Chicken That Fits Our Living With Less Lifestyle

I love chicken.

I love saving money.

I love buying in bulk and getting a great deal.

I love any deal that keeps me out of a grocery store!

I love Zaycon Fresh meats and especially their chicken because it’s the best of everything I love!

Zaycon Fresh is a unique way to order meats where you can save 30-50% off store prices by cutting out the middleman (i.e. the grocery store). You get meat for much less and most of their meats are farm fresh and from local farms. It is comparable to the highest quality, non-organic meats in the grocery store. I’ve been buying my chicken from Zaycon for several years and I have never been disappointed. They are very diligent in ensuring the quality of their meats and I’ve recently learned that if a local farming supplier does not meet Zaycon’s standards, they will stop business with that farm. I love knowing that!

So here’s how it works: the meat is ordered in bulk 1-4 months in advance. The product is delivered to the local areas in a refrigerated truck, with pickup in a private business or organization’s parking lot (I pick up my order in the Eastview Christian Church parking lot in Normal,IL–just two miles from my house!). Here’s the best part: I NEVER EVEN GET OUT OF MY CAR! I simply pull up in the car line, give the representative my name. I  pop open my trunk and the volunteer lays down plastic to protect my car from leakage and loads the box(es) in my trunk for me!

I get value, quality, and convenience with Zaycon and I never have to go to the store!

Want a little peek at the process?  Here’s a video Good Morning America did on Zaycon Fresh. It’s a few years old but shows you how Zaycon works!

Zaycon is best known for it’s chicken but I have friends who rave about their ground beef and bacon and other goodies! They only offer their chicken a few times a year and June is one of those times so I wanted to make sure and share it with you!

And here’s an even better deal! If you’re a first time customer of Zaycon, you can use promo code FIRST25 to save $25 off your FIRST order of $99 or more (coupon code is good until June 15, 2017)! Wahoo!

Wanna give it a try? If it’s available in your area, my guess is you’ll love it!

Shop Now at Zaycon Fresh

 

Two Ways To Make Money Without Working At It

Living With Less

Several years ago Mark and I wrote Living With Less So Your Family Has More. The book is about living with less stress, less activities, and less money than what is culturally acceptable.  It’s actually about standing up to adult peer pressure and doing what is best for your family.

Most books about living with less would be about actions you can take to save money everyday. Instead what we look at are the attitudes needed to successfully live with less.  Attitudes like contentment, sacrifice, frugality, simplicity, and creativity help us to live out our values for the long haul.

One creative way to live with less is to actually earn on activities we do everyday.

I’ve never been much of a shopper. If I hit the mall once a year…that’s too often for me.  Online shopping, however, has been a game-changer for me. I don’t have to fight the crowd. I don’t have to go from store to store trying to find the best price.  And most of the time, I’m able to find a coupon code for my purchases.

Just the other day, I ordered something online and the store site was advertising a 20% off coupon code. At first I thought, “Great…there’s already a coupon code on the site!” On a hunch, I googled “coupon code for [store name]” and found a 30% code! Gotta love that! (My personal favorite site for finding coupon codes is www.retailmenot.com. What’s yours?)

In addition to finding coupon codes for nearly all my online purchases. I’ve also found two ways to earn on online purchases: Ebates and Swagbucks!  Each site gives you back a percentage of your purchase on most online shopping sites.  I use the browser extensions for both which reminds me to choose one for my purchase (if I had to remember on my own…I’d surely forget!)With the extension installed, this is what it looks like when I go to a store’s website:

 

 
I then click on whatever site offers me the best percentage back and continue my shopping.

Ebates sends you a check (or deposits into Paypal) your earnings every quarter. Swagbucks allows you to earn “Swagbucks” that you can use to purchase giftcards to some of your favorite stores (I recently “bought” an Amazon gift card with my bucks.)  Honestly this has been a great way to fund our Christmas fund.  If you buy much online, make sure you’re getting the benefits with Ebates and Swagbucks!

Don’t miss out on earning money on something you’re already doing!

What about you? Are you using Ebates or Swagbucks? What’s your experience been? Do you have other strategies you use to save or earn money with your online purchases? 

TODAY ONLY: $5 off $15 Amazon Book

I love to both give and receive books and because I’m a living with less girl, I also love to pass along a good deal.

I just learned that Amazon is offering $5 off any print book purchase of $15 or more by simply using the promo code: GIFTBOOK.  Today (Sunday) is the last day for this deal so I’ll be taking advantage of it for some Christmas gifts and I wanted to make sure you knew about it too!

