I used to not be an online shopper AT ALL. When we moved to Minnesota and I did not want to drive forever to go to the store, I started to order items online. Especially when those cold and brutal winters were there to stay. I am a sucker for a good deal, but I am also not one to buy something just because it’s a good deal. The dangers of being a deal finder is that you end up buying an item you do not need or it may be something you would not buy regardless. That is something I always try to ask myself – do I really NEED it? It’s not a good deal if I am spending money that doesn’t need to be spent! You get my drift?
Anyways, when it comes to shopping online, in the past 5 months, I have done more online shopping than I ever expected. It all started when I realized that I needed some items for my upcoming open heart surgery. I received an email with a list of items to take, one of them being a robe. I have a super-comfy housecoat, but didn’t want to take that large thing along. I had little energy to walk around and shop, so I decided to see what Amazon had. Sure enough, I found multiple options that were cheap. I decided that since I was going to be out of commission for a few months, that maybe it would be wise to get a prime account. It was the best decision!
Christmas was a whole lot easier to shop for with online shopping too! I was home-bound for almost 5 weeks, so getting out to shop was not an option.
One thing I struggle with though, is supporting the stores. I truly wrestle with that. I want to support the small business and actually used to work for one. I see the effects online shopping is having on local businesses and it saddens me when people’s livelihoods are dependent on the local business. So know that each of these places has their specific place in life and when possible, I too, want to support the local business. There have been times though, when shopping online was incredibly helpful when it comes to solving getting items during a health issue!
Anyways, here are a few of my favorite websites:
Blurb.com – I used to be a scrapbooker, but after I realized the time it was taking me to make them and the space they took up, I wanted to find an alternative. I gave Blurb (a digital photo book company) a try and LOVED it! I have now used them for the past couple of years for both Mazy’s book and our family book. What I like about Blurb.com is that they have a system called Bookwright that is free to download, but that is where you make your book. It is done offline, which is nice too. They have premade layouts, but you can also create your own. I find it to be easy to work with, once you peruse around the program a bit. Hands down, this is the program I will continue to use. I will say too, I thought it would be much more expensive than other photo book making websites, but for a book with 150 pages in it, thanks to a coupon, it was around $80. That may sound like a lot, but when you consider the number of pages, I have found this to be MUCH cheaper than other places! Check Blurb out!
Amazon Prime – Like I said, we did not have an Amazon Prime account until the week before my surgery, but it was a wise decision! I all of a sudden realized we were going to be short on diapers and instead of having to send someone else out AGAIN, I could quick order them and have them here in two days. Same with Christmas gifts, like I said. When my mind wasn’t functioning as it should, it was so handy to be able to quick order it online before I forgot and not have to remember to tell someone to get it!
Birthday Direct – Granted Mazy’s birthday only comes around once a year, but my go-to place is birthdaydirect.com! They have cheap and themed birthday supplies on the cheap! Cheaper than I could find it anywhere else! For two years in a row now, I have done a Paw Patrol Skye theme and once again, scored on plates, napkins, and other supplies! They carry far more than just birthday supplies too!
Old Navy – Being 6’1″, it is hard to find jeans that are long enough, but don’t cost a fortune. I have found that I wear out my jeans more quickly the older I get, solely because I don’t change my jeans when I maybe should! Therefore, every couple of years, I am in need of new jeans, but when I only spend 15-20 on them from Old Navy, that purchase doesn’t become a budget breaker! I love Old Navy because they carry talls, which is exactly what I need! They have free returns, which is HUGE for me, since I am not a big shopper and I’d much rather try on the item at home and see what I can pair with it, than in a tight and enclosed changing room! Old Navy often carries amazing sales too, so keep your eye out for them!
Groupon – This is a website that I do not use THAT often, but when I do find that deal for something I was going to buy regardless, the celebration begins! I have gotten the most random items/discounts for a place on Groupon, but I have to say, it can probably be a dangerous one too! It’s not a great deal if you end up buying something you don’t need! It may be a great deal, but not if you are spending money you wouldn’t normally spend. With that said, don’t hesitate to see if that next item you need, can be found on Groupon!
What are your favorite online sites? Do you shop online? Do you have an Amazon Prime account? I would love to hear the whys or why nots!?