Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Recent shopping habits

Hey, he likes his new car seat ... 
I boycotted Walmart for five months.

Do you know I live in a small town? Shopping options are limited. I'm a Kroger loyalist and have been all my life, really. Just ask my mom. If I need household products or gifts that can't come a grocery store, I've been going to Big Lots or Dollar General Store. Or ordering from

So, really boycotting Walmart in a small town is kind of a big deal.

I decided in March that I was done shopping there after the oil change guy was rude and not helpful when I asked for an oil change. In fact, they weren't doing oil changes the two days in a row I went without explanation or any indication when they would return to their advertised service.

It wasn't just that. It was a series of poor customer service experiences, habitual movement of food items {really, why are the snacks by the dog food?} that would keep me wandering the aisles, and two open check-out lanes when there were 10 times that many potentially available. The store has since installed self-check lanes, but that hasn't solved the customer service problems.

I can say this with confidence because I broke my boycott earlier this month. I needed a new car seat for my growing boy and, well, nowhere else in my small town sells them. I may have been able to find one at Big Lots, but I wanted to look at a few brands and read descriptions on boxes. So while in the baby section, I picked up a few gifts and then headed to the check-out thinking maybe I'd overreacted by boycotting Walmart.

I found what I needed. I only had to wait for one lady to finish paying for her goods. My kids helped me load our items on the conveyor belt. And then I paid. The total seemed high, so I checked my receipt as soon as the cashier handed it to me.

Yep. Too high.

She had charged me twice for a $12.98 item. I point this out to her and she responds in a sweet voice, "Oh, I'm so sorry. But I can't do anything about it. You'll have to go to customer service."

So I did. I waited behind two people who were being helped by two unenthusiastic women who didn't really seem to know what they were doing.

I walked out of the store with $13.76 in cash, my son's new carseat, a few gifts, and a renewed boycott.

This story leads to me to online shopping, which I love. And, y'all, there are deals to be found. I even started Christmas shopping recently, thanks to zulily deals that keep showing up in my inbox.

I should tell you that I have all shopping-related emails filtered {I love Gmail.} to a separate folder. So they skip my inbox and I only look at them when I'm intending to shop online. That cuts down on the impulsive spending that could happen otherwise.

Without further ado, how about some {fun} deals I've seen lately?

Happy. Happy. Happy. Yep, Duck Dynasty, people. And DaySpring is selling some Duck Dynasty notebooks, folders and binders {from $2.99} just in time for sending your kids back to school. They're buy two, get one free, so you could stock for gifts.

DaySpring's August sale also includes some great books, such as "You're Already Amazing" by Holley Gerth, "Unglued" by Lysa TerKeurst, and "One Thousand Gifts" photo gift book by Ann Voskamp. Clearance gifts include some adorable coffee mugs that would also bring some encouragement to anyone's mornings.

Another perk of online shopping is earning cash back through Ebates. All you have to do is sign up and then search for whatever website you're using and go to that store through Ebates. It automatically tracks your purchase and adds the cash back you earn to your account. Every few months, you can choose a check payment or an Amazon gift card.

I've mentioned the FREE books I've earned through Tyndale House, but, really, it's super easy and totally worth it.

Where do you like to shop online? Seen any good deals lately?

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  1. I LOVE shopping online. My husband jokes that the neighbor is going to think I have a thing for the UPS guy! :) But seriously with Amazon Prime, Ebates, can you go wrong? I already have ALL of Karlena's birthday and Christmas presents bought and I didn't even set foot in a store!!

  2. Hee hee...I heart my Target and ONLY go to Walmart when absolutely necessary. But I agree with is the way to go whenever possible. We love Amazon (and the prime membership is totally worth it) and zulily gobbles up too much of any disposable income we might have...but the deals are just so dang good! :)

  3. Shelley Street Byrne8/21/2013 9:30 AM

    We also boycott Walmart, although I do find occasional times when it's unavoidable. One of those was yesterday when our lawnmower belt had broken, two other stores we checked that normally carry them didn't have the size we needed in stock, and our rapidly growing grass could not wait for us to order online and have it shipped to us. The lesson? I'm going to go online and order a backup belt to keep on hand in our garage for next time so that we are not forced into that situation again.

  4. KristinHillTaylor8/21/2013 1:14 PM

    I like that I'm not alone in seeking out alternatives to Walmart. :)

  5. KristinHillTaylor8/21/2013 1:15 PM

    Well, yes, I love Target too. But we don't have one here. I try to go to one when I'm traveling. Even Cate, at 6, knows about the dollar deals at Target. :) I've been contemplating a prime membership, especially with all the TV programs available to watch online.

  6. KristinHillTaylor8/21/2013 1:16 PM

    I love that I'm not the only one who Christmas shops ahead of time! :) What's Shoebuy?!

  7. I buy all of my kids shoes there. They carry Stride Rites. Always search for a coupon code online first. Once you sign up as a "member" they send you coupons. Last was 25% off total order. They have free shipping and free returns if they don't fit so there is really no hurt in trying them. And through Ebates first you always get 8.5% cash back!! Last week I got 2 pairs of Stride Rites for $45 (b/c of my 25% off) with an additional 8.5% CB on top!

  8. KristinHillTaylor8/21/2013 1:49 PM

    That's awesome!