Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 22, 2022 · 62 comments

 

$13.85 of discounted food!

  1. My Facebook Marketplace and eBay sales have been slow lately, but I know that it’s directly related to me being a homebody.

    However, sales have been trickling in:

    • A vintage Cathrineholm enamel bowl that I bought for $2 and sold for $65.
    • A wool sweater that I bought for $8 and sold for $55.
    • A Wii gaming system that I bought for $20 and sold for $99.
    • A Michael Graves desk organizer that I bought for $4.99 and sold for $35.
    • A Yakima bike rack that I bought for $10 and sold locally for $50.
    • A vintage Coleman cooler that I bought for $10 and sold locally for $90.
    • A DVD/VCR combo that I bought for $10 and sold locally for $75.
    • A Rock Band gaming drum set that I bought for $20 and sold locally for $120.
    • An American Girl doll that I bought for $5 and sold locally for $40, although I did sell her sweater separately on eBay for $25.

  2. Food prices are no joke right now and though I’m lucky enough to be more knowledgable than many people when it comes to budget shopping, it still takes effort.

    Here’s what I’m doing:

    • I’m doing the majority of my family’s grocery shopping at Winco Foods, which is a Pacific Northwest staple for low cost food. They have an impressive bulk food section and tend to be located in working class neighborhoods. (At least here in Portland.) They also take off 6¢ per reusable bag, which I appreciate.

    • I stop at the Everyday Deals grocery liquidator every couple weeks. Their inventory is random, but they always have a large variety of organic salad greens for under a buck, as well as cheap fruit and veggies; cheese, crackers and high end yogurts. Plus, this location is delightfully next door to a Goodwill thrift store.

    • I stop by the Franz Bakery bargain store to stock up on bagels and sandwich bread and always have them stamp my frequent buyer card.

    • I buy a few specifics from Trader Joe’s, like their 19¢ bananas and their amazing hummus. (Plus their 100% recycled content toilet paper is less than half the price of Seventh Generation!) Their prices seem to be more stable than corporate chains like Safeway and Kroger.

    • I downloaded the Too Good To Go app to see if I could score cheap food while supporting their “Save Food, Save The Planet” goal. This app connects food vendors with consumers to buy up the extra food that would otherwise go to waste at the end of the day.

    Unfortunately, there aren’t many participating restaurants in Portland, but I did score two muffins and two loaves of artisan bread that would normally have been $10 apiece for $4.99 total. You get zero control over what you’re buying, so its usefulness is limited. I’ll probably use it again, but just as something fun.

    • I’m pretty much cooking 100% from scratch, even though I don’t particularly enjoy cooking. All I can say is thank you to whoever invented free library audiobooks for welcome distraction. I know that many people love this task, but I find it to fall under the umbrella of household drudgery.

  3. My mother sold the last of her short term rental houses and gifted the towels to us. Our towels had slowly (but very surely) devolved into terrycloth mayhem. I think I last bought new towels in 2004, so they were a welcome addition to our home. I then bagged up the scrappy but clean towels and donated them to the Humane Society.

    I’m very fancy now.

  4. I scored a vintage Copco Dutch oven from my Buy Nothing Group, I listened to a library audiobook of This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub, (SO SO GOOD!) I mended a sweater for my son, I lent our car to our next door neighbor, I transferred most of my bulk spices into hoarded Bonne Maman jam jars, I stocked up on Tillamook butter when it hit $1.48-per-pound, I checked out a library DVD of Serenity as I had rewatched Firefly through my sister’s Prime Video, I’ve watched various “Feed a Family of Four For Just $40!” style YouTube videos and have even tried out a few recipes, (like Frugal Fit Mom’s potato cheese soup.) and I scored a perfectly good Timbuk2 backpack from a free pile.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, as aviation fuel no longer fits in our budget.

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.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which earns a small commission for and costs nothing extra to you.

{ 62 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 29, 2022 · 54 comments

  1. I curb picked a couple of high quality metal organizing cubes, which prompted me to attempt a semblance of order in our coat closet. You know, like the women on the Home Edit TV show. But without good lighting, bright colors or the company of friends.

    I’ve repeatedly tried to organize this coat closet through the years without lasting success. It’s a sideways Harry Potter-style closet, which means that it’s deep, but without much usable space towards the back. Add in that it’s dark and has no door, and it’s an eyesore waiting to happen.

