These links are for goods and services we've found to be extraordinary values. We buy them, we use them, we recommend them.

REI Daily Deal

REI logo

Do you like to camp, hike, or bike? REI, a consumer co-op, has been ethically providing high quality gear at reasonable prices for decades. Members get a 10% rebate on all non-sale purchases. Membership cost is $25... no, not $25 per year... $25. Period.

It doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Oh, wait... it does! Check out the REI Deal of the Day, typically about 50% off the normal retail price of one item, each day, valid for one day, (while supplies last).

International Calling

Tel3 Logo

We recently sent our daughter to Edinburough, Scotland for a semester of study abroad. Naturally, we wanted to stay in touch without breaking the bank on long distance bills. After some careful research, we found the best deal is with Tel3. We can call her for as little as a penny per minute (land line) or 12.5 cents per minute to her cell phone. There's a 6-month promotional introductory period, after which you decide whether you want the "Premium" or "Standard" account. The Premium account just means you pay a small monthly fee ($1.95) and, in return, pay less per minute for your calls.

To work the Tel3 service, we just call a local number, press 1# for her cell phone, or 2# for her dorm room, and in a second or two we're connected. Tel3 automatically recognizes that we're calling from one of our "registered" phone numbers, so we don't need to enter our account information each time we call. And the speed dial configuration means we don't even really need to remember our daughter's UK phone number. Great feature for all the aunts and uncles and grandparents.

We compared Tel3 to the other major name brands like Skype and Google, and found it to be the cheapest phone-to-phone service out there. The only thing better is full-internet based, which, of course is free, but requires a little more inconvenience to set up.

To get going with Tel3, just lick this link, and dial away.


Gift Card Aggregator

Cardpool Logo

Cardpool buys gift cards for cash and then re-sells them. They buy low and sell high... that's how they make their profit. You and I, when buying gift cards from CardPool, pay them more than what they paid for the card, but still a discount to the face value of the card. We recently bought Starbucks cards discounted 14%, i.e. $86 for a $100 card. Check out JC Penney, 27% off; Sears, 10% off. Again, these aren't coupons, they're gift cards, and the full value is guaranteed.
They have a couple hundred different merchants to choose from, with a range of discounts and card values. Shipping is always first class and free (allow about a week for delivery), and the cards don't expire. Retail cards, like Macy's, spend just like cash (either in the local store or online) and can even be used to deepen your savings on closeout merchandise.
Why pay retail?!