Do you like us and want to do something nice for us? Use one of our links when you make a purchase.
Like many bloggers, we make a modest income from our blog, mostly in the form of affiliate commissions. We tell you about stuff we love and we earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We will never recommend something we don’t genuinely love; why would we waste time and space lying to you? There are plenty of things we do genuinely love! If you like it as much as we did, we’re both happy.
We’ve decided to move most of our affiliate links away from the main page for 2 reasons: first, to clean up the front page. We really need to declutter the house, so I decided to start with the blog. What did you say? I should have started with the living room? But I spend more time in the blog. Anyway, I’m not listening…
The other reason was so that we could say a bit about each affiliate link. Rather than just hoping you’ll click, we want to explain why we think you should click.
So here we go. I had to put them in alphabetical order so that my eye would quit twitching.
- 1 & 1 Webhosting
- Christian Book Distributors
- Covenant Eyes internet accountability software
- Paperback Swap
- Samaritan Ministries
- Supermom Vitamins
- Times Tales
- Vision Forum
1&1 is our new webhost. We used a small, supercheap service for a year, but they experienced huge technical difficulties and we were forced to switch. 1&1 has been around for 20 years and is highly recommended by our Tech Friends Who Know This Stuff.
1&1 also provides hefty hosting packages at prices that come close to the supercheap host we had before. We pay just a bit more but we get far more for our money!
Everyone knows that Amazon carries everything in the world, but like Ebay it’s also a great place to find good deals on nearly anything used. I also use Amazon as a reference when looking for recommendations. The product reviews help me make decisions even when I don’t intend to buy from Amazon, but they often have the best price since there’s no sales tax and shipping is usually free.
We are careful about what we watch, and often have a hard time finding something suitable to rent. I also have to say I feel vaguely guilty just standing in B’Buster looking at what’s available. I’ve come out of the store feeling like I need to bleach my eyeballs!
I think online rentals help a lot with both issues. I have to warn you: Netflix does have a category you’ll want to steer clear of entirely. Ugh. But on the bright side, you’re not accosted with the sight of the covers of all those videos while you search for safe, clean choices.
- Over 100,000 titles on DVD – from classics to new releases to TV episodes.
- Instant downloads - choose from over 12,000 movies (some new releases) & TV episodes (including current season) online on your PC or Mac or on your TV via an Internet connected Netflix ready device. This is our favorite part!
- No late fees – keep DVDs as long as you want
- Free shipping – there is no cost except your monthly membership
- Fast turn around – You can set up a list of what you want so that your next DVD is shipped as soon as your first one is received, and distribution centers throughout the country mean that there’s one near you. If the first one on your list isn’t available, they’ll automatically move down the list so you’re not stuck waiting.
- Various plans – several choices to fit your budget and needs.
- Personalized recommendations – based on movies that you enjoyed in the past. We have found that it’s pretty “smart.” Many of our favorites show up on the list.
- Free trial – enjoy full benefits for 2 weeks to see if Netflix is right for you.
Their website is very easy to use, making it very easy to get the movies you want, either on DVD or as instant downloads. There are several plans available starting at $4.99, but we think the $8.99/month is the best deal for our family: 1 DVD out at a time (4-5/month if we watch and return them promptly, but we don’t), plus unlimited downloads.
So how does this save money? $8.99/month is about the cost of 2 rentals from B’Buster, or less than the cost of one rental and a trip to town to return it. If you rent from RedBox occasionally like we used to, you know that one or two movies can easily add up if you forget to take them back right away – or if you have make a special trip to return them, because they’re racking up daily charges.
We love Paperback Swap! We have found many great new books and replaced many old favorites for free this way! Members list books that need a new home and request books from other members. No money changes hands, and you only pay shipping for the books that others request of you. For each book you ship, you are able to request and receive a new book from any member.
Paperback Swap is not limited to paperbacks. There are also many audio books and hardbacks available. When you join and list your first 10 books, you immediately receive 2 credits which allows you choose and request 2 free books right away!
