How To Decorate A School Locker For Less

Decorating a school locker

Do you have a tween or teen in school with a locker? Have you wanted to know how to decorate a school locker for less seeing all the crazy ways kids are decorating lockers now days?!

My older girls have decorated lockers for a few years. The first year I about had a heart attack and said, “no way!” and had them figure out how to do it for less!

You can see a news segment my daughter and I did for ABC 13 in Houston last year on saving money on lockers HERE.

Price comparison lockers

For the expensive lockers: 

  • Wallpaper Sheets – Target for $15 for 3 sheets ( it will take 6 sheets to 1/2 way do a locker)
  • Black Zebra Locker White Board – PBTeen $19.50
  • Mini Photo Frames – PBTeen $29
  • Locker Carpet – Walmart $9
  • Locker Shelf – Walmart $5
  • Locker Lamp – PBTeen – $24.50

For the budget locker: 

  • Roll of Wrapping paper – Dollar Tree $1
  • Basket – Dollar Tree $1
  • Locker magnetic baskets – Dollar Tree $1
  • Magnets for the wallpaper – Dollar Tree $1
  • Locker Shelf – Walmart (not shown in picture) $5
  • Locker Mirror – Dollar Tree $1
  • Locker Black Board – Dollar Tree $1
  • Microfiber cloth used as locker carpet – Dollar Tree $1

Paige honestly could not tell the difference between the high end locker and the budget locker. According to Paige, either would have been just as cool at school!

One thing that we did not have time for in the video segment was to laminate the wrapping paper. In the past for the girls I have taken the wrapping to a school supply store and paid a few dollars to laminate it so that it held up better through the school year.

Budget Locker Teen decorating

:: Locker on a budget $17::

We use magnets to attach the wrapping paper to the locker walls. You can use tape but Paige has told me horror stories of trying to get it off at the end of school. Magnets worked well for us last year.

This locker also had a locker shelf in it that you can find at Walmart for $5.

For Paige the most important thing to have in her locker was a mirror, shelf, and the magnetic containers on the wall to hold pens and pencils.

Pottery Barn Teen high end locker

:: High End Locker $107::

The wallpaper sheets in the high end locker came from Target. They are really nice and easy to work with, but we used 2 packages ($15 each) on this locker and you can see we needed even more.

The thing that FREAKED me out the most was $29 for the magnetic frames. ARE YOU CRAZY!?

The other tip from Paige is that she thinks the locker lights and locker chandeliers are cute and had one last year. But it only lasted a few days. See they block the hook at the top of the locker where the kids hang their backpacks and it was a hassle to try and maneuver around the lamp and she took it down (along with all her friends) after a few days.

In conclusion, you are more then welcome to spend $100 on your kids locker for school. But acording to the kids we interviewed, they couldn’t tell a difference between items from Pottery Barn and ones from Dollar Tree!

Plus, as we were doing the segment a teacher walked by and asked about the shoot. I explained to her what we were doing and she told us that at the end of the year they line up trash cans all along the hall for kids to clean out their lockers and place trash in. After school was done and the kids were gone, the teachers would pull out all the HIGH END nice locker decorations that all the kids just THREW AWAY!

They use them in their classrooms and save them for kids next year who can’t afford to decorate at all. I almost cried. But the teacher said NO WAY would she spend more then $20 on a locker as she watches the kids just toss it all when school is out!

Do your kids decorate lockers? What so they ask for? What do you spend?? 

It’s Shark Week Viewing Game!

You know how crazy we are about Shark Week! It is a family tradition for us, we watch each night and celebrate the week! I really should work for Discovery promoting them…

This week we are playing a game as we watch. I saw a drinking game that you can play while you watch and didn’t really think it would be appropriate for the kids, and not really for us as we don’t drink. However, if you do, just know that it is out there! LOL!

I changed it up a little and created the Shark Week Viewing Game game you see above.

The kids are going to get little bags or containers and as we play if they earn points we are going to use something like beans, or M&M’s as the points. You could also just use an old fashioned pen and paper to keep track!

This is a fun way to spend some time as a family and hang out together!

