Does a day at the mall with your little one sound painful?  Are you not interested in fighting the parking lot wars just to be able to quickly run through the mall before nap time is over?  Does “bribing” your little one with snacks so that you can make it through 10 minutes in the dressing room not sound appealing?

If you answered yes to these questions, you are not alone.  American consumers are expected to increase their online purchases by 17% in 2008.  This is an increase to $204 billion from the $174.5 billion spent on online shopping last year (   It seems many Americans are finding the convenience of shopping within the comforts of their own home, in a way that is conducive to their schedule……. and often times cheaper, appealing enough to give up an old fashion day at the mall.

Giving up shopping in a real store is a little tough for me, as it may be for you.  I love being able to try on clothes, see how they fit, touch a product with my own hands, and to see all its idiosyncrasies with my own eyes.   When it comes to my shopping style, a tangible product beats out the flexibility and relaxed atmosphere of shopping from home, most of the time.   But…..…I do not have children yet, and the few times I have been to the mall with my little loved ones, I have to say, stress and urgency for beating a silently ticking time bomb, were my top emotions.   Which leads me to believe, online shopping might have a significant place in my future…..

If  you are a parent, looking for the most effective and least damaging way to purchase all of the many things on your “to-buy” list, or not a parent, but someone without the time or patience for a trip to the mall, check out these top online shopping sites….and as an added benefit, save a little money.

1.       Overstock – Top in its field of online shopping. You will get name brand goods here (of all different departments), at a fraction of the price.   Buy quickly though, it may be gone the next time you come back.

2.       Shopzilla – Organized, easy to navigate, and has specific categories to search through for every family’s needs.  They also have a section to show you which products offer free shipping.

3.       Wal-Mart – The same variety of products, the same low prices, and shipping as low as $0.97.  **Free shipping if you ship to your local Wal-Mart store to run in a pick up!

4.       Net-Grocer – This is an online grocery store that ships to 48 states.  The food prices are competitive, coupons are available, and shipping is reasonable – depending on what you buy. They even have an organic section!

5.       Shopbop– A favorite site amongst my friends and family, with and without kids.  Designer clothes at a cheaper (still expensive though) price. They have a sale section and free ground shipping!

6.       Old-Navy    Same great prices, an incredible clearance section, and $5 flat shipping

7. – Beauty products at a price you cannot argue with.  $1 for almost all products ($4 for bath & body products), constant sales, free shipping for a $75 purchase (though I have never spent close to $75), and often free shipping deals are given. 

8.       Amazon – An old favorite and one that I use frequently for books, DVD’s and music.  They have unbeatable prices, options to buy used, and endless list of products, and free shipping deals.  

Put the kids to bed, slip on your PJ’s, pour a cup of tea, turn on the computer, and escape into the world of online shopping!