Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 10, 2021 · 93 comments

  1. I put a massive effort into selling stuff over that past month and it’s really paid off, as I sold over $2500 through eBay and Facebook Marketplace. I enjoy selling for the increased income, but mostly I value ensuring that still usable items stay in circulation instead of being dumped into landfills.

    Here are five of my favorite sales, not just because of the money, but because these unique items would have otherwise languished.

    • An empty Game Cube “Teen Titan” box. Because someone had the game disc but no box!
    • A “Collette” plush from the 2007 movie “Ratatouille.” Because it went to Norway, and I love that this specific Goodwill toy was exactly what some Norwegian person was looking for.
    • A pair of antique framed botanical prints that used to hang above our bed. Because it would have been easy to set them aside after my husband and I renovated our bedroom, but instead I listed them and quickly got them into the hands of someone who’d love them.
    • This vintage aluminum roaster lid. Because there had to be someone out there with the bottom but not the top.
    • This vintage 1980s ski suit. Because it looked like a wardrobe piece from Hot Tub Time Machine, and made made laugh. Also because it weighed almost nothing which made it a Goodwill Outlet “bins” bargain.

  2. I’ve been really good about cooking from scratch, as well as avoiding food waste. Being at home almost all the damned time means there are few opportunities to rationalize take out meals or drive through.

    It turns out that never going anywhere is an insanely frugal life choice. Also boring. Super boring. Yes, I’m willing to do it for the sake of humanity. But boring.

    My most recent impressively frugal meal was a large pot of delicious black bean soup that incorporated:

    • A cup or so of leftover rice.
    • Four or five tiny cups of leftover hot sauces from our Taco Tuesdays.
    • A quart of homemade chicken stock from a Costco roasted chicken.
    • Chopped pickled jalapeño peppers and carrots, also from our last Taco Tuesday.
    • The last of a bag of frozen corn kernels.
    • The shards from the bottom of a tortilla chip bag.

    Needless to say, the black beans were a bulk purchase from Winco, and we continue to hit up Su Casa Tacqueria for their $1 tacos on Tuesdays. Because there’s only so much cooking I can do before my brain implodes.

  3. I turned 53 last week, so my husband and I masked up and spent the day hitting different Goodwills. I scored a ton of great stuff, mostly for resale. (A rattan chair for $1.99! An entire new-old-stock bolt of IKEA fabric for $12.50! A $30 like-new pair of Doc Martin boots for my daughter!) My husband bought a “new” snow shovel to replace our broken one. You’d have thought he won the lottery from his excitement.

    We also drove through Starbucks for a free birthday caramel macchiato, which I shared with my son as it was enormous and cloyingly sweet.

    My husband then made dinner at home (salmon, rice and brussels sprouts) and we spent the evening watching “Star Trek: Discovery” through our free 30-day trial of CBS All Access.

  4. My husband built me a Little Free Library for my birthday from our basement’s never ending supply of woodworking leftovers, I hauled home an antique shelf that someone put out for free, I then used wood glue and clamps to fix the aforementioned shelf, I went for a couple walks with my friend Lise as she was dog sitting over the weekend, I finished listening to Recipe For a Perfect Wife through the library’s free Libby app and I sold the $1.99 rattan chair for $35.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or incite insurrection from my gold plated bunker in the sky.

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 December 28, 2020 · 96 comments

  1. I’ve sold a ton of stuff through both eBay and Facebook Marketplace. My son’s very last college tuition payment is due on January first and I’ve been madly scraping together all I can to pay this looming bill in full.

    It would be great if I could source a couple of thousand dollar items at Goodwill, but so far this holy grail has eluded me. Until then I’ll have to enjoy the sales of these $90 shoes, this $45 vintage fabric or these $50 antique botanical prints. Better a fast nickel than a slow dime.

