Frugal From Morning ‘Til Night!

by Katy on July 13, 2024 · 19 comments

Yesterday was weird, as it started with a blow out pity party, (please refer to exhibit A) but ended up being productive and enjoyable by day’s end. I’d already planned on taking my daughter to lunch as I won’t be seeing her until next month and I’m too much of a helicopter mom to let that happen.

I had a bit left on a restaurant gift card from Christmas, which guided where we ate. The total with tip was $17, which I consider to be a bargain. We then stopped by my mother’s house for a quick but satisfying visit and called it good.

 

My next stop was the Powell’s Books on Hawthorne Boulevard to see if they wanted to buy any of the books from my after garage sale adventures a couple weeks ago. They chose enough for $29.50 in store credit, which I held onto for a future purchases. I’ve used Powell’s credit to buy Stumptown coffee beans at the downtown location in the past. I like the idea of transforming people’s discarded books into groceries, as it feels naughty but clever.

I also found a quarter on the sidewalk outside Powell’s!

 

I then slotted unsold books into a Little Free Library.

 

 

I also stopped by the library to pick up my hold copy of Alisa and Ian Karmel’s  T-Shirt Swim Club, which I’m now saving to read on the airplane. I’m friends with the authors’ proud mama and have heard terrific buzz surrounding this book.

 

 

My last stop was Fred Meyer to have keys made and pick up a couple pints of ice cream. My late in-laws have a sizable (and pricey) storage unit filled with stuff and there was just a single tiny key for the lock. I worried that this is a dangerous game to play, so I offered to get a pair of backup keys made to save the future cost and annoyance of hiring a locksmith.

 

 

You might be asking yourself, “Yes, but why is this errand ‘keys and ice cream?!’ “

I present exhibit B:

 

I can’t let these puppies expire!

I knew I’d be running these errands, but I did have one surprise, which is that Powell’s is hosting a “Summer Reading Challenge” for both kids and adults!

 

 

I don’t know if this is new to 2024, but I’m definitely going to play! After all, you get a $5 voucher for getting five-in-a-row on the bingo card. Plus you can enter to win a bigger prize if you achieve a “blackout.”

 

 

Free ice cream and a game to play? Turned out to not be too shabby of a day.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 19 comments }

Brain Dump — Feeling Unmotivated

by Katy on July 12, 2024 · 50 comments

Today’s blog post is a straight up brain dump (foot dump?) as my mind is scattered and I don’t have it in me to focus my thoughts into a coherent frugality post.

My Left Foot

Let’s start with my left foot, although not in a Daniel Day-Lewis way. I have a plantar fibroma, which took a couple years to diagnose as not being plantar fasciitis. I finally got an ultrasound guided steroidal injection in April of 2023, which helped tremendously, although it did take a week or so to fully take effect. Well it’s back, so I made an appointment this Wednesday with the same sports medicine doctor (sports, me?!) and got a repeat treatment.

Smart plan, right? Long term — yes, short term — OWWWW! Now I feel I’m both stepping on a Lego and that my left foot is acutely cramped. Am I explaining this well? Who knows, I’m just a hobbling self pitying woman with a long to-do list and a looming trip to NYC. Send strength and bagels.

Travel

This NYC trip is to help my sister with a project, but I’m feeling very unmotivated in the here and now. I am doing a couple loads of laundry at the moment so I can travel with clean clothing instead of day-three summer shorts, which I guess counts as productivity. I’ll unload the folded laundry directly into my suitcase which I consider to be a clever plan.

My husband is staying here in Portland, so I don’t have to button up the house and I’ll be traveling to my sister’s home, so I don’t need to worry about bringing random comfort items such as playing cards, a backup book, etc. These details make this trip easier to prepare for, so I suppose I should actively appreciate these aspects.

My thoughts are on my foot.

C’mon, Katy — End on a Positive Note

I did have a nice couple days, despite my foot.

• I socialized with two different neighbors, one of which included an almond croissant.
• I stopped by my father’s house and enjoyed a nice visit on the porch, which was pleasant as we’re finally past our heat wave. This included some Greek salad.
• I have a direct flight to NYC, so I won’t be stomping 10,000 steps through the Denver airport as I do when I fly to Nebraska.
• I continue to cook from scratch and not buy anything as I already own pretty much everything I need in life. I don’t require a cute new look for NYC and my thrifted suitcase’ll do the trick.
• A mother and baby raccoon crashed my backyard neighbor date, which was adorable but mildly frightening as I was worried that A) the mom would feel the need to protect her young, and B) rabies. She hiss/gurgled at us and went on her way. Still cute.

