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Score Amazon free shipping with this tool that finds cheap filler items

You know that feeling when you're 37 cents away from the $25 needed to bag free shipping? This site can help.

cheapfiller

Use CheapFiller.com to help pad your Amazon shopping cart to that magic free-shipping number.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

If you're not an Amazon Prime subscriber, meaning you don't get free shipping with nearly every order, you've probably encountered this dilemma: You have just under $25 worth of stuff in your cart -- not quite enough to qualify for free shipping --  so you go trolling the site for something to tip the scales.

And that's never easy, so eventually you just give up and buy something pricey. What the heck, right? At least you got free shipping!

CheapFiller.com helps you find items that bring your shopping cart total to $25 (or just above), thus qualifying you for that oh-so-tantalizing perk.

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Suppose you're $1.17 shy of $25. Plug in that amount and CheapFiller quickly builds a list of items that match (or at least come close). If you're hoping to find something specific -- an office supply, perhaps -- click Categories and you can remove one or more categories from the search results.

After you've found a suitable item, click the link, add it to your Amazon shopping cart, and presto! You're out the door for $25 or so.

In the aforementioned example, I looked for a $1.17 item. The best CheapFiller could do was a pack of 100 office-ruled index cards priced at $1.28. You know what? Close enough! And that's actually a useful item, unlike the Cold Steel Quiver Set for Professional Series Blowgun Hunting Weapon ($1.49). I mean, the latter might be useful for someone, just not me.

Ultimately, filler items end up saving you a few bucks, tops. But every little bit helps, right? And admit it: You love getting free shipping. It makes you feel happy and successful and smart. (No? Just me?)

Editors' note: This post was originally published Jan. 19, 2010, and has since been updated.