  2. I had a plan to hold out on haircuts during the pandemic as an experiment to see how long it would grow, but I reached my snapping point today as it was constantly tangled and braids made my scalp ache. (How Willie Nelson does it I’ll never know!)

    So I handed my 22-year-old son a pair of haircutting scissors, (a splurge from when the kids were toddlers) and gave him loose instructions for a below the shoulders blunt cut. I’ve had my son trim my hair before, but this chop job was a matter of eight or so inches. I have to say that he did a terrific job and I am 100% satisfied. No more “sister wife” aesthetic for me . . . well, except for my demure and respectful calico smocks.

  3. We gave minimal gifts for the holidays, and most of what we did give were consumables or practical gifts. Our son had asked for an expensive digital drawing tablet in November, and we’d said “sure” as it was school related. However, we let him know that this $300 purchase would serve as his “anchor” gift. (We’ve traditionally done an “anchor” gift, along with a smattering of “satellite” gifts.) He was super happy to receive such as substantial item, and my husband and I decided to gift the same thing to our daughter who also studied digital art in college. This electronic tool will help both kids to level up their skills and digital art careers as they transition into adulthood.

  4. My son and I drove through McDonald’s for some free McNuggets as the local basketball team had scored more than 100 points, I paid the bi-annual $86 to my neighbor as our half of the shared garbage bill, I cut off the back of my shredded Keen slippers and sewed blanket stitches over the raw fabric to transform them into “slip-ons,” I signed up for a free 30-day subscription to CBS All Access so my family could watch the latest season of Star Trek: Discovery, (I also made sure to add “cancel CBS All Access” onto next month’s calendar) my husband fixed a leaking spot on our roof rather than hiring out the job, I gave away a calendar and some card games through my Buy Nothing Group and also received a couple bags of bubble wrap from said group, my husband brought home catered leftovers from his all-day Christmas shift and we’ve been keeping up with our Taco Tuesday tradition with $1 tacos from a local cart, even though I’ve mostly abstained as I’m happy to eat what we already have.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold plated apartment in the sky.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 96 comments }

Merry Christmas

by Katy on December 25, 2020 · 18 comments

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate! May the sacrifices to stay away from friends and family this year make it all the sweeter when we can see one another in person again.

Until then, enjoy your Cowboy elf ornament. My sister’s gift My gift to you.

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 December 5, 2020 · 89 comments

So sorry that my blogging schedule has devolved to the far side of infrequent, but my focus has been on family, health and hearth.

  1. I’ve continued to sell things here and there on eBay, including a handful of items pulled from “free boxes,” (ski gloves, ski bindings, a book, a Christmas stocking and a set of brand new bathroom handles) as well as a few goofy Goodwill finds such as a Miller Lite Christmas sweater, a pair of brand new (but still creepy) “Five Finger” Vibram sneakers; plus a $25 mug and a $35 mug, both of which sold to international buyers!

    My favorite sale was a high-end Nyjah Huston skateboard that I picked up for $30 and sold for $165. This one was through Facebook Marketplace.

  2. I’ve barely even started any holiday shopping. I have a couple of ideas, but am otherwise completely uninspired to gift for the sake of gifting. We have whittled down the number of people with whom we exchange gifts, which helps.

    As an agnostic Jewish person who practices non-consumerism, the “holiday season” doesn’t really speak to me and I struggle with this disconnect every year. There are certainly elements of the holiday season that I enjoy, so I’m hoping to take the opportunity of this bizarro year as a reset. Keep the traditions that my family enjoys and ditch the rest.

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

  3. I’m been pretty much staying home all day every day, which is what needs to happen in the Covid era, but is a challenge for someone who enjoys being out and about. My husband and daughter are essential workers and my son is a full-time university student, so I’m the one coordinating everyone’s lives.

    Housewife? Life coach? Couch potato? Laundry fairy? Leaf gatherer? Morale officer? Mediocre chef? Titanic deck chair rearranger? You name it, I’m that person!