 

Brain dump. Sorry.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 50 comments }

Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on July 10, 2024 · 51 comments

  1. I sold a second pair of Adidas sneakers* from my evening of aprés-garage sale freebies. Not a fortune at $18, but still 100% profit since I got them for free. For those keeping track, this is what I’ve sold so far:

    • IKEA outdoor table — $50
    • Tempered glass coffee table — $20
    • REI suitcase — $50
    • Adidas Samba sneakers — $45
    • Random stuff to a consignment shop — $11.70
    • Adidas Sam Smith sneakers — $18

    Total — $194.70

  2. We avoided the temptation of takeout during Portland’s beastly heatwave, even going so far as to plug the Instant Pot into an outdoor outlet at one point. Front porch black beans? Yes, please!

  3. I’ll be going to NYC next week to help my sister with a project, so I’ve pulled out my Master Travel List™, which helps keep me from forgetting important items or tasks. I won’t actually need everything on this list, as my sister’s house is fully stocked, but it should help me avoid buying things I left at home.

    It’s currently sitting on the coffee table so I can jot down thoughts as they come to mind.

  4. • I chopped and froze four purple onions that were on the verge of retirement. This unfortunately flavored our ice cream, but we’re eating it anyway. Would not recommend.
    • My husband and I are keeping meticulous track of the money we’re spending for his father’s estate, to make sure we can be promptly (and properly) reimbursed when his house sells.
    • I ordered a pair of used Allbird sneakers from eBay and paid just $31 including shipping. They came and look brand new!

  5. I didn’t accept the airline’s offer to upgrade to first class for a mere 1,150 extra dollars.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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

* Referral link

{ 51 comments }

In addition to this blog, I also run a companion Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group, which is currently hovering around 79,000 members. New prospective members have to answer a simple question, which helps to weed out the ever present spammers. The answers are always interesting, so I’ve started saving them to share in blog posts. 

Enjoy!

  1. I was told of your existence and I am interested.

  2. I’d like to expand my practices of reusing and reduce my reliance on buying goods.

  3. I’d like to learn how to cut down on waste and what I buy.

  4. To be part of a like-minded community.

  5. I want to concentrate on decreasing my own consumerism.

  6. I would like to hear ideas on ways to reduce consumerism.

  7. I started following the blog, and love the vibe and content. I am pursuing financial independence and would love guidance for extracting my family from the capitalist consumerist morass that is middle class USA.

  8. The oldest of my four children starts college in August. I’ve got to ramp up the frugality because the current economic landscape has made our savings efforts feel like a drop of water in an ocean.

  9. I have read the blog for many years and since I am on Facebook occasionally I’d love to see what else Katy and her community have to say. I try to be mindful of consumption and the blog is inspirational for that.

  10. I started following the blog, and love the vibe and content. I am pursuing financial independence and would love guidance for extracting my family from the capitalist consumerist morass that is middle class USA.

  11. The oldest of my four children starts college in August. I’ve got to ramp up the frugality because the current economic landscape has made our savings efforts feel like a drop of water in an ocean.

  12. I’ve been reading your blog for many years. I’m a Portland person too. Can’t wait to learn more.

  13. I regularly follow the Non-Consumer Advocate blog and would enjoy reading comments from her Facebook followers.

  14. Frugality tips.

  15. Looking for ideas to stop bringing STUFF into my house, decluttering, and sourcing used things.

  16. I started on the frugal journey with the Tightwad Gazette and found that I just love not spending money foolishly. It was a game changer.

  17. Love the blog & comments.

  18. Long time lover of Katy’s blog.

  19. Been following the blog for some time. You mentioned the Facebook group in your post, which I’ve missed up until now.

  20. Just saw this, have followed the blog for years. Always up for learning new, frugal, ways.

  21. I love your blog which gives me constant inspiration. I’m looking to retire so am looking to save money by living more frugally.

  22. Love Katys blog. she is so creative!!

  23. Read your book and loved it. Always looking for ideas on how to purchase less and do more with what I have. (Cool . . . what book?)

  24. Striving to be frugal.

  25. More NCA Katy and commentariat? Yes please!

  26. I’ve always lived below my means and abhor debt. I have articles of clothing that are older than my children (who are in their 30s).

  27. Always up for encouragement and sharing of ways to repurpose, reuse, and recycle! Have followed blog for years, not much on commenting but checking blog is part of my routine!

