Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 21, 2017 · 95 comments

  1. I was finally able to assemble the very last of the supplies for my older son’s off-campus apartment. I joke that I’m doing pre-production for a HGTV show titled “The Hundred Dollar Apartment,” as that’s pretty much been my life over the past few weeks. (By the way, HGTV. I would watch the hell out of that show!) I was able to snag the perfect shower curtain, as well as butter and steak knives, and few other Goodwill Outlet items that are escaping my middle-aged brain at the moment. I’ll hit up the thrift shops in my son’s college town later on, as he still needs a coffee table, but I figured it would be easier to buy one in place rather than schlep one across the state. Let’s face it, there’s only so much that’ll fit into a minivan.

  2. I noticed that one of my son’s bed pillows was completely misshapen, so I cut it open to reconfigure the batting and then sewed it shut again. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s “as good as new,” but it’s certainly 90% better than it had been which is a frugal win in my library book. Click HERE for photos.

  3. I sold a thrifted suitcase and a doll that I picked up in Seattle last month. My eBay/Craiglist sales have been slower than imaginable lately, so I’m hoping this is a sign that business is picking up. Especially since I’ve been trying to sell this suitcase for at least a month, and then suddenly had three (!!) people inquiring about it this morning! I did scoop up three Garnet Hill curtain panels at the Goodwill Outlet and already have them up on eBay. I’m cautiously optimistic, as a single pair of the same curtains just sold for $112 today.

  4. The hotel where we always stay in our son’s college town is giving us a senior discount, (my husband is over 50) I mended a tear in an otherwise fine twin sheet, I took a big armload of scrappy old sheets to the textile recycling drop off, I received a review copy of Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies, (which I’m very excited to read!) I put a couple of items up on my local Buy Nothing group, my husband diagnosed and then fixed our wobbly Lane recliner and I traded a cup of strong Red Rose tea for the use of my mother’s extra large washing machine.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 95 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 17, 2017 · 122 comments

Note: I’ve been very single minded in my dual goals of readying supplies for my sons’ off-campus apartments and spending as much quality time with them as possible over the past week, so please forgive the stagnant nature of the blog. 

  1. My husband and I moved our younger son down to his off-campus apartment yesterday and were able to set him up with everything he needed without once stepping into Target, Ikea or Bed, Bath and Beyond. I did buy a new set of shower curtain rings at the Dollar Tree, as well as a broom and dustpan at Fred Meyer. Otherwise everything was from Goodwill, (mostly the pay-by-the-pound outlet) garbage picked, my buy nothing group and our own house. I would estimate that we spent less than $50 to buy dishes, pots and pans, silverware, various kitchen supplies, closet necessities, bathroom supplies, (shower curtain, wastebasket, bath mat, hanging shower caddy, etc) and furniture. Keep in mind that buying used meant that I was able to pick up a much higher quality of item than if I’d loaded up a cart at Ikea. Not only did we save a crapload of money, but these items all came without packaging and didn’t trigger newly manufactured items to be created. I call that a win in my book. I really want to hammer in the point that there is plenty of already manufactured stuff that exists without needing to buy new. 

  2. Our son had dinner plans with friends, so my husband and I drove across town to Mod Pizza where my husband enjoyed an individual artisan-style pizza and I had their Mod salad for a mere $10, including tip. Why so cheap? My husband and I had assisted a customer going through a medical crisis on a previous trip, and the manager gave us a free pizza coupon as a thank you. I was tempted to treat myself to a Starbucks coffee afterwards, but held off and miraculously survived.

  3. We’re readying our older son to move into his off-campus apartment as well. We won’t leave until later in the week, but he’ll also be on the receiving end of thrifted, garbage picked, buy nothing group items and stuff we already own. There are a number of things that I still need to source, (a dish drain, vegetable peeler, sharp kitchen knives, a shower curtain with rings, etc.) but I imagine that a couple trips to the Goodwill Outlet will knock this list down to nothing. Of course it’s more work to shop this way, but these actions are a large part of how we’re able to pay cash for both sons in college at the same time.

  4. I glued fabric back onto a lampshade frame. This was for a floor lamp that I garbage picked from behind a Portland State University dorm a few years ago. (We were helping a Japanese exchange student to move out of his dorm.) My son drew figures on the white canvas at the time, but I never re-attatched the fabric and instead set it aside in our attic. It’s now all fixed and ready to follow him across the state for his very first living room. The best part is that I was able to use glue that I already had on hand, so no money was spent!

