Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 8, 2020 · 93 comments

  1. I sold just a couple of things, including:

    • An extra Oakley accessory kit that went with an old pair of my husband’s work sunglasses.

    • One of my son’s accounting textbooks.

    • A set of my son’s Mega Man electronic game chips.

    Actually, that’s all that sold. Lucky son.

  2. I went for a masked walk around the neighborhood with my friend Dezsea. In the before times we might have gone out for coffee or lunch, so I suppose this falls under the umbrella of “frugal activities,” even though there’s a deeply sad back story.

    However, she did call me up the next day asking if I wanted “a gallon of milk and a bag of potatoes.”

    Umm . . . let me think that over for a bit. Just kidding, of course I jumped at the offer and gladly accepted her generosity. Milk is super friendly to being frozen for a future date, you just have to pour off a bit extra to make room for expansion.

  3. I drove to my secret spot for wild blackberries, making sure to wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants and closed toe shoes. (Those thorns are no joke!) Unfortunately, Oregon’s dry hot summer resulted in mostly shriveled up berries, although I did find some plump ones growing the shade. I’ll probably go back in a couple days as we’ve had some rain and cooler temperatures, which should result in sweeter juicier berries.

    However, even lesser berries are still delicious berries. Plus, free is my very favorite price!

    For those who might enjoy this detail, the “Oregon Ducks” hat in the above photo was purchased at a pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet store. (So . . . maybe 15¢?) That school has enough of my hard earned money, thank you very much!

  4. I used Fred Meyer (Kroger) coupons for broccoli and eggs, my single pair of Birkenstock sandals are wearing out, so I found a replacement pair on eBay for $34.99, (I then clicked through from Swagbucks, I used my own eBay referral code and messaged the seller to see if they’d use a $8.40 flat rate envelope instead of the $15.05 flat rate box) I fed my neighbors’ cat while they were out of town, I gave away two tubes of toothpaste on my Buy Nothing Group as I’d accidentally bought the spicy “Cinnamint” flavor, my husband signed up for a free YouTube TV trial, which is allowing us to finally watch the final season of Schitt’s Creek, I finished the last of a loaf of my father’s sourdough bread, (which I slice and store in the freezer) and I sat on the couch screaming into a second hand pillow.

  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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{ 93 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 2, 2020 · 109 comments

  1. I sold a few things on eBay. Not regularly paced, but in annoying fits and spurts. (Three sales in one day, then no sales for five days!) No single impressive sale, although I did sell a couple of items that had otherwise been part of the excessive miscellaneous stuff that crowds my home.

    Here’s what sold:

    • A $20 lot of 9 vintage kitchen drawer pulls leftover from when we revamped our kitchen in 1996. These had been sitting in an aptly titled junk drawer.

    • A $25 pair of brand new Ikea handles that I picked up at Goodwill awhile back.

    • A schwanky $75 motorbike toy that I’d just bought at Goodwill for a mere $4.99.

    • A $15 stack of new-in-package brew pub coasters that I’d picked up at a pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet bins store in the before times.

    • A $15 Fiestaware plate from my personal overflowing stack.

    • A $35 miniature marble bust of some unidentified composer dude.

    • A $25 pair of women’s Keen water sandals.

    • A $20 hatbox that had been sitting in my death pile for more time than I’m willing to admit. (A “deathpile” is the name for items a reseller has yet to list for whatever reason.) It sold really quickly once listed, which is great since it took up more than its fair share of physical space.

  2. I got my first ever flat tire, which luckily happened while I was driving at a safe low speed. Our tires were semi-recently replaced at Costco, so they still had some warranty left on them. The replacement cost was around $36, and even though my son and l Iooped through Costco we didn’t succumb to any impulse purchases. However, we got the heck out of that indoor space pretty quickly as there were multiple people whose masks were positioned under their noses.

    NOPE!

    The cause of the flat? An entire pair of scissors!

