Today is a Throwback Thursday post from 2010. Enjoy! 

It’s no secret that I’ve been working hard to declutter my enormous five bedroom, one bathroom house. This has been a seemingly never ending task, not to mention gut- wrenchingly exhaustive. Because anyone who tells you that objects do not hold emotional meaning is full of crap. A stuffed animal is not just a stuffed animal. It belonged your adorable preschooler, who once dragged it around every day and sucked on its ears. Never mind that your once adorable four year old now shaves, eats more than Andre The Giant and is more rugged than adorable. That object is still imbedded with a giant emotional anchor.

But I’ve been able to talk myself down from this proverbial rooftop, and I’m now able to part with all kinds of emotionally taxing items. Toys, books, dress-ups. They all get the Craigslist/Goodwill treatment. And I’m a better person for it.

But there is still a category of belonging that tugs at my illogical heart strings and that is things I paid too much for. Case in point is this stupid underbed Ikea basket that I paid $25 for at a thrift store. Granted, this huge lined basket costs $50 new, but I spent a gift certificate I received as a Christmas present on it, so not only did I overpay, (and remove the price tag so it was non-returnable) but it was my *Christmas present* from my sainted mother. And guess what? The damned thing doesn’t fit under my damned bed.

I tried putting it on Craigslist, but no one wanted it. So there it sat, cluttering up my living room for at least a month, mocking my inability to part with this brief but expensive lapse in judgement.

I am fully aware that $25 is not that large an expense, even to me. But the regret that hitchhiked onto this inanimate object was priceless.

I finally decided yesterday that I would bring it by the hipster consignment store in my neighborhood, and if they didn’t want it, then it would get a one way ticket to Goodwillsville. Sadly, the store was not open when I stopped by. So what did I do? I gave it to my mother, who thought she should be able to use it in one of her guest cottages.

The basket is out of my life, but it’s still occupying a place in my mind that should be devoted to charitable works and world peace. I don’t feel satisfied with how I dealt with the basket. I made getting rid of it too complicated. I should have just put it on Freecycle and let someone else get some use out of it. But no, I felt like I should get at least some of my money back.

Are you holding onto items that you paid too much for, even though they are now essentially worthless and drag you down whenever you see them? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Imperfectly yours,

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 15, 2015 · 37 comments

Free cone day

  1. Yesterday was Ben & Jerry’s annual Free Cone Day, which is a special event in my household. So as soon as dinner was over (white bean rosemary soup and a homemade french bread sandwich to use up some miscellaneous cold cuts) we hoofed it down to our local scoop shop and waited in line with the other cheap sugar addicts. My younger son got a New York Super Fudge Chunk cone and I took the advice of a reader who had just braved the line and got a Salted Caramel cone. Mmm . . . ¡muy rico! My older son had been through the line earlier and my husband bafflingly chose to not come. Weirdo.
  2. My older son is taking an art class at the local university and needed a new sketch book. I noticed that a few of his items from last quarter were still in their original packaging with attached priced tags. He and I walked over to the local art supply store and I brought his never used stuff along for the ride. Although I no longer had the receipt, I was able to exchange everything, as well as buy what my son needed without paying a penny. I actually got $7.15 cash back from the transaction, which of course went straight into the boys’ college fund. (Of course, it helps that my younger son works at this store, so they know to trust me.)
  3. I stopped at The Grocery Outlet this morning after dropping my son at school and bought two bags of food for $16.30. This included yogurts, mangos, avocados, nice salami, cereal, a huge container of plain popcorn and cream cheese.
  4. I finished listening to my library audiobook of The Boston Girl and have downloaded Shopaholic to The Stars onto my iPhone4. What can I say? I like a variety of different literary styles!
  5. I stopped at Goodwill on my way home from dropping my older son at school today. Ostensibly it was to A) Find diamonds in the rough to resell or B)Photograph weird stuff for the blog. I somehow bonded with this wonderful $3.99 velvet throw pillow that had no choice but to follow me home. Luckily, I still have most of a $50 Goodwill gift card, so no money left my wallet.

See you great the pillow is?

Velvet pillow

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.”