    However, I maintain that staying home all the damned time counts as a frugal win as gas station fill ups have dwindled, as have expenses adjacent to doing anything outside the house. I don’t have an online shopping habit, so pretty much all of our purchases fall under the category of “grocery.”

    This may sound depressing, (and at times it can be) but there’s always enough to keep me occupied. As long as I have my healthy body, quality streaming television, a telephone connection to family and free library audiobooks I cannot complain about being bored. Especially when I live in a 2200-square-foot house on a biggish lot. I am constantly aware of how lucky we are to be healthy in our safe home, so I have no right to complain about anything. Seriously.

  4. I listened to a couple different audiobooks through the library free Libby app, (they were neither good enough to recommend nor terrible enough to complain about) we happily gobbled up all the Thanksgiving leftovers, (even though I purchased a smaller turkey and parceled out extra servings for my mother and step father) my son went through some boxes from the attic and donated a ton of stuff to Goodwill, my hair hasn’t been cut for about a year, (I’ve decided that I’m starting to resemble a “sister wife”) I used the targeted free coupons from Fred Meyer (Kroger) on dull items such as eggs and broccoli, I went for a few socially distanced walks with my friend Lise, I’m wearing my free Patagonia fleece jacket that I pulled from a free pile last summer and we continue to treat ourselves to $1 tacos from a local cart every Tuesday!

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold plated apartment in the sky.

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 November 19, 2020 · 107 comments

  1. I sold a few things on eBay including:

    • An Anthropology mug to a buyer in France. $25

    • An unused pair of Birkenstock arch support inserts. $20

    • Two yards of thrifted Ikea fabric, which is a specific category that’s consistently sold well for me. $35

    • A 1990 American Splendor comic book. $25

    • A midcentury rosewood candlestick. $20

    • A merino wool sweater that required a mend from me. $20

    • A pair of beaten, but collectible Nike sneakers. $30

    • An antique fraternity paddle. $50

    • A pair of ornate silk slippers. $25

    • A 1998 Backstreet Boys concert T-shirt. $60

    • A vintage Revere Ware saucepan. (This link will show you how to identify the vintage pieces.) $25
    • A long sleeve NASA T-shirt. $20

    • A jumble of collectible plastic horses. $40

    • More playing cards from a Ticket To Ride board game that I’ve been piecing out. $5

    You may notice that there’s pretty much zero pattern to what I sell, other than A) It can’t be too finicky to ship, B) I try not to sell anything for under $20 and C) Buy low, sell high.

  2. I summoned up my courage and hit Winco for a big grocery trip yesterday, but try as I might I couldn’t hit the $100 necessary to earn a free turkey. My plan had been to stock up on certain non-perishables if I was close, but since my filled-to-the-brim cart was barely over $60 I bit the bullet and paid for my turkey. We don’t have Aldi in Oregon, which is a bummer as I hear so much great stuff about them, but Winco is an amazingly cheap regional chain that carries all the major brands, features a sizable bulk food section and (this is my favorite part) is employee owned.

    Another thing I love about my beloved Winco, is that they seem to be exclusively located in low income areas. (At least here in Portland.) You read so much about food deserts across America, which are “geographic areas where residents’ access to affordable, healthy food options (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) is restricted or nonexistent due to the absence of grocery stores within convenient traveling distance.” Offering inexpensive quality groceries in traditionally underserved areas? Respect!

  3. I watched a number of YouTube videos from a couple of different side income dudes, (and yes, they are unappealing “dude” guys) who’ve found financial success “flipping couches” as a side hustle. I have neither the upper body strength nor the ownership of a truck to work this into my routine, (not to mention I’m taking the latest lockdown very seriously.) However it did inspire me to unzip and launder the cushions on my own couch, which resulted in a marked improvement. The cushions hadn’t seemed particularly nasty, but they sure look a hell of a lot better than before. I call that a frugal win!