  3. I read a library copy of Ayelet Waldman’s Love and Treasure, which was from the hilariously titled Quality Distraction reading list personally curated for me through the county’s My Librarian program.

    I’ve decided to work my way through all ten of the recommended books, and have already made a dent in Camille Perri’s The Assistants. And since the list includes two books I’ve already read, I think this is a doable goal.

  4. I garbage picked a Kettler tricycle from a neighbor’s bin, I put together a number of eBay listings from stuff just laying around the house, my husband received a $94.47 check from a random class action lawsuit, I watched a library DVD of the Downton Abbey movie, (super mediocre, I definitely got what I paid for!) I’ve been going for masked evening walks with my friend Lise; and my husband and I enjoyed a socially distant “happy hour” with some neighbors which included an enthusiastically received black bean/corn dip that took advantage of ingredients I already had on hand. Plus I drank seltzer since I really don’t like to drink alcohol.

  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. The Amazon link is not an affiliate link.

{ 109 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 18, 2020 · 100 comments

  1. I sold a few things here and there, 100% through eBay as few people seem to comfortable buying through in-person platforms such as Facebook marketplace and Craigslist. I get it. Here’s some of what sold:

    • A groovy vintage TV remote that’s now on its way to Germany to be used as a movie prop.

    • An avocado green rotary phone that spent the past year or so sitting on my mantle.

    • A pair of plastic Dansko clogs that I picked up at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago.

    • A pair of vintage Italian glasses frames that I plucked from a Goodwill Outlet bin in the “before times.”

    I also have someone supposedly coming by today to buy a vintage cast iron skillet, although I know better than to count my chickens before they hatch.

    Edit: It sold!

  2. My next door neighbors ended up having to put their ancient kitty to sleep and gave me all of Colette’s leftover unused cat litter, cat food, plus their cat carrier, as I’ve borrowed it in the past. I was actually driving to Costco to buy cat litter when her text came through with the offer, although I continued on with the errand as I already had my palate set for one of their $4.99 roasted chickens.

    I brought her flowers last week when I heard about her cat’s passing.

  3. My friend Lise needed to have a tree removed that was growing too close to her house’s foundation and roof. And savvy woman that she is, she shaved a few bucks off the bid by having the arborist dump all the shredded wood chips on her property rather than driving them to a waste station. (Luckily the two previous chipped trees from that day were a cedar tree and a Douglas fir.) She and I then drove five (maybe six?) trips between our two houses hauling bins of wood chips to re-landscape the path along the side of my house. The job took an hour or so as we live just two blocks apart, and my side yard now smells amazing and more importantly will absorb more of Portland’s never ending and bountiful rainfall. My cost? The price of one tall frosty matcha boba tea!

    Click HERE for some satisfying before-and-after pictures!

  4. I utilized my public library system’s My Librarian service to request some book recommendations. I explained what I was looking for, to which she asked a few follow up questions to hone in on my reading preferences. She then recommended ten different books, which amazingly included three that I’d already read, most of which were from authors I’d enjoyed in the past or at least had heard of. I like to read, but don’t consider myself a prolific reader, so this is damned clairvoyant!

    Hilariously, she titled my personalized list as Quality Distraction, which I think is genius, pure and simple! This list is public so you can actually check it out for your own “quality distraction.” My plan at this point is to continue to pepper her with questions until I’m able to transform her into my own personal life coach. This woman gets me!

  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. The Amazon link is not an affiliate link.

{ 100 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 4, 2020 · 103 comments

  1. I sold just a few things on eBay and absolutely nothing through Facebook Marketplace. However, the eBay sales were enjoyable as you can see:

    • A plastic Fiestaware cheese knife set that had been relegated to the back of a cupboard for at least twenty years. $80? Yes, please!

    • A collectible Vueve Clicquot champagne tin that I just thrifted for $2.99. $60? You betcha!