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Craigslist coffee table

Five things that make me happy:

  1. I made $100 selling a cool antique (but thrifted) coffee table that my mother wasn’t using. She and I had spent a few hours going through the back of her kitchen and she’d encouraged me to sell anything she’d otherwise be getting rid of. (I think she was more excited about the sale than I was!) Plus, it went to a collector of the Hispano Moresque style of tiled tables, so I know it went to a good home. #collegefund
  2. My sixteen-year-old son is learning to drive and we’ve started letting him do all of the driving for errands, which means that he’s getting better very quickly. It’s a joy to see him taking on adult responsibilities with confidence. Even if it means having my hair go completely white within a matter of months. (Seriously, I think being in the car with a new driver is the greatest gift of love a mother can give to her child!)
  3. Fred Meyer has had some very practical loss leader sales lately including milk, butter and eggs. Being able to inexpensively stock up on these staples frees up our grocery budget, which is very helpful.
  4. I came up with an absolutely amazing idea for my father’s 80th birthday gift. (I can’t share it here, but I will after June 23rd.) Not only will the gift be personalized, but it will also be very, very frugal.
  5. I am extremely happy that I was able to opt my son out of his university’s health insurance plan for the current quarter. The $694 I wasted last month still makes me burn.

One thing that’s pissing me off:

  1. I somehow spaced out Fred Meyer’s annual Fuchsia Saturday event where they sell fuchsia starts at 5-for-$3 and even include the potting soil! This is my one gardening expenditure for the year, and I love seeing my hanging baskets on the back porch. I already used last year’s soil in other areas, so the wire baskets are currently swinging empty in the breeze. I guess I’ll just figure out something that I already have to go in the baskets, but I’ll be sure to mark my calendar for next year’s fuchsia day! Seriously, I’m kicking myself over this!

Now your turn. What’s making you happy and conversely what’s pissing you off?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 13, 2015 · 39 comments

  1. Saturday night’s dinner was a little of this, a little of that in order to clear out the refrigerator and avoid food waste. But worry not, no one was served an old crusty bottle of mustard, as there were multiple previous meal tidbits. Not one of us was served the same meal, but everyone left the table satisfied. On the menu was pizza, lentil soup, chicken drumsticks, and egg salad. It created some elbow room in the fridge, freed up a few Pyrex containers and fed us all perfectly.
  2. I cleaned one of my mother’s guest cottages and brought home peanut butter, frozen peas, a half-bottle of wine and a mini quiche.
  3. We’ve been driving our new Prius instead of the mini-van which had always been our first go-to car. It’s now been weeks since we’ve bought gasoline!
  4. My husband was planning on attending the opening game of the Portland Thorns women’s soccer game over the weekend, but would’ve been late to the game due to his own soccer game. Instead he sold the tickets, which put an extra $20 back into our pockets.
  5. I batched errands this morning to stop at Fred Meyer to pick up loss leaders, (eggs, milk and butter) and to look at some historic photos that a friend had told me about. I then stopped at my father’s house to visit with him. I’m listened to a library audiobook of The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant and am planning on spending the day getting my house in order and working through a big to-do list. I will buy nothing.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been doing?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will

by Katy on April 11, 2015 · 29 comments

Yesterday was a teachers’ planning day in Portland, so all public school students had the day off. I called my mom up and proposed an afternoon of hijinks and camaraderie. We first indulged in some comfort food and pie at the Village Inn and then hit up the nearby Goodwill thrift shop. She’s been cramming for her master’s degree orals and I knew she needed a break.

My mother was looking for a blouse, I was looking for weird stuff to photograph and my son, as always was looking for soccer related bargains.

He quickly located this Argentina national soccer team jacket, priced at $13. And since they normally sell for $90, a certain 16-year-old was happy to let his grandmother buy him a treat.

Argentina national jacket

He was also drawn to this American national soccer team jacket.

USA jacket

But was less excited about the word “sample” written across the back. Had the jacket been priced appropriately, we would have been happy to bring it home and use a solvent to remove the ink. But since the two jackets were priced the same, there was no contest on which one to buy.

Sample jacket

I had a brief but intense love affair with this hand crocheted afghan. Such great colors and lovely flower detail!

Handmade afghan

But $19.99 was too high a price for me to bust out one of my Goodwill gift cards. (Yes, it costs more than $20 to buy the yarn for such a large project, but what can I say? I like a bargain!) Plus, you know . . . I need another lap blanket like I need a hole in the head.

