My two BEST secrets for saving and making money online are Swagbucks and Ebates. I’ll breakdown each below.
Ebates is more of a money saver than a money maker, but you can get a nice check. You use Ebates when you are ordering something online anyway. For example, I order almost all of my Christmas presents online, as well as birthday, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day gifts. Also, when I am shopping for clothes for my family, I order online 9 times out of 10. My husband orders electronics, deer hunting equipment, books, CDs, you name, online. We seriously do about 80% of our shopping online. Why? You can almost ALWAYS find a better price, it is delivered straight to you, and you do not have to fight a store with kids. Now, you have to be prudent about shipping, privacy, security, etc. But that is not really that hard. Just weigh your options and a lot of the time you will come out better online.
Anytime we are about to make and online purchase, even booking a hotel room, we do a search for the merchant on Ebates. If it is there, we enter the site through Ebates. Then, when we make our purchase, we get however much % back they are offering in our Ebates account, and every 3 months we get a check. (We actually get paid through paypal, but you can get a check.) Recently, Old Navy was offering 10% cash back. If you spent $50, you got $5 cash back! You get a sign up bonus, and you do have to have so much in your account before you can get your check (I think it is $10 or $15 now.) But it carries over, and even if you only get $20 a year, that is $20 you didn’t have before, right? They also list coupon codes that are available for each store. Seriously people, in my book, this one is a no brainer… you do not lose ANYTHING by signing up. I have been using them for 8 months, and I have been paid for one 3month period. I got $20 and some change.
Swagbucks is actually a possible money maker. It is a search engine, just like Google or Yahoo. You earn “swagbucks” by searching online, and some other earning options are available too. Once you have so many swagbucks, you can trade them in for “swag.” The BEST deal for your “swagbucks” is the $5 Amazon gift card for 450 sb. I earn at least two of these a month. These are AWESOME to have in your Amazon account for gifts or even household items like diapers, toilet paper, books, clothes, whatever. You can buy almost anything on Amazon! I use Swagbucks.com like this: whatever website I am going to, be it Yahoo Mail, Blogger, Facebook, CNBC, whatever, I go to swagbucks.com and put the address in the search bar. I may or may not win swagbucks… it is random, but I earn at least enough for two gift cards per month through just my natural online activity.
These are not get rich income producers. They are not primary or even second jobs. They are, however, great resources to help you manage and supplement your budget more effectively with very, very little extra time expended on your part.
What am I willing to give up? What have I already given up? As mothers, we all give up our time to ourselves for a season. Several years ago I felt led to give up watching and then later even following soap operas. (I am not saying any of us have to give up sugar or soaps to be closer to God, the sacrifice is between you and God and is different for everyone.) It may not be something that is BAD, just something that doesn’t necessarily ADD to your relationship with God. How does this bring you closer to God? Well, every time you want this thing, whatever it is, you pray, you reflect on why you are not doing it, you ask got for the strength to resist… every time you are victorious, you are closer to Him, every time you are not, you use it to draw you closer to Him. This can be a sacrifice of time, time on the computer in the morning, or time to sleep in the morning, or anytime, for time with Him. It could be a sacrifice of Dr. Pepper, or coffee… these things aren’t bad at all, but are they necessarily beneficial? Spend some time in prayer seeking to see if God is asking you to give up anything in order to draw closer to him. I’d love to hear what was revealed. I don’t feel the call to give up anything right now… but who knows when it will come. It was HARD to give up All My Children and One Life to Live!
My first thought was "I just wasted and hour." Almost immediately the Lord's voice whispered "How can an hour holding and snuggling one of my precious gifts to you be wasted?" Thank you Lord!
Then, of course, baby is awake, so no Bible Study. No "Made to Crave," not even a verse on the run, and for sure no face down, down and dirty, reavealing, cleansing time with my Heavenly Father. The morning went down hill. A new lotion I tried for the first time is threatening to burn my eyelids off of my face, we were late leaving, so of course, I was late for work. My eyelids were burning so badly I ran a stop sign (thanks for your protection Lord!) My son forgot his chocolate milk and threw a little fit. I can't blame him, I know he wanted it. I couldn't find my make up bag (ended up it was in my desk drawer at work.) Then, I found out a package I sent in the mail never made it, and I didn't make copies.