    • The very last from a pile of brand new curtains that I thrifted at least a year ago. $25? Get it out of my sight!

  2. I continue to think about estate planning and did pull the trigger on buying the Life in Motion end-of-life planning notebook. (Worry not, we’re all in good health.) I ended up purchasing it directly from the author’s website using a $10-off promo code I’d received for signing up for the newsletter. I haven’t started filling it out yet, but I’m looking forward to the peace of mind knowing that all of our information will be in a single place.

    There’s usually a way to bypass Jeff Bezos’ behemoth consumer machine, (such as clicking over to the manufacturer’s website) and I’m always happy when I’m able to make this happen.

    Note: This is neither a sponsored post, nor is it an affiliate link.

  3. I made the stupid decision to hit my Fred Meyer (Kroger) grocery store on the afternoon of July third, not thinking about how it was the day before a major U.S. holiday. (Such a crowded $h*†$h0w!) I was motivated by a handful of about-to-expire personalized coupons items for practical items like eggs, broccoli, cilantro, ice cream, pasta sauce, etc. I ended up bringing home five bags of groceries for just $36.41. Very cheap, but oh so very stressful.

  4. I rubber banded a plastic bag over a lidless glass pitcher in order to make a batch of sun tea, I gathered and then took a hand saw to fallen branches in the back yard for our fire pit, I cooked up a large pot of rosemary white bean soup and even served it for dinner on the fourth, I finished watching all the available episodes of Alone through my mother’s Amazon account, my husband gave our Prius a quicky wash at work as the neighborhood birds had been scatalogically industrious, a neighbor brought by a couple books for me to read, I stopped into the Franz Bakery Outlet for $1 loaves while out running errands and Portland’s weather has been mild enough to use simple fans instead of window air conditioners.

  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. The Amazon link is not an affiliate link.

{ 103 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 27, 2020 · 111 comments

  1. A friend of mine posted on Facebook about how she and her husband had recently drawn up a will. She showed a photo of an notebook with organized estate planning information and my FOMO (“fear of missing out”) kicked into gear.

    • My first thought was “I wish I had the money on hand to hire an estate attorney.”
    • My second thought was “Wow, cool notebook!”
    • My third thought was “I bet you can buy a similar notebook without the expense of an attorney.”

    I went into research mode and found a well rated version on Amazon. It was $50, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to actual legal fees. I put it into my cart to let the purchase simmer. It then occurred to me that I might be able to find it on eBay. Although eBay didn’t provide the exact book, I was able to “Save” the search, which means that I’ll get a notification when an eBay seller lists one.

    At 51, I’m at an age where many of my friends are dealing with the death of their parents, and never once have I heard that it was an easy task. Clearing out houses, conflict with family members and then tracking down bank, insurance and investment information sounds like an absolute freaking nightmare. Especially while grieving. I absolutely don’t want to hand this nightmare down to my kids.

    Hopefully some random eBay seller will list one in the near future. I have deep ethical issues with supporting Jeff Bezos and his Amazonian empire, and do all I can to source from alternate retailers whenever possible.

  2. I’ve been sucked into watching multiple seasons of the TV show Alone from The History Channel. This isn’t a show that I would naturally be drawn towards. Survivalists competing to see who can last the longest out in the wilderness? Not a natural fit for an indoorsy Jewish woman.

    Only the sixth season was available on Netflix. Set in the Canadian arctic, this season has a decent mix of contestants, many of whom are women who speak about “permaculture.” This assuaged my fear that the show would be aimed towards those whose survivalism come from a place of racism, antisemitism and a culture of conspiracy theories.

    As a child I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins,  My Side of The Mountain, and Julie of The Wolves, rereading all three throughout the years. The idea of having to survive alone in the wild is an intriguing concept, and I can see why this TV show has been renewed for multiple seasons. I’m very much an indoor cat, and the two (three?) times I’ve gone camping have been unpleasant experiences. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t cuddle up on the couch and watch others immerse themselves in what nature has to offer.

