I began my online shopping endeavors (ahem, obsessions) when my oldest child was born. I occasionally bought diapers online, but often found them to be more expensive than when I bought diapers using coupons at my local supermarket. Also, if I was absolutely desperate, I could manage to shop with one child under foot. However, once I had my second child, all shopping hopes flew out the window.
I quickly realized that it was absolutely impossible to drag two screaming kids through a grocery store to buy one or two items, let alone buy everything on my list. Even though I broke down and attempted to navigate the store using one of the ridiculously cumbersome “car” shopping carts, one child continuously licked the shopping cart as the other pulled every low hanging item off the shelves. I swore I’d rather stab myself in the eye than attempt that again. I began to research the best methods to complete the majority of my shopping online while still getting the best deals.
The Best Retailers to Use When You Want to Save Money While Shopping Online
Here are some of my favorite retailers (organized by category) to buy everything from food to clothes to toys online at a discount:
A friend told me about Ebates a year ago, and I’ve been using it ever since. I installed the Ebates button in my toolbar, and whenever I shop online, Ebates will pop up with a button so that I can earn cashback on my purchases. The best part about Ebates is that I can still use coupons and discount codes, and I can still pay however I want (with my personal card or with the store card).
Ebates is simple to use, and I receive a check in the mail quarterly with my “earnings.” I was really nervous to start using it (figuring that it was some sort of scam or website that would require me to stand on my head to earn anything), but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how quickly my earnings add up and how simple it is to use.
Food and Household Items
Dragging kids through the grocery store is not fun (or cost effective, since they always manage to sneak things into the cart). I’ve started shopping online, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the cost savings.
By far, my favorite online retailer is Amazon. I love the fact that I can buy everything at the lowest price around. I usually compare Amazon’s prices to Walmart and Target, which also have great online prices, but I still make the bulk of my purchases on Amazon. I finally became an Amazon Prime member and I love it (if you aren’t a Prime member, they’re currently offering a free Prime 30-day membership).
It took some pencil pushing, but I figured out that if I only bought one box of diapers every month through the Subscribe & Save program, my membership would pay for itself in seven months because of the cheaper diaper prices. The additional items in my monthly Subscribe & Save subscriptions only add to my savings. Also, there are other perks that the Prime account offers, such as online photo storage (that was quickly becoming necessary because I was always running out of memory in my phone), Kindle First and a free Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, free movie and music downloads, and so much more.
You can also share a membership with family members. I’ve been ordering items for my family members, but we finally figured out how to create individual Subscribe & Save orders and have them shipped directly to their houses, so hopefully my front porch (and the farmer) won’t look so overwhelmed when my subscriptions arrive.
Door to Door Organics
Thanks to Amazon, I usually only go to the grocery store for produce and meat. Even so, I’ve recently started getting produce delivered through Door to Door Organics. I typically order the “Bitty Box” on a weekly basis, which contains more than enough to last us for the week. The produce in the box is predetermined, but you can customize your box and swap produce items before your box is shipped.
I also purchase the majority of my clothes online. On the rare occasion that I get to venture out of the house, I don’t have time to try clothes on in the store, and dressing rooms annoy me anyway. There’s nothing more depressing than trying something on in a hot, sweaty dressing room, only to look in the mirror under the harsh fluorescent lights. I’d much rather try on clothes in the comfort of my home.
Rue La La
Rue La La is my favorite clothes (and gift) retailer. Rue La La is an online boutique retailer, so you’ll find different brands of clothing, household items, and unique gifts every day.
There’s always something that I need on Rue La La. I’ve found Father’s Day presents, a 3-bin laundry sorter, and everything from children’s books to shoes. The brands tend to be upscale brands, but you can often find great deals. I never pay more than $10 for a tee-shirt, and I can often find jeans for $20 or less. The best part is that I’m buying brands that I know are great quality (and at a great price).
Shipping costs $9.95 for your first item, but you then get 30 days of shipping for free. They also offer promotions on shipping, like paying $50 for the year, which is worth it if you like to order an item or two every month as you need them.
I love using Stitch Fix, although sometimes I find their clothes a little on the pricey side. For a $20 styling fee, your personal stylist will refer to your online profile and social media boards to choose clothes based on your personal style and body type. If you keep one item, the styling fee is deducted from the cost of the item. If you keep all five of the items that they send in a “fix,” you’ll also receive a 25% discount on your entire order.
The clothes that Stitch Fix has sent me have all been really cute. I’ve found some new favorite brands and I’ve become much more fashionable. I’ve also been learning how to dress for my shape and step out of my comfort zone (honest feedback for your stylist helps – I’ve actually told my stylist to never send skinny jeans because they gave me muffin top and showed my thigh dimples).
Since items can be expensive (you can select your price range, but most items are more expensive than I would typically pay elsewhere), I tend to only buy wardrobe staples or specific items, like a dress to wear to my husband’s work event.
I also love buying clearance kids’ clothes (and everything else) from Target. Bonus points if you use your Red Card to get a 5% discount and free shipping (you can get the benefits with both the Target credit card and the debit card). There’s nothing better than getting cute tees, jeans, and pants for less than $2.
I take my online shopping habit seriously, as I’m sure my husband (and our delivery man) will confirm. I make it my mission to find the best deal for everything, Oreos included. I always try to compare prices and find the best deal, if only when I’m curled up on my couch.
Where do you like to shop? Do you have any favorite online retailers that I left out?