Non-Consumer Photo Essay

by Katy on January 18, 2016 · 23 comments

A snapshot of my days, observances that warranted documentation. (All from my Instagram account.)

Ridiculously overpackaged potatoes:

Overpackaged potatoes

A freshly darned sock:

Darned sock

An unusual piece of Goodwill art:

Goodwill art

An orange juice carton turned into a Mason jar pour spout:

Mason jar pour spout

A lost, but not forgotten penny:

Found penny


Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruby January 18, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Lovely job of mending. You do that so neatly! And the Mason jar pour spout is really clever.

Today I have been doing magic in the kitchen, turning a large pot of cooked rice into homemade rice milk, wet food for our dog with food allergies (canned salmon, rice, green peas and carrots), and a lovely little rice pudding with raisins. All that from half a bag of rice that cost 8 cents with a store coupon.


A. Marie January 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Katy, your darning skills are way ahead of mine. I seem to recall that you did a darning tutorial on NCA a while ago, but you may need to repeat it.

Re: shrink-wrapped spuds: Inspired by my reading of Zero Waste Home, I’m on a fresh surge of refusing unnecessary packaging whenever possible.

And to my list of activities on the latest FFT post, add repotting houseplants, postponing a haircut because of the weather, and spending no money either online or out in the world. (No temptation to go out when the weather looks like outtakes from Dr. Zhivago.)

Reply January 18, 2016 at 1:36 pm

yes I would be interested in how u darned that sock!


JD January 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

I struggle with darning; so many socks seem to give up on the elastic about the time the heels get thin that there doesn’t seem to be a point to the repair. Plus, and this is just an excuse, I realize, I never saw anyone darn so I’m clumsy at it. My mother never darned socks by the time she had kids — she didn’t like to do it that much, but mainly because my dad couldn’t tolerate a darn in his socks, no matter how carefully done. He’d severely burned his feet when he was a toddler, so darns in socks hurt his feet for the rest of his life. She gave up darning and bought new socks when his started to grow thin.
Is that picture painted on a wooden golf club or something?
And — what is it with this shrink wrapping potatoes? I see it more often these days. What a waste of packaging!


WilliamB January 18, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Most often, they are packaged like that so the price is consistent – no weighing or calculating necessary. Frex, Trader Joe’s does that to avoid complication and keep down the price.


Tara January 18, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Oh I wish I could darn socks. My thirteen year old puts holes in brand new socks the first time he wears them. I don’t understand it! X


tonya parham January 18, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Nice job on the sock! I’ve never had socks long enough to have holes in them because 1. I go barefoot at home and rarely wear tennis shoes unless I am specifically going to exercise or know I will walk over 3 miles. I love sandals! and 2. My socks disappear SOMEWHERE. Especially fancy colored socks. I just gave up and went for white socks.

Today, went to the pool and I wanted to eat out but I came home and made roasted potatoes and black bean burgers instead! Go me!


WilliamB January 18, 2016 at 3:01 pm

That’s a lovely darn. I mend socks but don’t darn – I sew up small holes as one would for a shirt. Any holes that get past me long enough to get larger than that, get repurposed.


Kathy January 18, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Beautiful darn on the sock. I know how and love to do hand sew projects, but I have very sensitive feet and can feel any tiny change in my socks. Those non skid slipper type socks with the small bumps drive me mad. Very painful. My husband is considered a diabetic and mended socks are not recommend. So socks are something I purchase frequently. We both love new socks.


Jennifer January 18, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Yeah, the unnecessary packaging of potatoes is wasteful and silly. I have not tried darning but I truly can’t recall getting holes in my socks. Either
A. I don’t wear socks enough to wear them out.
B. I keep my toenails short so they never wear down.
C. I lose the mate before they get old.
D. I am buying too many
E. A combination of A,B,C, and D
It’s a mystery.


Jennifer January 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm

I think some one got a divorce and the guy hand painted his beautiful ex-wife’s face exactly where the ball would hit because she always hated how he constantly stayed at the golf course.


JD January 19, 2016 at 6:38 am

That’s a great answer to that question!


Marcia January 18, 2016 at 5:07 pm

My granddaughter couldn’t stand the seams in the toes of socks when she was small. She wore her socks inside out, if she wore them at all. I tried it a couple times, and also found it more comfortable! She’s on her own now, but I seldom see her wear socks.


Sharon January 18, 2016 at 5:44 pm

I have darned the palm of several knit gloves, but not sox.


Carole January 18, 2016 at 8:02 pm

I darn socks, but not that nicely. Even if they’re not perfect they still hold up and keep the socks in use.


Allison January 18, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Another thing that screws nicely onto mason jars is the tops from Kraft parmisan cheese.
By the way, I passed Ashland four times in the past two days and gave a wave towards your kid at school….just because I was closer than you.


Jodi January 19, 2016 at 7:30 am

What a great tip! Thanks for sharing.

Reply January 19, 2016 at 3:45 am

I documented something similar to those potatoes right before thanksgiving! Went in for sweet potatoes and the precious things were on sale for dirt cheap and turn around individually wrapped ones were like $1.99 each.
I bought a bunch of package free ones for the same price and when in line a woman got behind me with one wrapped in plastic. I tried to convince her to go back and get the cheaper ones but she wouldn’t do it.



Bellen January 19, 2016 at 4:58 am

Katy, what do you use for the darning egg? A real darning egg is very hard to find and I know an incandescent light bulb will work. Darning, like most anything done by hand, takes practice, lots of practice.


Vickie January 19, 2016 at 8:07 am

I despise over-packaging. I have no clue why anyone would buy potatoes that way, when 5 lb bags are basically the same thing.
This reminds me, I have a basket of socks to mend! I’ve been buying black and tan socks, to match my work slacks. It sure makes sock mating easy.


Chris January 19, 2016 at 9:12 am

Those shrink wrapped potatoes are just as silly as those packed-in-plastic hard boiled eggs!


LaNell January 19, 2016 at 9:30 am

I have started the found change challenge too – fun to see your total – nice little jar in my kitchen window – 4 cents to start the year off.


Bee January 19, 2016 at 9:42 am

A picture — or several– is worth 1,000 words. Five frugal things in photos.


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