Six Frugal Things

by Katy on March 15, 2020 · 78 comments

  1. I haven’t sold much over the past week or so, which I believe to be due to people’s understandable focus on Covid-19 rather than the accumulation of cool quirky vintage items. (Hardly a priority right now!) However I did sell:

    • A midcentury dining room chair.

    • A lot of embroidery floss.

    • A Pendleton travel mug.

    • Two double sets of high-end ski gloves that I pulled from a neighbor’s free box.

    Supposedly I have someone coming by today to buy a jumble of Thule bike rack pieces that I brought home from that same neighbor’s free pile. Although I know from experience to not count my chickens before they hatch. Edit: They just now picked everything up!

  2. I haven’t been stocking up on groceries any more than usual, although we probably have enough on hand for a couple weeks of meals, especially if we relax our standards about what passes as a normal meal.

    “Lasagna with shredded white chocolate chips instead of mozzarella? Okay!”

    I’ll let you know if we dig into the three jars of handmade fig jam from 2019, 2018 and 2017 from my husband’s co-worker.

    I really don’t like the texture of fig jam!

  3. Portland’s brick-and-mortar library system is closed for an indefinite amount of time, (snif!) but their digital services such as Libby and Kanopy continue to serve patrons.

    I have three physical library books at the moment, although my focus is pretty scattered right now, so I’m not sure how much reading I’ll be doing. I got twenty pages into a library copy of The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich last night, and will try to prioritize taking time to read, as I’ve found that I do best when I read in big chunks rather than starting and stopping.

    I also have a few meaning to read them books that deserve a bit of love and attention.

    Luckily we have Netflix, my mother’s Amazon Prime, a friend’s Hulu and our own CBS All Access. (Star Trek: Picard!)

  4. My son is coming home from college today for an unspecified amount of time. We’ll still have to pay his rent, but it’ll be cheaper for him to eat home cooked meals than to pay for separate groceries. This is the only silver lining, (and really only the tiniest sliver) to his university putting all classes online.

    I already know that my son is going to be super bummed to spend an extended time away from his friends and community.

  5. My 84/almost 85-year-old father came over for lunch on Friday. We normally walk to a nearby popular Mexican restaurant, but both felt it would be best practice to avoid crowded areas. Instead recreated his normal “Bryan’s Bowl” order and presented it as a “Tony’s Bowl.”

    This dish varies seasonally, (as it always includes lots of fresh veggies) but mine consisted of pinto beans, black beans, rice, avocado, sautéed onions and peppers, roasted sweet potato chunks, tortilla chips, cilantro, salsa and avocado salsa. Very frugal, certainly filling and societally responsible.

  6. 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.”

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{ 78 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 2, 2020 · 85 comments

  1. I sold just a few things over the past week, but since it was mostly higher dollar items, I’m stoked with the results. This included a Green Day concert T-shirt that I pulled out of a Goodwill Outlet bin, a Playmobile set, a new pair of Solmate socks and the antique doll chair that I reupholstered back in September.

    Bizarrely, the most expensive item that sold was the Green Day T-shirt, which brought in a whopping $100!

  2. My daughter and I took my mother out for a Birthday Day of Adventures. My son is still in college, (not to mention never ending surprise bills) so our budget is tighter than an Edwardian corset. (You’re welcome for this extremely timely reference!)

    • I treated my mother to lunch at Mod Pizza, chosen because A) It’s across the street from a terrific Goodwill, and B) I’d earned a free Mod Salad from buying one in January. My mother and daughter chose pizza, and I got the salad, (duh!) and we split them both.

    • We then shopped at Goodwill, although none of us found anything that called our names.

    • I then drove us over to Ikea for their free tea and coffee. I’d packed my own tin of freshly baked gluten-free cookies which we enjoyed with our hot caffeinated beverages.

    • Next up was a drive to the top of Rocky Butte which sits atop an extinct volcanic cinder cone and provides 360° vistas of Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood, the Columbia river and downtown Portland. It was an unseasonably bright clear day, so the view was spectacular. This free park was built as part of the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) project in the 1930s and resembles a cool medieval castle.
    • Our last stop was to the Goodwill on Powell Blvd., where I picked up a vintage pharmacy-style floor lamp. My plan was to resell it, but I decided that I like it better than the fussy antique one that’s been in my living room since Edwardian times.