1018476_us_books_holiday_promo_header-desktop_1500x300_a

If you’re thinking about picking up a copy of No More Perfect Marriages when it comes out, you can go ahead and pre-order it and use this coupon! (The book under $15 so you’ll need to package it with another book purchase.)

If you’re looking to purchase for a special mom in your life, you can also check out my Hearts at Home books!

While we’re talking about books, here are some of my favorite reads this year:

Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud
How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich (I read it at least once a year!)
Invitation to Silence and Solitude by Ruth Haley Barton
8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids by Dr. Todd Cartmell
Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst

And here’s one on my list to read in the future:

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
Love Does by Bob Goff (he’s going to be one of our keynote speakers at the 2017 Hearts at Home mom conferences!)

What about you? What were some of your favorite reads in 2016?

Some links are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. It’s important to me that you know, however, that I only recommend products and services I love and personally use! Thanks for your support in this way!

Living With Less So Your Family Has More

Peer pressure.

Those two words are usually associated with the teen years.

living with less cover with black edgeYet you and I face peer pressure everyday.

When you see your neighbor’s new minivan, does it make your old beater look even worse?

When you hear all the activities your best friend has her kids involved in, do you feel like maybe you’re a loser parent because you don’t have your kids involved in any activities?

Do you struggle when you hear about how the family down the street went to Disneyworld during Christmas vacation and you can’t figure out how to afford a camping getaway for three days?

Have you decided to limit the number of activities your kids do, but question if it’s really the right decision?

Do you say no to volunteering more often than you say yes, but feel guilty doing so?

If so, you have come face to face with adult peer pressure.

Several years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing with Dr. James Dobson on the Living With Less So Your Family Has More book Mark and I wrote.

I just learned yesterday that they are re-airing the interview today and tomorrow!  Need some encouragement on standing up to adult peer pressure?  You can listen online today!

10 Savvy Ways To Save Money

2015-NC-ONLY-Conf-Mini-PosterToday’s post is from Hearts at Home speaker Marianne Miller. Marianne is the author of The Gift of Enough: Raising Grateful Kids in a Culture of Excess.

Marianne loves to teach about finding financial freedom. I asked her to share some wisdom that would help a mom on a tight budget have some practical strategies for saving to attend a Hearts at Home conference ($98 registration).

So if you’re looking to make a Hearts at Home conference part of your continuing education as a mom and finances are tight, tap into some of Marianne’s strategies below! You can also download this FREE poster of 10 Savvy Ways To Save For Conference!

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mariannemillerI live on a budget. Sure, lots of people do, but what makes my situation unique is that I LOVE living on a budget. It’s freeing. It’s empowering. It brings me security. Certainly things come up during the year that I didn’t plan for, but the budget enables me to “find the money” and minimize the potential stress of this unexpected expense. Here’s what that might look like:

My friend from MOPS tells me about a life-changing conference she just returned from called Hearts at Home. I’m immediately interested as she rambles about how God used the weekend to refresh, renew, and equip her as a wife, mother, and woman. I ask about the cost and she explains that it’s only half the price of the MOPS convention but it is still around $150 with travel and a hotel room.

I begin to brainstorm how I’ll find the money for this event that I had no idea about when I created my monthly/yearly budget. Here are just a few ideas:

*I decide to not stop at Chick-Fil-A even though there is whining in the backseat. I save $14 by tossing a box of Cheerios into the backseat instead.

*I thank God that I didn’t get pulled over when I drove through a speed trap (net $150)

*I remember the conference at the checkout line in Meijer, and I remove the box of cherry Poptarts from my cart. No one will die without their Poptart snack. ($3) That was so easy I leave the Poptarts on the shelf the next three weeks as well. ($9)

10-Savvy-Ways-Graphic-2*I commit to only spending $50 a week in gas so I fill up on a Wednesday with exactly that much and I watch the tank all week. I omit a couple frivolous trips as I stretch the tank for the full week rather than the tank demanding a refuel on Monday. ($12)

*The circus is in town but I realize the kids and I don’t need to attend. No lives will be altered by not seeing a tiger jump through a hoop or a man walk on a wire. We Youtube circus videos and eat popcorn. ($75)

*The new Disney movie comes out and we decide to wait until it comes to Redbox. Kids learn the lesson that going to the movies is a special treat so we don’t see every movie when it comes out. ($30)