    For those interested in the show — The sixth season is available on Netflix, the third through fifth seasons are on Hulu and the first and second seasons are available through the History channel app/website. The seventh season is currently airing.

  3. I stopped into Goodwill again, walking out with a $1.99 collectible Veuve Clicquot tin, a $4.99 Michael Graves for Target alarm clock and a $14.99 pair of Dansko clogs. I’m still skittish about unnecessary shopping, but with my N-95 mask and gloves I feel much more secure in my safety.

  4. My father celebrated his 85th birthday the other day. He doesn’t like a fuss, but I was able to convince him to let us come over to mark the occasion. My son and I stopped into the Murray’s Cheese kiosk in Fred Meyer and let the cheese monger recommend a selection of treats. (Needless to say I brought a reusable gift bag from home.) I mostly give consumables to family members, which skirts around my “buy nothing new” self guideline. No one complains about receiving delicious food!

    Together the three of us walked over to his favorite locally owned bookstore, (Broadway Books) where the owners wished him a hearty “happy birthday!” (I’d already stopped by to let them know it was his birthday.) We then sat apart in the backyard and chatted until our bladders called an end to the afternoon.

  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. The Amazon link is not an affiliate link. 

{ 111 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 21, 2020 · 113 comments

  1. I donned mask and gloves to pop into my local Goodwill and picked up a couple of items that at first glance appear boring.

    • A $3.50 golf bag.

    • A 99¢ Star Trek Discovery mug.

    • A $4.99 Settlers of Catan board game.

    • A $1.99 plastic milk crate.

    The golf bag was bought with an idea for resale, as were the mug and board game, (which then quickly sold on eBay.) But the milk crate? It’ll replace the one under my kitchen sink that spontaneous combusted.

    I’m pumped to have an excuse to organize the cupboard under the kitchen sink, which somehow devolved into a bottomless pit of filthy cleaning products.

    I joke about curating a blog called “The Inoffensive Decorator,” that solely publishes boring household makeovers to “beautify and elevate your home without attracting a second glance.” This project will be featured over on that blog. I expect it to go viral.

  2. My husband and I completed our taxes using Turbo Tax, and we’ll be receiving both state and federal refunds. For pretty much the exact amount of our son’s summer tuition payment. Easy in, easy out. Sigh . . . .

  3. I noticed that someone in my local Buy Nothing Group was offering a sealed box of gluten-free chocolate macaroons. I offered to take them off her hands and then immediately got a text from my friend Lise asking if I was in the mood for a walk.

    Kismet.

    The two of us, (three, if you count her dog “Daisy”) then walked the half mile or so to pick up the cookies. A delicious treat for my family, which we quickly demolished. Lise didn’t want any.

  4. My raspberries are bearing fruit, my husband switched from pricey deli meat sandwiches to Mexi-bowls for his work lunches, I hosted my mother and step father for a socially distant backyard event, (which featured zero food or beverages as we kept our masks in place) my son’s summer university tuition was discounted for diminished on-campus services, my next door neighbor gave me an extra head of lettuce from her C.S.A. box and I gifted a large box of miscellaneous Japanese items to a neighbor whose kindergartener is enrolled in a Japanese language immersion program.

  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.
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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.

{ 113 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 8, 2020 · 88 comments

  1. Again, I didn’t sell much. Although I did receive an offer for 50 free eBay listings starting June 1st, which I’d been waiting for, and had already some set stuff aside for the new month’s listings and will start working on them today or tomorrow-ish. You know . . . maybe.

    Here’s what sold:

    • A Pendleton wool blanket that I picked up at Goodwill a few months ago. It wasn’t the prettiest pattern, so it took awhile to sell.

    • A Nightmare Before Christmas plush that I’d had listed since November 2018. A Goodwill bins find, so it couldn’t have set me back more than 20¢ or so.

