Non-Consumer Mish-Mash

by Katy on July 27, 2010 · 15 comments

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

Bag Those Germs!

I read a Consumer Reports blog post last week about the connection between reusable grocery bags and e.coli. Apparently, the American Chemistry Council is trying to convince consumers people  that their totes are a hotbag of dangerous germs. Luckily, there was a suggested solution, which was:

“It’s a good idea to wash them occasionally.”

I’d been meaning to do this for awhile, so I threw my hodge podge of bags into the wash and then pegged them onto the clothesline.

Wow. That was hard.

Why Julius Rock Rocks my World

My husband has slowly transformed himself from a baseball superfan to a soccer fanatic, which meant that cable TV snuck into our house for the World Cup. Of course, World Cup soccer ended weeks ago, yet that invasive cable has yet to leave our home. I would love to blame everyone else, but I’m just as bad as the male contingency, watching my daily allotment, (any maybe someone else’s) of Mad Men, Entourage, Design Star and just about just about anything that HGTV deigns to offer.

The one TV show that we all seem to love is Everybody Hates Chris.

I don’t know why the boys love the show, but I’m a not-so-secret follower of the wisdom according to Julius Rock, the frugalest man on television. Sure, his cheapism is part of the funny that is Chris Rock’s childhood recollections, but the man holds a special spot in my heart.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“My father held onto money so tight, George Washington couldn’t breathe.”

“The only time my dad ever brought something new home was when it was old to everybody else.”

“Unplug that clock, boy. You can’t tell time while you sleep. That’s two cents an hour.”

“Why would I spend $20 to get into a club when I can dance at home for free?!”

And my favorite:

“That’s ___________ worth of _____________ you’ve got there!”

For example, 15¢ and spilled milk, or $8 and saran wrap.

And of course, my kids love, love, love to tease me about how similar Julius Rock and I can be.

Which I take as a compliment.

When Trendy and Functional Combine

I am the first to admit that I can be a bit of a snob. I’ve always eschewed trendiness, even in high school when I refused to wear a a pink Alligator shirt or legwarmers. But there’s a recent trend that I suddenly realized is actually functional for us 40 somethings.

And that style is wearing a stretchy tank top under another shirt.

Because the current trend of waistlines that sit under the navel is only cute on teenagers, and I don’t want to live in fear of reaching my arms up and exposing my bloopy tummy. But the addition of a long tank top underneath fixes the whole issue. Which is why when I found a black Old Navy tank top at a garage sale for 50¢ last week, I was happier than one would expect for such a seemingly dull purchase.

Get used to seeing it. That’s 50¢ worth of tank top!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily July 27, 2010 at 10:56 am

“The American Chemistry Council” – sponsored by the makers of plastic t-shirt bags, perhaps?


Molly On Money July 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I too have started washing my grocery bags!


Valerie Heck July 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I work as a goldsmith and tend to get dirty at work so I buy little boys extra large wife beaters (under shirts) they fit me perfect, and cost about $1.00 each. I can’t do that well at our local goodwills. And I know in the women’s section of a store shirts cost so much more than in the mens section. It’s crazy!


BagelGirl July 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Why can’t it just be a great black tank top? Why does it have to be Old Navy?


Katy July 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm

That’s what it was. An Old Navy tank top. It’s hardly a brag-worthy brand.



Kristen@TheFrugalGirl July 27, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I’m confused by this comment. What’s the problem with using the brand as a descriptor? I do that all the time when I share what I buy at thrift stores whether it’s an L.L. Bean item or a Target Merona item.


Sherry July 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm

The plus side to mentioning brands when describing thrift finds: it helps indicates the type of item and gives an inkling of about how much it originally retailed (Old Navy tank: probably $10). Also, I think this approach appeals to those flirting with thrift because they can relate to brands that they are familiar with. The more seasoned thrifters probably don’t care as much: just because the brand is famous doesn’t necessarily mean it has more value than less recognizable brands. Unless you’re a teenager trying to fit in with the mall shoppers.


Sherry July 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I should add that I actually like when bloggers or friends mention the brand because it helps me imagine it!


BagelGirl July 28, 2010 at 7:26 am

Because it sounds like we are buying these by BRAND and not because we like them. How does OLD NAVY black tank top describe a tank top any better? How does describing coffee mugs or underwear change how it looks by mentioning the brand name?

At least be honest that you are impressed by brands.


Katy July 28, 2010 at 8:01 am


There are some brands that I am impressed with. Their design is more sophisticated or their quality is higher. Hopefully it’s both! An example of this would be Garnet Hill. (Love, love, love their sheets!)

However, Old Navy is pretty crappy quality. Their children’s clothing falls apart before it can be handed down, but I am certainly willing to pick up a tank top for 50 cents when I find it at a garage sale.

I will continue to mention brand names, not because I’m “impressed” by them, but because it gives a fuller picture of what I’m writing about.

I appreciate your comments on this blog, I like it when I have to thoroughly think through something that I wrote about. And I am always curious what take readers have on an issue. 🙂



jenniwaka July 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I was going to say the same as Emily about the “American Chemistry Council” so I took a quick peek on Wikipedia and this is what it says:
The American Chemistry Council “is in charge of improving the public image of the chemical industry” which includes plastics and chlorine industries. Right.

P.S. I miss having a TV because of shows like Design Star…sigh…


Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary July 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Yay! Non-Consumer Mish-Mash is my favorite! (Well, OK, it’s one of my favorites. I have A LOT of favorites.)

I recently told my daughter, “that’s $14 worth of air conditioning, going right out the window.” Of course, she wanted to know how I was able to be so certain that it was exactly that amount. Ahem.


Mrs. B July 27, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I would tell her I know that because that is what I am charging you for leaving the window open with the a/c on. It is amazing when you put a dollar amount to power, a/c or heat…they seem to listen better and pay attention or they are broke all the time. Seemed to work around here.


Lisa Whipple July 28, 2010 at 11:47 am

When I was a spacey kid, my mom used to tell me that every time I opened the refrigerator door, I was COSTING HER 25 CENTS. So, when I’d get mad at her, I’d go into the kitchen and open and close it a whole bunch of times. HA!


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