As much as I used to love shopping, I don't really dig it so much these days. Too much to do. I hate parking lots. Houston summer heat is obnoxious. I have a 3 year old that is still conquering her fear of public restrooms, etc. <<Enter other random complaints here>> In fact, sometimes even getting to the grocery store can be a challenge in itself.
Sooooo…. that's where copious amounts of online shopping (or at the very least, OCD price comparisons) come in. Muy importante to this familia – we save time, money, energy and best of all — no parking lots.
Here are 6 different spots to hit online to keep you sane and save up some cash:
Milo (www.milo.com) - shop for it online, buy it offline
Use this great search site to learn about updated inventory at your local brick and mortar shops. This means that you won't waste your time driving to some place that is out of stock, but can still support your local economy.
Yokel has a similar local shop search engine, except they offer paid features for store owners to refine the way their products, specials and promotions appear online.
Alice (www.alice.com) – stock it up, baby
You know those things you just always kind of need – detergent, soap, tissue, snacks, diapers… It's annoying to run out of them, so Alice let's you order basic essentials (divided up by room for easy finding) with automatic coupons, free shipping, reminders to re-order and bargain prices. I can't say enough for the functionality and divinely gorgeous user interface this site employs. I heart you, Alice. Friend them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alice.
Ebates (www.ebates.com) – money back shopping, awww yeah
Qcait showed this to me a few months back and I've been addicted every since. This is a free site that lets you login and go to your favorite stores from their site (or search for products and go from there). Ebates has relationships with these retailers and deposist a certain percentage of your purchase back into your Ebates account – sending you a check when it reaches a certain amount. Wonderful.
CutesyGirl (www.cutesygirl.com) – deals, deals, deals
If you've ever wanted to go crazy on funky, strappy sandals and wedges – but didn't want to pay boatloads for shoes you wouldn't wear more than one season… meet your shoe nirvana. Prices are typically $13 – $20 for some very cute shoes. Free shipping for over $50 orders, great (and interesting) options. Check out the cheap accessories and clothing as well.
ZenniOptical (www.zennioptical.com) – helping you see a great deal (nyuk nyuk)
Never underestimate the power of having more than one pair of prescription glasses. I recently lost my only pair of remaining glasses – big trouble when you're as blind sans contact lenses as I am. Thank goodness for Zenni Optical – I ordered 3 pairs and paid about $10 per pair. INSANE!!
Purse Focus: (www.pursefocus.com) + Watches Wow (www.watcheswow.cn)
It's like your favorite knock off purse and watch dealer in Harlem got all high tech and geeky. If you are a designer purse and/or watch junkie, these sites are for you. You'll pay around $180 to $200 a bag, but the quality looks amazing and the inventory seems very true to their, shall we say, "inspirations".