4th of July Candy Craft Snack – Candy Kabobs


If you want to keep your kids (and husband) busy for a while, you can try this cute candy snack that we make for the 4th of July each year to take with us as we watch the fireworks!

All you need are some lollipop sticks or skewers and soft candy. I used mostly gummy candies. I also tried to just use red, white and blue for the 4th of July to make it festive. It would also be cute to do them to match birthday parties with different colors.

I was able to buy ALL the candy at our local convenience store this year. They carry all kinds of bagged prepackaged gummy candy, salt water taffy, and gummy lifesavers. I placed them all in bowls on the table, gave each child/Dad a lollipop stick and let them at it!

This is the one Paul made, actually one of the 10, he really got into it with the girls! We packaged ours in little gift bags with ribbon tied around the top. The sticks and bags we put them in cost $1.75 each at Walmart. You can find these in the craft section at your local store.

On the ones for the girls we have little necklaces for the 4th to go with them, turned out really cute!

Do you have any cute crafts for the 4th?

Hurricane Preparation Coupons! Be Prepared!

This is my front yard the morning after Hurricane Ike. In the days before we brought in all the plants and kids toys we could. We nailed down everything possible and taped all the windows.

While many people were panicking and spending all their available cash on supplies, we were comforted knowing that we didn’t need to join the rush and that we were well prepared. We ran into Walmart on Thursday evening and were stunned to see the shelves. It was a very errie feeling when your huge supercenter is cleared out COMPLETELY!

Because of couponing and my food storage there was nothing that we needed, save for some fresh fruit and vegetables.

On Friday 2008, everything was closed, the kids were out of school and we just had to sit around and wait. Paul, myself and the DuBois, took the shotgun and hand guns down to the creek to do some shooting and relieve some anxiety! We heard reports on T.V. of all the chaos surrounding the stores closing early and people not having any food or water. I can’t understand not being prepared? Why would you live so day to day that you can’t take care of your family in an emergency with the basics of food, when you have the ability with coupons to do it almost free?

Alright, so are you guys out east ready? What about along the Gulf coast? With hurricane memories still fresh, I have gone through our supplies this past weekend to take a little inventory. If you have a chance you might want to do the same thing.

::Here are a few food and supply items that have coupons to go with them!::

::Bottled Water::
– $0.55/1 Nestle Pure Life Sparkling Exotics Sparkling Water; 8 pk 12 oz; 
– 5% OFF Market Pantry Sparkling Water (Target eCoupon) – (exp 08/01/15)
– $2.00/1 Kirkland Signature Flavored Sparkling Water – Costco Monthly Coupon
– $3.00/1 Brita Water Filter (Target Coupon); Includes 3 pk (exp 07/09/15)
– $0.50/1 AquaBall Naturally Flavored Water Drink; Includes 6 pk Only
– $3.00/1 Bobble Reusable Water Bottle (Zip Code 77477)

::Candles::
– $1.25/2 Glade Jar Candles – 5-3-15 SS (exp 06/14/15)
– $1.00/1 Febreze Candle; Excludes Trial and Travel Size; 
– $1.00/2 Glade Jar Candles
– $0.50/1 Unstopables Candle; Excludes Trial or Travel Size;
– $2.00/2 Air Wick Scented Candles or Wax Melts;

::Cleaning::

– $1.00/2 Clorox Bleach – 5-3-15 SS; Excludes 16 oz (exp 06/30/15)
– $1.00/1 Clorox 2 Product – 5-3-15 SS; Excludes Pen (exp 06/30/15)
– $1.00/2 Clorox Branded Products; Excludes Travel Packs and Sample Size
– $1.00/1 Lysol Power & Free Taptop Multipurpose Cleaner – 5-17-15 RP;  (exp 06/17/15)
– $0.50/1 Lysol Disinfectant Spray – 6-7-15 SS; Includes 12.5 oz or Larger Only (exp 07/05/15)
– $0.50/2 Lysol Disinfecting Wipes – 6-7-15 SS; Includes 35 ct or Larger Only (exp 07/05/15)