    The job ended up being so much more work than I thought it would be, but as my friend Lise told me “Rome wasn’t organized in a day.” However, It looks and functions much better now, especially since I was able to get certain family members to let go of a few of their unused coats.

  2. We celebrated both my husband and son’s birthdays last week. (It seems like he was an infant just a few years ago!) We kept to our “Birthday Day of Adventures” theme, which as always involves planning out a day of surprise activities where I am the only person who knows the itinerary.

    Husband:

    • Enjoyed bagels with lox at a local restaurant.
    • Drove down the Columbia Gorge to the town of Hood River, stopping at Multnomah Falls along the way.
    • Watched the windsurfers and kite surfers who flock to the area from all over the world. Such an amazing sport to watch from my safe dry vantage point!
    • Enjoyed an early supper at a brewpub that my husband had been wanting to try.
    • The two of us shared his free fancy Starbucks birthday coffee.

    Son:

    • Splurged on brunch at a southern restaurant, where we proceeded to stuff ourselves with fried chicken, biscuits, grits and waffles.
    • Drove to a suburban mall that I hadn’t been to since 1982. Why? The Lego store! Some things are never outgrown. My son chose a Seinfeld Lego set!
    • Indulged in scrumptious Texas-style barbecue for dinner.
    • My son’s favorite cake is cheesecake, specifically the Costco cheesecake, so I’d picked one up the previous day. My parents drove over that night to share cake and wish their grandson a happy 24th birthday.

    It’s really hard to find activities that don’t feel unsafe in Covid times. As such, we end up just eating all the delicious food. We rarely eat in restaurants, so it’s a real treat.

  3. We had a freak snowstorm last month, which ravaged both our front and backyard maple trees. Five major branches off our backyard tree and three from the one in our parking strip.

    My husband borrowed a chainsaw to cut the bigger branches into firewood, but the smaller ones got piled up for me to break into pieces for curbside yard debris pick up. Our neighbors generously let me add to their bins, so I was eventually able to work my way through a truly massive pile of fallen branches. I’d estimate that I densely filled 20 rolling yard debris bins by the end.

    I saw multiple tree service vehicles in the neighborhood over the last month. It would certainly have been easier to hire a service, but it cost us nothing to do the job ourselves. Luckily, the trees should pull through, but I gotta say that home ownership is kind of a bitch.

  4. I sold a number of things over the past month, most notably another Ikea egg chair for $100, (that’s three so far, if you’re counting!) I put a layer of free mulch onto our otherwise neglected side yard, I continue to shop the grocery liquidator each week before hitting Winco, I got a small Andromeda bush from my Buy Nothing group, (which I transplanted into a free curb picked terra cotta pot) I gave away some kitchen supplies, furniture polish and a huge bag of bubble wrap through the group, I thrifted a pair of vintage lighting globes, which I immediately sold to a local store and I listened to The Magnolia Palace and The Flatshare through the free Libby app.

  5.  I didn’t buy a 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.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 54 comments }

I wrote this blog post after the Sandy Hook school shooting. I’ve decided that I will repost it after every school shooting in the United States. I hope to never publish it again, but I know I will.

It’s been a difficult three days for America, as we’ve gone from shock to deep mourning for the murdered children and staff of Sandy Hook elementary school. And however you feel about the growing debate surrounding gun control, one consensus has come out of this tragedy, which is to hold your kids tightly.

Appreciate the gift of life that is more fleeting that we can bear to admit.

So when I woke up yesterday to a kitchen full of dirty dishes, a mountain of laundry to put away and living room full of cat hair choked furniture, I asked my son if he wanted to go on a day of downtown adventures. (My daughter was sleeping, and my gift to her was to let her continue with her favorite hobby as long as she wanted. After I kissed her a couple dozen times, of course.)

The chores could wait.

We chose to take public transportation, as we both have free passes, plus it frees us from the shackles of having to stay close to our parked car. We stopped first at the local Einstein’s Bagels to get a free pumpkin latte to share, as well as a toasted and buttered jalapeño bagel for my son, which we did not.

We stood in the rain and waited for the bus, and talked about nothing and everything and passed the overly sweet latte between the two of us. And I ached for all the Connecticut parents who had these future moments stolen from them.

No shepherding a child into adulthood, no shared coffee drinks, no worries about high school grades that will determine college opportunities.

My son and I wolfed down food cart falafel in the rain, browsed expensive European soccer magazines (him) and decor books (me) at Powell’s bookstore; ogled the couches at West Elm and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (me) and hunted through the clothing at Buffalo Exchange (him.)

