Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sam's Club Groupon

Oh Sam, you are a sneaky devil.  And by sneaky, I mean your marketing people are brilliant.  I was one of those people who liked shopping at Sam's Club when I went with my parents or borrowed a card from work.  But I never thought I could justify the $45 membership fee.  Would a single guy really save that much?  Would I even use it that often?  

Last week I was checking my email when I noticed a Groupon offer for Sam's Club.  Since I've always been teetering on the edge of getting a card anyhow, I checked out this Groupon offer.  The price was $45 (standard membership fee) ..the difference was what you got for that $45.  In addition to a year long Sam's Club membership you received a $20 gift card, and 4 vouchers for FREE deli food.  Over a pound of turkey, Ciabatti rolls, black bean dip, and a 10 inch apple pie were included.  The free merchandise more than paid for the membership fee!

So I spent the afternoon at Sam's Club.  I didn't go crazy..just buying things that I needed anyhow- this time in bulk.  And I redeemed all the free food vouchers.  Enough food for a week.  Then I went outside.  The convenience store next to work has gas for $3.73 this evening.  Sam's Club had gas for $3.33 a gallon, so I filled up the tank as well.

Will I continue to shop at Sam's Club?  Well, I won't be one of those people with pallets of merchandise in the checkout lane but I do think that they do offer great prices on items I need to stock up on anyhow (detergent, deodorant, soap) and the grocery prices were reasonable (I just don't want/need 10 pounds of Cheerios or chips at a time).  Maybe I'll pop in once a month and stock up.  I'll definitely continue buying gas there.

Have you ever bought a Groupon?
 (You can sign up HERE)  
If so which was your favorite? 
 Let me know in the comments!

If you buy a Groupon using my links, I may receive a Groupon credit.  It's a win-win situation!  You save money and I'll earn towards a free Groupon.  Thanks!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer is a time for fun!

We are having a mild, cool spell- a "polar vortex" if you will.  Tonight we may even drop down to 56 degrees- a record low.  Honestly, this has not been a "fun" summer for me.  Mostly work.  Very little time off.  But I do remember fun summers as a kid.  Family vacations, hot summer days, playing outside until well after dark.

What are your favorite summer memories?

Sadly, many kids throughout the world don't have great memories of summer.  Sure, they may get time off from school.  But that time off is spent working to earn money to buy food.

Mission Without Borders provides year round programs to stabilize needy families and help them move toward providing for themselves.  But there are special programs that benefit kids short and long term as well.  One of these programs is the many summer camps run by local churches in Eastern Europe.
Children from group homes and needy families are able to spend a week or two having fun- just being kids.  There are nutritious hot meals, Bible lessons, crafts, games and more.  

All of this costs just $15 per child per day.  If you would be interested in helping a child attend camp or sponsoring a child or family, the US website is  A little money can go a long way in making positive memories for a needy child.

And do let me know what your favorite summer memories are in the comments!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pray for Ukraine..political instability leads to rapid rise in cost of living

As Russia continues to bully former Soviet states, the human toll is growing rapidly.  In addition to the illegal takeover of Crimea and military maneuvers designed to destabilize Ukraine, Russia has also raised natural gas prices by 80%!  This is devastating to many poor families and the elderly in Ukraine.  Salaries and social assistance remain stagnant, child benefits have decreased and prices are increasing dramatically across the board.

A few examples:  One kilogram of chicken (2.2 pounds) cost $1.96 (23 Ukrainian Hryvnia) in January 2014.  In April, the average price was $2.56- over 30% increase in 4 months.  Gasoline was also affected- one litre of gas (almost 1/4 a gallon) cost 94 cents in January.  In April, it had skyrocketed to $1.36.  This was a 45% increase.  

There were other examples listed in the Mission Without Borders UK newsletter.  I verified the data when I could and translated to US dollars and measurements.  Family sponsorships are a critical part of stabilizing families and ensuring that families with children can survive during such difficult times.  More than just survival, these sponsorships help families get a leg up moving toward self sufficiency and thriving- not just surviving.

Once I get some debt repaid (a major priority!) I would love to visit Ukraine someday.  It would be part of my dream of spending 1-2 months in Eastern Europe again.  I hope to visit a nation that is thriving and growing healthier (economically, socially, and spiritually).  I like the fact that Mission Without Borders with its 50 Ukrainian staff and 90 volunteers are moving Ukraine toward this goal

Monday, July 14, 2014

Enter to WIN a $500 Amazon Gift Card!

amazon gift cardAmy over at This Mamas Life recently had a new little one and is helping us Celebrate! One lucky reader will win an Gift Card

A little about Kinsights: Kinsights is an online Pediatric Personal Health Record Keeper for parents. Gone are the days where you’re being held responsible for keeping track of slips of paper or lugging files and folders containing your children’s health information. And in the event of an emergency, you can even have the health records sent to the ER or out-of-town doctor in a snap. Organize your child’s growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more. This tool is amazing and a godsend to parents. Kinsights is also a community where parents can safely seek and share answers to parenting questions. You can ask anything and Kinsights will find the right community members who can provide guidance. Kinsights even offers groups with similar interests their own pages, including single parents, grandparents, those interested in car seat safety, baby & kids fashion, potty training groups, and many more What's really cool about this community is that it makes finding the best answers easy-community members vote up answers so the best content rises to the top.
*One Lucky Reader will receive the items shown above ( $500.00 Value)
*Giveaway starts July 14, 2014 at 12:01am est.
*Giveaway will end at 11:59pm est on July 31, 2014
*Giveaway is open to US only
* You must be 18 or over to enter
* Winner will be chosen at random via Giveaway Tools
* Winners will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be
* The lucky winner will be notified by email at the end of the Giveaway.
* This Mamas Life and the other participating blogs are not responsible for prize shipment or fulfillment
*Prize will be fulfilled by the Sponsor.

Disclosure: This blog did not receive financial compensation or product in exchange for this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest are in no way associated with this giveaway. Prize fulfillment and shipping will be handled by the Sponsors