How do I deal with this. Count my blessings! During our prayer on the way to daycare, I thanked the Lord that we had a home, beds, cars, (and if I would have thought I would have thanked him that we even had chocolate milk!) I'll thank him for that now:) I am thanking him that all the paperwork is coming in for a new month and I can send again easily. I am thankful for a mom that thought enough of me to give me the lotion she decided she didn't want, that the burning is th ONLY reaction. I am thankful for my babies, and I am thankful that my baby girl is healthy enough that though I HATE not getting to do her treatment, I do not have to be devastated over it all day.
So what about you? How do you make the best of the mornings that quiet time just doesn't happen? I feel guilty, I feel bad, but my God is STILL there, I can STILL talk to Him. It may not be the long, deep, intimate, life giving conversation we both desire, but He doesn't walk away. He wants you to want Him. How amazing is that? He doesn't NEED you, mark my words, He doesn't NEED me, but he WANTS us....
Thank you Lord, Amen.
I decided it was more about making better choices and remembering "all things are permissable, but not all things are beneficial." It is FINE for me to have the Vanilla Dr. Pepper, but is it really good for me? Is it really good for me to have one everyday? Or a Rt. 44 rather than a medium? Sooo, I focused on starting the day with a breakfast that would fill me up longer and help me drive straight on past all those fast food places with their yummy biscuts and gravy inside! Last week this was a sandwich made from toast (1 piece cut in half) 1 or 2 strips of turkey bacon, an egg fried in olive oil, and about a 1/2 cup of honey dew. I avoided fast food ALL WEEK except for a fun, fun lunch date with my 5 year old son on Thursday. We went to McDonalds because I let him choose:) I got the GRILLED chicken ranch club, and 1/2 diet 1/2 real coke. I really, really do not like diet coke, and I should have gotten water. Then, he wanted ice cream, so when I got his cone, I did treat myself to a small mocha frappe, but I had it without whip cream and syrup on top. The rest of the week I ate at home... wait, no, I had lunch with the girls Friday. I chose a simple salad and water... then ate out with hubs Friday night and had bbq and fries.
Now, I know this doesn't sound like "healthy" eating, but when you figure in I was seriously getting into a bad, bad habbit of fastfood breakfast AND lunch more than once a week, and then a frappe or large Vanilla Dr. Pepper several times a week, basically whenever the urge hit, I consider the week a success:) I am just trying to consciously make better choices.
The book is great. The theme in the past few chapters is "I am not made for this." "This" is the battle with food, drugs, pornography (of course the book's basis is on food) or whatever that gets in the way of what we ARE made for... to glorify Him!
I've already notified her by e-mail. Since I don't have a lot of giveaways, I copied and pasted the randomizer results from randomizer.org below....
Research Randomizer Results
1 Set of 1 Unique Numbers Per SetRange: From 1 to 5 -- Unsorted
The Rich Hard Life & Sons: Time Management
One company I recently have discovered is Synovate. I discovered them TOTALLY by accident. I was actually doing a survey for them through another site and getting some rewards for it. I wasn't not actually a member of the Synovate panel. You better believe I am now though! At the end of the survey it asked if I would be willing to try new products. I of course said yes, and it asked for my address. This was AWHILE back... all of the sudden yesterday there was a box on my doorstep. It contained 8 rolls of a new toilet paper and instructions on completing the study. (Like, we had to use it exclusively for two weeks, with no other brand, and only our immediate family could use it.) Then they will send me a survey to fill out. Not only do I get to try something new, but since the tp is actually pretty good, I will be saving a little money as well. I do not know how often they do this, or how they select, but if you interested, check them out:)
This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of SupaSwap Corporation. All opinions are 100% mine.