$20 afghan

I did appreciate the $1.99 price tag on this Kleen Kanteen beverage container. I know Kristen from The Frugal Girl would have popped this lil’ guy into her cart, but we currently have the perfect number of water bottles. Plus, it’s for little kids.

$2 Kleen Kanteen

I had a deep appreciation for this framed glass-grapes-on-black-velvet artwork, especially since it was one of a pair. So perfectly kitchy! It weighed approximately 754 pounds, which I think deserves some respect. Sometimes I wish I was a set decorator for the movies, and then I could spend my days scooping up weird vintage items.

Framed glass grapes on velvet

The one thing I did snap up was this $4.99 miniature end table. With quality that rivals most Ikea items, I had a strong suspicion it was an official American Girl Doll accessory.

And my instincts rarely fail me, as this turns out to be Kit Kittredge’s table, and here’s one that recently sold on eBay for over $42. But I didn’t buy it with an eye for resale. Nope. I bought it for my ten-year-old niece Emma.

American Girl Doll table

Last summer I took my one and only beloved niece to the American Girl Doll flagship store in New York City. But despite her dearest hopes, I wasn’t actually the kind of aunt who was able to treat her to her heart’s retail desires. Instead, I told her that we were going to treat the store like a museum, and just look at the stuff and appreciate everything. I also told her it would sharpen my eye for when I was thrifting. (Don’t worry, she already has two dolls and a number of accessories.)

So I owe her.

Emma’s mother and I were mad for our Sasha dolls when we were kids, and are still unabashedly obsessed with anything that’s the right size for our dolls. (So yeah . . . The American Girl Doll store was as much for me as it was for Emma.) Which is how my sister sent me these tiny Tabasco sauce bottles for my birthday this year.

Sasha doll

Of course, no Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will post would be complete without a what the fü¢& were they thinking item. This umm . . . back massager. With the rather virile and masculine handle. NOT OKAY TO BUY USED! NO!

A totally legitimate exception to the buy-nothing-new Compact.

Okay to landfill this bad boy.

Goodwill "back massager"

Do you go into thrift shops and marvel at the oddity of merchandise and pricing until you find that one perfect item? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 29 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 9, 2015 · 37 comments

  1. Yesterday was a crazy busy day and the dinner that I’d planned on making suddenly felt like too much work and a mess to clean up from. I was sorely tempted to get takeout, but instead I walked down to New Season’s Market and bought a loaf of French bread and a knob of fresh ginger. I quickly put together a pot of red lentil soup and a huge toasted open faced sandwich with turkey, white cheddar and tomatoes. Dinner was easy, delicious and frugal. My favorite combination.
  2. My 19-year-old son just received confirmation that he’s been hired for another summer of lifeguarding. He started working as a lifeguard when he was 15, and with the exception of last year has worked every summer since. He’s always had the money for anything he wanted, and possesses a solid work history for when he starts applying for jobs later in life. We’ve never handed out allowances, and instead have encouraged the boys to figure out ways to earn their own money. This included lemonade stands and selling outgrown toys and books when they were little and jobs when they were old enough.
  3. My 16-year-old son has started his driver’s education classes, which will last for a month and a half. I learned that the Oregon Department of Transportation subsidizes $210 of the cost, which I appreciate. (I was also able to use a Chinook Book coupon for an additional $10 discount.) The best part of the class is that my son’s instructor will be the one to proctor his DMV driver’s test, which will help him to take the test without the normal anxiety most people have when it’s a stranger. They then give him a card showing that he passed the test and he’ll have up to two years to bring it to the DMV to trade it in for an actual license. This makes me really happy because I wasn’t planning on having my son get his true license until he needs to start driving alone. Adding a teenage boy to our car insurance is not going to be a pretty thing, and I’d like to minimize the cost as much as possible. Even if it’s just a few months of financial repreive.
  4. I bought a couple of things using a Goodwill gift card, but changed my mind after I got home. I was later able to return them for store credit. Even though there was no actual cash involved, I’d like to save the gift cards for when there’s something I truly want or need.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been doing?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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Thank You, Dear Readers

by Katy on April 8, 2015 · 38 comments

Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook Group

The Non-Consumer Advocate blog has a companion Facebook group with more than 7,000 members. It’s a great place to bring ideas, ask questions and expand the non-consumer community. It’s open to all and is an extremely active space to hang out. It brings together diverse discussions that are 99% amazing.