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 122 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 10, 2017 · 120 comments

  1. I popped over to the Goodwill Outlet this morning to look for more kitchen supplies for off-campus apartments. I paid just $14 for all of the above stuff, which is not too shabby. The pan in the background is Revere Ware and there’s also a spatula and slotted spoon hiding behind the bowls. I made a decision to only buy white dishes, which made it easier to narrow my search. I especially love that there is 0.0% wasteful packaging that comes when choosing to buy used. (Zero waste, bay-beee!!!!) I’m closing in on completing this project, although there are still a few miscellaneous items to be found. Click HERE to read what the mug says.

  2. We were planning on buying rental insurance to cover both boys’ apartments, but learned through our insurance broker that our current home owner’s policy will cover them as long as they’re still financially dependent on us.

  3. I worked the last couple of days at the hospital and brought leftovers for lunch. I drank the free crappy coffee and the free delicious tea. I enjoyed hanging out with my co-workers and assisting some cute babies to enter the world. I tried my darndest to influence patients to choose the names “Harvey” or “Irma” for their newborns, but that project was a bust.

  4. I wore pay-by-the-pound thrifted solmate socks to work, I went to Safeway to buy milk  and Bon Ami scouring powder and bought . . . milk and Bon Ami scouring powder, I stopped into a women’s consignment shop that always has free plastic tubular hangers, I sold a few more items at Buffalo Exchange from the Goodwill Outlet, (my goal is to load up two $100 gift cards for the boys’ holiday gifts) and I donated a few items to Goodwill.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 120 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 7, 2017 · 99 comments

  1. It’s been very smoky here in Portland due to multiple forest fires which are burning out of control in the Columbia gorge. I have asthma, so I’m being deliberate about taking it easy and limiting time outside of the house. Not a lot of spending opportunities inside my house!

  2. I assembled a burrito bar using ingredients I had on hand including the last of a bag of potatoes that’s been cluttering up my counter for way too long. Everything was delicious and we even have leftovers, which frankly, is my favorite meal in the first place!

  3. I gave my white towels a soak in my favorite Dollar Tree Oxyclean, which helps to keep them bright and stain free. I bought six towels at Costco in 2010 and have no plans to replace them in the near future. (I remember the date because we had a cute little Japanese exchange student and I became suddenly aware of how stained and scrappy our towels had become.) Yes, the bindings are a bit scraggly, but I simply snip those parts off and get on with my day. I recently came across an advertisement for a towel subscription service that will send you replacement towels every “6, 12 or 24 months.” I consider this to be the height of wastefulness especially since this company writes that “10 million tons of textile waste end up in landfills each year. We have created a circular subscription program that is both earth and people friendly to close the loop and change the way we consume.” Encouraging the American consumer to think that it’s normal to replace towels every “6, 12 or 24 months” is nothing even close to “earth friendly.” You know what I did with my scrappy old towels? They got demoted and now serve to wipe up disgusting and truly filthy items. Surprisingly often.

  4. I know this is getting repetitive, but I did go to the Goodwill Outlet to source apartment supplies for my sons’ off campus apartments. (As you can see, these little of this, little of that trips are starting to pay off!) There is a gross over manufacture of consumer goods on this planet, which is why I choose to buy used whenever possible.

I paid $40 and bought:

  • Five Corelle plates, which should be easy to add to since they’re always the same size.

  • A measuring cup and a Pyrex measuring cup.

  • A mug.

  • A rubber spatula and kitchen tongs.

  • A stainless steel frying pan with lid.

  • Two nesting mixing bowls.

  • I bought a vintage rotary phone, mug, a large antique stoneware crock, a cloth diaper cover and a small flying drone to sell. I also picked up a pair of adorable socks for myself. (The crock was HEAVY but gorgeous, so I thought I’d take a gamble on it. It was painted with a horrible landscape, which easily washed off.)

     5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the      sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 99 comments }

Five Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 5, 2017 · 58 comments

  1. I picked up a Chinook Book from a member of my buy nothing group. These books feature money saving coupons from local sustainable businesses and are normally $20 apiece. It’ll expire at the end of October, but there’s still plenty of time between now and then to enjoy the savings. Already I’ve redeemed a 2-for-1 coupon to a local $4 movie theater where my sons and I watched the odd but satisfying movie Brigsby Bear. $8 for the three of us to see a movie? That’s my price point!

  2. I’m continuing to gather practical supplies for my sons’ off campus apartments. Today I passed a free pile and was able to glean a perfectly fine kitchen garbage can and four new looking drinking glasses. (So yes, I am that embarrassing mom who pulls over to garbage pick a garbage can.) A friend of mine from high school lives in the town where my younger son attends school and has offered to help gather supplies in the name of decluttering her own house. I texted her my extensive list, which she then forwarded to her mother. No reason to buy new when so many of us are woefully overloaded with excessive household supplies.