    This “Day of Adventures” was not my best effort, (especially since my mother’s birthday was in October!) but we all had fun, munched some tasty food and enjoyed one another’s company. A day of experiences beats a shelf of unwanted gifts any day of the week!

    Experiences > Stuff 

  3. I finished listening to the audiobook of Lisa See’s The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane through the free Libby app, I picked up a Lucky Day copy of Delia Owens’ Where The Crawdads Sing which I’ll start on this evening, we watched a library Blu-ray of Star Trek: Generations, I picked up two loaves of Orowheat rye bread at the Dollar Tree store, (they normally sells for $4.29 apiece) I accepted a friend’s roll of thin styrofoam packaging to reuse for eBay sales, I narrowly avoided buying a much needed ream of paper, as my daughter unearthed one while cleaning her room and I picked up two 99¢ half-gallons of sale milk from Fred Meyer.

  4. I replaced the belt on my 1999 vacuum cleaner. Whenever I replace a belt I wonder how many people assume that their vacuum cleaner simply isn’t working well, and use that as an excuse a buy a brand new one. It takes just a few minutes to do and makes the vacuum work exponentially better.

    Have you ever replaced an entire vacuum cleaner, (or know someone who did) when all it needed was a $3 belt?

  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.”

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{ 85 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 24, 2020 · 66 comments

  1. I sold just two things last week, specifically a Goodwill “bins” T-shirt and two yards of some thrifted but brand-new fabric. Yawn . . .

    However, a neighbor down the street has been cleaning out his basement, (or so it seems) and I lugged home a set of expensive ski bindings as well as a jumble of rough Thule bike rack parts. (This is the same neighbor who put out the ski gloves last week.) I scrubbed the roof rack parts, which are admittedly rough, but I should still be able to sell some of it to a local shop that specializes in second-hand bike racks. The ski bindings are listed on eBay.

    Even if only some of this stuff sells, it was all free to me and all it took to ready it for a new owner was an hour or so of elbow grease.

  2. My sister flew into town last week for a short trip for our aunt’s memorial service. Although the reason for her visit was a sad one, we still enjoyed the opportunity to spend time together, as well as to see family — both nuclear and extended.

    We ended up indulging in multiple restaurant meals, all of which were on the dime of our parents, (Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!) but I think I’m ready for a week or so of deliberately healthy home cooked meals.

    My sister is just as big a fan of thrifting as I am, so we ended up hitting two Goodwills over a three day period. I didn’t find anything to buy, but my sister nabbed the above stack of colorful Fiestaware bowls, as well as a ceramic Starbucks tumbler to replace one that had broken. Come to think of it, the bowls were also purchased to replace a dwindling stack due to breakage. (Her last house had tile floors in the kitchen, which was hostile to both sore feet and crockery!)

  3. I gave an an interview for a Nerd Wallet/USA Today article titled, Having a Baby? These Are The Money Saving Items You Need. I’m very pleased that the author, Laura McMullen quoted me liberally throughout the piece including this important point:

    “We owe it to future generations to take a step back from the consumer culture and think about how these purchases are affecting the planet.”

    I often give interviews where I make this type of statement, and then get quoted as saying “Wolk-Stanley encourages people to check out their local thrift store.” Sure, that’s one thing I said, but I also talked about big picture issues such as the environment, overmanufacture of consumer goods, buy nothing groups and the utter ridiculousness of needlessly gendered baby items.

    It’s good to get my message across.

  4. I gave away an unused queen-size duvet on my buy nothing group, my friend Lise picked up four loaves of bargain bread for me at the Bob’s Killer Bread outlet store, (I did reimburse her) my daughter cleaned and decluttered her bedroom, which unearthed an excessive amount of straight-up garbage; but our lovely next door neighbors let us put an extra bag in their outgoing can, (Thanks, Nancy!) I fed a neighbor’s cat while they were out of town, I renewed library books before they were overdue and I picked up a Blu-Ray of Star Trek: Generations as we’re currently rewatching all The Next Generation movies.