    • A double set of the Ticket To Ride train pieces that I’m continuing to part out. They’re on their way to Canada and I’ve made $65 from this single game so far.

    • More of my daughter’s Shonen Jump magazines. They only sell for five bucks apiece, but it’s adding up for her.

  2. I saw that one of my favorite Goodwill stores (The S.E. Portland Woodstock location) was opening back up, so I grabbed my mask and gloves to scope it out. I was mostly curious to see how they were handling donations, as I’d read that donors would be asked to presort their items rather than being able to hand over bags full of miscellaneous items.

    Donors were indeed sorting their own stuff into huge bins labeled “Shoes, Books/Media, Textiles/Linens/Accessories and Small electrical wares.” No one seemed to be making a fuss about the extra work and the parking lot had even been rearranged to direct traffic in a logical manner.

    With my N-95 mask firmly in place I entered the store and was relieved to recognize the masked employees that I hadn’t seen since March. (Which concurrently feels like a million years ago and maybe just yesterday?) All cashier stations featured newly installed plexiglass shields, and the cashiers were disinfecting their stations between each transaction. Floor stickers placed six feet apart instructed customers in line to “Please Wait Here,” and I was in and out within ten minutes.

    What did I buy?

    A queen-size Marimekko Unikko Poppy duvet cover. I’ve thrifted products in this pattern at least a dozen times, and I’m always tempted to keep them, but usually succumb to the siren song of eBay. (My son has enrolled in summer classes, so we don’t have the normal six month break from tuition hell.) Not too shabby for $7.99!

    Remember when I took apart a thrifted Marimekko tote bag and used the fabric to cover a lampshade? Still one of my favorite projects.

  3. I watched a YouTube video from the Delish test kitchen manager June Xie titled “I Lived On a $5 A Day Budget for A Week In New York City.” I’ve watched similar videos in the past, but they invariably end up as frustrating clickbait. This one was different. Her ingredients were simple but nutritious, and it inspired me to spend an hour or so prepping simple food that can be used to assemble later meals. (Beans, rice, broccoli, sweet potatoes, lettuce.)

  4. I cancelled our CBS All Access subscription (Picard!) right before it charged us for a new month, I was able to get a $200 refund for the FinCon conference, (even though I was initially refused) I’m almost done listening to the audiobook of How To Build a Girl on the free Libby app, I’ve been checking out the bakery clearance rack in the back of Safeway during my weekly trips and have been rewarded with 99¢ bags of bagels, (which I then pre-slice and stick into the freezer) my husband and I binge watched all three seasons of Broadchurch on Netflix and a neighbor brought me a small stack of books to read.

  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.

{ 88 comments }

My White Privilege

by Katy on June 3, 2020 · 51 comments

It’s been a stressful and mentally demanding week. Not just for America, but our entire world. The murder of George Floyd by a police officer while his partners looked on has sparked necessary and important protests. Long held beliefs are being challenged and a lot of people are taking a good hard look at themselves.

I know I am.

I’m a liberal middle-class white woman raised in a family that abhors racism, and I end each blog post since November 4th, 2016 with a dig against Donald Trump. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t benefit from white privilege. This hard truth is a difficult pill to swallow. I grew up attending public schools, all of which were racially diverse, especially my high school which was in the “black neighborhood.” (I attended as it contained a specialized dance program.) I can’t count the number of times that people, both adult and my own age asked if I wasn’t “scared to go to school.” I always answered in the negative, but I didn’t have the language as a teen to hold an in-depth conversation about how this assumption was deeply offensive.

I grew up in Northeast Portland, but on “the right side on 15th Avenue.” Portland, Oregon has a shameful history of redlining, a history that doesn’t reach very far into the past. So even though I may have matriculated with black students, I didn’t live near any. I had one black friend. One. And if you want to get technical, she’s actually mixed race with a black father and a white mother.

