Non-Consumer Mish-Mash

by Katy on May 12, 2010 · 9 comments

It’s time again for Non-Consumer Mish-Mash, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that.

Monkey business for iPods

Key Banks here in Portland, Oregon have a current promotion where you get a free iPod touch if you open a checking account with them. Of course, there are requirements like two direct deposits, keep the account for six months, plus a few other bits of small print.

My husband was reading through the ad in yesterday’s newspaper and was briefly considering jumping through the hoops for the iPod. This is very unlike him, as he normally doesn’t like this kind of something for nothing scheme. He was not, of course, considering switching our entire banking over to Key Bank. (We are very happy with our credit union, plus INGDirect for savings, thank you very much!) He just wanted the iPod.

In the end, he talked talked himself out of it, stating “I don’t like to monkey around with things that could affect our credit or money.”

So my husband will continue on with the iPod I gave him five years ago, and our money will stay right where it is. No monkey business required.

Nine year old tip from The Non-Consumer Advocate

I was going though a stack of magazines last night when I came across a May 2001 issue of Mary Hunt’s The Cheapskate Monthly. Why would I hold onto a nine-year-old newsletter? Because I had submitted a tip that was not only published, but was also picked as tip of the month! (The prize being an extension of my subscription, which was kind of funny since I didn’t actually have a subscription!)

Here’s my winning tip:

“The best for your entertainment dollar is not dollars at all. It’s canned goods. Rather than looking into the newspaper for fun stuff to do, call your local Food Bank. They’ll be able clue you into upcoming events that require only the donation of a few nonperishable food items. Not only are you saving money, you are helping those most in need. My family has been able to use this strategy to see first-run movies, visit local amusement parks and enjoy music festivals. Fun never felt so good.”

Even though this money saving tip is now nine years old, it’s completely timely. I’m still looking to save money and the food banks still need our help.

And the best part is that I can now recycle this old newsletter, because my tip will be forever accessible through The Non-Consumer Advocate!

Live in Maryland? You now have the “Right to Dry!”

So many Americans live in communities or rental properties where they are forbidden to use a clothesline. This just kills me, as clothesline usage is one of the simplest and least expensive changes a person can put into action. Except for your fridge, your clothes dryer uses more energy than any other home appliance. And let’s not forget those Americans who have to use a laundromat or a coin operated machine, bringing the cost up even higher.

A few states have stepped up and enacted legislation that overrides clothesline bans, (Florida, Hawaii, Vermont, Colorado and Maine) and we can now add the lovely state of Maryland to that list!

I actually met with a county commissioner about the clothesline issue a few years back, although I haven’t really followed up on it. (Bad Katy, bad Katy!) I know there was some Oregon state legislation pending last year, but I’m embarrassed to say that I think only a watered down version was passed.

Every article I’ve ever read about clotheslines, (and I’ve read a lot of them!) quotes from people who people who say they don’t want to look at their neighbor’s laundry. Yet my closest neighbors expressed regret that they didn’t have room for their own clothesline, and my other neighbors were inspired enough to hang their own line!

Savings from green living is not just for those who can afford solar panels and a Prius. Well . . . in more more state that is. Way to go Maryland!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

CC May 12, 2010 at 8:45 am

I like free stuff as much as the next person but just because it free doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost something. Could be time, could be trouble. I like to keep things as simple as I can. And if I pay more for that, so be it. One reason I use a local drug store instead of places like walmart.

I find banking funny anyway. I use a small local bank where they know me answer the phone and can fix any problems that arise. A few times I’ve started with a small bank which gets bought out until its bigger and bigger. And I’ve left after a number of problems along with poor customer service.


Hiptobeme May 12, 2010 at 10:10 am

Ha ha, you have trouble letting sentimental things go too huh? Nine years is a long time. Funny.


Katy May 12, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Yeah, you got me there.

-Katy 😀


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire May 12, 2010 at 11:58 am

Just as well that your husband didn’t jump through the hoops for the free Touch. That little device is addictive! I now honestly believe that I can’t live without mine.

Funny thing about hanging clothes… I never used to enjoy laundry. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t enjoy it, either. Until I started hanging my clothes to dry. I just use drying racks in my kitchen, but it’s the process of hanging the clothes that suddenly make me LOVE Laundry Day. I can’t really explain it other than to say that it’s sort of peaceful and mindful and thoroughly enjoyable. Maybe if some of the people in those restrictive HOAs experienced the joy of hanging their clothes, they’d be more open to the supposed-tackiness of it. It’s really a beautiful thing.


Jessica Wolk-Stanley May 12, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I love hanging laundry! Also, I fold as I take the dry clothes off the line, so end up with a basket of nice folded clothes. I’ve been getting all caught up on laundry now that we are having a spate of dry sunny weather. Last year my electric bill was down to $15 or so dollars a month when I was only line drying.


Katy May 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm

But you live in Seattle, where electricity is dirt cheap all the time!


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl May 13, 2010 at 2:39 am

Yay for Maryland!!!


magdalena May 13, 2010 at 6:08 am

Considering some of the stuff our neighbours keep in their yards, they better not object to my clean clothes! I did use the dryer yesterday, but it was a cold, damp day here, and the indoor rack is in a damp, unheated room right now!


Karen May 13, 2010 at 6:17 am

Several years ago we opened accounts at Key Bank to get iPods, however, all we needed was $50 which stayed in there for a year and then we took it out and closed the account. I definitely wouldn’t have done it if it involved switching banks. $50 was fine, though.


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