It has been raining a lot recently, and when it is raining, and one is stuck indoors, one’s thoughts naturally turn to… online shopping.
Yes. It’s true.
But when you are as cheap as I am — or, when you are a stay-at-home mom so household expendable cash is at a minimum — or a combination of the two, actually, then you spend a great deal of your online shopping time looking at clearance sections, online sales and coupons, and secondhand stuff.
And I have spent a LOT of time doing just that in recent days. It’s become a bit of a THING with me, actually.
First, it was the clearance section at Victoria’s Secret. I have shopped there online for a few years now, and have gotten some fantastic bargoons. As long as you are not too fussy about colours, you can get some great stuff — I’ve gotten sweatshirts for 5 bucks, workout clothes for relatively cheap prices, and pajamas for something like 25% of their regular list price. Sure, they ding you on shipping, and the exchange can hurt, but if you do it when the dollar is strong here in Canada and wait for one of their shipping deals (or go splits with a friend on the shipping, as Heather and I have done) then it’s pretty good.
Another source of good deals has been at Toys Backwards R Us. When we first found out that we had an impending Stinkerbelle, I spent time buying toys and DVDs for our new daughter, and most of it was in the clearance section and in sale items. One day I got 6 things for under $50 — some of them classic toys like stacking cups or one of those ring stacker thingies. Again, if you are not fussy about patterns or colours, you can get great deals. Our high chair was peanuts. Our stroller was cheapcheapcheap. And both were big brand names.
And then, there’s always Chapters where, if you buy over $40 worth, shipping is free. Not to mention, they also have good clearance items. And having a members’ card will get you a decent discount at checkout.
Recently, my online shopping experience has just exploded. We’re very short on money these days, what with taxes and a $1500 car repair to get my car back on the road, and so it’s been a task — albeit a very enjoyable one — to hunt out some bargains on Teh Interwebs for stuff we feel would be nice to have.
I’ve recently taken to Kijiji like nobody’s business. We are planning a vacation, as cheaply as we can, and so we went looking for bargains. And what I found was pretty sensational. We ended up getting a Pack and Play for Stinkerbelle to sleep in while we are away, and a baby backpack so we can go hiking with her, secondhand and in really great condition, for a fraction of their original costs. And we’re looking into jogging strollers as well. And the beauty is, when we are done with them, we just sell them ourselves, and make some money back. I loathe the nickel-and-dime haggling of the garage sale culture, but this online secondhand stuff gets me similar deals without those kinds of hassles and without leaving the comfort of my favourite chair.
Also, I am following a bargain site called RedFlagDeals on Twitter, which means that every day, I get notified of online sales, freebies and coupons, for everything from groceries to stuff at Canadian Tire to electronics. THE DEALS COME TO ME. Is this heaven? I think it might be. A Serta leather office chair for 80 bucks? SCORE. A set of baskets for $10? AWESOME. 4 pictures for Stinkerbelle’s wall for $40? WHEE! Free granola bars? BRING IT. And while this in and of itself is great, it has also provided me with yet more links to still MORE bargain sites. It’s a cheapskate’s DREAM, I tell you truly.
So, yes. It has become a recent addiction, of sorts, but that is fine. I enjoy it, and although we cannot buy a lot of the stuff we find, it has actually given me hope. Our dreams are big, even though our bank account is tiny. So as I comb through these deals and bargains, it’s a comfort to know that we can have many of the material items we would like, and give Stinkerbelle many of the creature comforts, of a family with a fair deal more money than we have… as long as we are willing to wait for deals and budget wisely. She need not know that we don’t have a ton of free cash, and we can have lots of fun on vacations, or in the backyard, or here at home, at a reasonable price.
And I get to see some of those dreams of home decor and pretty things as a possibility too, which is kind of exciting. Things are suddenly within the realm of possibility. Plus I love to shop for this stuff. And the cheapoholic in me does a happy dance whenever I score a deal.
Now if you will excuse me, there’s a 15% off deal I need to have a look at…