We are approaching the bad weather season, and the busy shopping season and for me the stressful – “how will I get it all done?” season. I have a system that helps me get more things done without having to go out in bad weather.
First, most people have already tried shopping online. Maybe you do it once in awhile, or maybe it is something you do regularly. I admit that I have been shopping online for a long time, but lately I order more and more items that I used to just run to the store to pick up. Most of the websites I shop with offer free shipping all the time or with a purchase of $25 or more. I save my items until I need $25 worth before placing my order.
Dad doesn’t like to go out to try on clothes. I can purchase for him locally or online, but either way I am going to have to bring things back if they don’t fit. Last week I decided to place an order for him from LL Bean. They offer free shipping and I can return his item if it doesn’t fit. Lands’ End is even more convenient as I can do returns at the local Sears store instead of shipping things back to them if they don’t fit.
My local grocery store has stopped carrying many of the brands and specific items that I prefer. It seems that I must choose the store brand or the giant economy size or nothing. I have found that I can get some of the items that I want on Amazon.com or Drugstore.com now that my local grocer doesn’t carry them. Now I order my breakfast cookies, my favorite brand of iced tea, my dad’s Depends and a lot of other items online. I also order dad’s over the counter medications as well as my own online as well.
It is easier for me to charge dad’s items to his account and my items to my account when I order online. I have his Depends sent on a schedule as well as my breakfast items. I order his OTC medications in a separate order from my own. When I shop for dad in the grocery store, half the time I end up paying for his items out of my account as it is too confusing to check out twice with all the items mixed together in my one shopping cart.
Today I remembered that I had trouble getting Christmas stamps on time last year. I hate to drive to the post office since it is always crowded and the parking lot is inconvenient to access. I have come to depend on the US Post Office website – www.usps.com – to order stamps. There is a small fee ($1.25) for delivery of all the stamps that I order at one time.
In addition, I hate to have to wait in line to ship my packages to my children and others. I have learned to rely on both the US Post Office Website and also the UPS website to print out my shipping labels and arrange for pickup of my boxes. (I did have to invest in an inexpensive postal scale which I ordered from eBay.com)
I could also choose to print my own labels and prepare my boxes and then drop them off at the post office or one of the local package stores, Staples, Office Max or any other site that arranges for package delivery.
I will admit that I was reluctant to do online shipping at first. It felt intimidating to print out actual labels and have the money billed to my credit card. Suppose I made a mistake? Would I spend money or messed up labels? It turned out to be fairly simple. Online shipping has an added advantage as well. I keep an online address book both at the post office site and the shipping site. Then if my family member has not moved since the last time, I can just click on the address and print the label.
I do keep a box of shipping labels on the shelf to simplify this procedure. But, it isn’t really necessary to buy special labels. You can use plain printing paper and just tape it onto the box to be shipped. You have to use clear transparent tape to attach the plain paper label but then it works just as well. I just like the convenience of the labels and I do a lot of shipping since my family is spread across the country.