DIY Wooden Coasters

DIY Coasters
A while back, my husband had to cut some limbs off of a tree that is in our backyard. Once cut, we realized it was a Cedar tree and the limbs had that beautiful Cedar fragrance and distinctive red circle in the middle. We stacked the limbs to save for firewood but I kept thinking that there must be something we could do with those beautiful pieces of wood. Then I saw a picture of some beautiful wooden coasters and decided that would be my next project and a thrifty way to re-purpose something.
 
This project was super easy. All you need are a couple of logs with whatever circumference you would like your coaster to be, a saw, a paint brush and some polyurethane. (You could also stain the pieces if you wanted too. Since I was using Cedar pieces they had a beautiful reddish circle that I wanted to keep authentic.)
 
Our first step was to take our logs and cut them to the width we desired. We chose to go with about 1/4 inch for each slice. 
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 (Sorry, the picture is awful because we took it at night in our dark garage)
The logs weren’t incredibly big, but still required us to use a chop saw to cut all the way through. Once my husband got started, it was easy to just keep cutting a bunch of coasters out. After they were cut, we carefully sanded any rough edges that were sticking out due to the saw blades, but were careful to leave as much bark on the side as possible. The polyurethane will keep the remaining bark on the edges so you don’t have to worry about bark falling off while you have your coffee sitting on it.
Next came the Polyurethane. We ended up putting 6 coats of Poly on each side of these babies and made sure to get the edges really well too. This was the only time consuming part because we had to let the poly dry on each side for 2 hours before flipping them over and applying a coat to the other side. 
 
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I absolutely love the finished project. They were so worth the wait! These beautiful coasters look beautiful on my end tables and I don’t have to worry about my kids breaking them. Now I just have to keep them from being used as ninja weapons. 
These make a beautiful gift for a friend or family member, just pair them with a beautiful mug and you have an easy and thrifty gift. 
 
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Filed Under: DIY

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday 
and 
Results for our First Week with a New Grocery Budget
Our family consists of 5 people, 2 adults and 3 children ages 8, 5, and 2. (Although, I feel like the 8 and 2-year-old eat like adults most days) Last year, we tried to stick to $120 a week but it always seemed like we were running out of food half way through the week. I was always going to the store to buy more food and would end up totally blowing our grocery budget. It became so stressful trying to shop with that budget. Not to mention the times I was making food for a function at church, our small group dinners or making a meal for someone who was ill or just had a baby. All of those things never fit in our grocery budget.
This year, we decided to try for $150 a week to be more practical and to compensate for the growing appetites of our kids. At the moment, I technically only have $130 to actually spend because we have ordered some snacks on Amazon Prime so that cost has been divided among the four weeks this month, leaving me with only $130 per week. I went shopping today and actually did great finding some good deals and feel like this could actually work for our family.
We have also decided to use only cash for groceries, so I have to be careful to not go over. It’s so easy to allow myself to overspend when I just use a debit card so we thought this would be the best way to make sure I kept my grocery budget in check.
My first stop today was Aldi. I had to grab a couple frozen pizza because my husband had some friends coming over to watch football and I love how cheap, yet how big an Aldi frozen pizza is. I also love when I see money off stickers on their meat. I grabbed everything I needed for the week that I knew I wouldn’t get cheaper at another store.
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 Next stop was Shop-rite to grab the rest of the groceries we needed for my meal plan. I found some great deals since it’s their preview to “Can-Can Week” Some of the great deals included:
6 packs of applesauce for .50 (great for the boy’s lunches)
GM Cereal for .32 a box
26 ounce canned tomatoes for .26 each
and fries for $1
(all of these prices were with coupons)

 

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My husband made one stop to Stop & Shop to grab another frozen pizza because we were afraid we wouldn’t have enough for our company so that total was $5.79
So my total spent on groceries this week is $96.35
Leaving me with $33.65 extra this week. This will be helpful if we run out of milk but hopefully we can just roll it over into the next week.
Here is what we plan on using these groceries to make:
Breakfast:
 Smoothies & Toast, Cereal & Milk, Eggs or Oatmeal
 Lunch:
The boys usually take sandwiches for lunch. I’ll add a granola bar, some pretzels, banana and the applesauce I just bought. The Juicy Juice works out perfectly because there is enough for them both for the whole week. Abigail will have nuggets and carrots or a PB & J.
Daniel usually just takes leftovers from dinner which makes my life very easy. 🙂
Dinner:
Monday: Spaghetti & Meatballs with sauteed green beans & bacon (I’ll use the canned tomatoes I bought today to make homemade pasta sauce)
Tuesday: Crock-pot Ranch Chicken dinner (includes potatoes and green beans )
Wednesday: Re-fried Beans and Cheese Enchilada’s with our Small Group (the re-fried beans will be  made in the crock-pot during the day)
Thursday: Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Friday: Homemade Pizza with Salad and Fries
Saturday: Black Bean quesadillas with corn and tortilla chips
Sunday: Breakfast for dinner (usually pancakes or french toast on homemade cinnamon swirl bread)
I’ll update my grocery envelope total next week so we can see if we made it without having to use the extra grocery money left over from this week.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
My husband has been telling me for a long time that I should start a blog, but I always had an excuse such as, I have no time, what in the world would I write about, I’m not a good writer, etc. Then, as the New Year was approaching, we were looking over our budget and making goals of what we needed to save for and what debt we wanted to get rid of. (Gotta love Student loans and car payments) Suddenly, the idea of blogging about our  journey throughout this year of living simply, within our means, and being thrifty was born. If nothing else, this blog will keep us accountable and allow us to look back at the end of the year to see how well we did with our goals.
I am looking forward to sharing my frugal finds, Pinterest projects, menu plans on a budget, and a bit about our family and our journey with a child with down syndrome. (Plus, kids are expensive, so saving money on things they need would be worth sharing, too!)
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