*I skip Kohls even though I have a 30% off coupon AND it’s Kohl’s cash week. The kids actually have drawers full of clothes already. ($50)

*I skip buying a half-gallon of ice cream once a month until the conference. No one will notice and they will appreciate ice cream more than ever before. ($50)

*My MOPS table is having dinner at a nice restaurant. I eat before I go and just order dessert instead. ($15)

*My son is invited to a birthday party for a boy he barely knows. We decline the invitation. ($15)

*My car is dirty but I wait for the rain. ($10)

*Girl Scouts descend on my house and I only buy one box of Thin Mints this year. ($15)

*The Scholastic Book order comes home and I realize that my child has enough books already. ($15)

*I commit to collecting spare change in a jar until the conference. ($56)

*I add a week between haircuts or have boys’ hair cut shorter. ($12x 4 boys)

*I take $40 off my grocery budget one week and get creative with food in my pantry and freezer.

You don’t have to have a budget for this method to work. You just need to be purposeful and actually place the “saved” money in one place. Then feel the power that you have by “earning” money simply by not spending it!

A second bonus is that you’ll enjoy the conference thoroughly knowing that you saved the money purposefully for the event. (And you might even have some extra to pick up books and other resources to keep you encouraged after you go home!)

Remember taking care of YOU is taking care of YOUR FAMILY! Take care of your family today by putting one of these Hearts at Home conferences on the calendar and starting to save towards it!

  • North Central Conference, Rochester, MN, November 13-14, 2015
  • National Conference, Peoria, IL, April 21-23, 2016
  • North Central Conference, Rochester, MN, October 14-15, 2016
  • Southern Conference, Chattanooga, TN, November 11-12, 2016

What about you? How do you save purposefully?  Do you have a budgeting strategy that helps you get to a Hearts at Home conference each year?

The Gift of Enough

It all started with a picture and comment my friend and coworker, Connie, put on Facebook.

car

Every time I pull in parking lot at work and see this car, I just smile. Why? Because it belongs to our CEO who speaks to 10’s of 1000’s of women each year and has written many successful books. But no matter how big her following, she’s never lost her “real.” And she not only shares that real but lives it. So here’s to Jill Savage!! Who has made it safe for all us moms to just be real.

living with less cover with black edgeI like my little “Living With Less So Your Family Has More” car, but honestly I get razzed about it all the time.  “What CEO drives a 23 year old car?” I’ve been asked dozens of times, along with other comments and questions like, “Don’t you think it’s time for you to get a grown-up car, Jill?”  or “If you add water, maybe it will grow!”

The other day at a speaking engagement, my assistant and I pulled the boxes of books out and didn’t shut the back hatch. We noticed it when we got inside the church. Someone said, “Don’t you have a button on your keychain to close it?” My assistant Mel said with a smile, “There’s nothing automatic on that car…you even have to crank the windows up and down!”

So in the midst of being teased about my little old Mitsubishi Mirage, you can see why it was nice to read Connie’s positive comment.

I’m also fine with the green gingham wallpaper I hung in our kitchen in 1997. It’s not falling off the walls. There’s nothing wrong with it.  It covers the rough plaster walls in our 100 year old farmhouse we live in.

Then there’s the bathrobe I had for nearly 30 years. No holes. It wasn’t even threadbare. But my family insisted I needed a new one.

My ability to be content with what I have is most often seen as something bad.  Something negative. Something that indicates that I’m not “up with the times.”

But last week when my friend Connie put the above post on Facebook, it was my friend Marianne Miller’s comment that just blessed my heart in a huge way.  She said, “Someone gave Jill “The Gift of Enough.”  She was actually referring to the title of her new book, but I read it in a different way.  I read it as “Someone gave Jill the gift of enough.”

When I read those words that way, I wanted to cry. Happy tears.  Tears of relief that my old car, my dated wallpaper, and my purple bathrobe were okay. They were simply representative of something inside of me that says that “enough is okay.”  And I can tell you who gave that gift to me…my mom and my dad.  I grew up with “enough.” Not more than enough…just enough.

Marianne also indicated that it was her father who gave her the gift of enough when she shared this story in her comment, “My dad’s car got towed once from the vice-president’s spot because no one thought his rusted car could be a vice-president’s car.”

I. LOVE. THAT.

Years ago when I traveled to El Salvador with Compassion International, our trip leader asked the question, “What is the opposite of poverty?” Most of us in the group answered, “Wealth.” The tour leader corrected us that actually the opposite of poverty is “enough.” Enough food in your tummy that you don’t go to bed hungry. Enough healthcare that you don’t have a family member who dies of a disease that could have been prevented.