  28. I follow your blog and would like to follow here, too, please.

  29. I enjoy your blog and look forward to learning more!

  30. Sharing inspiration with other non consumers!!

  31. I am already a non consumer and enjoy reading tips from others.

  32. I love your blog.

  33. I read your blog; didn’t realize you had a Facebook page too. (Though I’m trying to consume significantly less Facebook!)

  34. Interested in learning from others in this community!

  35. I love your blog and would love to hear more about saving money and the planet!

  36. I’ve been reading the blog for years and find it inspiring.

  37. Because I’m from the Midwest, where people are born to be frugal.

  38. I was in this group with my last account (Had to delete for personal reasons) and loved it. Had so much fun with all the stuff I learned and now have a small garden and wash my clothes by hand. I still have a lot to learn as I’m only a beginner in repairing my clothes and could use more thrifting and sewing help

  39. Inspiration.

  40. Because I love your blog and I also enjoy being a non consumer.

  41. For most of my life I’ve been a recycle/reuse advocate, but I want to reduce my carbon footprint further. Mixed in with my goal to be debt free by next year, and I’m eager to learn what I can to achieve that too.

  42. To consider my purchasing habits more frequently.

    I follow the blog and read about this group. Just want to check it out and get more frugal goodness.

  43. I like the blog and the reminder to quit buying sh!t.

  44. I try to lead a life of low consumption with a large family and am always happy to find a supportive community.

  45. It’s fun to hang with like-minded frugal folks.

  46. I have been reading the blog for over 10 years.

  47. I want to see something that’s not involving consumerism.

  48. My income is just social security. I need to stay out of the stores.

  49. I enjoy the blog. Your content helps keep me motivated to stay out of the stores.

  50. I read your blog and like trying to be more frugal and less wasteful.

  51. Money saving ideas, save the planet from crap.

  52. I search for ways to before frugal.

  53. To live more frugally than I already do as I am planning on retiring in the very near future.

  54. I read your interview on Kristen’s blog and was an Amy D’s TG original reader. A little about me…I’m a crazy, tight-but-generous multi- millionaire due to tightwaddery, and l live that way no matter how much money l have. I am a 30-year science teacher who almost never bought a lunch in a cafeteria at school (maybe a couple of times) who knows l missed out on nothing. I am a big fan of FB Marketplace! I consider being called a “tightwad” a compliment and give the “impression” from the outside that l made a lot of money. l retired early but still teach PT online for fun as an adjunct biology and chemistry teacher in high school and college. Hahaha, nope, never made much money compared to others… just worked for cheap and saved what l could along the way. My most recent frugal find…. two $1500 chairs each (still made) for $110 each that are absolutely stunning! My most recent splurge of yesterday is a $100+K Cybertruck for the husband. He is frugal too and l encouraged him to get it early and enjoy it. He has been waiting on Elon to get these out for 4 years. Go for it! His 500,000 mile work truck will be 25 years old in January and nothing is wrong with it. Cannot wait to learn some new info as we wait on the Cybertruck and the new Power Wall to join the old fleet… even though nothing is wrong with our current autos; they are mostly old and we keep them to loan to friends in need! Looking forward to your posts! JE

  55. I just retired and I need to really focus on not spending money.

  56. I’m always looking to up my frugal game.

  57. I’m always interested in intentional living.

  58. I follow the frugal girl, and have enjoyed your instagram!

  59. Friends of the frugal girl! 😉

  60. Interested in saving money and being good about the earth.

  61. I enjoy saving and being frugal as can be.

  62. I like learning about how to save money!

  63. I follow the Frugal Girl and tried to subscribe to your blog. It went into HTML and I wasn’t able to subscribe. So… Facebook it is!

  64. I am always looking for frugal living ideas.

  65. I am a long time reader of nonconsumer advocate, but not super active on FB. Decided more recently to try to be more active as there is a wealth of information available.

  66. To get inspiration to spend less.

  67. Based on your post from Kristen’s frugal girl.

  68. I just learned about you from Kristen’s blog. I love frugal wins.

  69. To save money.

  70. Read your reader post on frugal girl.

  71. I’m always looking for ways to use our money wisely.

  72. I want to be more frugal. I want to be encouraged and learn new ideas about frugality.

  73.  was just introduced to NonCA by the Frugal Girl, and am interested in learning more about her approach to frugality.

  74. I like Kristen’s blog.

  75. I found your website through The Frugal Girl website. I’m interested in a non-consumer lifestyle and would like to join to get ideas and find like-minded people who also are okay with not buying everything new.