We made a joint decision to check out the westside Goodwill and hailed another bus for the short yet uphill and wet journey. I picked up a few small things for my sister’s birthday and my son lamented that all the new looking Vans shoes were either too small or bizarrely overpriced.

The bus ride home ended with a long and chatty walk that included a detour through the holiday lighting of Peacock Lane and free slices of cake from a Walgreen’s grand opening. We were both good and tired by the time we staggered home, although I did load the dishwasher enough to run a single load. Our evening consisting of a couple of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes (me) and the newest Saturday Night Live (him.)

No laundry, no chores, just me staring at my son and holding him tightly.

And when my daughter needed me to drive her far across town for a poker game, I did not whine about it. Even when she needed to picked up at 11:30 P.M.

For today I have these kids, and I will hold them tightly.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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

{ 19 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 25, 2022 · 56 comments

  1. I sold a number of things, including:

    • A handmade Pendleton wool vest that I bought for $9.99 and sold for $70.

    • A Magnalite stock pot that I bought for $6.99 and sold for $120.

    • An IKEA swiveling “Lomsk” egg chair that I bought for $7.99 and sold locally for $100.

    • An American Girl doll sweater. I bought a doll with clothing for $4.99 and then sold just her “Kirsten” sweater for $25. I’ll sell the doll separately.

    • A Canadiens hockey hoodie that I bought for $7.99 and sold to someone in Australia for $40.

    • A bag of miscellaneous Brio train track pieces that I picked up at the Goodwill bins and sold locally for $25.

    • A pair of Polish pottery mugs that I sold locally for $40. I’ve no record of how much I paid for them. Polish pottery used to sell like hotcakes, but the demand for it seems to have died down.

    • A Wii Fit board and game that I paid $9.99 for and sold locally for $30. I bought this waaaaay back at the beginning of the pandemic when everyone was clamoring to exercise at home. I was deliriously happy to get it out of my house!

  2. I accepted an invitation to a Willamette Valley winery with a college friend who recently moved to the Portland area. The invite was a last minute affair and my gut reaction was an immediate “nope!” as wine makes me feel both groggy and headache-y. But then I reminded myself that it’s actually enjoyable to spend time with a friend and accepted her kind invitation.

    I ended up having an extremely enjoyable day at the winery, even though it turned out that they didn’t serve food, which brought my share of the bill down to $0.00. However it was still a very scenic and enjoyable afternoon. A long drive for sure, but perfect for catching up with an old friend.

  3. Our cheapo hand held shower head has been spurting water in random directions lately, so I did a bit of research and chose a highly recommended replacement. We purchased this last one at least fifteen years ago to accommodate a house guest who’d just had knee surgery, and it was much more a “grab whatever from the hardware store” than a thoughtfully purchased item.

    Normally, my husband and I would at least attempt to repair a broken household item, but this low quality shower head was definitely not manufactured to stand the test of time.

    I do still buy second hand whenever possible, and thankfully found a used version, which was described as simply having “damaged packaging.”

  4. I snagged a pair of metal organizing cubes from a free pile, (I’ll use them to create a modicum of order in my coat closet) I listened to the audiobook of Seven Days in June through the library’s free Libby app, I got my free Covid-19 booster shot, our two maple trees lost multiple branches from a freak snow storm and my husband and I cut up the branches by ourselves, I scored six big red peppers for $2 and chopped them for the freezer, I gave away a number of items (an assortment of tea bags, a teapot and some macaroni noodles) through my local Buy Nothing Group, my friend Lise and I brought our plastics to be recycled through a free event on Earth Day, I thrifted a 99¢ lazy Susan which prompted a full reorganization of our medicine cabinet, I brought my own cup of tea to my neighbor’s house for a friend date and I clipped blooming lilacs from my mother’s house for a large bouquet of flowers.

  5. I didn’t spend 44 billion dollars to buy Twitter.

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.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.
I deactivated my Twitter, as I don’t wish to be part of Elon Musk’s empire.

Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which earns a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

 

{ 56 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 15, 2022 · 97 comments

  1. I sold a number of things, including:

    • A pair of scruffy Danner boots that I cleaned up and polished. Bought for $7.99, sold for $120.

    • A cute midcentury style folding chair. Bought for $6.99, sold locally for $40.

    • Another CathrineHolm vintage enamel bowl. Bought for $2, sold for $75.