  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.”

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{ 66 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 18, 2020 · 69 comments

  1. I sold five items on eBay this week, although none were high dollar sales. Three of the five sales were items that I’d listed at least six months ago, so it was a good lesson in “list it and forget it.” It’s great when things that I list sell immediately, but that’s rarely the case.

    However, I haven’t been listing much new stuff lately, so I have no one to blame but myself.

    Here is what sold:

    • A $12 Danish wooden troll figurine.
    • A $12 framed print .
    • An $18 mini Land’s End canvas tote.
    • A $50 vintage rotary telephone.
    • A $50 miniature Edward Gorey book.

    I took myself on a couple of Goodwill trips and did pick up some new inventory, which’ll hopefully generate some sales.

  2. I spent a full evening completely reorganizing our coat closet. This “closet” is actually just a spot underneath the staircase that a previous owner walled in, so it doesn’t actually have a door. This means that all contents, haphazard or otherwise are always 100% visible.

    I’ve come to the realization that I live with a cult of coat worshippers.

    However . . .

    • I gave away four jackets and a pair of winter boots through my Buy Nothing group.
    • I put a nice hat, a scarf and gloves into the donation box at the library.
    • I took a torn up pair of indoor soccer shoes to the recycle box at the Nike store, where they’ll be shredded for reuse.
    • I threw away a literal moth eaten scarf.
    • I gave one REI fleece jacket to Goodwill, which no one had wanted in the Buy Nothing group.
    • I threw away one cheap canvas tote bag, which glowed yellow under a black light. (Damn cats!)

    I didn’t need to buy any “closet organizing” products, I simply needed to decrease the number of things within the closet. A good lesson in how you don’t need to organize that which you don’t own.

  3. I brought home a large bag of grubby looking but high-end ski gloves that a neighbor had put out in a free box. I gave them a good wash and will list them on eBay to find new homes. I’m guessing that I’ll make a hundred dollars or so from my efforts.

  4. I finished reading a library copy of The Island of Sea Women and immediately put another one of the author’s books on hold, I spent at least three hours weeding and thinning out the jungle of our front yard yesterday; and enjoyed that every single one of my plants are starts from friends, I assembled a huge pot of chili that incorporated two containers of scratch cooked black beans and the last scrapings from a jar of pasta sauce, I got together with my friend Lise for a free-coffee-from-Ikea work date, I redeemed a coupon for a free big salad from Mod Pizza, (they had a promotion where each salad purchased in January earned you a free salad in February) and I cleaned out the interior of my car using nothing but water, a squirt of dish soap and a tremendous amount of elbow grease.

  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.”

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{ 69 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 8, 2020 · 87 comments

  1. I sold a few items, mainly on Facebook Marketplace as most items would be tricky to mail. This included a midcentury end table from the Albany, Oregon Goodwill, (my current favorite Goodwill location!) a delightfully groovy vintage lamp, a midcentury footstool and a faux-wood piece of wall art shaped like a big ol’ bonsai tree.

    The footstool was a $3.99 Goodwill find that I reupholstered, (ha!) by stapling on a rectangle of red velvet. It took an hour or so and turned a dated piece of furniture into an on-trend item that quickly found a new home. Click HERE to see the before-and-after.

    On eBay I sold five more Mary Engelbreit magazines, a length of lovely wool fabric and a pair of 1950s pink hand towels that I listed back in April. I call this “playing the long game.”

  2. I roped my friend Lise into going to Winco with me, as I was feeling unmotivated for the dull task of grocery shopping and thought a friend would help the situation. We also snuck in a quick trip to Goodwill as well as the Fubonn Asian grocery store.

    I thanked her by driving us through Best Baguette for their egg, cheese and avocado croissant sandwiches, which are what I’m currently craving morning, noon and night. Great . . . now I’m craving them again!

    I’m not really a “let’s meet up for drinks” kind of friend. Want to be my friend? You’ve been warned!