  76. Looking to live a more frugal lifestyle.

  77. I’ve always been a frugal person and like others’ ideas.

  78. Because so am a frugal tightwad.

  79. To learn more about saving money and decreasing my environmental impact. I read the frugal girl and enjoyed your meet the reader post.

  80. Found you through The Frugal Girl blog. 🙂

  81. I try hard to be as non consumer as I can. Found you through Kristen.

  82. Love your blog.

  83. I try hard to be as non consumer as I can. Found you through Kristen.

  84. Just met you on The Frugal Girl’s blog and yours sounds appropriate for me!

  85. To hear and learn from like-minded people.

  86. Needs over wants advice.

  87. I am looking for ideas and support around dumping my high consumption lifestyle.

  88. I’ve read the non-consumer blog for years and have incorporated many of the ideas into my day-to-day life. Thanks for doing this!

  89. Newly retired and interested in frugal strategies.

  90. Looking for ways to be ‘cheap AF’ lol 😉

  91. Seeking more information.

  92. I found your blog through Frugal Girl’s website. I’m always looking for new ways to save money.

  93. Because I love saving money and our environment.

  94. I am trying to live a more eco conscious life.

  95. I am working on enhancing my frugal living skills.

  96. I’m always looking for new ways to reduce and repurpose items In my home, especially when it comes to food.

  97. I’m fascinated by it! Would love to learn more.

  98. For ideas and encouragement of this idea since I retired from nursing.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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

{ 11 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 8, 2024 · 87 comments

  1. Portland is in the midst of a heat wave, not as bad as the “heat dome” of 2021 when we hit multiple days of 114° to 116° F, but still crossing a line of of +/- 100° for five days in a row. (We’re already on day #3) Perhaps you’re reading this from Texas, Arizona or Australia and scoff at these numbers, but you need to understand that the majority of Oregonians do not have central air conditioning. Yes, my husband and I are lucky enough to own window units for the bedrooms, but we can’t just hole up in bed all day. So this means fans, lots of them.

    • I run the “summer fan” function on the furnace, which brings up relatively cool air from the basement.

    • I switched our living room light fixture over to a ceiling fan two years ago and you know I’m running that puppy 24 hours/day! And yeah, I got it from someone in my Buy Nothing group!

    • I have an air purifier in the dining room and am running it on high.

    • Lastly I have a standard fan that I’m running in the living room, windows open in the mornings and then closed as the weather heats up.

    Why don’t we install central air conditioning? The average cost in Oregon is $5850, so yeah . . .

    Update: My husband installed the AC unit from our daughter’s old bedroom into our dining room and it was the best decision ever! Duh.

  2. Someone in my Buy Nothing group offered up two cans of Oregon brand dark sweet cherries, so I’m going to walk over to pick them up this evening. (After it cools down a bit!) I love this brand, as the graphics are reminiscent of vintage advertisements, and I’ve even seen people use them as bookends! Plus they’re normally $8 apiece! I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, (pie?) but they’ll be pretty to look at until I make up my mind.

  3. I sold the curb picked IKEA office chair for $60 and most of a vintage Plycraft chair for $125. I’d originally planned to refurbish the chair myself, but the motivation evaporated from my soul. I’m happy to pass it along to someone else, especially since I got it for free.

  4. • I finished reading Sleeping Giants, by Rene Denfeld and added it to my pile of books to try and sell to Powell’s Books.

    • I started reading  The Last Train to Key West from the library.

    • I abandoned a Libby audiobook as the pacing was excruciating and the main character was wooden. Even though I was six hours into it!

    • I downloaded Emily Henry’s Funny Story through Libby.

  5. I didn’t rent a set to make it appear that I fly in my own private plane.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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

{ 87 comments }

Frugal Hacks Through The Years

by Katy on July 5, 2024 · 138 comments

I’ve been working the art (and science) of extreme frugality since 1998, when my youngest was born and I realized I needed to pull it together financially. It’s been an interesting 26 years, as many of the frugal hacks I used to employ have gone the way of the dodo bird. Luckily, new money saving methods do pop up with regularity. It mostly balances itself out, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a bummer when things change for the worse.

This lesson hit home last Monday when my husband and I drove over to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden for a picnic lunch. Mondays have been “pay what you will” for a number of years and Tuesdays used to be free. This I remember clearly as I’d often bring my kids there on Tuesdays when they were little and we were dead broke.