Northeast Portland’s schools were diverse, but our neighborhoods weren’t.

Those racially diverse schools? They enrolled me in the advanced classes, although in retrospect I was a spectacularly average student. These classes in no way mirrored the school’s ethnic population, and I distinctly remember that my Advanced English class included just two black girls.

My current neighborhood is considered ultra-liberal, within a city that itself is considered one of the most liberal in the entire country. Heck, the entire premise of the TV show Portlandia is that we’re a politically correct joke gone too far. (I could only watch a few episodes as it was a little too much on the nose.) There are precisely two black people on my long street, both of whom are in inter-racial marriages. This may sound creepy, like I’m counting people, (and I suppose I am) but there’s no way to not notice. I retired from working as a labor and delivery nurse last year, a career I held for 24 years. A job where I worked with two black nurses out of hundreds who came and went. A couple of black doctors, but they also came and went. I was shocked by the whiteness of the nursing staff when I was hired in 1995, but gradually stopped noticing.

Suffice it to say that I rarely interact with any black people, but nonetheless felt comfortable putting a Black Lives Matter sign in my front yard as early as 2016, even mentioning it in a blog post to normalize this action. I make sure that my Twitter feed includes multiple accounts dedicated to race and social justice.

I’d done my part and could move on. A single sign in my front yard and a curated social media feed, it was enough.

It was a start, but it wasn’t enough.

I don’t know the answers, (and I’m certainly not the person that people should look to for them) but I can use my meager platform to let people know that now’s the time to take stock in one’s own background, face uncomfortable truths about ourselves and move forward.

I have white privilege, which means I can walk through the neighborhood carrying free curbside finds without anyone thinking that I’d stolen them. My high school took for granted that I needed college preparatory classes and I’ve never once worried about being killed by a police officer.

Admitting that we benefit from a system that’s inherently racist is an uncomfortable truth to face, but these are the times to stand up against inequality. However painful it is to our own self image.

{ 51 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 26, 2020 · 136 comments

Hoo boy, it’s getting harder and harder to write these posts. Although I’m certainly practicing the extremist of extreme non-consumerism, it’s super boring stuff like “prepared all meals from scratch, most of which were bean based” and “used almost no gasoline.”

Far from gripping material.

SO BORING! Boring to write and boring to read.

  1. I sold a few things here and there, not impressive “found it on the side of the road and then sold it for $1000,” level of narrative, but still respectable. Especially since a number of my sales were items just sitting around my house. While others may see “clutter,” I see “inventory.”

    Here’s what sold:

    • My experiment to piece out a Ticket To Ride game and sell the component parts individually has been a success. So far I’ve sold the wooden player pieces, the game board, plus two categories of player cards. $50 from a single game with many more bits and bobs still to sell. (eBay)
    • A Fiestaware mini disc pitcher that had been collecting dust in my built-in buffet. Not something that I used or appreciated, so I’m happy to send it off to a new home. (eBay)
    • A vintage ceramic rooster that I picked up at Goodwill right before the quarantine. (eBay)
    • Two Ikea new-in-box slipcovers that had been stored in my spare bedroom closet since I thrifted them over year ago. I’d been sitting on them for ages, and had assumed they’d never sell, but was wrong. Just had to close all the brick and mortar Ikeas to make it happen. (Facebook Marketplace)
    • A new-in-package curtain panel. (Ebay)
    • A handmade craftsman-style bookshelf that I’d thrifted, and would have been happy to keep had it not sold. (Facebook Marketplace)
    • A macrame wall hanging. (Facebook Marketplace)
    • A dozen or so of my daughter’s Shonen Jump magazines. (eBay)

  2. My most important non-consumer news is that we finally found someone to take over on our son’s apartment lease down in Eugene, Oregon! Covid-19 turned the lives of university students upside down, which emptied out my son’s large apartment complex. All in the middle of countless 12-month leases.