Have you ever heard of this? I hadn't, but I just spent some time on the site and it is pretty neat. Basically, Supaswap is a family friendly ebay, and it has special sites for children 8-12, 13-17, and parents. The parents have to sign up the children and there are strict parental controls. Also, there is the added bonus of being able to make "swaps" for some items, which I personally think is ingenious!
As I was checking it out, my mind was spinning with ways to use this neat little site to teach valuable money lessons. I mean, I had never really thought about it, but online retail and auctioning is such a way of life now, it really would behoove us to make sure our children learn how to use these types of sites the correct way, and the swapping application could make for tons of fun for little ones. My children are not old enough to use this site themselves yet, but I may have my son use it with me in the next few months... maybe for some birthday presents for friends or something? Look around, there are some GREAT deals to be had!
This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Ashworth College. All opinions are 100% mine.
Have you been thinking about furthering your education? Have you even maybe felt led by the Lord to further your education? Perhaps you've thought that you cannot POSSIBLY do all the things you are supposed to do as a wife and mother AND go to school. Maybe you have felt the call to change careers, or add an at home career, but cannot figure out how to find the time for training. If this is you, Ahsworth College might be worth checking out. They offer tons of Online degrees that you can complete whenever and where ever you like, provided you have access to a computer.
Research has shown that Ashworth tuition is 50% less than the average accredited online school, they offer zero interest financing plus a low monthly payment payment plan (they guarantee you graduate with no student loan debt!), and you can transfer up to 75% of credit earned from other schools.
I am not saying that this is for everyone. Depending on your season of life, even online course work could be impossible. But, if this is something that has been weighing on your mind, they could be worth checking out! I have not heard of another online instution offering interest free financing. They say monthly payments could be as low as the price of a couple of large pizzas!
Below is the Table of Contents...
From Busy to a Beautiful Life: The Secrets of the Proverbs 31Woman©
by Lindy Ford
Table of Contents
Week One God’s Love: Realize and Internalize Who You are. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Week Two The Power of Character: Influence
Others and Honor God . . . . . . . . . . 23
Week Three Relationships: Gotta Have ‘em. Gotta
Respect ‘em. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Week Four Nutrition: Feast at the King’s
Table. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Week Five Purpose: Stop Merely being Busy
and Laugh at the Future. . . . . . . . . 114
Week Six Goal Setting: Saddle Your Dreams. 136
Week Seven Organization: Give Yourself this
Gift. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Week Eight Finances: Be Savvy and Unselfish. 186
Week Nine Stress and Exercise: Be Strong and
Wise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216
Week Ten Appearance: Look like Royalty.
Legacy: Leave Your Mark! . . . . . . 242
To help you out with that, CSN Stores has generously offered one of my readers a $40 gift certificate to spend on their site. To sign up for the giveaway, you must first be a follower, then just leave me a comment telling me what you would buy if you win. Or, if time is short, just leave a comment saying "I'm in." This giveaway will be open until midnight Saturday night, July 24th. Be sure to leave an e-mail address so I can contact you if you win:)
My healthy eating plan was somewhat of a quandry. My issue is probably a LOT different than most who will be reading this book. I am not overweight. However, because of this, I eat absolutely whatever I want, whenever I want it. This leads to TONS of fast food, Vanilla Dr. Pepper, McDonald's Frappes, etc., etc., etc. I figure if I can eat it and not have a problem, why not enjoy?
This sounds like a dream to some and I know that. I am not dumb. I will not lie, I enjoy it. But that is the problem. Should my joy really come from these things? In moderation, as treats, they are good gifts from God... but the way I use them, they are an unhealthy lifestyle that I know will catch up with me. Especially since I will be weaning my daughter soon... and I know my metabollism will slow down some then.