  3. The tailgate handle on our Prius had been broken for a couple months, which was an annoyance but wasn’t affecting the functionality of the vehicle. My husband ordered the $73 replacement part, which then sat for a couple weeks until he found a time when he wasn’t working/it wasn’t raining/he could force himself to install it. These factors finally coalesced a few days ago, and we can finally open up the back of the car again.

    I don’t know how much it would have cost to hire a mechanic, but I’m sure we saved at least $100. Whether it’s darning a sock, cooking from scratch or doing minor home and car repairs, we save thousands of dollars per year by choosing to hire out as little as possible.

  4. I finished one library book and started another, I binge watched the new season of Shrill through my friend Lisa’s Hulu account, my mom washed my daughter’s huge comforter for us in her large-capacity machine, (I then thanked her by inviting her and my step father over for a burrito-buffet night) I thrifted two more glass bottles, (with lids!) for our Soda Stream, a blog reader gave me a mostly full container of laundry detergent that didn’t work in her machine and we lent our Sawzall to our neighbor, with whom we have a symbiotic moochy relationship.

  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.
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{ 87 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 1, 2020 · 76 comments

  1. I sold a few things here and there through eBay, including a pair of Starbucks mugs, a Mary Engelbreit magazine, (I used to subscribe, and have been slowly selling them off) a Jonathan Adler holiday ornament, a baboon puppet, some pretty midcentury-style Japanese fabric and a long sleeve merino wool shirt that was gathering dust in the back of my dresser. I also sold a cool vintage chair through Facebook Marketplace a mere 18 hours after snagging it at Goodwill.

    No single sale will make you green with envy, but it still added up to a tidy little amount.

  2. My fridge was overly full of perishable food that fell under the unfortunate category of “ingredients” rather than “grab-n-go,” so I dedicated an evening to assembling meals out of available supplies. I managed to pull together a ginormous pot of chicken soup, as well as pans of enchiladas and twice-baked potatoes. It probably took an hour or so of hands on work, and we’ve been enjoying the meals ever since.

    I love it when past Katy does favors for present day Katy. Not only did this save me from the daily drama of “Blarg, what’s for dinner?!” but it helped us avoid the temptation to get takeout or make unnecessary grocery store trips.

    I’m not someone who loves to cook, so I pat myself on the back for even a modicum of extra effort.

  3. My college pal Maura and and I hit up a Vancouver, Washington Goodwill that neither of us had been to. I snagged the aforementioned vintage chair as well as a midcentury footstool with dynamite brass-footed tapered wooden legs. Total cost? $12.98!

    I think of the drive to Vancouver as being a big ol’ schlep, but it actually took just 25 minutes. We went to the Orchards location at 14201 N.E. Fourth Plan blvd, which was amazing. Super clean and organized!

    Afterwards Maura and I caravanned to her new house where she fed me lunch with multiple cups of coffee. January/February in the Pacific Northwest is super dreary, so anything we can do to brighten our days is an accomplishment. Seasonal Affective Disorder is no joke.

  4. I dropped off library books right before they were overdue and picked up a book that I’d put on hold, my friend Kristen from The Frugal Girl mailed me a book she thought I’d like, my son came home for the weekend and we’re feeding him homemade meals rather than using it as an excuse to eat out, I met with a city official to determine whether our property qualified for a free rain garden, (it didn’t) and I put all the Star Trek: The Next Generation movies on hold at the library to help put the Picard show in better context.

  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.
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Disclosure: This blog post includes affiliate links, which may earn you a discount, as well as a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 76 comments }

Mugging For Goodwill

by Katy on January 27, 2020 · 42 comments

If there’s one thing that ties all the Goodwills together, it’s their groaning shelves of mugs. New mugs, old mugs, all kinds of mugs. Of course, me being the massive weirdo that I am, I’m not interested in any genteel attractive mugs like this hand painted specimen.

Perfect condition, lovely respectable saucer. If this mug were a car, it would be a Bentley.

Unlike this mug, which could more accurately be compared to a Yugo that’s 30% Bondo. Oh, who am I kidding? This mug is the best! Hilarious with a kick of functionality.

But there are an endless number of mugs, enough that I frequently come across personalized mugs with my very own name.

