Some may call me cheap, others may call me frugal. Personally I just like getting a great deal and saving money. When we are out on the road one of the biggest pain in the necks we have to deal with is getting gifts for those we care about. Finding time to go shopping letting alone a place that is truck friendly can be a major challenge.
For many of us that leaves online shopping. Speaking as a man. I hate shopping on a good day. I like to go in get what I want and get out. I do not like browsing for hours upon hours. Online shopping in may ways is even worse. You have a plethora of stores all selling the same or similar products, prices range from too good to be true to about the size of our national debt. By the time you figure in shipping and the time it took you to find it and a decent deal you probably spent 3-4 times what you would in a normal store.
I have found a few useful sites and an online tool that makes shopping easier.
For flowers I use ProFlowers (no they do not pay me to say this). I have looked at a large number of online flower sites, and their prices are usually among the best as well as some short term deals of the day or week. Shipping is reasonable in many cases less than if you got it from a local florist. One can also buy flowers from Amazon but the prices on Amazon can be more than the same deal on ProFlowers.
Amazon can be a great place to find things as well. The problem is they sell so much stuff it can be frustrating to find what you want. With their extensive selection it brings to mind the old saying. If we don’t have it you do not need it. While I do like their selection. I find it frustrating due to the fact they have such a huge selection. A trick I use is a few friends that love to Amazon shop. I tell them what I am looking for. Then they go and find the stuff for me and send me links. It saves me time and aggravation, and helps them with their window shopping addiction.
Woot is one of my favorite sites for bargains. It is mainly closeout and refurbished items. With a rotating selection of daily and weekly items. YOu never know how many are in stock so if you see something you like. You better get it before it is gone. They have some really great deals. One of the best deals is their shipping. It is a flat 5 bucks no matter the size or weight of item. In additions, if you order multiple items the same day you only pay the 5 bucks once. For Christmas this year I got my son an X-Box 1 with Star Wars battlefront and the Kinex Package. I paid just barely over one of the Black Friday Specials for an X Box 1 with out Kinex. Let’s just say I was the hero for Christmas this year….
Now for those of you who like saving money and making those pennies squeal. Here is a great tool. The drawback is you have to have a laptop in order to use this. As well as using the Chrome browser. It is an extension called Honey. Chrome Extensions are programs that run in the backgorund that help make your life simpler and more productive. What Honey does is when you are checking out from a web site. It checks to see if there are any discount codes you can use to make your purchase even cheaper. There is no cost to use Honey. They do ask you join (for free) to get the absolute best deals. However I just use it for the deals that are available to the general public.
Today I went to ProFlowers to get something for a friend who is having some minor surgery. I found a great advertised deal for Valentines. I Selected that and an upgrade that was still cheaper than the normal price. Then I used honey and ofund a 20% off coupon. By the time I was done I paid less for the gift including tax and shipping than the standard package would have cost. Best part was i was able to do all of this in less than 15 minutes. It took me longer to put in the shipping and billing information than anything else.
These simple tools made my shopping life a bit easier, and has saved me time money and frustration. Which to me is priceless. If you have any tips or tricks you would like to share to make shopping easier or less expensive on the road. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org