  4. I brought home a free curbside wooden cedar planter and then transplanted the overgrown and leggy sedum into a different flowerpot, I rescued an orange Fiestaware enamel bowl that was rusting away in my father’s greenhouse, I gave bouquets of backyard hydrangeas to all my neighbors and the woman at my favorite taco cart, I incorporated the last dribbles of a large number of fridge items into some meatloaf which not only made it tastier, but served to empty the fridge in readiness for Thanksgiving, and in the same vein as “don’t replace, just clean/repair what you already own” I scrubbed my stainless steel tea kettle back to a mirror finish using Barkeeper’s Friend.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or refuse to admit that I’m being evicted from my gold plated apartment in the sky.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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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. 

{ 107 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 13, 2020 · 95 comments

  1. I sold a large number of items, thanks in part to cross posting to Facebook Marketplace and taking advantage of a current promotion where Facebook eats the cost of shipping for your first ten sales. However, I believe this offer is just for people who’ve proven their responsibility with a record of selling and receiving feedback from previous buyers.

    I’d been hesitant to use Facebook Marketplace for non-local sales as it seemed like an extra layer of annoyance, but I watched a YouTube seller’s video where the guy talked about increased Marketplace sales which he attributed to professional level photos, which set him apart from other sellers. My eBay photos are decent, (far from professional) so I thought I’d throw a couple items up on Marketplace to test this theory. I quickly made three sales on things that had been collecting dust, so I’ll continue to cross post even after I’ve burned through my free shippings.

  2. My husband and I drove to Costco to get our printer ink cartridges refilled and then sat in the car listening to the latest Office Ladies podcast while waiting the hour and a half for them to be ready. Sure, we killed a bit of time picking up exciting items such as cat food and litter, yogurt and honey, but there was still an interminable amount of leftover time. Sadly, we called this a “date night.”

  3. I bought a vintage copper and brass Goodwill tray and treated it to a beauty makeover. It really was in deeply rough condition, so I polished it up using my trusty can of powdered Barkeeper’s Friend. (This miracle powder is sent from the gods!) The bright coppery tray now sits on a side table that oddly requires a extra horizontal surface and is now the perfect spot for a steaming cup of hot tea.

    Click HERE to see the before-and-after photos!

  4. I gave away a wooden bench through my local Buy Nothing group, I grabbed a nice Carhartt shirt from a neighbor’s free box, I’m listening to the audiobook of Sophie Kinsella’s Love Your Life through the free Libby app, I sold two huge terra cotta flowerpots that someone had put out for free, (which then inspired me to sell a couple extras of my own) I grabbed a new looking toaster from a different neighbor’s free pile, I treated myself to a lightly used pair of LL Bean shearling slippers on eBay, I brought home and washed an abandoned knit cap, I mended a small hole in a wool sweater which then quickly sold on eBay, I swung by the Franz Bakery outlet and scored my husband’s favorite organic 70-jillion grain bread for a buck a loaf, I was gifted a guitar stand for my son through the Buy Nothing group and I continue to go an extended period without a haircut. I swear my hair will reach my toes by the time this pandemic ends.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or barricade myself in a gold plated apartment in the sky.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 95 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 28, 2020 · 100 comments

  1. My husband and I have been busy finishing repairs and then painting our bedroom over the past few weeks. This is far from a “Frugal Thing” as the project involved more than just a “lick of paint.” (Any Wallace and Gromit fans out there?) Anyway, we finally slept in our bedroom last night for the first time in two months and readers, it was glorious.

    I guess we did save a tremendous amount of money by not hiring out any of the jobs which include electrical wiring, plaster repair and painting. So I change my mind, this was absolutely a “Frugal Thing!” Also, beyond a new sets of sheets, (which were actually a generous gift from my mother) I didn’t use redoing the bedroom as rationalization to buy any stuff whatsoever. It’s actually the complete opposite as I used it as an excuse to get rid of stuff.