This one perfect encapsulates how I like to drink hot coffee and sit waaaaay too close to the TV.

Nailed it!

Then again, this mug might be the better one for me. My feline forward texts might read a little something like this:

“Meow, meow, meow, please stop peeing on my couch meow meow!”

Maybe I should cut down on my caffeine intake. Perhaps just half a cup?

As an RN, I know that caffeine suppresses your anti-diuretic hormone, which can lead to an increased number of bathroom trips.

There’s a mug for that!

But Goodwill mugs aren’t just for me, they’re for all members of the family — brothers, sisters, cousins, parents, grandparents, nephews, great uncles, and of course . . . “Maw.”

What about these unusual mugs? They look cool, right?

Wrong! This is a trick question. These “mugs” are actually neti pots, which are used to physically clear your sinuses. I see these ALL THE TIME shelved with mugs. They are neither mugs, nor are they tiny tea pots. They are for sticking up your nostrils.

Not a mug. Not. A. Mug!

But my very favorite kind of mug is a “Best Mom” mug, which are more common than you’d think. (Especially since you know each one of these had to be snuck of the house during nap time.)

Why do I take selfies with these mugs? Because I enjoy trolling my kids.

Text from mom?

“Sigh . . . she’s sent me another ‘Best Mom’ photo.”

Because that’s what the best moms do.

This oddball assortment of mugs might not slot into your personal aesthetic, but Goodwills offer every type of mug imaginable. The over-manufacture of consumer goods is a massive environmental issue, but when you choose to buy used, you avoid playing into this non-sustainable cycle.

Buying used = good!

Want to know more about Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette? Check out MeetGoodwill.org, ShopGoodwill.com and GoodwillJobConnection.org
to learn more about the important services that they provide for our community.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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This has been a sponsored blog post.

{ 42 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 23, 2020 · 74 comments

  1. After a frightening eBay dry spell, my sales have once again woken from their winter slumber. (Because if no one is buying the random crap inventory I’ve piled into the corner of my spare bedroom, that demotes me from “cool af reseller” to “pathetic hoarder!”)

    Last week I sold just two items for $7.50 apiece. However, yesterday and today have been much more on track as I’ve sold a $80 Dungeons and Dragons game, a $75 collection of wresting action figures, a $17 pair of Birkenstocks and a $35 set of Yakima bike rack parts. Selling one item doesn’t increase chances that another will sell, (you can see that my merchandise is wholly unrelated) but it’s still uplifting to wake up to eBay’s cha-chings.

    $207 > $15

  2. My 24-year-old daughter recently mentioned that her vision had changed, so we made an appointment for an eye exam. I chose Costco, as their vision center charges just $95 for a full exam, and they give you precisely zero guff about handing over your prescription, (including pupillary distance) to order from online retailers such as Zenni Optical.

    My kids have ordered Zenni’s inexpensive glasses through the years without any issues. And since their glasses start at $6.95, it’s a huge savings potential! I even convinced my myopic sister to order a backup pair from them recently, even though she was highly skeptical, (she’s worn glasses since she was a kid, so she’s very serious about quality.) She ended up loving her Zenni glasses so much, that she demoted her Warby Parker glasses to “backup.”

    I didn’t tell my daughter that she had to pick from their selection of $15 frames, yet she did.

  3. I needed to replace the belt on my 18-year-old GE vacuum cleaner. (Go, Bessie!) The last ones I’d purchased, (a rare Amazon buy) were too tight and near to impossible to install. Not too surprisingly, they snapped apart almost immediately.

    I’m trying my hardest to avoid the convenience and ease of shopping on Amazon, so I clicked on over to eBay and found an independent seller who had what I needed. Sure, I’ll have to wait until next week for delivery, but I feel content that I made the ethical choice.

  4. I shopped at Winco and remembered to use a $20 gift card that my friend gave me as a thank you for walking her dog, I’ve begun to winnow down my pile of socks to be darned, I started reading a library copy of Kate Morton’s The Lake House, I stopped into Goodwill and picked up a $1.99 Jonathan Adler ceramic dove ornament, (his brand sells very well for me on eBay) I sewed a benign patch over an expensive winter coat’s company logo for my husband, my family finished rewatching library blu-rays of all the Harry Potter movies and my husband was given an almost new pair of skis from one friend and a pair of bindings from another and is spending the day skiing with a discount pass.