  3. Fred Meyer is running a sale this week where certain items cost just 99¢ if you choose five from a certain group. I made sure to be deliberate with my shopping and was able to bring home 2 half-gallons of milk, 1 4-lb bag of sugar and 2 18-count cartons of eggs for just 99¢ apiece.

  4. I sold two items on eBay, (including one of my son’s textbooks from last year) I repurposed inside out cereal boxes to create eBay mailing boxes, I listed a few more items on Facebook Marketplace, I worked for a good part of yesterday stripping paint from my midcentury sideboard, I garbage picked a groovy fan for my son’s apartment, I scheduled a USPS pickup to avoid driving to the post office, I wore thrifted clothing and read library books.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 58 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 3, 2017 · 61 comments

  1. I worked yesterday, but brought my own scrappy lunch (leftover gyoza, plus some hummus and carrots) and enjoyed the free crappy coffee and the free delicious tea. While I worked, two buyers picked up Facebook Marketplace items (a small patio table and some Pyrex bowls) from my front porch. I do love earning extra money while I’m simultaneously off earning my income!
  2. One of my husband’s co-workers sent him home with a sizable bag of garden produce. We’ve since been indulging in heavenly cucumbers, zucchini and heirloom tomatoes. Perfect as I’d just picked up a tub of Trader Joe’s hummus.
  3. My husband was given two free Thorns (women’s major league soccer) tickets yesterday, which he enjoyed despite a high of 96° F. He then tossed the paper tickets into our recycling bin. Luckily they landed upside down, which caught my eye as they’re each redeemable for a free meal in the Ikea cafeteria! They’re only good for 30 days past the game day, but that should be no problem as Ikea is close to both Costco and a Goodwill Outlet. I’m not a big soccer fan, but I am most definitely a fan of free food!
  4. I slept on my son’s trundle bed and confirmed that it’s just as comfortable as a regular bed. (It’s a twin bed that’s normally sits underneath his normal bed. It then pops up to a regular height.) This means that he can bring this frame and mattress to college with him, and we can avoid having to buy a new bed for his fancy schmancy off campus apartment. This is a definite benefit to attending college just a few hours away from home. My college was in Ohio, so there was zero opportunity to bring anything bulky from Oregon.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 61 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 1, 2017 · 53 comments

  1. I sold a Vera Bradley “Weekender” bag through Facebook Marketplace, which was my fist time trying them out. I was kind of nervous, as there’s no anonymity, but the sale went off without a hitch. I went ahead and listed a few items that had been languishing on Craigslist and immediately got a gimme-I-want-it inquiry on one item (The Pyrex bowls) that had yet to generate any interest on Craigslist. I’m definitely going to add this platform to my selling rotation! Unlike eBay which takes a hefty fee, Facebook Marketplace is free. So yeah . . .  that’s a plus in my book!

  2. I took apart and scrubbed out a small but kick-ass vacuum cleaner that my son and I picked up for free at a garage sale earlier this summer. It’ll come in handy for my younger son’s apartment, which has carpet. My older son may also have carpet in his apartment, but I know him well enough to be sure that any vacuum cleaner I give him will only gather dust. #parentingtruth

  3. I was chatting with an older co-worker about the process of gathering apartment supplies, and she offered me the chance to look through some excess household goods from her garage. I’d already compiled an extensive list of everything my sons will need, so I texted her a photo of it. I’ll make sure to figure out something nice for her in return.

  4. I found an extra container of paint stripper in my basement, which should hopefully be enough to finish the midcentury sideboard that I’m refinishing, I worked yesterday and brought my own lunch, even though it was a bit scrappy, I shared a $7 food cart burrito with my husband for tonight’s dinner, I watched a few library DVD episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I mended a shirt and I started working on my September budget after a few months of slacking.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 53 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 29, 2017 · 65 comments

  1. I’ve been busy the past few days helping my 19-year-old son to finalize plan for his off-campus housing. We finally pinned down an apartment worth the two-hour drive to his college town. Luckily, the apartment we toured was both within our budget (yay!) and close enough for my son to walk to his 8 A.M. classes. (Ugh!) He’ll be in an apartment with two other students and only needs to furnish his actual bedroom, which is a relief for me as I wasn’t keen to lug a bulky couch down the great state of Oregon. We will need to buy kitchen gear, but I can source that from the pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet with one hand tied behind my back. And the best part? I think we can outfit his entire bedroom without buying even a single thing.

  2. My son and I needed sustenance after our apartment tour and subsequent paperwork-o-rama session. Fortunately, my trusty Yelp app directed us towards a great little Latin restaurant that was actually within a local church. (I would never have found this little gem without Yelp.) Note the above photo that allows you to search by price. I always click the single “$” sign, which means less than $10 per entree. The two of ate for $13 including drinks and nice tip!

