How to Save More: Shop and Buy Online

Around two years ago, I would go to a mall to shop to pass the time and spend half a day just browsing at stores. Sometimes I find what I'm looking for but sometimes I end up settling for something good enough, but not exactly what I wanted.

Shopping at the Mall as a Mom

Right now, I am not as confident or as excited about malls as I used to. Ever since I gave birth to my baby boy I haven't found the time or money to spend more than three hours at a mall. The longer I spent my days as a new mom, the more I realize there are more drawbacks to shopping than I expected, before giving birth:
  • Unlike my pre-motherhood shopping bonanza I can only visit up to three stores and only buy one item or none.
  • Having a baby in tow spells distraction, shortened browsing and a possible diaper call. Now that my kid is a toddler, it's not shopping anymore but chasing.
  • It's frustrating because the target item should be affordable or on sale. If anything, discounts are the best part about shopping. Honestly, who wouldn't want to pay a few bucks less than what it's really worth.
  • Getting a drink and some snacks become compulsory. My toddler is always thirsty, always hungry and always wants to ride that car at the activity center. Expenses don't just bloat on a 1-time shopping afternoon, it explodes into an "I-don't-know-where-the-money-went" situation.
  • The commute is punishing, if you're like me who does not own a car. Either way, the chances of a heavy traffic is like tossing a dice and hoping for a double 1. It hardly goes in your favor and honestly, I feel I spend more time waiting in a vehicle than actually strolling at the mall or park I waited to go to.
  • Bought the item or not, when I get home it's thrice as tiring as any normal day with a toddler, and I swear if I ever get an urgent email from work I'd effin' toss the laptop out.
Of course I never do it....though I imagine it a lot. You can't blame a tired mom.

Shopping Online from Home

Having listed out my drawbacks from buying at the mall, let me tell you about online shopping. So there's really only one big difference between the two: the other is physical while the other is virtual. To be fair, here are my personal issues with online shopping:
  • You can see both but you can't touch or asses the other through your 4 other senses. This is a big enough deal for picky shoppers, or if you don't know what you want to buy yet.
  • It takes a while for the items to arrive, especially if you're in the province. Delivery time takes 2 to 3 working days, sometimes up to 5 days if the online store or seller is busy, overworked or just downright stupid.
  • Your product might not look exactly like in the photo or you've absolutely been duped and got a fake.
Then there are the benefits of shopping online, right in the comfort of your oooown bed while your toddler is busy writing on the walls, with a clutter of toys spread on the floor and a pile of work buzzing in your mail....home sweet home.
  • There is no need for you to commute or pay for gas to go to the mall and try your luck on a "possible sale". You can simply check on a promo site or at the online store itself. Try it with Lazada they always have something on sale or promos.
  • You save money by not having to dish out on extra curricular activities like eating, playing arcades with the kids or ending up at the cinema. Miggy is 2.5 years old so his ticket is already full price. It's expensive because he sleeps halfway through the movie almost all the time.
  • When you do find something you like online you can delay buying it to look for a cheaper deal elsewhere or just to save up for it. Since you're not pressured you can drop shopping and check back in whenever you like.
  • Most people would think you could lose it and go all-out when you come face to face with a set of promos. On the contrary, I find myself thinking, rethinking and reconsidering which item to purchase, when and if it is a priority. Because online shopping doesn't provide buyers the chance to hold or experience a certain product, there's hardly any "temptation". If anything, trust issues become your "saving" grace.
  • You can pay online. Sometimes you'll have to go out and pay at the bank if your client is an independent seller. Most of the time, with online shops, you only need to pay using a credit card or your paypal account.
  • Online stores deliver straight to your home....so... yeah... serve me beetches! hehe.. The whole "you come to me!" aura of it is kinda nice.
So basically it's all about the freedom to change your mind and the privilege of not having to bear hours of juggling shopping with chasing your kid. Personally, I still love shopping out at the mall, but only when we're going to the movies. Going out for the sake of shopping has become obsolete for me, it's just not practical anymore.

If I'm eyeing something I'll look for it online instead and maybe score a better deal with so many sales and promotions this rainy season.

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