  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.
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Disclosure: This blog post includes affiliate links, which may earn you a discount, as well as a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 74 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 17, 2020 · 68 comments

  1. I haven’t sold much, although I did sell a Wells Fargo zipper pouch, a vintage pin, a pair of Polish pottery mugs, a bag of Pendleton wool remnant pieces and a set of high-end bike fenders. I did put together a couple of new eBay listings yesterday, including a Pendleton Wool blanket that I picked up for just $14.99, (thank you Goodwill!) and a two-pound bag of Pendleton wool remnants. And why yes . . . Pendleton is a local company!

  2. I picked up a soggy knit cap in a parking lot, which I promptly brought home to launder. It cleaned up beautifully, so I brought it over to my local library for their donation box. I often come across lost or abandoned garments, which usually need nothing more than a rinse and a wash to come back to usefulness.

    We live in a throwaway society, (which includes people cycling through buying and donating in order to make room for new stuff) which motivates my ongoing decision to buy nothing new. Twelve years so far, baby!

  3. Portland, Oregon has started requiring stores to charge a nickel per bag, which means that I’m now saving 5¢ – 30¢ whenever I grocery shop. I’ve been bringing my own bags for years, and always have a reusable one in my purse. (A large nylon bag that folds into its own tiny pouch.)

  4. I finished reading one library book, (The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton) and then started another, (Wunderland, by Jennifer Cody Epstein) I put together a huge pot of cheap af black bean soup one evening using my Instant Pot, (even though I was mortally exhausted and wanted nothing more than to nap on the couch!) I snagged $1 bags of both limes and green peppers from the Fred Meyer (Kroger) markdown shelf, I located a free sample of weather proofing goo to rub into my winter boots, (where it came from, I’ll never know) I listened to the audiobook of Gaby Dunn’s Bad With Money, through the library’s Libby app, my friend Lise treated me to a cup of coffee and I took an overnight trip using my Diane Von Furstenberg suitcase that I pulled out of a Westchester County Goodwill dumpster.

  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.
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Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which earn a small percentage from any purchases you make within a few days of clicking over. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 68 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 9, 2020 · 88 comments

  1. I sold a few things including a Scottish wool blanket from the Goodwill “bins,” a pair of Ilse Jacobsen sneakers, a Jonathan Adler mirror, a pair of free box Ugg slippers, a Calphalon skillet and a package of under-eye football stickers. (I picked up around 40 packages of these college branded packets at the Albany Goodwill for around $9.) I have a few Facebook Marketplace items that people are messaging me about, but I know from experience to not count my chickens before they hatch.

  2. I gave away a set of twin XL flannel sheets, a honkin’ huge bag of working Christmas lights and a certain item that I can’t specify, (umm . . . it was a birthday gift) through my neighborhood’s Buy Nothing Group.

    I highly recommend that you click the above link to learn if your local neighborhood has its own buy nothing group. They’re an amazing way to skirt the traditional consumer experience — just neighbors strengthening bonds by gifting wanted and needed things to one another. Sorry, Jeff Bezos.

  3. I continue on my Extreme Frugal January™ and cooked up a pot of makeshift Tuscan white bean soup. I used a couple cans of cannelloni white beans, (50¢ apiece from the Grocery Outlet) the last of a bag of baby carrots and some leftover carmelized onions. I added kale at the very end and called it good. Which it was.

  4. I picked up a $2.99 luxe looking box of chocolates as a thank you for my mail carrier who makes extra trips to my house to scan my eBay packages, I spent a few days walking my friend’s dog while she was out of town, I started reading The Distant Hours from the library, I picked up five loaves of normally expensive bread at the Franz Outlet for a buck apiece, I bought a six-foot long iPhone charger from Goodwill for $4.99, (the Target packaging was damaged) and my $3 peace lily is growing a new flower, which is an accomplishment as all the previous flowers had shriveled up after the plant was transplanted.

  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.”

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