In between overdoing it

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Making purchases on-line has been a great asset to this busy mom. However, over the years, I have come to see some of its drawbacks. After having children, on-line shopping was a life saver. It made a world of difference in keeping up with birthday and holiday presents. Also, if I started early enough, I could often find great on-line deal, much less then what I would pay at the store.

These Items could be gift wrapped and shipped to an alternate address, saving me more time in not having to go to the post office. The really ingenious part is they could be shipped to a temporary location (i.e grandmas) to await Santa’s big arrival. So there was no risk of the kids sneaking a peek or stumbling on a present from Santa.

By far the biggest benefit was not having to drag the kids out, battle crowds and traffic, something I desperately try to avoid, Once we get into the store the clock starts ticking on my children’s good behavior and tolerance for shopping cart games. This puts added pressure on me to get things done in a limited time, usually resulting on poorly thought out, impulsive purchases.

With on-line purchases I can wait until after the kids go to sleep, put on my comfy pj’s and enjoy the experience. With a click of the mouse, I can compare products, pursue reviews and take my time making a decision. It makes for a much more informed and hassel-free buying process.

shirtsThe downside comes in that you really can’t see what you are buying. This has been a problem for me when ever I purchase clothing on-line. For a while I became enamored with the clothing website “Twice,”which is like a name brand thrift store over the internet. I was a great concept. The prices we’re fantastic, the clothing looked nice and the process was easy.

Once I received the items, many did not fit well or at all. Some seemed stretched out or shrunken from previous wash and wear. The sizing also varied greatly from brand to brand. After several of my purchases turned into donations, I realized on-line clothes shopping was good for some people, but not for me. i just needed to try things on and see them up close.

Another obvious problem is the possibility of on-line theft. With companies falling pray to hacker and compromised  information it makes the user wary to put their data out there.

Food purchases are where I really hit it big.  It has saved me money on items like organics and high-priced specialty foods such as almond butter and cereal. Plus it’s a time saver in avoiding the grocery store. I have been using Amazons Subscribe and Save for several months now and just when I’m about to run out of cereal there is the amazon box at my doorstep. By selecting five or more subscribe and save items you save 15%. The items come monthly and you can select new ones or keep your order the same every month. cart

With how fast kids grow out of clothes, children’s clothing can also cost you a boatload of money. I have found, at least while they are younger, I can buy their clothes on-line after the season for significantly less (like winter shirts for $3). I just purchase next years size and save it until then.

This has saved me a ton of money and has limited peak of season purchases when prices on clothing are highest. It doesn’t work well once you can’t anticipate the next size they will be in. Likewise, shoe purchases on-line are also difficult for this reason. For example, my son has massive feet for his age and it is difficult to find comfortable shoes for him on-line.

So I guess like most things there is a purchasing balance to be reached between on-line and in person shopping. What things to you find helpful to buy on-line? What do you feel must be purchased in person? Let me know what you think about on-line vs in store shopping. Would love to hear from you.

Another obvious drawback i the possibility of on-line theft. With so many companies having information breeches it makes users a bit wary to put there personal data out there.

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