But oh . . .  that 1%!

It’s not that big of a deal though, as someone is bound to tag me in any inappropriate threads so they can be dealt with. I moderate the group with an eye of keeping it respectful. You know, because we’re all adults.

This morning a new member decided to rant against the group, and it was a few hours before I had a chance to sit down at the computer. At that point a number of group members were upset enough to leave. I wrote a little something that I’d like to share here as well:

Here’s a shout out to everyone who works to make The Non-Consumer Advocate a positive, helpful, non-judgmental and safe place to share ideas and inspiration.

With more than 7,000 members, we are a varied group. We come from different backgrounds, countries and cultures. But we can all respect one another’s perspectives.

I have learned so much from everyone here, and I welcome those who bring a respectful mindset to the group.

As much as readers have shared that they find ideas and inspiration from The Non-Consumer Advocate, it goes both ways. I find constant inspiration and fantastic ideas from you, my blog readers.

So thank you, dear readers. You mean everything to me.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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This piece is inspired by a Money Saving Mom blog post that details what seemingly normal things her family doesn’t spend money on. Her list included shaving cream, soda, paper towels, movies, dryer sheets/fabric softener, coffee filters/K-cups and cable TV.

I started to think about my family and how we spend differently from the much maligned Joneses. We are obsessively careful about daily expenditures, but we also spend a lot of money on certain wants that another family might consider scandalous.

Eight Things My Family Doesn’t Buy

  1. Disposable household products such as paper towels, paper napkins, menstrual supplies and disposable dishware. We use cloth napkins, rags and crocheted squares to minimize disposables in the kitchen. I have a $30 menstrual cup that’s been in use for over six years, and is likely to last until I hit menopause. We have enough dishes that we’ve never had to resort to paper plates or cups, even when hosting large gatherings. When my sons were little and set up lemonade stands, we still just used our kitchen mugs.
  2. Adult Gifts. I couldn’t exactly say when it happened, but my husband and I stopped exchanging birthday and holiday gifts awhile back. We’ve been together for almost 28 years, and neither of us feel the need to go through the motions and shop for gifts we can neither afford nor have much interest in. This was harder for my husband than it was for me, but I really don’t need another set of socks or a teapot. We also had conversations with our adult family members and agreed to stop exchanging Christmas gifts. We all have established households and it had become a meaningless and expensive routine that no longer felt pleasurable.
  3. Snack Food. We cook almost entirely from scratch, and we always prepare enough food to provide leftovers, which are highly prized. Even though we have two teenage boys, there’s always enough to eat. And if someone is hungry and doesn’t like what’s in the fridge, they can always grab a piece of fruit, scramble some eggs, make a grilled cheese sandwich or toast up some bread. This means no pizza rolls, crackers, chips or any other food marketed as “snack food.”
  4. Individually packaged drinks. My family almost exclusively quenches our thirst with tap water, although in the summer I’ll make sun tea that appeals to no one except me. My husband drinks coffee, which he grinds and then filters through a reusable gold filter that I bought at Goodwill, and the kids and I drink Red Rose tea. No one drinks milk unless there’s cake or brownies involved. So there’s no soda, juice boxes, adult juices or similar. My husband will occasionally buy local beer, but he’s mostly too tired from work to drink anything alcoholic.
  5. Fashion. My husband and I care 0.0% about what our clothes say about us. As long as our clothes are clean and well fitting, we’re good to go. Neither of us ever shop for clothes recreationally, and we tend to wear our clothing until it’s fit for the rag bag. Needless to say, we repair instead of replace and there’s been 0.0% negative impact on our careers or social lives.
  6. Corporate vacations. We’ve never taken our families to anything Disney or a resort. I know these types of vacations are very much entrenched in many people’s family cultures, (and I’m not judging those for whom this is important) but I have zero interest in spending thousands of dollars for a couple days of crowded amusement park. Instead we either stay at a friend’s $65 a night Oregon coast cabin or we visit my sister in New York City when we’re already on the east coast. Last year my husband and I were flown out to Washington D.C. by his employer, so we bought tickets for the kids and then took the Bolt Bus up to NYC to extend the trip. And when I was flown to NYC for The Today Show, I expanded the trip on both ends to stay with friends in NYC and New Hampshire.
  7. Paying others to do what we can do for ourselves. Although it would be amazing to pay a professional contractor to complete our household projects, it’s simply not worth the debt it would entail. My husband and I do all the work on our house, and we mow our own lawn, prepare our own taxes, bake our own cakes, clean our own house, change our own oil and maintain our own belongings. I cut my husband’s hair, and I cut the boys’ hair until middle school when they started wanting specific cuts.
  8. Eating in restaurants or getting takeout. Because we rarely splurge on restaurant food, it’s a huge treat when it happens. We used to eat out a lot before we had kids and when the kids were young. It wasn’t something to be savored and looked forward to, because it was usually a last minute decision based on zero meal planning. We were out of control. My mother and father take me out for lunch somewhat frequently, which makes me feel kind of guilty, but I know they can afford it and enjoy being able to do it for me.

