Special Note: Some links in this post 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! You can read my full disclosure policy here.
In my #livingwithless life I love a good deal and today Amazon has one! Tuesday, July 11, is Amazon Prime Day and it’s kind of like Black Friday in July! I hate when I miss out on hearing about a good deal so I wanted to make sure and share it with you, too, so you don’t miss out if there’s something you’ve had your eye on!
Not a member of Amazon Prime? You can actually join for free for 30 days and take advantage of these opportunities! Here’s a link that will get you connected to today’s deals: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
Once you’re in, here are some great deals available today:
Instant Pot–I bought my Instant Pot on Black Friday last November and I USE IT ALL THE TIME! It has transformed my cooking! This one is $79 today which is a great price!
We’d been married just about six months and lived on the west side of Indianapolis. Mark drove a delivery truck all over Indiana for his family’s glass and plastics business. He’d been in southern Indiana that day and I was waiting for him to come home to a spaghetti dinner I’d spent the last hour making. This was 34 years ago, before there were cell phones or texting or other easy ways to stay in touch when you were apart.
I heard Mark’s truck pull up outside our mobile home. I greeted him at the door with a smile. He kissed me and said, “Hey, I brought someone home for dinner.” Surprised, I asked him who it was. He said, “I picked up a guy at the truck stop in Evansville. He was trying to get to northern Indiana so I told him I could give him a ride as far as Indianapolis. We talked as we drove and he could really use a good meal before I run him up to the mission where he can spend the night. I hope it’s okay for him to join us.”
I was surprised, but happy to share what we had. Thankfully, I was raised in a home where there was always room for one more at the dinner table.
Mark went out and invited Foster to come inside and join us for dinner. We added a third chair around our little table for two, making our dinner for two into a dinner for three. After dinner and delightful conversation, we all jumped in the truck and drove to the homeless shelter in downtown Indianapolis. It was the middle of December and terribly cold. I remember noticing that Foster wasn’t wearing gloves. When he confirmed that he didn’t have gloves I took off my own pair–a black stretchy pair that easily fit a man or a woman–and handed them to him wishing him the best along the journey.
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”Those words in Hebrews 13:2 have always stuck with me. While we never heard from Foster again, Mark and I were bonded together that day by our shared value for hospitality.
That’s why we decided six months ago to start hosting Airbnb. We’ve loved sharing our home and meeting so many wonderful people. So far we’ve hosted dozens of folks: a family coming to visit their ISU student on Parent’s Weekend, a businessman from China, a couple driving from Florida to their home in Wisconsin, a mother needing a break from everyday life and wanting a long weekend away, a family coming together to celebrate their son/grandson’s graduation from ISU, three families on house-hunting trips preparing for a move to our community, a father and daughter taking a trip down Route 66 before the daughter headed off to the mission field. We even hosted a baseball team of free agents playing AAA teams like our local Cornbelters, each one living the baseball dream and hoping to get picked up by one of the teams they played (and one of the guys ended up getting picked up by the Cornbelters that day!)
Sometimes we get the opportunity to visit with folks and sometimes they arrive just in time to head to bed and head out early in the morning. Either way, we get the opportunity to give them a home away from home for the night.
We have a big, nearly empty home now that most of the kids are gone. Why not use it for hospitality? I can truly say it’s become quite a mission field as we’ve encouraged marriages, helped folks new to town, and even shared deep faith-building conversations when the opportunity has presented itself.
We set our own calendar and choose to approve each reservation request, always screening their reviews from previous stays before saying yes. We’ve had a few first time Airbnb users who didn’t have reviews, but our interaction with them through the Airbnb app or website always allows us to get to know them and their reason for travel before saying yes. All money is handled through the Airbnb app, allowing us to earn a little extra income on the side. We’ve been pleased with Airbnb as a company and they’ve set up a great plan for establishing trust and safety into their program.
If you have the gift of hospitality, you might consider joining the Airbnb family as a host. We’ve found it a wonderful way to meet people and provide a warm, safe place for folks traveling to or through our community.
We now use Airbnb in our own travels and prefer it over a hotel. It’s less expensive and we often meet wonderful people. Our first experience was in December of 2015 when we traveled to visit our son, Evan, who lives near Hollywood in Los Angeles. Every hotel in the area was $250/night and that was simply out of our price range. We found an apartment to rent on Airbnb for $85/night. The couple happened to be out of town so we had the place to ourselves, including a kitchen where we could make our own meals for the week. We caught the Airbnb bug on that trip and decided to start using it for other trips.
Want to use Airbnb on an upcoming trip? You can get $40 off your first stay of $75 of more using this link! And if you’re ever in Bloomington-Normal, come stay with us! We’d love to have you!
I am still amazed that a hospitality seed was planted some 34 years ago when Mark and I shared an impromptu spaghetti dinner with a man named Foster. Maybe he really was an angel and we didn’t know it. He certainly made an impression on us and we’re still living that out today.
What about you? Have you ever used Airbnb or any other home sharing experience? What do you do to reach out to those around you?
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 but you can order now for the next delivery!
And here’s an even better deal! If you’re a first time customer of Zaycon, you can use promo code SUMMER25 to save $25 off your FIRST order of $99 or more (coupon code is good until August 15, 2017)! Wahoo!
Wanna give it a try? If it’s available in your area, my guess is you’ll love it!
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?
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!
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.)
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!
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!
I 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)
*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?
It all started with a picture and comment my friend and coworker, Connie, put on Facebook.
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.
I 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.
And 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!