So here is what I decided. For 1 week I will commit to making healthier choices. NO fast food or trips to get Vanilla Dr. Pepper or Frappes. I will however, eat when I am hungry (for real, which is actually a lot.) I will snack, and I will eat a full plate of food at meals, but if I am full I will stop. I will keep up with the calories I consume and see where it falls, and then I will set a calorie goal ( notice I did not use the word "limit") based on that.
Here is how Day 1 has gone so far: I had a piece of mult-grain toast, cut in half, with Land 'O Lakes light butter with conola oil on both sides and mayhaw jelly on the other, 2 pieces of turkey bacon, about a 1/2 cup of cubed honey dew, and my black coffee. My goal was to stay full as long as possible... I REALLY thought it would work. I normally just have peanut butter toast or a buttered biscuit IF I eat at home. However, I consumed all of this at 7, and my stomach was growling at 8. This was 350 calories, and I am waiting until 10:00 to have my granola bar. (15 more minutes!) I also have white cheddar rice cakes for the afternoon. They really are yummy:)
Oh, and I will be having either a vanilla Dr. Pepper or Frappe this weekend...
One more goal... to eat at home everyday (better on the wallet) except for 1 lunch date with hubby, where I will have a (healthy) salad:)
As for the book... finished chapter 1, and it is excellent. Not about dieting at all.... only about directing your craving to the one you were made to crave, Him! Our Heavenly Father:)
My routine became disrupted with the birth of our second child, my daughter. A new baby disrupts anyone's routine, but just as I was getting back in the swing of things, figuring out how to get up before her and have that precious Bible Study, she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. This requires us to do chest physical therapy on her twice a day for 30 minutes per day. As a working mother, this shattered my morning routine... but we adjusted. I got up 30 minutes earlier (4:30 am) and nursed her, then I put her back to bed and did my Bible Study, took my shower, then came back and did the treatment. (When she was a tiny baby, you could not do this within a hour of her having eaten.) Then I got dressed and we left. I was exhausted, but surviving. I continue to praise Him that she most often sleeps through these treatments.
In the past few months however, a new issue has come up. She is now an active 19 month old, and the ONLY way I can do her treatment is while she is asleep, as it required her to be still for the entire 30 minutes! Though I do not have to wait for a set period of time after she eats, I now have to get up early enough to get her up while she is still asleep, keep her asleep or put her back to sleep, do her treatment, and put her back to bed. The back to bed part almost NEVER happens. When it does, those are the mornings that I actually get my "quiet time."
I have cried out, Father please, how do I make this work. The gentle answer? "You do not control when she wakes, when she sleeps, when she goes back to bed, or when she doesn't, I (God) do. You do what you are supposed to do as what I have made you... her mother. Take care of her, do her treatments, and love on her. Then make an effort to recognize the time I give you to spend time with Me. "
He is absolutely right, I have no control over whether or not I really get time before she wakes up in this circumstance. None of us really can control when our kids wake up, can we. We CAN however, make the effort to get up at a time when we can most expect to be able to meet with Him... isn't He worth a few less minutes of sleep? ( I am trying to find the sweet spot for when I can get up and take care of her and she will go back to bed for a little while:) The rest is up to Him. He doesn't want us to see our children as a bother or a hinderance. If you can occupy them with something and get some Bible Study in, then YAAY. We are working on this also...but my biggest prayer related to this right now is this..."Heavenly Father, please help me to recognize those precious moments you do provide as opportunities to be with you, and not waste them on other things. Help me to see what I could give up, and recognize the time for what it is before it is flittered away on worldly things. Amen."
I have discovered that occassionally I have some time at lunch when the kiddos are in daycare, sometimes they go to sleep a little earlier and hubby is working late, and sometimes on Saturday baby is napping, hubby is watching TV, and the laundry can wait... my God wants to visit with me and I with Him. These opportunities do not come all that often, but as I asked for revelation, I realized they come much more often than I thought... thank you Father!
