It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving will be here in 3 days! This month has just flown by and already the hustle of of the holiday season will be upon us. After Thanksgiving, many Americans will be participating in the well-oiled tradition of Black Friday shopping. Some will be gearing up at 4AM in the morning to line up at stores for the special shopping olympics. That might be fun for some, but this mama will be staying home to do my shopping!

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary by doing a little long weekend stay-cation. In addition to going out to eat, we also decided to take our toddler and baby with us for some nice strolling around and do some shopping. While the kids did fine with the family dining, we did not fare so well shopping. Simply trying on a pair of shoes required one of us to juggle two kids at the same time, and chasing around a toddler who is stimulated by all the sights and sounds of the shopping center was not so fun at all. In the end, it just affirmed my personal love of online shopping.

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Here are some reasons I find online shopping the superior way to procure:

Big Selection Without Driving Around
Instead of having to drive store to store, a great selection of goodies are just a click away. If you know in general what you are looking for, you can really get a much better selection than going to any store. You can find out if an item is available in your size without having to look around for a sales person

Price Comparison
Here’s where online shopping has store shopping beat, hands down. You can compare prices so easily and make sure you are getting the best deal available. Using a browser add-on extension like PriceBlink can help you find lower prices for mos items instantly.

Online Coupons, Rebates, and Free Shipping
By using sites like Ebates, Fat Wallet, RetailMeNot, one can easily get additional rebates and savings. Many sites offer free shipping, especially for orders over a certain dollar amount, so it can be more cost effective than having to drive and spend gas money to buy things. The key to a good shopping experience is, of course, the store that you are dealing with. A good return policy is key when it comes to buying things online.

No Crowds, No Babysitter Needed
The holiday shopping season usually means that you are shopping with a crowd of people. Even when I was a fabulous single gal, I had limited tolerance of big crowds and the nuisance that comes with it — long lines, hard to find parking, and over-extended sales people. I love spending time with my kids more than I like dealing with crowds, and shopping with young children along comes with its own challenges — the need to negotiate with naps, snacks, diaper changes, breastfeeding in public areas when you have an infant that is nursing.

Low Pressure, Making Decision on My Own Turf
I like making decisions without pressure, and being at home frees me from the influence of retail stores. Retail stores carefully plan their environment to maximize profit and they overload you with sensation of sight, sounds, and smell to get you to buy. Even the way the merchandise is placed and organized is designed to distract you into buying more. When I shop online, the shopper has more control over my decision making space as well as time.

Easier Gifting
If you are sending a gift to someone you are not going to see face to face when you present the gift, online shopping saves a bunch of steps. You can have it gift wrapped and shipped for you without much effort on your part. When there is a toddler and a baby to juggle, I am glad not to have to whip out the gift wraps and tapes!
So to those of you who will be dressing up and lining up middle of the night on Black Friday — have your fun. I will be sleeping in and cuddling with my family!