    I’ll be writing up a full “before and after” blog post in the near future, but for now let me just share that any project that takes a room from “hot dog” to “dove grey” is a guaranteed winner. Please enjoy the above teaser photo!

  2. I went thrifting to a couple different Goodwills with my college friend Maura and ended up picking up a random assortment of items which quickly sold on eBay. Like this Bushnell speed gun and this 1999 Michael Graves for Target candlestick. Seriously, so very random!

    People in Oregon and Washington are mostly really good about wearing masks and social distancing, so I’ve felt safe the few times that I’ve hit up my local Goodwills. We always drive our own vehicles and then keep our distance while hanging out. It’s a watered down form of socializing, but necessary and responsible in the Covid era.

  3. I gave away a number of items through my Buy Nothing Group including four standard wine glasses, (I’d thrifted four artisan made glasses which were the same as a long-broken pair that my husband and I received as a wedding gift in nineteen-ought-four) a cute leather purse I never wore and then an unused kitchen knife that no one here remembers buying.

  4. My husband and I continue to hit up Su Casa Tacqueria for $1 takeout tacos on Tuesdays, I gave my mother a new-in-package (but thrifted) hummingbird feeder for her birthday, I sold two more pairs of my husband’s old prescription glasses on eBay, I listened to a couple more audiobooks through the library’s free Libby app, (Island of the Blue Dolphins and Evvie Drake Starts Over) I ran into the Lloyd Center Dollar Tree store to stock up on shampoo and conditioner as it’s practically next door to the Goodwill where Maura and I were thrifting and lastly I grabbed two huge terra cotta planters that a neighbor put out for free.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a super disease spreading, debt ridden or vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 100 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 8, 2020 · 107 comments

  1. My daughter turned twenty five and invited five friends over for a socially distanced celebration in the backyard. I offered to help and put a tremendous amount of thought into how to create a lovely event where Covid-19 safety wouldn’t be sacrificed in the name of fun.

    I went back and forth on how to achieve this bizarro world goal and finally landed on everyone having their own individually packaged appetizers and entrées. I 100% didn’t want a situation where multiple guests were reaching their hands into the same bowl, so my daughter and I stopped at Dollar Tree and grabbed bags of crunchy snacks, which I then separated into individual portions. (Oh . . .  did I mention that everything had to be gluten free, and preferably also vegan? Sigh . . . ) Luckily we came across Munch Rights brand “puffs,” which checked both boxes. (Okay, this is a straight up lie, as the “cheddar” version isn’t vegan, so I substituted tortilla chips for the single vegan guest.) We also bought a couple packages of those weird sweetened rice krispie cylinders, which proved to be both vegan and gluten free. I then bagged everybody’s snacks into small paper bags.

    I hand rolled massive amounts of sushi, which got packaged into individual to-go boxes from the deli section of our nearby grocery store. Sushi may sound like an expensive choice, (and it certainly would have been had I bought it from a restaurant) but it’s actually crazy cheap when you make it from scratch.

    I chose to bake gluten-free cupcakes instead of a single cake, (The Pillsbury “Funfetti” mix is both A) inexpensive and B) not disgusting) as these too would be distinct items and therefor safer than a single shared cake.

    I know this all sounds bizarre, but it was a massive hit. Everyone thought it was super fun to be handed their own individual food packs upon arrival, which was kind of cute.

    I admit that the bathroom was an issue, as there’s no way to host people without one. However, I kept the exhaust fan running throughout the party, required masks, switched out the hand towel a couple times and sanitized touched surfaces (flush handle, doorknobs, faucet and handles) throughout the evening.

    I don’t want to come across as bragging, (another lie as I’m totally bragging) but I stepped outside at one point and accidentally interrupted a conversation about how I’m “the cool mom.”