Four Ways That We Spend Out

  1. We have always said “yes” when it came to paying sports fees and miscellaneous lessons. Both kids participated in inexpensive recreational soccer from kindergarten through the end of high school. But my younger son has a passion for soccer, so we started him in club soccer in high school, which costs $1000 a year plus tournament fees and uniforms. My older son does Cross-fit which is also expensive. If either son started complaining about having to go or making excuses, we would cut this expenditure, but that has yet to happen.
  2. Private Japanese tutoring. Both of our sons were part of a Japanese immersion program that’s through our public school. However, neither my husband nor I speak more than a few words of Japanese and are completely unable to help the kids with their homework. So when they advanced to a level that was truly difficult, we didn’t bat an eye to paying for weekly private tutoring that run $20 to $25 a session. Without this supplementation to their education, I have no doubt that my sons would have fallen behind to a point where they’d have to leave the program. And when my older son graduated last year, I noticed that he was one of only two boys who didn’t have a native Japanese speaker at home.
  3. Trips to Japan. My older son has traveled to Japan for class trips in 5th, 8th and 10th grade, and my younger son went for the 8th and 10th grade trips. My husband chaperoned a 5th grade trip, while I chaperoned an 8th grade trip. None of this was cheap. But we knew the trips were coming up, so we set money aside for them. And the experiences we’ve all had by getting to know the culture and having the opportunity to stay with host families has been life changing. Worth every penny.
  4. Soccer, soccer, soccer, soccer, soccer. My husband and younger son are obsessed with soccer, whether it’s supporting The Portland Timbers or their favorite European teams. They have season tickets in the Timber’s Army general seating area, and have traveled up to Seattle to attend games. We have cable TV with a sports package simply so that my husband and son can watch international games, and my husband cycles to work and back to offset the cost. I’ve been to a couple games, but it’s just not my thing. Seriously. Hated it. Wanted the fans to stop yelling so much. So yeah, not a fan of attending games in person. ;-)

Other than these categories, we really don’t loosen our purse strings that often. We have one son in college right now who lives at home and will likely move out next year. We need our money so that he can graduate without massive student loan debt, and without keeping an eye on the pennies, the dollars would have dissipated into the mist.

Do you have ways in which you’re super cheap, yet spend out for what’s important in your life? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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Although I completed this campaign dresser project last summer, I somehow hadn’t posted about it yet. Why? Because I felt the after photo needed to be super cute and styled, like a real decor blogger would do. Except that the reason I bought this sturdy behemoth of a dresser in the first place was because we needed a place to put our 165-pound bedroom TV. Yes, it’s a flat screen, yes it’s high definition, but it sure as hell isn’t lightweight. But guess what? It was free, so I have nothing to complain about!

The TV had been on a rolling metro shelving unit that my husband hobbled together, but I was always crashing into it in the darkness of night. (My husband was working a 3 A.M. to 3 P.M. shift and consequently went to bed hours and hours before me.) I hated it. I wanted a low sturdy dresser to put the apparently hostile TV on once and for all!

So when I came across this $19.99 Goodwill dresser, my DIY crafty self kicked into gear. It wasn’t much to look at, but I’d come across some cute painted campaign dressers on the internet, but I just could’t get over the hideous wood finish.

Goodwill campaign dresser

Check out the tacky splatter finish and raised grain. The dresser was proudly marked as being manufactured in 1973, and it showed.

Hideous wood treatment

The dresser had nice tight dovetail drawers and an extremely sturdy frame, but was unapologetically outdated. However, it was a quality piece of furniture, so I took my photos and went home to mull it over.

