it's called Amazon Prime and i'm not exaggerating when i say it has changed my life.
for $89/year your Amazon Prime membership gets you FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING on everything that Amazon sells & fulfills themselves (which is anything you could imagine) plus thousands of streaming video and kindle books on loan.
there are things sold on Amazon that are not fulfilled/shipped by Amazon, and you do have to pay shipping for those. but honestly it is rare that there's an item sold by a third party that isn't also sold by Amazon (qualifying for the free 2-day shipping).
now, i know you're wondering-- wait, Aly, don't you believe in supporting handmade? and YES i absolutely do! but for my kids who will only be happy if every gift they open has a Disney princess on it? well, i can't really go handmade there. and sometimes people really want books or a watch or golf clubs... handmade isn't appropriate for a lot of people on your list, and you can't feel guilty about that.
and aside from gifts, i buy vitamins (garden of life is the best brand, in my opinion), diapers, craft supplies, clothes, and more through Amazon. and i get everything within TWO DAYS without paying a dime for shipping. that, to me, is worth not having to load up the kids and bribe them with goldfish for not melting down in Target while i inevitably forget 5 things on my list and have to head back the next day to grab those forgotten items. are you with me? it ends up being the only outing you can muster all day and when they get in trouble for throwing a fit in the toy aisle and you have to take away the fun activity you had planned, it's just a bummer for everyone.
so now, when i need A N Y T H I N G, i immediately click over to Amazon.com and see if they carry it first. 9.5 times out of 10, they do. and it's usually cheaper than the prices you can find in any store.
amazon is not just for books, you guys! this was a revelation to me when i first started using it, when i bought my fancy new printer last year for my business.
just last week i decided to go gluten/dairy/egg free to see what might be causing my baby's gas/spit up/reflux issues, and i heard there were so many great snacks that i could actually eat. it was a specific brand, and who knows where i would end up finding it? instead of hunting them down at all the carious health food stores in my area, dragging three kids with me on my mission, i just ordered them on Amazon and had them at my doorstep THE NEXT DAY because of Amazon Prime.
anyway, i don't know if i've convinced you yet, so you may just want to try it yourself. Amazon Prime offers a 30-day free trial and wouldn't december be the perfect month to try it, while you're scrambling to fulfill a long list of gifts for friends and family? especially during "cyber week" when there are crazy good deals happening all week? trust me, you will be blown away by the ease of purchasing and speed of delivery. for me, it's a no-brainer.
let me know if you try it!
oh, and i also added a little "favorite things" page with books i love, supplies i use, cute stuff that's on my wishlist and all the vitamins/supplements that we use at our house. check it out!
** to make sure you're seeing the Amazon Prime items, all you have to do is type into the search bar whatever it is that you want to search for, and then when the results come up, scroll down on the left and click "Prime Eligible". Anything that has the "Prime" logo next to the price is the free 2-day shipping to all Amazon Prime members:
* i have not been paid to write this post, but i do get a small kickback through the links above, if you sign up or buy anything :)