  2. I carried an end table to the corner and stuck a “FREE” sign on it. That sucker was gone in under five minutes.

  3. I was going a bit stir crazy one evening, so I grabbed my favorite mask and drove down to the main Goodwill store. The store was eerily empty, as were the shelves which had a decidedly “picked over” look to them. Didn’t matter though, as I figured that I could still wander around and shoot photos for my Instagram feed. I stepped into the kitchenware aisle and spied a darling vintage enamel teapot that looked suspiciously like a CathrineHolm specimen, although with an unfamiliar pattern. Priced at just $4.99 it was worth the gamble. I brought it home and discovered it to be the rare “Saturn” pattern and worth $200.

    Not too shabby for a supposedly picked over thrift shop.

  4. I’ve been binge watching YouTube videos from Laura and Selena over at The Recycled Life, which satisfies the need to give my brain a break from the upsetting daily news cycle, my college friend Maura and I walked around Fort Vancouver together while catching up on one another’s lives, (even hitting the free aviation museum since it was basically empty) I gave away the last of some silkscreening equipment through my Buy Nothing group, I accidentally made an overly enormous pot of red lentil soup, but somehow served it enough times to avoid any food waste and I decided that I’m going to follow CDC recommendations and not hand out candy to trick or treaters this Halloween.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a super spreading, debt ridden or 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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{ 107 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 28, 2020 · 119 comments

  1. I sold a few things, my favorite of which was a bike that had been collecting dust in my basement since we’d schlepped our son home from college in March. It was my favorite sale, not because of any profit for me, but because it was a nebulous item, as it belonged to my son’s old roommate who’d moved back to Texas in December. He didn’t want the bike sent to him, but it didn’t feel right for us to simply sell it. Instead, my son’s roommate told him to sell it and for the two of them to split the proceeds.

    However, my husband had pieced the bike apart in order to jam it into our overfilled minivan. He finally reassembled the bike, which allowed me to research, test, photograph and then list it. Three days on Facebook Marketplace and my son and his friend both have an extra hundred bucks in pocket, and mama has one less inanimate object in her basement.

    But really, my favorite part of this transaction is that it took a dusty unused item and put it into the hands of someone who both wanted and needed it. As a reseller, I feel that I play an important role in getting specific secondhand goods to buyers, which is vital in a world where the overproduction of consumer goods is destroying our planet.

  2. I used secondhand supplies to mail out all my eBay sales, and for one particular item used a padded mailer that had originally been received by my sister, who then used it to mail something to me. I also picked up a huge bag of bubble wrap from a local business, plus received a smaller bag from my next door neighbor. I thanked her up, down and sideways, telling her that “free bubble wrap is my love language.”

    Without people who give these shipping supplies a second life, all this stuff would go into dumpsters and landfills.

  3. I listened to a couple different audiobooks through the free Libby app that I pay for with my county taxes. I motored through Rosamund Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers, (an old favorite) and then started and stopped listening to a few that weren’t my style until landing on Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews.

    I really don’t have the attention span to read physical books lately, but am easily able to handle audiobooks, which keep me company while I putter around the house, cook and clean, run errands, lay in a fetal position sucking my thumb or work on a puzzle.

  4. My friend gave me enough apples from her backyard tree to make two delicious apple crisps, (Thanks, Lise!) I gave away a tool table, a bag of glue sticks, a dozen or so fancy rice pouches, (again from my son’s roommate) and a box of books through my neighborhood’s Buy Nothing group, I used my step mother’s power washer to blast away the anaerobic stank and maggots that had inhabited our yard debris can, (gag!) and I picked up a frustrating 1000-piece Gustav Klimt puzzle at Goodwill that I’m now assembling to confirm that it’s complete before I sell it.

    It goes without saying that I basically went nowhere and did nothing and ate my own boring cooking, especially during the week and a half when Portland, Oregon was choking on smoke from area forest fires.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a traitorous, secretly debt ridden or 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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{ 119 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 16, 2020 · 91 comments

  1. I sold a few things here and there, although nothing individually impressive as my thrifting has greatly diminished lately due to the convergence of Coronavirus and the hazardous breathing conditions here in Oregon. (Fresh inventory generally sells better than stale listings.) Unless stated otherwise, everything was sourced from one of Portland’s amazing Goodwill stores.

