Seattle on $0 per day the Non-Consumer Way

by Katy on July 12, 2008 · 9 comments

I embark tomorrow for my fabulous family vacation.

We’ll be staying at a fully furnished house in a fashionable Seattle neighborhood. It comes with laundry facilities, dishes, internet access and toys for my kids. Heck, it even comes with clothes we can wear in a pinch.

Where are we staying?

My sister’s house.

The cost?

The care of one large, somewhat hyper canine. (Sorry, Maggie, but you know you are.)

My sister and her family are being treated to an Alaskan cruise by her in-laws. When I first heard this, I jumped on the house-sitting possibility.

Am I being an opportunist?

You betcha.

Life is all about opportunities.

Am I being a mooch?

Not at all. They would be needing to hire out the care of their dog anyway. Boarding a dog is expensive and upsetting to the animal. So it’s all mutually beneficial.

We live in Portland, Oregon, so the travel there is but a few hours drive. Yet, Seattle is such a different city that it does feel like a bonafide vacation when we visit.

We vacationed in Seattle three years ago and bunked in a hotel. I won’t tell you the name of the place we shamefully stayed in. (Hint: The founder’s granddaughter is a flighty, blond celebutante.) It was so incredibly expensive, and we had to eat out for lunch and dinner every day.

Because we can cook our own meals, (and I’ll be carting food from Portland, including still-good leftovers) we’ll save a bundle. So, if we want to splurge here and there, it won’t be a big deal.

House-sitting is an excellent opportunity to seek out. Ask around — friends, family, friends of family. Heck, you might even get paid! 

So for the cost of caring for Maggie the dog, my family is going to have a rockin’ great vacation.

All I really need is my sister’s library card and directions to the best Goodwill thrift store.

Ahh . . . paradise!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica Wolk-Stanley July 13, 2008 at 12:18 am

I might add that we are very grateful to Katy and her fine family for staying at our house. And we are thoughtfully leaving her some leftovers not to waste!


JP July 13, 2008 at 10:24 am

Best Goodwill is the Goodwill Outlet here:

If you haven’t been to the “outlet”, it is pretty fun. I’d estimate that about half the clothes are in awesome shape (were too expensive at goodwill and never sold), and the other half or tattered or yucky. Clothes are all in huge bins that you dig through–sold by the pound. Silk shirts are nearly free, heavy wool is expensive, you get the picture.

Kid’s books, as I recall, are 19 cents. It’s a bit hit and miss, however, so go with a sense of adventure. There are toys and books to keep the kids busy.

If you are looking for a normal Goodwill, the one in Ballard (6400 8th Ave NW) is nice. Depends on where you are staying though.


thenonconsumeradvocate July 13, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for the Goodwill tips! We’ll be there!



Linda in Lancaster and lovin' it! July 14, 2008 at 3:59 am

As I surfed through wordpress, I found your site. Are we soul sisters? Cheap vacations? Library card? Goodwill? You’re my kinda person! and I love Seattle, but haven’t been there for almost a year! Little too far a drive from Lancaster, PA to make the trip reasonable! However we just got home from a friend’s mobile home “close” to the Delaware shore. Nobody knows where you are staying when you are on the Boardwalk, now do they?


thenonconsumeradvocate July 14, 2008 at 10:46 am

“Linda in Lancaster,”

I’ll be your “soul sister” anyday!

My father is from Pittsburgh, so I’m kind of a Pennsylvania girl at heart.


My husband is taking some convincing about the Goodwill stop. I did tell him we could probably score some cheap Mariner’s T-shirts for the boys though.

It’s like Diane Fossey and the apes, you gotta learn their language.


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