So, I did something a little different for my out of town bag shopping, and I highly suggest it if you live near a border and are ordering a decent amount of stuff. This is long, which is why I hadn't posted anything yet, even though we did this weeks ago
I found this site www.kinek.com you sign up with them for free and they give you an American address to ship to near the border (they have lots of pick up locations all along the border). In my case, I am in Calgary and had my stuff shipped to Babb, MT (5 min over the border). They will hold your packages for 30 days and charge between $4-$7 per package (US Cash only). They will apparently hold for up to 90 days if you call and arrange it (and pay a little extra). It opened up many more options to choose from since anything and everything would ship within the states. I still need a few more things for the bags, but they can all be ordered on ebay/dhgate from china, so I wouldn't have saved anything having it shipped to the states.
It was a 2.5 hour drive from Calgary, but we stopped in Lethbridge had lunch, visited FI's brother and met with the jeweler making our wedding bands (same guy who made my engagement ring).
Crossing the border was easy, just tell the US guys you are picking up packages of supplies for your wedding (the officer cracked a joke to FI asking if he had any say in the matter, he just laughed and said, no he just had the credit card). Coming back into Canada was very easy. The daily limit is $200 per person, so if your over, you just pay duty on the amount you were over. Tell them you picked up packages of wedding supplies (I had to explain the out of town bag concept because they didn't understand why I needed hand sanitizer and stuff for a wedding hehehe), have your invoices all ready, they will have you come inside and pay the taxes you owe and any extra duties. We had 2 people, and $600 worth of stuff plus he $100 in shipping/kinek charges, so we only paid duties on $300. The customs officer had me check where the sandals were made because if they're made in the states you pay less.
The place seemed sketchy as hell at first (tiny town, no one around, tire place seemed like it was out of business but I don't think it actually was), but the lady who took care of the Kinek pickups was super nice, everything is locked away in an office/garage, and lots of people seem to use it, I was very surprised how many packages the lady was holding for other people.
Most of the stuff we ordered had free shipping inside the US so altogether we only paid $60 on $600 worth of stuff.
We got all the individual medicine packets, lip chap, hand sanitizers, 100 pack of DIY luggage tags, blank waterproof labels to print labels for the tumblers, 5 pairs of sandals (mine for the wedding, my MOH's, our flower girls, and 2 pairs just because they were only $10 and they looked awesome), my FI took advantage of the situation and got some new fog lights for his jeep and replacement bubs for his other lights.
I wish I had known about it sooner since we were just down in Waterton in the summer and Babb is only an hour from there, it would have been even easier to pick up.
I know it seems like a long drive, but honestly, we made it there and back on a tank of gas ($60) and paid $70 in taxes/duties (for what we went over on our personal limit).
So we bought everything off of amazon in one payment, it shipped in 8 packages and we paid
$60 tank of gas
$70 taxes and duties
$32 Kinek cost (8 packages @ $4)
$60 shipping costs
$235 FI's lights & bulbs (saved $155 compared to what they cost here)
$200 5 pairs of sandals
$20 blank waterproof labels for tumblers
(I wrote what they are the equivalent of in brackets)
$11.41 Medique Medi-Meclizine 50x2 packs (Gravol) $0.22 per packet
$14.76 Medique Diamode 50x1 packs (Immodium) $0.30 per packet
$15.59 Medique Diotame 50x2 packs (Pepto Pills) $0.31 per packet
$24.40 Blistex Mint SPF 15 24 pack $1.01 per stick
From MFASCO Health & Safety on amazon
$6.75 Medi-First Non Asprin 125x2 packs (Tylenol) $0.05 per packet
$4.95 Medi-First Ibuprofen 50x2 packs (Advil) $0.10 per packet
$2.91 (per box) Medi-First Hydrocortisone Cream 25 packets (2 boxes) (Afterbite) $0.12 per packet
$3.65 (per box) Medi-First Triple Antibiotic Ointment 25 packets (2 boxes) (Polysporin) $0.15 per packet
$3.05 (per box) Water-Jel First Aid Burn Cream 25 packets (4 boxes ) (Solarcaine) $0.12 per packet
From MedVetInternational on amazon
$14.95 Purell 2oz Hand sanitizer 24 Pack $0.62 per bottle
From PLEXSUPPLY on amazon
$16.99 100 Luggage tag laminating pouches w/loops
Net total (stuff) $590
Grand total (with shipping, kinek, gas, taxes/duty) $812
OOT bag med supplies $120 (not including shipping) We have 24 confirmed guests so far for our wedding in January, and I can have at least two packets per person per bag for every medication I got.
Now, considering the cost to get any of that shipped directly to my house would have been waaaaaay more, as well as the fact that the cost to buy it would have been more in the first place, and some things you couldn't even buy from here, I am pretty happy with it overall. I don't think it's worth it if you only have a couple things you want, but they hold your packages for a long time, and if you can do just one run and get most of your stuff, it's worth it. My only regrets? That I didn't find it sooner so I could have saved on a lot of other things (I probably would have gotten my tumblers, bags, and some of the decorations), and that my MOH didn't have her passport so she couldn't come with us and help us save on duties.
And one last thing, if you decide to do this, don't speed in the states (at least if you're going to Babb), the guy who was in front of me at the border got pulled over right away and he was only doing the typical 10km over coming up to the border....... So don't make a speeding ticket a part of your wedding costs.....