Dovetail drawer

I did an internet search for “painted campaign dressers” and fell into a deep well of love and beauty. So adorable, so cheerful, so . . . dare I say it?

On trend.

Painted campaign dressers

So I drove back to Goodwill and popped that bad boy into the back of my minivan. And when I got it home I discovered a stack of price tags all the way up to $39.99.

Katy likes a bargain.

Goodwill price drops

I also found this medallion for “Hickory Manufacturing, since 1911″ in one of the drawers, which I thought was very charming.

Hickory Manufacturing medallion

I already have a fair amount of color in my bedroom, so I decided to paint it a neutral color, and this pot of grey paint hit the spot. I highly recommend the Habitat ReStores as a great place to begin any search for project supplies. Not only was this half-gallon of paint priced at $2, but I was able to put something to use that would otherwise have been wasted.

Habitate ReStore paint

Of course, the fun part of this project was shining up the brasswork. I could have made things easy for myself and bought brass polisher, but I wanted to try what I already had on hand. Like catsup and toothpaste. It took a lot of elbow grease, but it was still an enjoyable job. One thing I messed up on was soaking it overnight in the catsup. This was a problem because although some parts were solid brass, the dangly-handle bit turned out to just be brass plated. Not a terrible mistake, but still not my shining moment.

Shining brass pulls

Look at what a difference shiny brass makes!

Drawer pulls both shined and unsigned

Since this project was done during the summer, it was no big deal to set up in the backyard and sand the wood down to a buttery smoothness. Apparently I even used some wood caulk for some reason that now escapes me.

Sanding the dresser

In the end I painted on one coat of primer plus two coats of paint. I then asked on my neighborhood Facebook page if anyone had any polyurethane collecting dust in their basement, and my next door neighbor gave me an almost empty can which was exactly enough to complete the project.

I also reglued and sanded down the left-side middle drawer which somehow didn’t fit right.

So pretty, right?

Painted campaign dresser

And here it is holding our gargantuan television set, which serves to broadcast high-kicking-low-scoring soccer games to my husband, and crap-TV to a certain someone who likes a little distraction while folding laundry. (Plus of course, an accidental selfie.)

TV campaign dresser

And here it is with the honking huge TV cropped out of the photo:

Campaign dresser

My plan had been to style it with attractive doo-dads for a blog-worthy photo op, but my husband was so pleased with the finish project that he set the TV on it because I got my tuchus in gear. Oh well . . .

The total cost for this project was $22. Yes it took some work, but all of it was enjoyable, and I’d rather spend my time bringing something back to life than most anything else in the world.

And now I can maneuver throughout my bedroom without fear of injury, day or night! Which is really all that matters.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 5, 2015 · 32 comments

Goodwill wine glasses

    1. My husband’s iPhone 5 was losing battery power quickly, so he ordered a new battery kit from iFixit.com and was able to replace by himself. The cost was $25 using a $5-off coupon and it took around fifteen minutes from start to finish.
    2. My husband and younger son went to a Portland Timbers soccer game last night, so I used the Redbox code PLKMP982 to rent the movie The Theory of Everything for my older son and I to watch. (An excellent movie which I highly recommend.)  This is the second time I’ve used this code, which is reusable and doesn’t expire until April 30th! It’s good for a one night DVD rental, but is just for the Redbox.com website or their app. (Does not work at the machines themselves.)
    3. My husband and I have started to drive our new 2007 Toyota Prius hybrid for all in town errands, and we’re looking forward to a seeing a lovely decrease in our gasoline expenditures. We do still love our 2005 Honda Odyssey, but it’s not the most fuel efficient vehicle.
    4. I took some extra wine glasses and junk jewelry to my local consignment shop and was given $11.40 in cash, which went into my sons’ college fund. I was a bit nervous about getting rid of perfectly good wine glasses, but a quick perusal of the wine glass aisle at Goodwill assured me that I can easily and inexpensively replace any broken ones by thrifting.
    5. Aside from food, I have yet to buy anything in 2015. I have used a few on hand gift cards here and there, but otherwise there’s been nothing that I’ve felt the need to spend money on. Actually, I did buy a pair of $1 reading glasses a few weeks ago, but I’m going to count that as a medical expense. :-)

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.”

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