Online shopping has been on my mind a lot lately. The holiday shopping season is here (let’s face it, it arrived the day after Halloween), and it’s impossible to go out to a shopping mall anywhere right now without seeing frenzied people rushing about trying to cross items off their Christmas lists. Along with other things that can stress a person out at this time of year, the added insanity of battling through throngs of people at a store can actually push a person to the limit.

Frenzied shopping? Packed parking lots? Crazy crowds? No thanks.

There’s a reason why online shopping is growing in popularity each year. Consumers are realizing that, although sometimes shopping for things in person has its advantages, there’s no comparison between online vs. in-person shopping when it comes to three things:

Saving time, saving money and saving your sanity. If you want to save those three things, online shopping is the way to go.

Save Time

There is nothing more valuable than your time. Nothing. Have you ever had a “quick trip” to the store turn into double or triple the time? Chances are you have and chances are the added time put just a tad more stress into your day. Not fun.

Example: you see in a flyer that a toy your child wants is on sale, but the store is a 30 minute drive from your home. You may save a few bucks on the item, but once you factor in the time it takes you to get there, battle your way through a packed store and then get back home, was it worth the $5 or $10 you saved? My opinion is no.

Now, take that same scenario for purchasing the toy online. You can shop in peace after the kids have gone to bed, or first thing in the morning before the rest of your house is even awake. By the time your kids get their sleepy selves to the breakfast table in the morning, you could have completed what would have been a good 4 hour trip to the mall, all from the comfort of your home, with your coffee in hand. Enough said.

If it’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, nothing is more valuable than time. I’ll take every chance I can get to save as much of it as I can, thank you very much. Online shopping is a huge part of me being able to save time every week, and that’s more time for me to do things with my kids.

Save Money

One of my biggest pet peeves when I’m shopping is when I finally get to the store, find the area where the things I’m looking for are SUPPOSED to be, only to find that they’re sold out. Sometimes you can get a raincheck from the store, but frequently with sale items, they won’t issue them. Now you’re in a situation where you need to find a replacement for this item, and there’s a good chance you’ll end up spending more money than you had originally budgeted. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in this situation and ended up coming home with something different that ended up costing more.

However....

One of my very favourite things about online shopping is that right away, you know whether or not your item is in stock. And if it is in stock, it will show you how many are left so you can gauge how fast you should make this purchase if you want to make sure you get it.

Another great money-saver for online shopping are websites like ParentsCanada Sweet Deals. This kind of website specializes in letting shoppers know about daily deals by way of a daily email, and offers a daily Featured Deal. Find, click, buy and voila—you’re done. Using a website like this can save you from 40% to even 100% of an item. Yup, I said 100%. Is there a better price than “free”? I think not.

Plus, to make a sweet deal even sweeter, ParentsCanada Sweet Deals is giving away a super cool prize to a YMC reader including an UPPA baby stroller and more, worth $1,000! Simply sign up here, enter promo code "YMC2012" when prompted and you will be entered to win! Sweet...

I found these very cool baby slippers at ParentsCanada Sweet Deals and saved 50%, a great savings for a cute gift that I can't wait to give to some awesome mamas-to-be that I know. Bought from the comfort of my kitchen, I’ve got something adorable that I wouldn’t have found as I was wearily working my way through a crowded mall.

By being able to find what you need online, or to find a comparable item price-wise, you will end up saving money, no question.

Save Sanity

Recently it was Black Friday in the US—the biggest shopping day of the year, next to maybe Boxing Day. All day I shook my head as I saw videos and photos being posted of people cramming themselves into stores, fighting with total strangers and spending enormous amounts of money. It was the definition of insanity, and I don’t think I’ll ever understand it.

Look what happened at this Victoria’s Secret store in Oklahoma—the employees pretty much had to run for their lives as they opened the door:

Or the chaos in this store as people fought for a discounted smartphone:

That right there, is the definition of insanity. It’s incredible that people would choose to put themselves into a situation like this when they could have shopped online. Seriously.

And on the flip side, for the first time in history, online sales on Black Friday this year hit $1 billion. One. Billion. Dollars. Clearly some shoppers on Black Friday knew the smart way to shop.

Time. Money. Sanity. It’s the holy trinity of shopping and come to think of it, parenting. Those are three things that seem to always be in short supply and we need to be able to save it as much as possible, whenever possible. For me, being able to shop from home using my laptop or an app on my phone is a huge factor in what I buy and where.

ParentsCanada Sweet Deals is giving one lucky YMC reader an UPPAbaby stroller filled with amazing stuff for the whole family—a LIKE book, bagnetic bags, a car seat canopy—a total value of $1,000!

Here’s how to enter:

  Sign up for ParentsCanada Sweet Deals by December 31
  Enter this promo code when you sign-up: YMC2012
  Then you’re entered to win and you'll get a $2 sign up bonus, too

Sign up now to win this great prize pack!

And of course if you bought all of the prize items at deals.parentscanada.com you’d save 60%.

 

Spill it! How often do you shop online & what kind of products do you buy online as opposed to in-person?

 
Sweet Deals Rules and Regs: You must be a ParentsCanada Sweet Deals subscriber to win. Click to sign up! It's free and you'll have access to daily deals on family items. Entries accepted until December 31, 2012. Contest open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Full contest rules & regulations.