and Lists” tab, and select “Orders.”
Once you get to the “Orders” page on a computer (this doesn’t work on the mobile app), you should see a selection of your most recent purchases. To filter orders by year, click the “Last 30 Days” button and select “2021.”
Fair warning, this might make you cry. Maybe you should get some tissues, or an Advil, or something.
Amazon will now show you every order you made in 2021, minus any that you’ve manually archived. It will also show you the total number of orders you made last year. (Bear in mind that some of these orders will include multiple items. You may have made 100 orders on Amazon last year, but you probably purchased a lot more than 100 products.)
I suggest looking back at previous years to see if you ordered more or less items in 2021. And if you want a quick laugh, go back to your first years of using Amazon—I personally made just ten orders in 2012.
Nothing matches the pain of seeing every Amazon order you made in 2021. Well, there’s one thing that may make you feel worse. We’re going to find the total amount of money you spent at Amazon last year.
Amazon hides this information behind an Order Report, which is really just an Excel spreadsheet for accountants. But you can request an Order Report at any time, and finding the sum of your Amazon orders in a spreadsheet isn’t too difficult.
First, head over to the Amazon Order History Reports page. You can find this page by visiting the Amazon website on a computer, clicking the “Account and Lists” tab, and selecting “Download order reports” under the “Ordering and Shopping” box.
Amazon should now ask which details you want to see in your report. You can input this information manually, or just click the “Last Year (2021)” option.
After a few days, Amazon will send you an Excel spreadsheet detailing all of the items you purchased in 2021. Open this spreadsheet in Excel or Google Sheets, select the column with purchase amounts, and find the sum of the data using the AutoSum function. (How-To Geek has an excellent guide on finding the sum of columns in Excel and Google Sheets.)
There are two ways to reduce your Amazon spending. You can either buy into the company’s services (Prime, the credit card, etc) to eliminate shipping fees and reap free rewards … or you can just stop shopping on Amazon so much.
We’re fans of the latter option. Not just because it’s straightforward, but because programs like Prime or the Amazon Rewards Card can actually encourage you to spend more money; they make shopping too easy.
Maybe you don’t want to cancel your Prime subscription, and that’s fine. Prime is absolutely worth the money if you take advantage of all its benefits. But when you get rid of free shipping and other Prime perks, you encounter a lot more friction on the Amazon website. That friction will discourage you from shopping for crap you don’t need.
Additionally, Amazon isn’t always the cheapest place to shop. Reducing your Amazon spending (which is part of your overall spending) may mean visiting Walmart or other brick-and-mortar locations to pick up paper towels, makeup, shampoo, and other items that cost more online.
You can also make a better effort to shop for sale items. Websites like SlickDeals and CamelCamelCamel can send you email alerts or mobile notifications when items you care about go on sale. (I suggest telling these websites exactly which items you want to track. Otherwise, they’ll tempt you with all kinds of deals and discounts.)