My husband and I walked up to the entry booth and were succinctly informed that Mondays were now full price admission at $8.95 apiece, (unless you qualify for their Community Access Program.) I sighed and said “I miss when it was free.” The volunteer lowered her voice, looked me straight in the eye and said “it was never free.” There was no point in responding to this misinformation, so my husband and I crossed the street to Reed College and found a lesser shady spot to enjoy our food.

This led to me ruminating on some of the frugal things that we used to do, most of which is in the rear view mirror.

For example:

• The Oregonian newspaper marked their 150th year of publication in the summer of 2000 by publishing a special coupon every Thursday, one of which was for a free Oaks Amusement Park ride bracelet. Oddly, the expiration date wasn’t until Labor Day of that year. I drove to Fred Meyer that morning and bought a huge stack of newspapers and clipped these precious coupons! We spent that summer enjoying the amusement park, which should’ve been out of our price range, as the ride bracelets were normally around $12 apiece.

• We live walking distance to an iconic Portland movie theater, operating since 1927. They used to exclusively play second run movies, which were priced at $3/adult and $1/youth. They’d also screen 3 P.M. kid’s movies on the weekends, which meant my husband or I could walk the kids to the movies and spent just $5. Sadly they refurbished the theater and now play first run movies at standard pricing. ($11.50/adult, $8.50 youth) I miss $3 movies.

• The Franz Bakery Outlet offers a frequent buyer punch card and they’d do double punches on Tuesdays, so of course that’s when I did my bread shopping.. They got a new manager a couple years ago and he put a stop to double punches.

• Krispy Kreme gave away glazed donuts with a Covid-19 vaccination card for the entirety of 2021. This was fun as the two Portland area locations are both located next to Goodwills.

• Portland has some great outdoor public pools. (Although a couple pools have since closed, which is a shame.) A summer pass was a significant expenditure for us at the time, so I’d always wait until July 1st to buy a prorated pass as the cost was significantly less. Until then we’d just attend the once a week free sessions or the $1 Tuesday sessions. I believe this frugal hack still works.

• The Multnomah County Library system used to have a small branch that sold “retired” library books. It was called “Title Wave” and it was magnificent as the books were priced at just a couple bucks apiece. (Magazines were 10¢ – 25¢!) It was located in an historic Carnegie library with antique oak detailing, which made the experience extra special. They switched it back to a neighborhood branch a couple years ago.

• We didn’t have cable TV when the kids were young, (and streaming services certainly didn’t exist.) Instead we’d rent movies from the library, making sure to keep a number on hold at all times, so we’d always have something to watch when the mood struck. We watched so many amazing movies and television shows this way and never once felt deprived. This frugal hack definitely still works!

 

Luckily, the internet makes it possible to search for new frugal things, which was certainly not the case in 1998. For every one thing that goes away, two things seem to take its place. I welcome the addition of Buy Nothing groups, free streaming services, digital coupons and so on, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the old ways. I guess that’s just the nature of the beast, as the only constant is change.

Have you noticed that the frugal hacks you used to rely on are no longer so  . . . reliable? Please share your thoughts and own personal hacks (both old and new) in the comments section below!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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

P.S. I miss the glorious few months when IKEA had a free café latte machine.

{ 138 comments }

Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on July 3, 2024 · 31 comments

  1. My friend Summer and I took bags o’random stuff to sell to a local consignment shop. My stuff was 99% garage sale freebies, so any money I get is a sweet bonus. I’ll find out later today how much they bought, so I’ll update this blog post this evening.

  2. Kristen from The Frugal Girl tagged my Instagram account asking if I also combine old and new soap together.

    This was my answer. Because, c’mon . . . what am I, a Rockefeller?

  3. My friend Lise and I went for a walk after dinner last night. I brought home three Oui yogurt jars, a half dozen or so books for my little free library and an American Bungalow magazine from 1996. It’s not possible for a magazine about hundred-year-old houses to become outdated, so the publication date doesn’t matter. I live in a 1914 craftsman bungalow, so this magazine is fun to flip through for ideas and inspiration.

    I’ve seen people do simple cute macrame with Oui jars for plant propagation, so I thought I’d give it a try. Now to source some free twine!

  4. • Someone put a copy of Rene Denfeld’s Sleeping Giants in my little free library, which was fortuitous as I was already on hold for her book through the library!
    • My husband is out of town to deal with his father’s estate, so I cooked a small amount of pinto beans in the Instant Pot for a #cheapaf taco-ish dinner.
    • I saw an Instagram reel that recommended adding a cutting of pothos to encourage faster root growth when propagating plants. (Apparently they high have a high concentration of  rooting hormone?) I figured I had nothing to lose, so I added a sprig of pothos to all my jars of propagating plants.

