Now honestly...big picture here...I really kinda have a hatred for shopping, so this works out in my favor...most of the time. The downside....when you really NEED to buy something, you have to drive a minimum of an hour and 45 minutes just to get somewhere that has anything remotely worthwhile. I mean really...I come from God's Country, a.k.a. Arkansas, where I can buy just about anything, anytime, at Wal-Mart. Here in Ridgecrest...the Wal-Mart is not only not a Supercenter, it also closes at 9:00pm most days. Not that I'm complaining...but it's really just a bit of culture shock.
There are times when you really do need to buy something...and well...I dislike shopping as it is. Add an hour and 45 minutes of driving in each direction, and I might pull my hair out. Not to mention...what if you complete the hour and 45 minute drive through the marvelous desert, get to the store, and STILL can't find what you're looking for? This in no way appeals to me.
All that to say, I have recently become a fan of online shopping. There are definitely pros and cons, but overall, I'd say the good outweighs the bad (in most cases). I thought I'd take a moment to share some recent purchases with you...all of which I made online from the comfort of my own desk at work, or bedroom at home :)
I already shared with you about my bridesmaids dresses and wedding shoes finds....both of which I felt were a steal! I also mentioned in that post that I had been on the hunt for a dress to wear to an upcoming bachelorette party...
|Dress for jungle themed bachelorette party - $26.99|
So if you know me at all, I know what you're thinking. "Lauren? Animal print? What?" I agree. I normally wouldn't pay money to wear something leopard or cheetah print, but my dear friend Jesse that is getting married in September, she really has a thing for leopard print! So I caved...and bought my first animal print dress. The only other animal printed things I have ever owned have been Zebra...and that is because it was my high school mascot. My soldier, who is also not a huge fan of animal print things, helped me pick this one out. I kept emailing him pictures while we were on Skype one evening, and almost every one of them, he crinkled his nose and shook his head on. This is the only one that he said, "You'd look good in that one." So I splurged a little (I normally wouldn't pay $27 for a dress I know I wouldn't wear much) and went for it :) Not that he will be joining the bachelorette festivities, but who knows when I might go to another jungle themed party later on in life that I'll fully intend on dragging him to? I at least want him to think I look good, even if he hates my dress. haha. I plan on wearing this with my red heels when we have the bachelorette party in a few weeks...stay tuned for pictures!
While on the animal print kick...
|Zebra Print Swimsuit Top - $9.78|
|Zebra Print Swimsuit Bottoms - $9.79|
|Red Dress - $12.14|
All of the above items (including the bridesmaids dresses for my wedding) were found at charlotterusse.com. At the time I ordered the red dress, the swimsuit, and the animal print dress, I had just signed up for the Charlotte Russe BFF program. While I don't really think Charlotte Russe is my BFF, it was an opportunity for a free 10% off coupon...and I never say no to free discounts :) After I ordered that lot of items, a fancy little $10 coupon code showed up in my email inbox...all I had to do was spend $60 or more. So...I ordered my bridesmaids dresses, originally priced $32.99, two at a time, and used the coupon code for both orders. Awesome, right? :) Now if only I'd waited a couple days...because NOW Charlotte Russe is offering free shipping on orders over $60. I had to pay $6.99 per order on all three of my orders. Oh well...again, you win some, you lose some :)
Now for my perhaps most impressive online find...
|Bridesmaids dress for Jesse's wedding - $9.50|
I had been on the hunt for a dress to wear in Jesse's wedding in September. She is having 9 bridesmaids (yikes!) of all different shapes and sizes, so trying to find a dress that would look good on everyone was pretty much out of the question. So she decided to leave it up to us to pick out our own dress. These were the requirements: Black (preferably flat, not shiny), knee length-ish, any style on top, as long as there were no sparkly things (like sequins) and no other colors besides black. Easy enough right? I found this one that fit her description on forever21.com, and could see it being something I could wear again in the future. Jesse approved. My favorite part...this dress was only $9.50! I had to pay $1.12 in sales tax, and $5.95 in shipping...so I still ended up getting this dress for $16.57 total...without having to spend $30 on gas to get to the nearest shopping...I'll take it :)
So...after my recent online shopping spree, I'm now going to share with you a few of the pros and cons I have found when it comes to online shopping:
PRO: You don't have to drive to get what you want/need.
CON: You have to pay shipping...
PRO: I've spent less on shipping than I would have on gas. And sometimes your orders can even qualify for free shipping! :)
CON: You can't try things on.
PRO: You can always return/exchange things if they don't fit to your liking.
CON: You have to pay the shipping charges to send it back in order to get your refund/exchange :(
PRO: If you get a good enough deal, you could just sell it in mom's/sister's next garage sale and still not lose a whole lot :)
PRO: Most companies offer coupon codes and/or gift certificates that can save you some money. Some even give you incentives like reward points for every $1/$10 spent, which you can later exchange for discounts.
CON: You typically have to give them your email address.
PRO: You can always unsubscribe if they send you too many emails :)
PRO: You can get good deals on things online for lots a reasons, some mentioned above.
CON: If you're not smart, you'll end up buying something you don't really need and end up spending more money.
PRO: Being dumb is your choice :)