Author Archive: NCN

DIY Distressed Wood Mantel – Get The Rustic Look For Less

I am a huge fan of DIY projects – especially DIY projects that save me money.  Brian from the The Wildman Project youtube channel created this awesome DIY Distressed Wood Mantel and it looks great.

He was able to create the look of distressed wood, with just a few tools and some lumber from a big-box store.  Awesome.

If you are interested in tackling a similar project, I have included links and a materials list below the video.

Brian uses a belt sander in the video.  I don’t have one of those – so I used a random orbital sander.  I simply held it at a slight angle to the surface of the wood, to create the dips that you see in the video.  If you have the patience – sandpaper wrapped around a piece of scrap wood would work just fine.

You can pick up the boards for this project at your local big-box store.  The top and front are glued together with simple butt joints and the corners are mitered.  There are no nails or screws used – so they won’t get in the way of sanding.

Here’s a list of other items you might need to complete this project – including wood glue, stain, a sander, and a file.

This distressing process would work for creating a variety of DIY projects.  

I recently used this technique to build a simple picture frame.  It turned out great and I’m thinking about using this technique to add some character to a head board I’m building for our bedroom.  Also, this might be a great technique for building one of those very popular rustic kitchen tables.

You can view more of Brian’s work over at his website – The Wildman Project and the Wildman Project Etsy Shop.

If you are new to DIY and woodworking – I recently shared my list of inexpensive, budget friendly tools.

Check out my new DIY projects board over at pintrest.  Blessings.

 

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A Plan To Increase Our Savings Account Balance

At one time – after getting out of debt and before we purchased our new home – we had enough cash in our savings account for six months’ worth of expenses.  We dipped into our savings account when we purchased our home, to purchase new appliances and some furniture.

The time has come to rebuild our savings account balance.  We have created the following plan to increase our savings:

We set a goal.

Our goal is to stash six months’ worth of expenses in our savings account.  We took a look at our budget, removed any obvious unnecessary categories, and then used that amount to calculate our savings goal.

We created a time-table.

One year.  We have give ourselves one year to save up six months’ worth of expenses.  A note about expenses: We are focusing on essentials, plus a few wants.

We have automated a monthly deposit.

Our paychecks are deposited at the end of each month.  An automated withdrawal is then made to our online savings account.  This money comes out first, before any other payments or purchases.

automated savings no credit needed

We will examine our monthly bills.

We are pretty frugal – but there’s always room for improvement.  For instance – we recently realized we were eligible for an employee discount from our cellular provider.

We will use micro-deposits.

Like micro-payments helped us reduce our credit card debt, micro-deposits will help us build up our savings.  We’ll look for ways to save, throughout the week, and make extra deposits to our savings account on Fridays.

We will pause – for just a few months – our aggressive mortgage debt reduction.

I hate debt, and can’t wait until we have paid off our mortgage.  However, I think it’s important to rebuild our savings.  So, we’ll still send an extra, principal-only payment to our mortgage company, but micro-deposits will go towards savings.

We will sell some stuff.

It has been a few years since we had a large yard sale or eBay purge.  The time has come.  We’ll sell some stuff and use that money to increase our savings account balance.

We will shop around for a higher interest rate.

This is just a hunch – but I have a feeling that interest rates will go up next year.  If they do, we will transfer our savings, accordingly.

The past few years, we have adjusted to my new job and our new home.  2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year.  We are excited about rebuilding our savings account balance.  Blessings.

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Stores That Offer Free Or Discounted Prescription Drugs

Check out this updated list of stores and pharmacies that offer free or discounted prescription drugs.  Save money on your prescriptions.  List updated once a month.  Last updated December 17, 2014.

Click the links to view information about each store’s discount prescription drug program –

Free Medications -

Publix – free antibiotics plus Amlodipine, Lisinopril, and Metformin

Meijer – free antibiotics plus prenatal vitamins, Metformin,  and Atorvastatin Calcium

Free Antibiotics -

Giant Eagle – free antibiotics

Harris Teeter – free antibiotics

discount presriptions

Discounted Medications –

Kroger – $4 / $10 generics

Ralph’s – $4 / $10 generics

Target – $4 / $10 generics

Walmart – $4 / $10 generics (some states)

Fred’s – $4 generics

This list was updated December 16, 2014 and will be updated once per month.

Information is subject to change.

 

 

 

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DIY Week – Budget Friendly Tools

I’ve recently added following inexpensive, budget friendly tools to my DIY arsenal.  They’re great for projects around the house and basic woodworking.  They are inexpensive – but not cheap – and they help me get the job done.

My favorite new toy tool for the year is the Kreg R3 Jr. Pocket Hole Jig System.  I’ve used it several times this year – to make a shelving unit for my daughter’s room, to build a small table for a family member, and to join the legs on my shop bench. The Pocket Jig allows for the drilling of pocket holes, which then accept pocket screws. This system replaces more complex joinery, allowing for quick, strong assembly of project components. I’ve included a link to Amazon if you’d like to purchase your own Kreg Pocket Jig. I really like mine. Also, here’s a link to a pintrest page filled with pocket hole projects.

One of my long-term goals is to build a dedicated workshop in our backyard. For now, however, I work on most projects in our garage or my shed. So, I’m a big fan of small, easy to use tools like the Black & Decker JS660 Jig Saw with Smart Select Dial. It’s inexpensive, cuts through an assortment of materials, and is great for the novice woodworker. My son and I used this jigsaw to build several birdhouses this past spring.

I’m constantly using my cordless screwdrivers and impact driver around the house – and I find that standard-length driver bits are often too short. I did a bit of searching and found this budget friendly IIT 64370 6-Inch Power Driver Bit Set, 9-Piece. They extend the reach of both the drill and the driver and they fit both flat-head and Phillips-head screws.

Last year, I purchased a router – and I was shocked by how expensive router bits can be! I searched and searched for an inexpensive set and was pleased to find this 24 piece ROUTER BIT SET with Aluminum Carry Case. I’m not a professional so I don’t need super expensive, industrial grade router bits. These work great for me. They’re sharp, they come in a nice case, and they work.

By the way, if you are unfamiliar with how to use a router, here’s a video from the awesome Steve Ramsey with a brief how to:

And here’s a link to the very budget friendly SKIL 1830 120-Volt 2-1/4 HP Combo Base Router Set. For less than $100, it’s an awesome deal.  It’s a powerful tool and I’ve used it on multiple woodworking projects – including a top-secret Christmas present I’m building for my wife. Shhhhh.

DIY projects are fun – and they can save you lots of money – but not if you go broke buying expensive tools.  These budget friendly tools help me fix stuff around the house an make things for my friends and family.

toolbox-29058_1280

Tomorrow is day two of DIY Week.  I’ll have another budget friendly article – with a focus on inexpensive, awesome DIY projects for around the house.  I think you’ll dig it.  Blessings.

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