    Getting to this point took attention to a thousand details related to readying the apartment, communication with the property management office, attending to apartment details and emailing back and forth with a multiple prospective tenants. We ended up paying rent on our son’s empty apartment for the months of April and May, and are now spared from paying for the months of June, July and August. (When the lease ends.) The new tenant even paid us for the last week of May, so we even got a bit back.

    The task of finding a new tenant has been an almost daily task since early April, and I feel an Atlas-level weight off my shoulders. And the $2400 that we just saved? Not too shabby!

  3. Although my husband and I cancelled cable TV, we still have Comcast internet. They sent us a free streaming converter box, which has a nice intuitive interface. I would’ve been content to continue using the frustrating first generation Apple TV that someone gave us a few years ago. But it’s nice to not swear under my breath every time I awkwardly scroll through streaming options.

  4. My husband and son both celebrated birthdays last week. Our normal birthday routine is to stage a Birthday Day of Adventures that relies on the ability to hop from location to location, and would be the current definition of an Infection Adventure Day™. Instead, I arranged for nice treats that put neither in danger. I’ll write up a blog post in a few days with more details.

  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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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 12, 2020 · 98 comments

  1. My eBay sales were dismal, which seems to be the theme lately. However I did sell a few things.

    • The tree pieces from a Ravensburger Enchanted Forest game. This is part of an experiment to see if it’s possible to piece out a board game and make significantly more than if I’d sold the complete game. I’ve now made $20 from this $3 thrifted game, and could conceivably make an additional $20.

    • An Ikea duvet cover with matching pillows cases that I pulled out of a Goodwill bin. Since I paid by the pound for these lightweight items, I know my initial investment was just a couple of bucks.

    • A Fiestaware mini disc pitcher that I remember was just $1.99 from a suburban Portland Goodwill. (I have an almost photographic memory for my thrifted finds!)

    • More of my daughter’s Shonen Jump magazines. I utilized my son’s college apartment bookcase to organize the manga, which greatly helps when trying to find single magazines from the 100+ that I listed on eBay.

    • A five-panel baseball cap that I pulled out of a neighbor’s free box last summer. My son was going to keep it, but changed his mind. I was asking $20, but accepted a $15 offer since my initial investment was zero. Just happy to put unwanted items into the hands, (or onto the heads) of people who value them.

  2. I pieced out a thrifted Ticket To Ride board game to continue the experiment with maximizing profit from a supposed single item. (I’d tried listing the game on Facebook Marketplace, but it got flagged as prohibited as it included the word “ticket!”) There are enough finicky little pieces included in the game to conceivably make over $100. Who knows? Can’t hurt to try!

  3. After years of feeling like a Frugal Fraud™, I finally convinced my husband that it was time to cancel our cable TV service! Granted, we’d chosen the lowest possible package that included sportball, but it’ll still save us $60/month as I was able to bring our internet service down an additional $10/month with the same phone call. My husband is an avid soccer fan, but since spectator sports stopped existing, this was a no brainer.

    We still get Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, plus Sling, (currently free every evening) through our Roku box, which allows my husband to watch CNN live. We also have an old digital roof antenna, which provides additional local options. It seems like there really are endless free streaming options including the library’s Kanopy service.

    Not too shabby, considering that I grew up with just ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and a single local channel. If we’re un-entertained. It’ll be our own damned fault!

  4. I confirmed that we were credited the $50 for returning our son’s extra electronic key fob to his apartment building, I started reading Louise Erdrich’s The Night Watchman, which is one of the three physical library books that I had randomly checked out when our branches closed. (I’d started it when I first checked it out, but didn’t have the focus at the time.) I finished listening to a library audiobook of Celeste Ng’s excellent Everything I Never Told You, I scored two 5-pound sale bags of black beans at Safeway, my friend Lise is giving me a couple of tomato starts and I sit at home going almost nowhere and spending no money.

  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.

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.

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