I do it in the kitchen and occasionally in the laundry room. I’ve done it while pumping and while watching TV. I’ve even done it while making dinner. Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m not talking about anything dirty. I’m talking about shopping online. I literally do it everywhere.
I am an online “shopaholic” and mighty proud of it. With the click of my mouse, I’ve purchased everything from hand soap to hammocks. Oh, and I’m goooood! I can locate the best sites and most outrageous coupons faster than my husband can throw down a burger from Big Daddy’s. I love the freedom of shopping online and I adore the time saving tactics I’ve discovered to make shopping online easy, and affordable.
First, do your research. Educate yourself about what you can, can’t, and shouldn’t buy online. Did you know you can buy groceries, shampoo, and toilet paper via the internet and often cheaper than at an actual retail store? Did you know you can find coupons for tons of online sites by visiting www.couponcabin.com? Coupon Cabin is a FABULOUS website that showcases an impressive list of major stores and coupons for practically all of them.
Second, face the facts. There are a lot of myths out there about online shopping. The first is that it is too costly. This is not necessarily true! Just like shopping in an actual store, you need to do your homework and compare prices. Eventually you will locate the sites that work best for you, and your shopping style. People also assume shipping adds too much to the total bill. Trust me, online retail stores WANT you to shop via the internet, and offer tons of incentives to get you to purchase. Before you click “buy”, google the store and the words “free shipping”. I bet you find a free shipping code nearly every time.
So how is it done? Let’s start with groceries…
You can order groceries online from Harris Teeter for a handling fee of $5.00 (your first order is free and they often waive this fee for months at a time). Log onto www.harristetter.com and use the “Express Lane” to create a virtual list. This list can be saved for future weeks creating a “master list” of staples like milk and bread. Almost like magic, you can compare prices for each product in a clear column and view weekly sales before you shop. Shopping online also helps to eliminate that powerful marketing tool called the “impulse buy”. Lastly, as you add items to your virtual chart, you get a running total so you know exactly what your cost will be at check-out (something that is nearly impossible to accomplish in the store). Once you create your shopping list and “virtually” checkout, you simply drive-up to the store and they will personally bring your products to the car. You never step foot inside or unbuckle a car seat. And yes, you can still use coupons! Online shopping for groceries is a tremendous help, especially for a mom like me who can’t drag infant twins and a 4-year-old around the Teeter. Try it ladies, you’ll like it, and possibly save some dough!
Tired of running out of diapers? Stock-up on staples by shopping at www.soap.com (the sister site for www.diapers.com). On these sites you will find everything from make-up to organic cleaning supplies. All orders over $40 ship for free. Your goodies will come neatly packaged and are dropped at your door within two days. Prices are comparable to Target, but check individual items before you purchase (ahhh, yet another benefit of web commerce).
Third, “stalk the season”. Meaning, shop for seasonal items after the holiday and save a bundle. When most stores sellout of their seasonal items they won’t restock the shelves. Instead, they list “overstock” items on their website and you can reap the benefits. Last year I purchased ALL (yes ALL) of my Christmas gifts for THIS year at a killer price because they were seasonal items. Everyone in my family will be receiving monogrammed matching stockings from Pottery Barn for HALF the price PB is selling them for this year (same exact product, just one year later). And guess what? I look like a hero for “splurging” on a high-end gift. Shhhhh, don’t tell! Oh, I even scored free gift wrap, thank you very much! Not only did I save, I also won’t be stressing at the first sound of Jingle Bells.
So, consider becoming a savvy online consumer. Remember, some products are worth it and others aren’t. I still visit our local Farmers Market for produce because I’d rather pick my veggies the old fashion way. I still visit local boutiques for special gifts and I still hand select cards. While I might buy diapers online, I certainly wouldn’t buy diamonds (if I could afford them)! But, when the opportunity and price is right, I will point, click and wait for UPS to arrive all in the comfort of my home!