Now that we’ve had 3 babies and one other medical need published and paid for, I can’t say enough good things about Samaritan Ministries. Under Samaritan’s plan, having a baby doesn’t cost us a cent above our regular shares that we send to other members like us!
I think they have a fantastic system worked out, and if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional health insurance, this might be perfect for you.
Every month, we receive a newsletter and instructions telling us where to send our monthly share and what the family’s need is. We send our monthly payment directly to another Christian family, along with a card or note. We enjoy knowing who receives our monthly contribution and being able to pray for and personally encourage them.
When each of our babies was born, Samaritan members covered every penny of the expense, unlike traditional health insurance policies which always penalized us for having our children at home with a midwife. The outpouring of letters, cards, and Biblical advice from Christian brethren was an added bonus!
The cost of coverage is far less than traditional health insurance; our family pays less than $300/month for 11 members.
New members are carefully screened when they apply, but not in the traditional way. There is no physical exam necessary, but your pastor must sign a statement confirming that you meet all of the membership requirements. Just take a look at the membership requirements and you’ll begin to understand why this is not traditional health insurance. You’ll also see part of the reason that it costs so much less: God’s standards for His people rule out many risky behaviors that increase the cost of healthcare for non-Christians.
Questions? I’ve done several posts and reviews, and answered many questions about Samaritan Ministries. Please let us know if you would like more information or if you decide to join – Samaritan Ministries has a generous affiliate program, and we would love to offset some of the cost of our monthly contributions! Please tell them you heard about Samaritan Ministries from Kim Coghlan at Life in a Shoe.
I took a high quality prenatal vitamin for for almost 15 years, but over the last several years I have become more and more convinced that I just wasn’t absorbing them properly. I had a hard time remembering to take vitamins at all because I simply didn’t feel any difference whether or not I took them. While I used to feel a significant boost when I took my vitamins, it just wasn’t happening anymore.
SuperMom Vitamins give me that feeling again. Without sharing too much, let me just say that I have undeniable evidence that my body absorbs these vitamins readily. My energy levels are consistently higher than they have been in many years, and I find myself far more motivated to remember to take my vitamins because they just make me feel so good!
During my last pregnancy I began taking SuperMom Vitamins in my third trimester. In spite of a lot of hip, back and pelvis pain during my first 2 trimesters, I had my best third trimester ever! My usual aches and pains were greatly diminished or even absent, and our unusually busy family schedule didn’t faze me a bit. I can only attribute the difference to my new vitamins.
There are a lot of ways to make a little money on the web, but Swagbucks has been a great one for us!
If you haven’t starting using SwagBucks.com yet, now’s the time. SwagBucks is a search engine that allows users to win prizes and products for doing what they do every day – searching the web. By using SwagBucks.com as your main search engine you win digital dollars (Swag Bucks) that are redeemable for prizes ranging from Amazon gift cards, gifts for the kids, to exclusive autographs, electronics, and airline miles.
To make it even easier, you can add Swagbucks to your list of search engines at the top right of your browser window. Then any time you want to search the web, you can use the Swagbucks engine with a single click. It’s fast, easy, and you get free stuff for doing what you already do.
No worries – the search engine is good. It looks and feels very much like Google, and the results are very similar. Except for that part where you get free stuff just for using it. Google doesn’t do that.
This one is just too cute to skip. Times Tales is fun little system helps children associate a simple story with each of the upper multiplication facts. Covering from 6×6 to 9×9, it uses uncluttered illustrations and just a few lines of text to link the factors to the product. Read my complete review here. Be sure to check out the other products available from Trigger Memory Systems too!
This one is near and dear to my heart. Surely you knew that my Honey works in the Vision Forum warehouse? We love this company and everything that it stands for. We don’t see eye to eye on every doctrinal issue and we don’t attend the same church as Doug Phillips, but we dearly love his family and all of the Vision Forum group. These are real people with genuine hearts for God, and we feel blessed to be among them.
We love many of their products and try to keep our sidebar updated with good deals, exciting new products, and special discounts and promos as we hear about them. I also compiled an ongoing list of Vision Forum favorites and top recommendations.