    Here’s what sold:

    • A large aerial map of Alaska’s Bristol Bay that I picked up at a Goodwill Outlet pay-by-the-pound store at least six months ago. It was part of a large tangle of maps that another customer had grabbed, but discarded this one for some reason. It weighed next to nothing, so I’d estimate that I spent 15¢ on it. It sold locally to someone who travels up to Alaska each year to work on a fishing vessel. $20

    • Another pair of my husband’s old prescription glasses that he no longer wears due to vision changes. (They were Oakley brand, which I makes them more desirable.) This is one of those oddball eBay categories that’s consistently sold well for me. Opticians can fit used frames with new prescription lenses, so this detail doesn’t matter. If you have a jumble of outdated prescription glasses in your junk drawer, you might as well give this one a try. $45

    • A set of darling vintage acorn carved wooden bookends. $20

    • A length of wool fabric that I’d sold once before and had accepted as a return. $45

    • A lot of my daughter’s old Shonen Jump magazines. I give her the money whenever I sell her stuff. $35 

    • A book of Patrick Nagel art that I also picked up at a Goodwill Outlet store. $25

    • A pair of vintage Canoe Muffin ice tea spoons that I plucked from a bin of Goodwill silverware. $20

    • A small golden Homer Simpson figure that’s leftover from a huge bag of collectible figures that I picked up for maybe $7.99 last year. (One sold for $75 and there were probably 40 others in the bag.) The valuable ones sold almost immediately, and these last few ones sell for not much. $5

    • More of my son’s textbooks. I still have six unsold books, but these have been selling at a good clip. I give him the money whenever I sell his stuff. $12, $30, $23, $15

    • A designer purse that my college best friend received from her step mother. She didn’t want it and gave it to me as “Do you want this, maybe you can sell it?” gift. $110

    • A pair of Starbucks mugs that took way too long to sell. I won’t be picking these up again. $17.99

    • A vintage chrome foil/paper towel/wax paper dispenser that took up way too much space in my eBay inventory corner. $30

    • A set of professional level dominos that I somehow both underpriced and also accidentally listed with “free shipping!” ^&%$‰›fl‡fl‡! I didn’t lose money, but I could have made some good money with this sale. Oh well, live and learn . . . $35

    • A Polaroid camera that I grabbed from a free pile. $20

    • A pair of brand new of Solmate socks that were sadly not my size. $17.99

  2. We’ve been continuing to designate Tuesdays as “Taco Tuesday” by grabbing pickup from a local Mexican food cart that sells their tacos for a buck apiece once a week. Although in true non-consumer fashion, I always balance out the cheap cost with a generous 33% tip.

  3. My husband taped a furnace filter over the back of a box fan to create an indoor air filter that quickly picked up a disgustingly satisfying amount of smoke particulate. We already had these supplies on hand.

    For those who may be unaware, Oregon, Washington and California are in the midst of an unprecedented wildfire season, hammering home the fact that climate change is a global crisis which demands which our attention.

  4. I listened to the fantastic audiobook of Fiona Davis’ The Lions of Fifth Avenue for free, as I’d done a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial account which included a single audiobook download, (I cancelled the Prime subscription before any fees kicked in) neighbors have been sharing their garden bounty with us, I borrowed my father’s power washer to clean up our dirty/mossy back patio, and then used it for everything else I could think of, (wicker hamper, adirondack chairs, outdoor rug, front steps) I stocked up on a year’s worth of Bonne Maman marmalade as they were 50%-off at a local store, and I’ve been otherwise been cooking inexpensive meals from scratch that are mostly bean based or soups.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a traitorous, pathologically dishonest or 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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