Wednesday, May 29, 2013

One Spot

The Target "One Spot" may be the death of me... half the time the One Spot is nothing you really "need" or came in for, but they have some neat stuff for $1. I love when they have the school supplies and cute post-it note packs for only a $1 buck. However, sometimes they do through in a $3 dollar item that I fall in love with and then have to debate buying with myself. But overall, they always get me when I walk in the door!

Lately, I've been on a mission to get my house clean and organized. We live in a small space and seem to have a lot of "stuff" without a proper home. I've been really trying to get myself a workspace for paying bills, grading papers, and crafting all set up. I have so much stuff it seems like the table top is NEVER seen... so today, while popping into Target for baby locks (my dog, Iggy, loves to knock the lid off the trash can) I stumble upon... THE ONE SPOT HOLY GRAIL! I was able to get some magazine holders, a little tray, two pencil cups, and a clipboard all for $5 dollars! Now this probably isn't very exciting to most people but I love when things have a place and I know where the place is located!

I was pretty happy with my new set up. I wish I would have done a before and after. This transformation was HUGE... one step closer to getting my world back on track and organized. It always makes me feel better. Some people prefer a relaxing a spa and massage - I prefer a clean and clutter free house.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Need deals? Then go to Deals!

I know it's almost summer... but I'm in back to school mode already!

I found some of my best educational deals over the years at Deals. Deals (the discount "dollar" store) is often hit or miss if you actually go into the store. However, Deals does have a website and catalog that you can order from direct. The down side is, you usually  need to order in bulk. I had to buy 30+ book bins for my library, however, at a $1 a piece that was much cheaper than any other store around. I was frustrated that my old library bins were an assortment of bins/tubs that didn't "match."  I was on a mission to coordinate my library and I didn't want to have to go store to store to find matching bins. Through the Deals catalog they came in assorted colors and were ready to be used! I made my own labels with scrapbook paper I already owned to save additional money. I think they turned out super cute! I've used them all this year. I loved that the bins were flexible (my old bins were too cheap & rigid so the handles kept cracking) plus they have handles for the kids to pull the bins off the shelves. All in all they held up quite well this year! I just need to fix a few tags and make sure books are organized for next year!

Another great place to score good deals is... Walmart! If you can have the patience to wait in line, I found some of my best deals at Walmart in during their summer clearance. I found clipboards for $1 dollar. I was able to buy enough for each student if we needed to teach open wall or move around during Reading/Writing workshop. I also found my biggest score a tin "drink" tub to put the clipboards in! The drink tub was originally $9.99 (not a bad price but I like to get things for as little as possible!) after July 4th, I was able to score this tub for 50% off! That's right $4.99!!! I bought a second one that was a different shape to create a space for my poetry picture books.  I added scrapbook letters to jazz it up a bit.

Shoe String Lesson: Think outside the box when trying to organize your classroom. Often re-purposing "other" items can save you money and be just as functional!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Happy Chic!

So I ordered some shorts from JCPenney online and went to pick them up in store today (free ship to store!) and found a new collection of home goods that I'm absolutely in love with! Jonathan Adler's store inside JCP, "Happy Chic" is absolutely amazing. They have high quality "looking" products with fairly reasonable prices. Some of the items, I felt were over priced like the owl pitcher that I fell in love with for $50 dollars. An owl pitcher is not worth $50. However, the cream and sugar jars were much more reasonably priced.

Aren't they just too adorable? There is an entire owl collection for the kitchen. (Swoon!)

However, I was really surprised by JCP's new image. This fresh new collection of bed, bath, and kitchen is more upscale and trendy than JCP has ever offered in the past while trying to stick to their target market of people on a budget. This targets a much younger 20-30's crowd than the previous JCP collections who targeted my mom, more than me in the home goods department.  I was quite impressed. Here is a sampling of some of the "Happy Chic" line. I really want to redo my bedroom and bathroom now that I've seen the retro yet modern patterns. I'm hooked and loving the navy and green combo!

Shoe string lesson: Buying on the cheap, doesn't need to look cheap! Shop around to find designs that still look expensive even when they're really not! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Planner envy!

It's not even the last day of school and I'm already thinking about next year! I'm organizing novels, rewriting my book lists, and trying to write myself notes to remember things for next year. While thinking about next year I came across the best planner... It's like my dream planner. I'm super frugal but school supplies are my utter weakness.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to pull the trigger on this planner... you have a to live a little right? This year, I did a DYI binder. It worked very well but I still had all my separate grade book, lesson planner, etc. And, I still didn't have the planner of my dreams! I feel like every year I spend more time searching for what I "want" and not finding anything that meets my criteria. I even looked into customizing my own so I could have everything I actually need in one place. And then came this little number....

This planner is basically the Lexus of teacher planners. It has it all and more. Including TABS and checklists, in addition to colored lesson plan spaces. And (gasp!) it even has a two page spread of each month at a glance! Perhaps my favorite thing of all it includes sheet protectors (made in) ... this is what I've been dreaming about in the teacher planner world. I got giddy from watching the 9 minute video demoing the planner. Who does that?

You can check out more of the planners and stationary at (And watch the video!). It's definitely not frugal - but it sure is fabulous!

Shoe string lesson: Sometimes, you just have to splurge on something you really want whether it be new shoes or a 2013 Teacher planner.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week!

Just want to wish all my fellow teachers a Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Although, I feel like my students are thankful all the time, it is nice to be celebrated for a week! Plus, it means freebies and sales... and you know I'm all about living life on the cheap.

Tomorrow!... Tuesday, May 7th two great restaurants are offering deals for teachers.

Chipotle is having BOGO burritos, bowls, salads, or tacos tomorrow if you show your school ID. It's start at 4pm and goes to close tomorrow. That's close to an $8 dollar savings! Thank you Chipotle!

Chick-fil-A is also a teacher promotion tomorrow. Starting at 10:30 am to close teachers get a free chicken sandwich! Free is always a winner in my book! So don't forget to pick up your free burrito or sandwich tomorrow!

You need your ID for both offers... so if you're like me, you have to mend it back together with some tape or dig it from your purse, drawer, etc. Then bust out that badge and claim  your rewards! You've earned it!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Flip Flop Frenzy!

Summer is nearly upon us! We've got about three full weeks of teaching left until it's time hit the snooze button in the morning and hit the pool in the afternoon. The perfect summer outfit is never complete with out some great summer shoes! Right now both Target and DSW are offering some cool savings on summer footwear.

Currently at Target, starting on Sunday, you can get $5 dollars off any pair of Merona shoes. Making their sale sandals only $7 dollars a pair! You can print off the coupon at Target's website. But Target didn't stop there... they also have a $2 off flip flop's coupon making the $2.50 flip flops only .50 cents after coupon! You could score two summer essentials this weekend for under 10 bucks! Guess, I know where I'll be headed on Sunday morning....

DSW is also doing some summer promotions on shoes. Right now on their website,, they are offering $5 off one pair, $10 off two pairs, and $20 dollars of three pairs of shoes. No coupon necessary! Also, if you are a rewards member, starting May 9th, you can get the Sunfest pool bag (seen above) for free with a $29 dollar purchase at any DSW store!

Shoe string lesson: Keeping up with the trends can be costly, but if you read some of the blogs and check your favorite stores coupons both in the mail and online -- you can keep up with the trends in frugal fashion!

Anyone else know of some killer shoe  deals for summer?

- Amanda
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