::Batteries::
– $1.00/1 Rayovac Alkaline Batteries
– $1.00/1 Duracell Batteries – 5-31-15 PG; Includes Coppertop, Quantum,  (exp 06/30/15)
– $0.50/1 Energizer Batteries or Flashlights – 5-31-15 SS (exp 06/27/15)
– $1.50/1 Energizer Ultimate Lithium, Advanced Lithium, Recharge Power Plus, or Recharge Universal Batteries – 5-31-15 SS; Includes AA or AAA, 4 ct or Larger Only (exp 06/27/15)
– $3.00/1 Duracell Alkaline Coppertop Batteries – Costco Monthly Coupon (Valid from 6/11/15); Includes AA or AAA; Limit 10 (exp 07/05/15)

::Supply Kit Items::

Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel
— paper plates / plastic utensils

Blankets / Pillows, etc.
Clothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
Special Items – for babies and the elderly
Toiletries / Hygiene items /
Moisture wipes
Flashlight / Batteries
Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
Telephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods
Keys
Toys, Books and Games
Important documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag — insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
Tools – keep a set with you during the storm
Vehicle fuel tanks filled
Pet care items
— proper identification / immunization records / medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage
— muzzle and leash (shelters require this)
Thanks to NOAA

How to shop a Victoria’s Secret Semi Annual Sale!

victorias secret semi annual sale

We are getting ready for the Victoria’s Secret Semi Annual Sale. If you like to shop VS but find it pricy, this is the time to think about checking them out!

When is the Semi-Annual Sale:
There are 2 Semi-Annual Sales yearly. Typically they will start in May (online) and June (in-store) or December/early January (online) and January (in-store).

There are a few tips to shopping this sale and few things that you need to know. First, the sale starts with items about 50% off. BUT, they will be marking items lower a few days later all the way down to 75% or more. If you take a look at your receipt you will see that they have a “price adjustment” policy which means if the price goes LOWER within 14 days of purchasing your item they will give you back the difference.

What does this mean for you? 

  • Get in their early, shop, and then follow these directions:
  • Shop within the first few days of the sale. This is when all the good sizes ( XS, S, M,L ), and the good colors are available.
  • Realize that you are buying the item hoping it will go lower then the 50% off. You might have to out the money out ahead of time and then be willing to return it if it doesn’t go lower.
  • Head into your store a few times. They out items on sale at different times and bring our more items throughout the sale. The first few days are items they want to get rid of fast. Such as a lot of the PINK items and college items.
  • Save EVERYTHING. Leave the tags on the clothes and leave them in the bag WITH the receipts. You don’t know if you will be returning it, and you need to have your receipts.
  • Check back at your store in the last few days of the sale and see when they go 75% off! Every store is different as to what is the last day of their sale. I am GUESSING that they will be marking down more items around January 9th this year.
  • If you purchased your items within 14 days of the day your store going 75% off, all you will need to do, is take in your receipt, go to the register and ask for a price adjustment. They scan the receipt and give you a refund for any price difference between then and now! It’s super easy and takes no more than 10 mins depending on how much you bought.
  • If your purchase exceeds 14 days you need to take all the unworn clothing and your receipts back with you. You will do a full return, and get a full refund. Then repurchase all the items back at the 75% off price!
  • HEADS UP: Sometimes at the 75% off time, occasionally an item will go back to full price! Be aware of this while making a return or price adjustment, you will need to pay attention. If you are ok paying the price you did, keep it. If not, return it.

Some cashiers get grouchy about doing the price adjustment, you are not doing anything wrong, just look at the back of your receipt for the details and maybe remind them at this is their policy.

* Also you can NOT use coupons with this sale. Just a heads up.

Here are a few more tips: 

  • The sale starts online first, in fact it has already started but is much better in-store.
  • The first day is CRAZY, just be prepared for madness in the store.
  • If you like matching sets, get those first. They will sell out.
  • The winter sale is always better then the summer sale. Just my opinion…

Let us know what you find and feel free to ask any questions. We are a community here and can help each other!

What coupons can you use where? Store vs. MFQ and Store Logo.

It can be confusing when you are printing and cutting out coupons to know where you can use them when you first start couponing. But quickly you will be able to see some differences and understand what they mean.