    • A handful of antique marbles. Bought for maybe $4.99, sold for $30. I also sold another marble from this lot for $40 and still have one more to sell.

    • A pair of distressed Carharrt overalls. Bought for $12.99, sold for $60.

    • A wicker coffee table. Bought for $9.99, sold locally for $40

    • And my favorite sale . . . a pair of Rothy’s that I bought for $7.99 and then quickly sold for $165!

  2. My husband went on a free three-day weekend to Sun River, Oregon, with four of his Portland Timbers dude friends. Sun River describes itself as a “3,300 acre resort community” and would normally be out of our budget, so this was a real treat. They stayed in a big-ass rental house and apparently much soccer was watched and many brew pubs were supported.

    Lucky guy. Note to self . . . make wealthier friends.

  3. I listened to In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park, Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith, The Party Crasher by Sophie Kinsella and I’m currently listening to Seven Days in June, (so good!) by Tia Williams. All courtesy of the free Libby app.

  4. I continue to shop at the Everyday Deal$ grocery liquidator, which means that I’m enjoying 79¢ organic greens and 2/$1 16-ounce Ellenos yogurts, (normally $6-$7 apiece!) I refilled my Soda Stream canisters for $7.50 apiece at a local paintball store, my husband replaced the ignitor and burner on our stove, I picked up a couple two-pound loaves of Tillamook white cheddar for $6 apiece and I started physical therapy for plantar fasciitis at an inconveniently located clinic, but . . . have been pairing it with their closest Goodwill which makes the appointments almost something to look forward to.

  5. I didn’t deplete my billions of dollars buying up Twitter stock,

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 eBay affiliate links, which earns a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 97 comments }

 

Prompted by Star Trek leaving Netflix at the end of the month, please enjoy this reprint of a previously published blog. By the way, I am not okay with this news!

I am a geek.

I am in fact a super geek. Not only do I think that everything related to frugality is fascinating. (Have I told you about my homemade laundry detergent? Really, I already did? Can I tell you again?) I have about zero interest in being cool. Clothing, makeup and even popular music hold little interest for me. (This has been frustrating to my friends, who think I could be so pretty if I “just wore a little bit of makeup.”)

My lack of the cool gene is actually quite freeing.

Because I’m free to pursue interests others wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. For example:

Star Trek.

I have rediscovered the different Star Trek series’ through the library, (The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise) and have felt great watching these shows with my sons. I came to realize that the ethics I’m trying to impart to my kids are perfectly mirrored within the various series.

Higher Education: All the officers worked hard to go to Star Fleet Academy. It was hard work, but worth all the studying.

Conflict Resolution: The crews of the various ships are constantly trying to find diplomatic resolution to conflicts.

Non-Consumerism: Future Earth has done away with money. The one species obsessed with profit, (the Ferengi) are seen as greedy and unattractive.

Tolerance: The main mission of the Federation is to, “Seek out new life and new civilization.” Accepting and embracing each another’s differences is the whole point of the show.

Intellectual Curiosity: The characters are always striving to learn new things.

Environmental Responsibility: The various starship crews are always very aware of environmental concerns. Whether that’s prevention, or helping a planet to reverse damage.

So go ahead and call me a geek, you can even go so far as to call me a Trekkie. Just don’t call me a money grubbing Ferengi. That would simply be going too far.

Live long and prosper.

Please confess your geeked-out Star Trek stories in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 16 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 19, 2022 · 93 comments

I apologize for letting the blog lie dormant, but there’s been a lot going on at casa Wolk-Stanley. Plus, I happen to be a wee bit lazy. 

  1. I’ve been starting to incorporate the “Everyday Deal$” grocery liquidator as part of my regular grocery shopping routine. (Food prices are no joke right now!) This store is beyond your ordinary “grocery outlet,” and there is some actual poking past the moldy tomatoes to find a fresh one. Much of the inventory is packaged for the restaurant industry, which makes for some interesting shopping. I’ve been enjoying some amazingly good deals such as:

    • Large clamshell packages of organic mixed greens for 50¢ apiece.
    • 50¢ packages of blueberries, which was enough to make four jars of refrigerator jam.
    • A $1 bag of chopped red onions, which I’m pretty sure weighed around five pounds. I then separated them into smaller bags for the freezer.
    • A yuuuuge $1.69 bag of cilantro, which I used for a few days, shared with my friend Lise and then froze for later use.
    • 50¢ bags of organic tortillas.
    • 3/$1 avocados.

    The best part? The one on S.E. 82nd Avenue is next door to a Goodwill.

