Tips and tricks for shopping online during quarantine

The number one tip to shopping online during this quarantine period is to shop ahead. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people, are now using online ordering that weren’t before. The convenience of getting things same day or next day is no longer an option on most products. Knowing ahead of time that shipping can take up to a week or more can save you time, frustration and money.

Order today what you will need in a week. That isn’t to say that orders won’t arrive sooner, Amazon’s orders (for me) have arrived early almost every time. Target did as well.

Essentials are prioritized for most retailers, meaning your soap and shampoo are going to ship before your high heels and earrings. Knowing that, I ordered Easter items three weeks in advance and one bag of chocolates didn’t make it. Yes, chocolate isn’t essential (such a shame).

There isn’t a universal list of “essentials” because it truly can vary, but in general these are my assumptions of what an essential would be…

  • Personal care items: body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant
  • Food and Grocery: Amazon has food (via reg. delivery or Pantry), Target allows you to shop for food online too.
  • Medicines and prescriptions: My medical insurance ships my prescriptions and I just heard CVS is offering free shipping for theirs too. CVS uses Instacart for standard order delivery as well.
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, plates, etc: Toilet paper and paper towels are virtually impossible to find online right now. You truly have to be online at the right time to catch it. Target is my go-to for paper plates though.

There is a time and a place for being selective and now is not that time or place. Embrace store brand products for two reasons, they are generally less expensive and usually have a higher number in stock. The store brand cotton swab ear cleaners work just as good as the name brand ones. Amazon has a few brands, Walmart’s store brand is Great Value, and Target’s brand is up&up to name a few.

Start with absolute necessities first and when you find them do not hesitate with your purchase. This is not the time to double think your purchases of essential items. If you found yourself some store brand toilet paper and it will ship to you then you proceed to the final checkout as fast as possible. Same goes for toothpaste, shampoo, and anything else you can’t live without. Chocolate you can live without guys… yes… yes you can.

Don’t fear words like “back-ordered” “out of stock” and “low stock” on products, don’t let it hold you back one bit. By shopping ahead those words and that delayed shipping doesn’t muddle up your plans or your supplies. There is a good chance the items will be at your house sooner than anticipated.

Finally, think outside the box… Shop retailers that you may not regularly shop. Stores like Officedepot, Home Depot, Staples and eBay also sell some items.

Helpful links during your searches:

I hope this helps you all during these very strange and chaotic times. Thanks for reading.

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