When you look at the above coupons before you print them, you can see a few differences. Mostly that 2 of them have a store logo. The top one has none. The middle coupon with the HEB logo is actually a manufacturer coupon that can be used at any store, although it has the HEB logo. The bottom coupon has a Target logo and also says “Redeem only at Target” and when you print it, it is a Target store coupon. Which can only be used at Target, and can still be combined with manufacturer coupon.

This is what they look like when printed. Well, except I already printed and used the 3M coupon, so I printed the Softsoap coupon (you can see below) has a Walmart logo before printed.

You are looking at the top of the coupon to see if it is a manufacturer coupon or a store coupon. A manufacturer coupon can be used at ANY store as long as there as no exclusions listed on the coupon. A store logo isn’t an exclusion. UNLESS IN THE STORES COUPON POLICY THEY SPECIFICALLY SAY THEY DONT TAKE THEM. Even with another stores logo the store can still redeem it and get reimbursed for it.

The Target coupons above both say on them “Redeem Only at Target” even if these coupons are manufacturer coupons, they could only be used at Target. Because the coupons have an exclusion saying they can only be used at Target.

Now, these coupons above all have the Walmart logo on them. The logo says “Available at Walmart” basically letting you know that Walmart carries the product. Plus, they are hoping you think to yourself when seeing the logo, “I am going to use this at Walmart.”

What you need to do is read the coupon:

Coupon 1: USA Kids – Manufacturer coupon, Walmart logo, but says “Redeem ONLY at Walmart” This coupon can only be used at Walmart.

Coupon 2: Softsoap – (you can see this coupon printed above) Manufacturer coupon, No Walmart logo when printed, no exclusions can use anywhere.

Coupon 3: Purex Crystals – Manufacturer coupon, Walmart logo, says “Redeemable at Walmart.” This coupon can still be used at any store that will accept it. They are telling you Walmart carries the product and suggesting you use it there.

Finally, this is pretty much the ONLY coupon type that you can’t use at Walmart or any other store but the store it says on it. That would be a specific STORE coupon.

Clear as mud right?! It really isn’t that hard. The best thing to do is just print the coupon and read it all the way through. I also try to tell you ahead of time if we know that it is  Target coupon so you don’t print it if you wanted to use it somewhere else.

Any questions feel free to email or leave a comment and we will help you understand any questions you have!

FREE Dunkin Donuts Refillable Cups + $0.99 Refills All Summer Long!

free dunkin donuts cup

If you’re a coffee drinker or just a frequent Dunkin Donuts shopper there’s an amazing deal that some readers have been able to get. Right now you can get a FREE Dunkin Donuts Refillable Cup with purchase, but wait it gets better. You can get $0.99 Refills for Iced Coffee/Iced Tea all summer long!

**It looks like the $0.99 refills offer may be a DD Perks offer so be sure to log into your DD Perks account to check. The expiration date on the refill offer is varying from 8/31-9/30 by account.

Thanks Hip2Save!

Make Your Own Scented Wax Cubes {DIY Tutorial}

make your own scented wax cubes, free scentsy

 – Pin {DIY Scented Wax Tutorial}

:: My episode aired! I missed it though :( You can see my segment HERE ::

About a year and a half ago I had the chance to do a DIY tutorial for Disney’s LiveWell station, with host Kat Cosley on how to make your own scented wax cubes. We filmed at my house for a few hours and I taught them how I reuse and make my own scented wax for my Scentsy wax warmers.

They were awesome and Kat is SUPER cool and really nice.

I have a TON and really I have a TON of Scentsy warmers, I am not telling you how many because my husband would flip! :) A Scentsy warmer is a name brand wax warmer that basically melts a piece of scented wax using a light bulb, that makes your whole house smell awesome. You can buy cheaper versions of these from Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart from $5 – $15. They are really cute, and make nice gifts. I like them because I don’t like having an open flame with a lot of kids running around, and I like the way candles make my house smell good.

After the scented wax has melted and the smell is gone after about 12 hours, you are left with disks of hard wax. You can toss them or you can remelt them and add some more fragrance. This is one way to reuse the wax, I have 2 different methods I taught them.

