Tips and Tricks to AVOID Crazy Last Minute Shopping!

You know, (girl you KNOW!) you are going to be out and about shopping this weekend (even if you don't really want to...).  So I invited my friend (and photography client!!) Casey Gaus to share some of her tips and tricks!  Casey is a shopping genius -- hold onto your hats!

Casey's wedding was DIY city with some of the cutest handmade wedding crafts I have ever seen! (and PS - some of them are still for sale in Casey's shop Whimsical Wackadoo!)

 She is going to help you to avoid the crazy shoppers during the Holidays, and get what you want without all the stress!  Welcome Casey!!  I can't wait to read up on your shopping genius!

 Tips to Avoid the Holiday Rush and Get the Best Deals!

Use your smart phone!!!

 We all know that there is an app for EVERYTHING. And these apps make shopping that much easier. A few of my favorites:

Groupon (
- So easy on your phone to scroll through what they have to offer. And a very easy way to find unique gifts.

Totsy (
- I am surely addicted to this app. My oh My! Let the packages flow! From babies, to novelty kitchen items, to shoes, to dress up clothes, to luggage. You name it they will have a sale going on for it.And then ship it right to your door.

Craigslist (
- You would be surprised how many things you can find for dirt cheap. Think about as if it is recycling. You are doing the world a service by using other peoples old toys to make your kid happy for 5 minutes. And then you can resell it. This year I got my son who is 1 a little power wheels quad for 30 bucks and my daughter a Butterscotch Fur Real Horse which retails on Amazon for 599.99. I got one for $150. Will she know it has been used? No. She is 4. And even if she did know. I wouldn't care. I have lived in cities big and small and never had an issue. Use common sense. If it seems weird, it is. Don't send anyone money, ever. The item is in your sites, then you hand the money over.

Etsy (
- So many unique gifts, no lines. Many things made to order. I especially like these mop ponies from the Whimsical Wackadoo store, not to mention the adorable birdseed hearts, chalkboard wine bottles, that I make. I had to toss that in there.. Can you blame me?

Facebook (
- It isn't just for stalking exboyfriends from college anymore. It can ACTUALLY get you up to date on the doings and happenings of sales. Two people you should befriend are:

Addicted 2 savings 4U (
 -This chica won't let you miss a deal, they post to your page with links and instructions. Be careful, it is addictive.

Raining Hot Coupons (
- Sarah is a BUSY lady! She also is constantly putting live deals in your feed. It has changed the way I shop forever!! Right now I see one for olives, free gift cards, and some sort of boots. Holy Moly. Writing this is probably saving me some money.

Last but not least. Amazon. (
Oh Amazon, how I love you. I love you so very much. Amazon makes me happier than my husband. So you think, whatever everyone uses Amazon. BUT are you using it to its full potential? I am probably not even doing that.

Here is how to do it!
You need to know a few things. Amazon allows other people to sell things using their site. It is Called Market place. You have to watch this because you will not have free shipping, you will not be able to use Amazon prime. They aren't affiliated with Amazon. They just use the site as their store front. To avoid this, go to the left side and check under sellers, Amazon.

Sign up for Amazon Prime!! You get a free trial period. Use it to get all your free shipping needs handled! Also you get free two day shipping. Be sure to check that your purchases qualify, again that they aren't Market Place Amazon purchases. I have pretty much finished all my shopping by using this, and even better have all the boxes to pack them in!! AHH! My tree is going to be CRAZY with all the actual boxes around the shape of the gifts. I am very excited about this. Giant boxes.

Also with Amazon, you can ship anywhere. I have shipped my nieces and nephews gifts to their home in Hawaii. For free. No post office, No Ups nonsense to deal with. All from my couch. BAM! I frickin love it. If you are traveling, this makes perfect sense! We use this to ship gifts all year round for birthdays, holidays. You name it.

They also have lightening deals, prime membership deals. I can't say enough good things!!!

I almost forgot the piece de resistance!!! OH MY OH MY! I also have begun grocery shopping online. Oh yes in deed! The greatest thing about this is that I can scroll their savings flyers while I shop, and if I really want to use the coupons I cut, i can. I can take my time finding the sales while watching television at my home. Avoiding the grocery store is absolutely amazing. Is it expensive you ask? It costs at the store that I use locally that participates in shopping from home, $4.50. I would pay that all day everyday to save money, not have to drag my kids into a grocery store, and to have someone come to my car and put it all in my trunk. Lordy be. I get so excited about this whole thing I could scream!!!

And that is that folks. Some may say wow you are efficient. Those who know me would say, no she is extremely lazy, so she does things correctly the first time to save herself added energy!!

Thank you Amy for having me share my tips for shopping ease! You are truly a blessing! And don't forget to check out more pictures from her wedding on  ALLENAIM! This girl is the best!! I don't think she sleeps. Take care. Happy Holidays!! Xoxo Casey, at Whimsical Wackadoo on


Oh how I heart you Casey!  You are the shopping genius!  Y'all seriously need to check out Casey's etsy shop!  Look at these goodies!!

NOW GET SHOPPING!  You've only got 10 DAYS!

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Vanessa said…
"Amazon makes me happier than my husband." Cracked me up! Thanks for all the helpful hints!
Great ideas! Wait you grocery shop online? That is awesome, I have never heard of that around here I am so jealous!
Amy Renea said…
I've heard about it, but never tried it -- Casey has me inspired to try though?!

Thanks for stopping by Jacque and Vanessa!! :)
Mary Beth said…
Great ideas, Amy! I just did some amazon shopping this morning ~ so much better than lines and crabby people. ; )