This guest post is by Kate of Quintessentially Kate.
Online shopping has never been my cup of tea. My friends and family know I LOVE to shop, but I enjoy walking through the bustling mall and strolling through a store where I can actually get my paws on the merchandise. There is something about picking up and holding a product that I may want to buy compared to looking at a few pictures online. Well, that is what I thought for quite some time until I was semi-forced into online shopping.
I grew up in a huge metropolitan area, so any and every store I could possibly imagine was within a 25 mile radius. When the hubs and I met, we enjoyed a couple years in our big beautiful city together and then moved to a very small town (to me) in Connecticut. My endless variety of stores was now zilch! We also moved to the east coast in late Fall, which meant a lot of days inside once endless amounts of snow began to fall. This southern California girl wasn’t prepared for driving in a foot of snow! Out of necessity I went online to order the usual household items that I knew we were running low on. I started with the known stores . . . Target, The Container Store, Nespresso and a few other online sites that carried the items I needed. As soon as the first few boxes arrived, a light bulb went off. This online shopping gig was saving me SO much time and money!
It’s been a couple of years since we lived in Connecticut and we are now enjoying life in a moderately sized city. I do have a lot more at my fingertips, but I have learned to fine tune my online shopping so I run fewer time consuming errands. What types of websites make my life easier, you ask? Listed below is my arsenal of online sites I love, use often and have freed up more time for me to spend with my family or enjoying me time.
Amazon.com is quite possibly the best place to start for a first time online shopper. Amazon Prime is a must to check out as well. It’s a yearly membership with Amazon for $79. You can start with a FREE 30-day trial and I am pretty sure you’ll discover the benefits during the 30-days. You can also split the $79 membership fee with another person. My friend and I share it . What does this get you? Well, to start FREE 2-day shipping on a TON of items. Look for the PRIME symbol next to the item price. There are lots of other benefits so click here for more 411: Amazon Prime Membership Details. Items I buy to save myself an errand or two are Seventh Generation Bathroom Tissue and Seventh Generation Paper Towels. Both are bought in bulk, 4 packs of each, but when you pencil it out you can’t beat the price! I store the extra in our spare closet or you can split it with a friend. This saves me from running to the NEX (military kind of Target) or Target to buy TP and PT every month. HUGE time saver!! I buy other miscellaneous items from Amazon because the FREE 2-day shipping can’t be beat. Oh, and their iPhone app is fabulous.
Petflow.com is a new errand nixer I discovered thanks to a Groupon I bought. They offer a great variety of pet food, treats, toys, etc. Shipping is free on orders over $59+, which is easy to do when you buy hound chow in the large bags. I automate my deliveries, so they arrive about every 10 weeks. I order Sampson’s salmon kibble (stop laughing) and one bag of treats. I add in his “treat” pill pockets when needed. Learn More About Petflow Here!
Paperless Post is quite possibly my favorite online invite/stationary site! Don’t get me wrong, I love sending out paper invites and thank you notes. Unfortunately, life gets busy and an electronic note is better than no note at all! You can send anything from invites to your upcoming BBQ, housewarming, birthdays, holidays, etc. and link to Eventbrite so you can keep track of all your RSVPs. You can also create thank you notes, blank notes, birth announcements, bridal invites and so much more. All of the “cards” are customizable and the designs are irresistible!
Soap.com is a very recent discovery for me and a site I wish I would have found years ago! Well, really it’s six sites with one shopping cart and an affiliate of diapers.com. You can shop for pretty much anything on this site from kiddo supplies to household cleaners to beauty products and even decor for your home. I LOVE Seventh Generation cleaning products and Soap.com offers me great prices in various quantities. Again, another errand I don’t have to run!
So, there you have it . . . four of my favorite websites that save time and money. All the little errands I used to run weekly have been simplified into a quick point and click. I keep an eye on the inventory for items I order online, and when the supply runs low, it’s time to get that order in! A few days later I have what I need to replenish my stock closet and all without having to run a million errands around town. If your TO DO list is a mile long, take an hour or so to write down all the items you could purchase online, look for the best sites that offer the best prices and transition those in-person errands over to quick online errands. You’ll save hours each week and what better way to spend that extra time then on you!