Honestly, we all live with more than enough.  Even those of us who were given “the gift of enough” and drive old cars and lived in outdated furnishings. We even have more than enough.

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying it’s bad if you’re driving a new car or just redecorated your kitchen (we actually are planning on stripping wallpaper and painting our kitchen this summer).  That’s not the point.

Today I just want to affirm others who are content with enough and withstand their fair share of criticism for not having “up-to-date” items.

Today I want to affirm those parents who are concerned that they can’t give their kids a trip to Disney or the opportunity to go to any college they want. I want you to know that you are giving your children “the gift of enough” and that is powerful.

book-coverAnd I want to encourage us all to consider what “enough” looks like and recognize that we really live with “more than enough” each and every day.

Do you have something you live with everyday that is not the latest and greatest but is simply “enough?”  I’d love to hear about it!

I’m giving away a copy of Marianne’s book The Gift of Enough: Raising Grateful Kids in a Culture of Excess.

Leave a comment before noon on Friday 5/29/15 to be entered into the drawing!

Six Reasons I Love Online Savings Accounts

142088184Several years ago I discovered something that transformed the saving habits of our family: online savings accounts.

Initially I was drawn to the accounts because their interest rates were better than any brick and mortar bank.

However, now I’m sold on them because they have transformed the way Mark and I manage our money and how we have taught our kids to manage their money.  We use Ally.com for our accounts, but there are many options available these days.

Here are six reasons why I love using online savings accounts:

1) The accounts are easy to open.  I can open an account online in a matter of minutes.  When I have a new category I want to save for, I simply open a new account online.

2) The money is accessible, but not too accessible.  It usually takes 3 days to transfer the money from one of our online accounts to our primary brick and mortar bank account that we use.  This keeps the temptation at bay to tap into the money for everyday spending.  It’s kind of “out of sight, out of mind.”

3) You can have as many accounts as you like.  Currently Mark and I have 8 Savings Accounts: Emergency Savings, Vacation, Self-Employment Income Taxes, Future Car Fund, Property Taxes, Christmas, Special House Projects, and Medical.  I prefer this to having one savings account that is used for saving towards multiple goals.

4) Multiple accounts help teens learn to manage their money.  We’ve taught our kids to manage their money by using a paycheck worksheet.  Each time they get a paycheck they divide the money up based upon pre-determined amounts or percentages for what they need money for now or in the future. In addition to his primary brick and mortar account, our youngest has four online accounts: Million Dollar Account (This is the beginning of learning to invest–when it gets to be $500, it’s put in a mutual fund), College, Christmas, and Music Gear (because that’s important to him!).  Every paycheck, after he tithes and pays for his phone, he deposits some percentage into each of those accounts.  (For a sample paycheck worksheet, check out my free Financial Notebook for Parents and Teens.  It’s an accompanying resource for the Got Teens?: Time-Tested Answers for Moms of Teens and Tweens book.)

5) It’s easy to set up recurring transfers so you automatically save without having to think about it. Most of our savings accounts are growing because we have the deposits automated.  Determined by our budget, most of the accounts have preset amounts that are moved automatically within a day or two of payday. Sometimes the preset amounts aren’t alot, but over time they add up.

For instance, when I had all five kids at home, August was a budget buster for us with school fees, back to school supplies, and school clothes.  I usually needed about $1000 just to get everyone back to school.  One September, I set up a new savings account that I called “Back to School.”  Since we got paid every other week, I set up an auto transfer for $40 of every paycheck to go to the “Back to School” account.  The next August, I had my $1000 (25 paychecks) cash to use for back to school and August never again was a budget buster for us.

living with less cover with black edgeIf you set up accounts like this, don’t forget to set one up for attending the Hearts at Home conference once a year!  If you save a little out of each paycheck, it makes it much easier to go! Just $5 out of a bi-weekly paycheck from one conference to the next will cover your conference registration and give you a little spending money!

6) It’s fun to watch your money grow. We’ve learned that money can grow even when you’re only throwing small, but regular deposits into the accounts. We’ve never made more than an average middle-income budget. With seven members in our family, money has always been tight. However, the more we used the “paycheck worksheet” strategy in our family’s budget, the better we were at being good stewards of the money God gave us.

What about you? What strategies do you use to save?