Scentsy sells the scented wax of course, and you can buy off brands at Walmart, Target and even the Dollar Stores. Personally, I think Scentsy smells the best, but it is pretty expensive.

Scentsy also says that by using any other wax in their warmers you void your warranty on your warmer somewhere in the fine print. Just FYI.

When new, the scented wax comes in little plastic trays and you break them apart and pop them out like you would a ice cube tray. When my trays are done I save them to use as mold to pour more melted wax into.

The first tip is to save your wax when it has lost it’s smell and add more scent to it. I melt the wax either in the microwave or on a warming tray (below) in a bowl and pour it into the saved wax trays. You can get a warming tray by the candles at Walmart for $5. Many places sell scented oil and you only need a few drops. After adding the melted wax to the trays place it in the freezer for a while to harden, then use like you would new wax!

  • Melt the wax
  • Add scent
  • Pour in trays
  • Harden in freezer
  • Use again

reuse scentsy wax for tart burners

The second way I make these is with leftover candles I have OR with new candles I am given that I don’t want to have burning in my house. I get a lot of the Yankee candles and don’t want to light them so I make them into scented wax so I can safely use them.

Again I melt down the wax, either in the microwave (be careful of the metal tab on the bottom of the wick) or on a warming tray until the wax is completely melted. Then I pour them into the trays or into ice cube trays.

Put the trays into the freezer and when they are solid you can pull them out and you have scented wax from your candles that you can use in your warmers! This is the method that I use the most. I have found the Yankee candles when melted down and made into scented wax cubes smell better and the smell lasts longer then the Scentsy scents. But overall it is just safer in my home to not have an open flame.

As much as I love the Scentsy scents and buy them often, I love other candle brands as well that don’t make the scented wax. This is a great way to stretch your budget on the extra things in life by making your own. I would rather spend my money on the darling designs of name brand warmers, then on the scented wax.

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National Park Day – FREE entrance this weekend to more than 100 parks!

America’s Best Idea – the National Parks – gets even better this summer with three fee-free weekends at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees*.

Mark your calendars for fee-free weekends this summer:

  • April 18-19 opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25 National Park Service Birthday
  • September 26 National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 Veterans Day

Here’s a tip – many national parks never charge an entrance fee, so you can plan inexpensive visits year round!

You can see a list of parks in each state that are participating, these are the ones in Texas:

Texas
Big Bend National Park
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Padre Island National Seashore

How to make Frosting Carrots + Best Carrot Cake Recipe!

Carrot cupcakes are just fun, and good to eat! Every year for Easter I always make a 3 layered carrot cake. Carrot cake is one of the things that I forget that I can make all year long and don’t have to wait for Easter. I love it loaded with raisins, pineapple and coconut, but the kids freak over the raisins so I normally leave them out. BUT with cupcakes, I can add in anything I want to a few of them!

The carrots on the top are so cute and so fast to make I wanted to tell you how really quick.

First, either make your own cream cheese frosting or use canned. If you use canned make sure to add some powdered sugar to thicken it a little.

Frost the cupcakes normally. Now divide the rest of the frosting into 2 bowls and color one orange and one green.

I like the Wilton Icing Colors you can get at Walmart. But you can use any kind. Next  you will need both the #9 round frosting tip and the #116 leaf tip. These can be purchased for really chap, around $1 a tip, and you will need a frosting bag.

Load your frosting bag with the orange frosting using the round tip. At the top of the cupcake, make a zig zag motion back and forth getting smaller and smaller as you go making the carrot shape. At the end pull up with the frosting so you get the point of the carrot. Load another bag with the leaf tip and with the green frosting. This time position the tip at the fat part or top of the carrot, use the most pressure and make the widest part of the leaf, tapering off just like the carrot. The leaf tip is AWESOME and basically does the work for you.

This time I made both mini and regular size cupcakes. The small ones I just added a milk chocolate pastel egg, and the regular size ones I added the carrots. I think they turned out really cute!

The BEST carrot cake recipe is the one from Southern Living.


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