  3. We stopped at the Brownsville Pioneer Museum on our way home, which was not necessarily a welcome detour for my son. However, it was going to be necessary to kill enough time to avoid rush hour traffic upon entry to Crap Traffic Central The Rose City. The museum was about to close, but since there was no admission fee, we still went in for fifteen minutes or so. I’ll definitely be back. Probably with my mom though.

  4. I came across a free box behind my son’s new apartment building. I pulled out a perfect looking towel and two microfiber cloths. See? We’ll get his apartment outfitted on a budget in no time!

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 65 comments }

Four Frugal Things & One Frugal Fail

by Katy on August 26, 2017 · 97 comments

  1. I was supposed to meet up with a woman yesterday to sell her a patio table that I got for free. Instead I accidentally took an extremely deep nap, and now she doesn’t want to buy the table. This was my first time trying to sell anything through nextdoor.com, so at least I know that she didn’t drive from far away. Perfect, I am not.

  2. I was bizarrely tired yesterday, (see above) and had planned nothing whatsoever for dinner. I was deeply tempted to get takeout, but instead I threw together some bean and cheese quesadillas for the kids and then cooked up a couple black bean burger patties for myself. It wasn’t exactly a meal to blog about, but being able to accept this simple fare saved us at least twenty bucks.

  3. My out of town neighbors are going to let me put some extra garbage into their bin this week, (I’m cleaning out the basement) I donated a grocery bag of miscellaneous items to Goodwill, I’m photographing Goodwill finds for eBay listings, I sold another eBay item and I finally have the DVD of Hidden Figures ready to pick up at the library.

  4. A friend of mine from work had been wanting to tag along for a Goodwill Outlet excursion, so the two of us arranged a little play date. (Actually there were two-and-a-half of us, as she has a newborn.) The trip did not provide any brag-worthy finds, but for $5.50 I did buy:

  • A swimsuit for myself, as my old one becomes transparent when wet. (Not my preferred look!)

  • A 1930’s Mickey Mouse silver spoon to sell.

  • Another handful of miscellaneous stainless steel silverware for my sons’ apartments.

  • A Rubbermaid silverware organizer.

  • A Texas Instruments scientific calculator to sell.

  • Two children’s books for my friend.

  • A ceramic coffee creamer for this friend.

  • An unopened package of wall hooks. Yup. For my friend.

     5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 97 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 23, 2017 · 97 comments

  1. I sold a set of vintage Pyrex mixing bowls through Craigslist that had been taking up space in my cupboard. I love their aesthetic, but they can’t go into the dishwasher and need to be handled with delicate care. I’m at a point where I’d rather have more practical tools in my kitchen, so I’m also readying to list another set of Pyrex as well. My mother sings the praises of nextdoor.com, so I listed a couple items on there to test it out. I found a potential buyer for an outdoor table that I got for free, so I guess I’ll keep Next Door in my rotation.

  2. I started the process of stripping the paint from a midcentury Broyhill sideboard that I picked up at the beginning of the summer. My mother had a 3/4-full jug of chemical stripper, so my only expense so far is the $15 that I spent to buy it from the Goodwill Outlet. I might actually hold onto this piece, as it’s uber-groovy and the storage would be handy. However, I know myself well enough to guess that I’d rather have the money than a new piece of furniture. I guess it’ll depend on how much I can sell it for.

  3. I cooked up a batch of black beans in my slow cooker yesterday thinking I would set up a burrito bar for dinner. Half of my family was out and about come dinnertime, so I switched things up and mixed up a batch of Black Bean Burgers, which was a total win as I was able to incorporate a bag of random frozen bread heels, the last of a bag of roasted corn kernels and some pureed Pace salsa. (Someone brought a Costco size jar of this salsa to a party earlier this summer, but since none of us enjoy this brand, it’s been sitting in the pantry.) By pureeing it, I think I can start to anonymously slip it into recipes. Shh . . .

  4. I picked up a faux Hudson Bay blanket at the Goodwill Outlet earlier in this week. It had iron-on lettering plus the Washington State Lottery logo, but since it cost maybe $1, I figured it was worth the gamble. I finally figured out that Goo Gone, elbow grease and a sharp knife was the key for letter removing, although it took me at least a couple of hours to complete the task. (Thank you, Netflix reruns of The Office!) It’s currently on the clothesline airing out, as the Goo Gone odor is surprisingly strong despite two washings. If anyone has any tips on how to remove that smell, I’d be super appreciative!

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 97 comments }