  2. Our washing machine suddenly stopped agitating, which began a two week journey into the world of appliance repair YouTube videos for my husband. Two used motors and a carburetor later and we now own a freshly repaired machine that should last us for a very long time.

    This machine was a hand me down from my mother around fifteen years ago when she upgraded to a shiny red front loading set. For reference, this one is a 1980-ish Kenmore model with groovy fake wood detailing. However, it’s straightforward enough to be repairable by your average Joe, which turns out to be the winning factor.

    Total spent? $155, although I plan on reselling the one motor that my husband incorrectly ordered.

  3. I’ve been wanting to spruce up our shady backyard, and after a bit of Googling realized I could just divide a row of ferns that I’d originally dug up in the woods maybe 24 years ago. I’d kind of forgotten about them as they’re in a spot that’s only visible from the neighbor’s property.

    I went ahead and confirmed that the neighbor knew they were mine and got to digging. This may seem like a minor “frugal thing,” but large individual pots of ferns are $39.99 apiece at the local nursery so this hack will save me around $160.

  4. My friend Lise gave me a large bag of black eyed peas, my musician son scored a electronic keyboard through our Buy Nothing Group, I got a free box of books for our little free library, (which hilariously included the above Kama Sutra “Weekender Kit”) I gave away another antique vase, I read multiple library books, both physically and through the Libby audiobook app, I sold a curb-picked table for $65, my husband brought home a big bag of packaged burritos, chips and salads that were left over from a work event, I cooked 743.2 meals from scratch and I received a check for $240 from a class action lawsuit from my former employer engaging in illegal time clock shenanigans. 

  5. I didn’t lose money in the sketchy Non-Fungible Token market.

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.

{ 93 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 16, 2022 · 107 comments

  1. I participated in a short (ten minute?) online study that rewarded me with a $5 Amazon gift card. This worked out well as my husband and I accidentally rented the movie Mulholland Falls on both Apple TV and Amazon Prime at $3.99 apiece. Oops . . . Frugal fail and win?

  2. I hauled home a curbside vintage diner table that I’m currently in the midst of restoring. It’s got a distinct Luke’s Diner from Gilmore Girls vibe, which I enjoy. Sadly I’ve neither need nor space for it, so I’ll be putting it up for sale through Facebook Marketplace. You know . . . after I’ve scoured it with Barkeeper’s Friend and then plucked the 1,001 spiders’ nests from the underside.

    Edit: I sold the table locally for $65.

  3. I made full use of my county library system by reading:

    Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan

    The Sea Keeper’s Daughter, by Lisa Wingate

    The Last Story of Mina Lee, by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

    All of these books were written by women, with deep and intricately written characters. There were zero descriptions of glossy hair, the length of legs or  skinny women who bit into huge cheeseburgers.

  4. My friend sharpened my cheap-o gardening shears that I’ve had since nursing school, I picked up (and actually finished!) a huge tub of fresh mixed greens for $1.69 plus a bag of sliced mushrooms for 69¢/pound from the sketchy food outlet store that’s next door to Goodwill, I happened to take a bus trip on a free day that honored Rosa Parks, I gave my son a like-new Ikea bowl from a neighborhood “free box” and my son and I brought our laptops to IKEA and sipped on free coffees.

  5. I didn’t go on an ego driven space jaunt with my fellow billionaires.

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.

{ 107 comments }

I first published this blog post in 2013. Enjoy!

Decluttering. Overwhelming, yet boring. Anxiety producing yet cathartic. Simple yet multi-tiered.

Why, oh why is it so much harder to get rid of stuff, than it is to acquire it in the first place?!

I’ll tell you why. Because once you bring something into your home it imprints on you. It becomes your responsibility, and that sense of responsibility takes over.

“Can’t just throw this advertising ball-point pen away, I have to make sure it goes to someone who can use it.”

or

“This enormous platter probably has some value. I should open an eBay account and sell it.”

or

“My great aunt Ethel gave me this set of cheese forks as a wedding gifts. I love her, therefore I should love the cheese forks, even though I’ve never used them in twenty years of marriage.”

or

“I should keep this huge pile of scrappy towels, as I might need to clean up something messy some day.”

Multiply this by a thousand, and you’ve got an insane number of decisions to make. And if it takes you an hour to get rid of each and every unused and cluttery item in your house, you will never get to the point of a decluttered home.

