This Is Why I Shop Online: Episode #5: “The Mouse Empire Strikes Back”

Oh, where to begin? This bad shopping experience began with my daughter cleaning out her mouse cage. She informed me that she needed more mouse bedding, and also some more food. “Fine,” said I, “I’ll go online and order some” – and that’s when things began to go horribly wrong.

She, and my son, said it would be fun to actually go to Petco so they could look at the fish and other animals – it would “educational.” Right. They also wanted to stop at McDonalds on the way home. Plus, it would be good to get out of house for a while and give Mom some alone time. Even though I knew they were really working poor ol’ Dad, I agreed.

So, we get to Petco and the fun begins. First, they convince me to by a Betta fish and kit because it would be cool to have one. Okay, they do look cool, so we got one.

Next stop, the hermit crab habitat. My son already has a hermit crab but he was quick to let me know that his book on them said they do better in groups on 3 or more. Not wanting to deprive the little guy of companionship, we then bought 2 friends for him.

“Alright, that’s it,” I said. “Let’s get the mouse stuff and get out of here.” We get to the mouse area and my daughter spots this...

...a mouse cage expansion set. She thinks her mice are getting tired of their house and it would be good for them emotionally to expand their environment. Far be it from me to be the cause of neurotic mice, so into the cart it went.

We finally get out of there and are on our way home when they remind me about going to McDonalds. Drat – I had hoped they had forgotten about that. Oh well. We go through the drive-thru and head back home.

My wife quickly spots all the bags we walk in with and is not happy, realizing that we got much more than just mouse food and bedding. I sheepishly smiled and handed her the French fries I bought her, hoping they would improve her mood. They didn’t.

All in all, this is how my little adventure worked out:

Cost of Going Out to Shop:

  • Gas: $3.00
  • Betta fish and kit $24.99
  • 2 hermit crabs $17.98
  • Mouse cage expansion set $25.99
  • McDonalds $10.00
  • Mouse Bedding $8.99
  • Mouse Food $6.99
  • I got yelled at by my wife for buying all this stuff.

Cost if I Would Have Shopped Online:

  • Mouse Bedding $8.99
  • Mouse Food $6.99

So, if I would’ve stayed at home and shopped online, I would have saved about 80 bucks. That’s substantial. Arrgh.


Upon checking my email (which I would’ve done had I stuck to my original plan) I discovered a message from Virgin Airines that my frequent flyer miles were about to expire unless I purchased a flight, or bought something from one of their participating merchants within the next 2 weeks. Guess who one of those participating merchants turns out to be? Petco!

To make matters worse, I also found a bunch of Petco coupons that would have saved me a considerable amount of money. Oh, and the Betta died a day later, leading to many tears. When will I learn? Get it through your head, self – Shop Online Every Time!

Please read more in this series by checking out my whole “This Is Why I Shop Online” litany of horror stories.

By: Peter

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