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Homemade Cold Brew Coffee
DIY, Money Management

Homemade Cold Brew Coffee

Homemade Cold Brew Coffee

I strongly believe in focusing on one part of your budget at a time when you’re trying to cut expenses. When I first started this debt free journey, I tried to cut from my entire budget. Boy was this a total fail. I got too overwhelmed and felt deprived, so I would splurge on items not in my budget. It was terrible. Then, I started trimming smaller sections of my budget and was so much more successful. One area I needed to drastically cut was my spending on coffee. I was definitely that person that would stop at Starbucks or Dunkin’ on my way to work before I started paying off my debt. My first way to save money was to simply use the Keurig my parents had, which saved money, but I knew there were ways to do this even cheaper. That’s when I stumbled upon cold brew coffee and let me tell you, this has been life changing for me.

The first thing you will need to do is get a quality coffee blend, I recommend getting a flavored one, I find it tastes a lot better in the cold brew. I get an $8.00 organic one from Wegmans, I know I can save even more if I went for a cheaper one, but I buy organic due to food sensitivities. I’m able to get about 30 cups of coffee from this one bag, which is about 6 weeks for me. This amounts to about $0.26 per cup, which is huge savings compared to my old habits.

Once you have the coffee ground, combine 1 cup of coffee grounds with about 3 cups of water. I tend to just fill the rest of my mason jar with water and call it a day. Once it is combined, stir it with a wooden spoon until it is mixed and put the lid on. Let the jar sit on the counter for 12 hours.

After 12 hours you need to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee. I do this by placing a coffee filter in a funnel and then place that over a glass. There are many ways to do this, this is just how I do it. Once the coffee is strained, I put the coffee in a clean mason jar, this is your coffee concentrate. I keep this in the fridge during the work week taking from the concentrate each morning.

To make my cold brew coffee each morning, I take half a cup of the concentrate and half a cup of water and combine it with ice, almond milk and a bit of no sugar caramel sweetener. I stir it all together and enjoy! I have found this to be a great way to save money in my budget and a huge time saver for this teacher as I’m flying out the door! How do you save money on coffee?

How to Make Labels for your Classroom
DIY, Teaching Resources

DIY: Quick and Easy Labels For Your Classroom!

Last week I was able to go into my classroom for the first time! It was so exciting, but so so so much work. I spent 3 whole days there last week, and it looks like I did nothing. This week I began new teacher orientation that lasts the rest of the week and is all day long. There isn’t much time to spend in my classroom this week because of it. So, I have been trying to make use of my time in the evenings by making things for my classroom. It’s so much work, but I know it will all get done eventually. The kids start September 3rd, so I still have some time.

How to Make Labels for your Classroom

What are my label options?

One of the things I knew I needed for my room is labels for things, lot and lots of labels. I searched online and in stores for some cheap labels, but everything was pretty pricey, so I decided to do some experimenting on my own in Microsoft Word. There are tons of programs out there to make labels, I’m sure PowerPoint would have worked well too. I just picked Word because I am the most comfortable with it right now, and I was trying to be the most efficient with my time. Whatever you decide to use, make sure you can insert an image into a shape.

How to make labels for your classroom

The first thing you need to do is decide if you want to insert an image or simply use colors. If you want to use an image, you need to first find the image you want to use. I searched though Pintrest for some free chevron patterns and downloaded those. Next, open a blank word document, then insert a shape. I chose to use ovals for these particular labels. Once the shape is the size you want, click on the “fill” drop down arrow and click “fill effects”. This should open a new window with lots of options. On the left side of the screen, the first option should be “fill”, click that and then click the top option of “Picture or Texture”. From there you will need to upload the picture you want to use. This will fill the shape with the pattern. Finally, insert another shape that’s smaller on top of the first shape and leave it white, this will be a space for the label name. From there you can either insert text, or print it out and hand write the label.

I haven’t decided yet if I am going to insert text onto my labels or hand write them. I plan to wait until I am closer to finishing my classroom to decide this. I am considering printing the labels, laminating them, and then writing the labels with Expo marker so I can change them year after year. I’ll be sure to update when I finish my classroom 🙂 Have you ever made labels before, how did you make them?

DIY: How to Spray Paint Plastic
DIY

DIY: How to Spray Paint Plastic

DIY: How to Spray Paint Plastic

One of my favorite parts about redoing my bedroom is organizing everything! However, storage bins can get pricey, especially when I can’t handle them not matching, so I can’t reuse old ones, unless they match. OCD wins again! But, I found a solution while looking for ideas for my classroom next year on Pinterest. The ladies over at Pinkadots Elementary created a wonderful tutorial for spray painting plastic, I had to try it! And you know how Pinterest goes, I somehow ended up finding a blow dryer and straightener holder, and wanted to try that out as well! I had a lime green bin I found at my parent’s house, which definitely didn’t match my color scheme, but would be a great addition to my room. So, I went over to the local hardware store and grabbed some grey spray paint and the PVC needed for the blow dryer and straightener holder.

Materials Needed:

-Plastic spray paint (about $4.00)

-Newspaper, or something you don’t care about to spray paint on (drop cloth, plastic tablecloth, etc.)

-Sandpaper, this is going to depend on what the plastic looks like that you are planning to spray paint. If it’s a glossy finish, I recommend sanding it to rough it up a bit before spray painting it. My dad, aka Bob the Builder, gave me this recommendation and it worked wonderfully for the blow dryer and straightener holder.

You’re gonna wanna do this outside where there is ample ventilation. I was able to do this in my family’s garage because my dad built it to be used for this kind of thing (I told ya, Bob the Builder!). Then, I laid out all the newspaper and my supplies. I sanded down the PVC, just enough to make it a little rough and get some of that glossy finish off. After, I began spraying the PVC and the container. Make sure to spray a light coat, move your hand quickly. I suggest making some test sprays on the newspaper to get a feel for how the paint is coming out. I don’t spray paint too often and this was a suggestion my dad had for me to get used to it, it worked really well! Now, it’s time to let them dry before doing one more coat. I loved them already and just wanted to put them in my room!!

 

After I let them dry, I went back and did one more coat. Of course as soon as they dried I had to put them in my room. I love the way they turned out and it was so cheap! This was so much better than going out and buying a new container or a stand for my blow dryer and straightener. Ironically, I was at BJ’s and saw a stand the night before I was planning to make this, $15.00 for something that does the same exact thing! I was one happy girl with one happy budget 🙂

Have you ever spray painted plastic? What kinds of projects have you done?