Each situation and circumstance is different, the point is to make sure you are REALLY trying, and trust Him to meet you wherever and whenever He provides the time. You just have to RECOGNIZE those times when they come:)
I have not had much luck with them in the past, so I haven't really said much about them. At first they didn't include areas close to me, and when they did add new cities, there wasn't much relevant to me and my family. (Which, by the way, you should check them out, here, if you haven't in awhile, they recently added new cities.) The deal I got in my inbox this morning was an AWESOME deal on tickets to a home game for our state's minor league baseball team. It includes 2 reserved seats, 2 hot dogs, and a personalized score board message for $10! Yes, that is $10 total, not per person. It is a savings of 52%. What a GREAT father and son bonding experience!
Enter my idea to buy glasses online. I had NO CLUE how to do this. Now keep in mind, this whole conversation happened Sunday. Today, Stretching the One Income Dollar has a great post about buying glasses online! I am so thankful, and I know I can't be the only one who wears glasses, so here is the link to this very, very useful post.
Have any of you ever bought glasses online? How did it go? Where did you order from?
Check out the match-ups for the Delta area Kroger stores (that includes South Arkansas) at My Litter or Money Saving Mom. Money Saving Mom also lists match-ups for other areas and tons of other stores under "Store Deals." Just remember to hit your back button on the printable coupons. This will usually allow you to print another copy:)
Let me clarify, I DO NOT get up before dawn and have my quiet time. There are several reasons for this currently, and that is part of another post I have planned. However, my most productive, most satifying, most revealing conversations with the Lord happened at this time. Why is that do you think? I think, for one, it is a time of day that is generally free from distractions. Early in the morning is a different time for everyone, but I think for most of us it is before anyone else in the house is up and going. I also believe it has something to do with the fast from food our body has had all night. Fasting is often paired with prayer in the Bible, and if we do our quiet time before breakfast, our bodies have been on a "mini fast" through the night. I don't know why it works, but it did all through Biblical history, so it makes sense... Also, we are more expectant. It takes a conscious effort and desire to be with the Lord to get up early and spend time with Him, so I think we tend to be more open to what He may have in store for our time with Him. Another reason is that we are putting Him first, and giving Him the first of our day. We are beginning our day where all days should begin, face down at the foot of the throne of glory!
Like I said, I do not think it is a hard and fast rule that our quiet times be early in the morning. I do not currently (though I wish I did and I am actively trying to figure out a way to make it a reality.) The main thing is that you meet with him, whenever, where ever... find a time!
When do you do your quiet time? Or if you don't do one, when would be the best time for you do you think?
I will say that ALL of these things are important, and part of becoming like the Proverbs 31 Woman, but NONE of them are the most important. Have you read Proverbs 31 lately? This woman was super woman! If I am not careful I can get VERY discouraged reading this scripture as I know I am NOT this woman. I cannot do all of this. That is just it, I can't, but He can. I have to be connected to him, as the fruit to the vine, if I am to have a chance of becoming the woman He wants me to be.
Growing up I always heard people talking about having a relationship with the Lord, talking to God, have "quiet time", and I never got it. I doubted my salvation, thought something was wrong with me, and became very, very frustrated. Then I heard a preacher say to not worry about what I don't understand, just spend time with Him, just try to be with him, quietly. I don't have to carry the conversation. God wants to hear from me, but he also wants me to hear from Him, through His word, other people, nature, and many other ways that He speaks to His children. It started slow, with just time with me alone and some praise music, my Bible open and a pen and journal nearby. Sometimes there is nothing, well, there is NEVER nothing, but sometimes it is AMAZING, and supernatural. The God of the universe spending time with me? Throught he years, that is how a relationship with God develops. You absolutely MUST spend time with Him. Just like you cannot have a relationship with a human without spending time with them. Then and ONLY then, as our relationship with the Lord is growing stronger, can we even hope to become the woman He wants us to be, the one we see written about so beautifully in Proverbs 31.
I want to dwell on that for awhile. How do we do "quiet time?" When do we do it? What does it look like? And what if we "can't?" I have a few more posts on this in store.... for now I want your thoughts. Do you do quiet time with the Lord? When? How? Let us know...