How do I know this? Because I have gone through this, and continue to go this this mindset. I see potential in less than perfect items. Those thin magnets that come attached to the phone books? They would look cute Mod-Podged with old maps. And that wobbly dresser I plucked from a curb? It would be super easy to re-glue and turn it into something spectacular.

The creative mindset that sees potential in everything is the same mindset that creates a home overfilled with stuff.

The answer for me lies in being hard on myself. This may sound borderline masochistic, but being my own taskmaster is the only method that works. I’ve even noticed that being in a bad mood actually aids the process, as it cuts the sentimentality in half. (Not that I’m ever in a bad mood, as puppy dogs, butterflies and baby unicorns usually float through my clutter-free home. Oh, who am I kidding?)

And once I get an area decluttered with a system for order in place, I want to keep it that way. My bedroom closet, with its matching Goodwill wooden hangers is a pleasure to behold. Everything is easy to find, and easy to keep clean. And that drawer organizer that I made for my desk? It’s as tidy as the day I first placed the sharpies into their own special cubby.

Hello, lover . . .

Do I have an answer or specific advice for wannabe declutterers?

Yes.

Recognize that the stuff in your home is just that. Stuff. Some of it useful, some of it beautiful and some of it with potential. But it’s still just stuff.

And what would happen if you did get rid of something that you later needed, would the world come to an end? Or would it be possible to borrow that infrequently used item from a friend, neighbor or family member.

This is all coming from me, the woman who salivates over the perfect lamp, the perfectly textured cloth napkin and studies the weather forecast for possible spray paint friendly days. (FYI: between 50° and 90°.) I love my stuff, but I know it’s just stuff.

And after countless donated loads of stuff to my local Goodwill, I have zero regrets.

Because once it’s out of my house, it’s no longer my responsibility.

Ahhh . . .

Do you have a hard time getting rid of stuff once it enters your house? Please share your thoughts 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 Twitter.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 47 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 1, 2022 · 61 comments

  1. Our down comforter was no longer providing the same warmth it once had, so I knew it was time to bite the bullet and buy a “new” one. (Shivering isn’t a good look for me.) I started my research with the NY Times’ Wirecutter website to see what they recommended and saw that the Costco one ranked high, so I clicked around on eBay until I found a “new without tags” version for $74.95 instead of $220. I also bought a new-in-package Pottery Barn duvet cover for $76.99, which seems expensive until you realize that it was probably around $200 to begin with.

    People often assume that a decision to buy used is the lesser choice in terms of comfort and dare I say it — luxury. However, there’s almost nothing that can’t be found on the second-hand market. My purchases support independent sellers instead of morally corrupt companies that bypass environmental accountability and worker rights in the name of shareholder profits.

    If I can avoid triggering the manufacture of a brand new item, that’s always going to be my first choice.

  2. I awkwardly turned down a bid to prune our backyard maple tree as it came in at $3250. (Awkward, as we’re socially connected to the arborist.) I did receive a bid from someone else last summer that was much lower, but it somehow got buried in my inbox and I’m not sure the bid still stands.

    I gotta say that home ownership can be a real pain in the tuchus. Yes, we’re building equity, but it’s only realized if we sell the house or borrow against it. Sometimes owning a home is just a series of boring expenses.

  3. I went to Costco and only purchased items from my list. (Cat food, olive oil, chicken bullion, honey, frozen berries and a roasted chicken.) This may seem like a non-impressive “frugal thing,” but stores count on customers finding off-list items to bolster their profits. It’s not evil, it’s just the Science of Shopping. Whether it’s food purchases prompted by a tasty sample or the physical setup of the space, your impulse purchases are far from random.

    I’m just as swayed by store displays and fun new products as anyone else, so I consider it a win any time I’m able to grocery shop without sprinkling my cart with impulse items.

  4. I received a $20 refund from my doctor’s office, I started listening to Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz (my friend’s future daughter in law!) I sold a thrifted Calphalon frying pan through Facebook Marketplace, I gave away a cluttery antique vase through my Buy Nothing group, I returned a bag of unused miscellaneous Home Depot stuff, I picked up a $13 headlight bulb from an auto supply store for my husband to install on our Prius, (this’ll save us $22 over taking it to Jiffy Lube) my husband’s friend gave us a big bag of books for our Little Free Library, my friend Lise planted a native plant in a corner of my backyard and I donated two bags of clothing and random items to Goodwill.

  5. I didn’t go on an ego driven space jaunt with my fellow billionaires.

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.

{ 61 comments }