Can You Buy Everything Online? Almost. Brad does!

Now that we’re in the coldest part of the year, people tend to think more about how to buy everything online from the comfort of their own home. A lot of people ask me “How many things do you buy online?” The answer is that I buy almost everything online. Why? Well, the deals are better than anywhere offline (yes, even warehouse clubs), there is often no sales tax and it is more convenient for me (especially during winter weather in Chicago!).

A tiny amount of the food I buy online

I buy most of the non-perishable food I eat – everything from peanuts, oatmeal, rice and vitamins to a 10lb. bag of organic gojiberries (beat that for obscurity!) – and drinks such as bottled water, milk (it’s soy, so comes shipped room temp, somehow) and tea. I’m trying to not eat any animal-based fats (no meat, no dairy, no eggs, etc.) or any processed foods. That means lots of obscure things. Normally, that means expensive obscure things but the internet really helps me save.

Bulk Soap, etc.

I buy all soap, shampoo and personal care items in bulk online (think and for less than I could anywhere locally. This includes everything from paper towels to tooth paste to deodorant to razors to shaving cream to contact lenses. Amazon’s “subscribe and save” is brilliant both because it knocks an extra 15% off but also because it keeps me stocked of things I don’t want to run out of.

But How Good Are The Deals?

My bed. Mattress, sheets, pillows, frame via the internet.

My checks were $4, my Gevalia coffeemaker was free, my water is under $0.20 a bottle and it’s delivered (no heavy lifting!), my mattress was 40% off after I found a rare “employee discount code” for The W Hotel Store and the awesome Scottish travel pictures on my wall were 35% off via an exceptionally large Allposters coupon. Even my  HP laser printer was over half-off retail and $65 to $115 less than most people usually pay.

My $2 Lead Crystal Glasses and $1 Bottles of Alcohol

I stocked an entire bar full of expensive lead crystal glasses and mid-shelf alcohol for pennies on the dollar.

My Sounddock!

The only reason I own a Bose Sounddock or Bose QC3 headphones is because I found a rare coupon code that took, curiously, 24% off Bose products and had to see if it would work! It did, so many others got to save, as well.

I’ve  bought my sheets, silverware, the music I listen to (when not listening for free), my TV and DVD Player, my desk and desk chair, my phones and all computer products (computer, mouse, monitor, printer, paper, ink, etc.).

My "All Posters"
Scotland via Allposters

My wife and I bought our wedding bands on Blue Nile using a coupon code. We’ve bought stamps from, wine from, sheets from Overstock and SmartBargains, rugs from Overstock and a variety of dog food, supplies and vitamins from a mix of online pet stores.

While you can’t buy every single thing in life on the internet, you can sure get quite a lot, it just requires a little planning. Don’t be afraid to buy in bulk! Watch for the best deals and make room in your home for excess products.

Do you buy most of your everyday items online? Share what you buy with me in the comments section.



Get insider tips for saving money on almost everything and learn more great shopping tips in Brad’s new book, “Do More, Spend Less: The New Secrets of Living the Good Life for Less”, available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

3 Reasons Why Gift Cards Rock!

Merry Christmas to each of you celebrating this holiday today/tomorrow!

I’m often asked about last-minute holiday shopping deals, tips, etc. I actually just did an interview with Jayne O’Donnell at USA Today on this subject.

There are many great deals and discounts to be had – even today (Christmas Eve)! One tip that I think is understated is that it’s okay to buy your loved ones gift cards. In fact, I’d recommend that you buy gift cards instead of just running out and grabbing an obligatory Christmas gift. Here are my quick tips/reasons why you need to listen to me here:

  • More For Less – You can actually land a $100 gift card for $80…yes, that’s right, you can buy a gift card that is worth more than you pay for it! Check out gift card marketplaces like and
  • Year-End Blowouts – Brick & mortar retailers often have a surplus of items that they have overstocked on their shelves throughout the holiday shopping season. Knowing that shoppers are in last-minute mode, they rarely lower the prices on these items until AFTER Christmas. The week between Christmas and New Years is an incredible time to walk into these retailers and find or bargain for a great deal (NOTE: don’t be afraid to ask for the department managers and haggle for a better price). Retailers don’t want to finish the year with this overstock and would gladly offload the merchandise to add to their bottom line here in 2012.
  • The Thought That Counts – This post is exactly what you need to share to go beyond anyone that claims a gift card is a thoughtless gift. The fact that you thought through the fact that they could do more and spend less…AND actually get something they wanted should overcome anyone’s negative feelings toward the gift card:)

Cheers and Merry Christmas!