  5. No Cybertrucks, no Lear Jets, no aesthetic plastic surgery.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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

{ 31 comments }

Non-Consumer Photo Essay

by Katy on July 2, 2024 · 17 comments

It’s time for another Non-Consumer Photo Essay, because who doesn’t enjoy looking at pictures?

First off, I’m featured over at The Frugal Girl, as part of her “Meet A Reader” series.

Click HERE to read the full interview.

 

 

How cute were we in 2014?

 

 

I sold a pair of after-garage-sale-freebie sneakers for $45 on eBay.

 

 

I cleaned up this curb picked chair and got it looking as good as new. It’s now listed on Facebook Marketplace and based on how many people are messaging me about it, I should have it sold by tomorrow. However, there are always a lot of “I love this chair, can I come by for it?” people who simply disappear off the face of the earth, so I never count my chickens.

 

 

I drove past a neighbor’s curbside pile yesterday and walked back in the evening to see if the terra cotta pots were still up for grabs. Surprisingly they were, which was great as I have a windowsill crowded with rooting starts that’ll need to be planted in the near future.

 

 

Portland is on the edge of a heatwave, which can be a challenge as very few of us have whole house air conditioning. However, 2021’s “heat dome” weather event gave us all a new perspective on “how hot is too hot” as 116° resets your perspective!

 

 

Good thing a big ol’ jug of sun tea takes less than 20¢ from start to finish. Plus it doesn’t heat up your kitchen!

 

Did you click the link to read my interview with The Frugal Girl? You should.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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

{ 17 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 1, 2024 · 36 comments

  1. Portland began offering curbside pickup for battery recycling. I’ve recycled my batteries for free at IKEA over the past number of years, but they sadly stopped offering this service. I’ve photographed the city’s instructions for any Portlanders who might not have received this news.

  2. I ordered a free takeout “Bryan’s Bowl” from ¿Porque No? using a pair of punch cards that I probably started over a year ago. They’re just a standard Mexi-bowl, yet are somehow so much more delicious than the ones I create at home.

  3. I curb picked a $269 IKEA Långjfäll conference chair with a bit of staining. I’ll hopefully be able to clean up the upholstery and get it spiffy enough for resale.

  4. • My neighbors put six canning jars in their recycling bin, which I promptly brought home and added to my stash of canning supplies.
    • I brought home five stainless steel wall hooks from someone’s crowded table of basement discards. They’re very handy to keep on hand and take up almost no room.
    • I found a penny at my son’s soccer field.
    • My son tested negative for Covid, a mere three days after first testing positive. We did buy a five-pack of tests and I expected we’d need more, but such is not the case.

  5. I didn’t buy a Cybertruck.

    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 Teeny Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on June 29, 2024 · 43 comments

  1. There were two quarters, a dime and a penny in the grocery store change return the other day. I asked the cashier if he was allowed to keep it, to which he replied “no.” I then asked if I was allowed to keep it and he told me to “go for it!”

    This was already an especially frugal shopping trip as I was paying with a $25 Safeway e-card I’d earned through the Fetch* app. My total bill was $25.02, so . . . two pennies spent to begin with.

  2. I listed a couple more items on eBay that I scavenged after last weekend’s neighborhood garage sale. 

    • A Bose remote control*.

    • A decent condition pair of Women’s Bambas Adidas sneakers*.

    I have people contacting me about the garbage picked midcentury chair and the after-garage-sale REI suitcase through messenger, so I’m guessing those’ll sell within the next week. The eBay items might take awhile to sell, but my policy is to “list it and forget it.” It’s a favor to my future self.

    Edit: I sold the suitcase for $50!

  3. • I gave away a graphing calculator through my Buy Nothing group.
    • I was given a wooden accordian-style wine rack through the Buy Nothing group. I’m thinking it’ll be cool storage for something other than wine. Not sure what, but I’ll figure something out in time.

    • Three groups came and took the very last of my free wood chip mulch yesterday, which was a relief as there’d been sooooo much to begin with! Remember how the wood chips were as tall as my garage door and as wide as the entire driveway?

  4. I loaned our cheesecake pans to a neighbor. No need for everyone to own their own infrequently used items. Another neighbor will be borrowing our wheelbarrow for an upcoming project.

  5. I didn’t buy a teeny tiny Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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

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{ 43 comments }