Non-Consumer Mish-Mash

by Katy on June 1, 2010 · 2 comments

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

June Food Stamp Challenge — Day One

Today is day one of the June Food Stamp Challenge, and I’m excited for the month to come. I cut up the last orange for school lunches, (they were on sale last week at Fred Meyer) and am out of lettuce, rice and almost out of bread. A co-worker told me about a really cheap Asian market, and told me that the one I frequent is “expensive.” I’m always uber-excited happy to find new and cheap sources for the food that I feed my family.

I have some shredded mozarella cheese from The Grocery Outlet that needs to get used up, so I’ll make pizzas for tonight’s dinner. I will buy the pepperoni and sausage (as always) from The Papa Murphy’s down the street. This costs me $1.50, and I can bring my own packaging. This is half a regular portion of both, which is plenty. I’ve noticed that Papa Murphy’s does take food stamps, as their “take and bake” pizzas are not a “hot food,” and therefore meet food stamp criteria.

First though, I need to walk over to my credit union and withdraw the $404 that will be my food budget for the month of June. Anything leftover will go to The Oregon Food bank. We normally spend about $450 per month on food, (including eating out) so I will also donate the $49 difference.

Simple Prosperity — A Winner!

Congratulations to Keri, whose comment was randomly chosen to win her a copy of Dave Wann’s Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle.

“I’m trying to be more brave at trying new recipes for even the simple things that I could easily go and buy for cheap. The other day I made homemade hamburger buns. I had the ingredients and the time so I figured, why not! They ended up being a little too heavy for the burgers, but we ate them anyways and the leftovers made a GREAT breakfast with butter and cinnamon sugar on them! My kids loved them!”

Thank you to everyone who entered to win a copy of the book. Click here to read all the great Simple Prosperity entries. They are truly inspiring.

Automation Nation

If there’s one bit of advice that’s consistent throughout the personal finance experts, it’s to automate your finances as much as possible. This struck me anew a few weeks back when I realized that I hadn’t thought about an automated charitable donation that my family does each and every month. We sponsor a Zambian girl through Child Fund, which we’ve been doing for three years or so. Every month $29 is charged to our American Express card, and it’s so routine that it had kind of slipped my mind.

But you know what? It doesn’t matter whether I was thinking about this donation, as the girl’s family gets the money whether I’m thinking about it or not. They could care less whether I’m thinking about them, as it makes no difference to them whatsoever. None.

We also pay as many of our bills automatically, and I love, love, love not having to think about whether they’re getting paid on time. It has released me from a certain amount of “did that bill get sent out on time?” anxiety, which is so very freeing.

I am a proud citizen of the Automation Nation!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne June 2, 2010 at 4:27 am

Hi Katy,

I enjoy your column, but I wanted to let you know that your comment that a Zambian family doesn’t care about where your money comes from is an assumption based on…..what? As a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso, I can tell you that Africans I have met are highly interested in developing a relationship with the outside world, including with people who have done them kindnesses. I would caution you against assuming that Africans are as socially disconnected or ungrateful as most Americans are.



Katy June 2, 2010 at 6:27 am


Perhaps I wrote out my sentiment incorrectly. Being able to help this girl is very special to my family, but it is more important that the donation is consistent than it is that I *feel* each and every check.

We have sent her extra money here and there, which her family has been able to use to buy here extra stuff, (clothing, shoes and a blanket) and my kids have even sent her drawings and pictures. We get update letters written by her uncle and occasional photos, (she’s a cutie!) which we cherish.

If anything, sponsoring “Freda” helps our family to understand that each and every person in the world is their own person. Freda and her family are no more stereotypical Africans than my family are stereotypical Americans. We are all unique individuals.

I plan to continue sending money to “Freda” until she ages out of the system.

I hope this helps to explain. Thanks for the feedback.



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