Non-Consumer Photo Essay

by Katy on June 4, 2024 · 26 comments

I garbage picked this sake glass while out for a walk. I use these glasses for propagating plants, as well as small flower arrangements. The graphics are always the peak of adorableness and they’re the perfect size for the windowsill above my sink.

Welcome to the family!


I was on way home from an errand and stopped into Dollar Tree for a solar powered  garden light and decided to stock up on toothpaste. (I bought one of their $1.25 solar powered lights last month to test it out and since it worked great, I came back for another.) I noticed that the shelf held two similar yet different tubes. My immediate instinct was to grab the “60% FREE” instead of the “25% FREE” package, but then I took a moment to look at the small print.

Do you see it?

The “60% Free” one is actually an ounce less than the “25% FREE” one. Because it’s being compared to 2.5 ounces, versus 4.0 ounces. (Note that the box sizes are exactly the same.) Manufacturers count on consumers mindlessly grabbing their products without a second thought. Don’t be that consumer.

I really enjoyed my Lucky Day copy of Roz Chast’s I Must Be Dreaming last week, so I put a couple of her other books on hold at the library. However tight my budget might be, I can always treat myself to a new library book!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy June 4, 2024 at 12:19 pm

1. Trip to resale shop with 2 bags netted me $49 and 1 empty bag. I’ll try another resale shop tomorrow when I’m back in town
2. Stopped at Target to use $7.43 class action reward. Upon arriving home discovered I was charged full price vs. marked down price for hamburger patties. I’ll return tomorrow with receipt and picture of patties
3. Received $118 class action settlement check and last week $323. This will just about cover co pays from last weeks MRI, orthopedic office visit and angiogram
4. Sold an item online and reused poly mailer I had
5. Found out city has a free large item pick up last Monday of month. Saving us a trip to dump


MW June 4, 2024 at 1:58 pm

1) I’ve hacked a sewing pattern to turn a jumpsuit into a blouse and pants. Using some lovely thrifted fabric (natural fiber, unsure of exactly what) I’m just about done making a summer blouse to fill a hole in my wardrobe.
2) The rain is doing a lovely job of watering my plants, but it isn’t so cold that I need to turn the heat back on. Win!
3) A trip to the bank to turn in my coins gave me a “bonus” of $170. It went into the CD, so I’ll get some interest out of it.
4) A trip to the Goodwill bins turned up a summer blouse for me, a dress for my niece, a nice necklace and a needed sweater for me for $6. I’m careful to not just acquire stuff for the sake of acquiring stuff at the bins and they serve me well. No luck in finding fabric for my projects.
5) Still packing my lunches, making my coffee, taking the bus to and from work, and rocking the thrifted and me-made wardrobe. Boring, but it keeps the work-related costs in check.


Lindsey June 4, 2024 at 4:46 pm

1. Raining today and supposedly all night. We seldom get hard prolonged rain. I opened up all the coverings to my raised garden beds and they are getting a free watering for the next 12 or so hours. The dog door is shut so Clobber Paws does not get out and eat all the plants.
2. Another doctor visit, another medication to try since the one I am on is not working. As usual, I asked if there are any samples I can try before paying for a prescription and I got 6 weeks’ worth for free, saving myself a co-pay. I always ask for samples and am rarely denied. She told me they get so many that sometimes they expire and are thrown away!
3. Not sure how a 10 pound bag of potatoes escaped my notice, but they did. Kind of soft, but not rotten. I peeled them all, since the skins were the worst, and made a vat of mashed potatoes and froze them in 2 cup portions for future meals. Resurrected with a bit of butter, they are just fine.
4. Next door neighbor is going on vacation for a month, so we happily took her perishables. In return, I am watering her porch plants. Our hose reaches her porch, so it will be an easy task for me.
5. Until I read it on a blog, I never thought of going to eBay to search for name brand items where I already know that the sizing is correct (instead of risking getting a size that will not fit). The husband needed a pair of pants and likes only Duluth brand. I managed to find a pair for half price, tags still on them. I am thrilled, as their clothes last forever in my experience. So thanks to the person who mentioned that trick.


Kathy June 4, 2024 at 6:22 pm

I’m with you on the change in meds. Good job asking for samples.


Ruby June 6, 2024 at 8:35 am

I do that with clothing too, Lindsey. I am short-waisted for my height and a lot of clothes don’t fit quite right. I found the perfect summer shirt at Goodwill and searched the internet for more like it. Found five and bought them all!


Mati June 11, 2024 at 9:54 pm

Ruby – so smart! I have odd feet and buy new pairs of a certain style of shoe that is no longer made whenever they come up on eBay.


K D June 5, 2024 at 2:37 am

I have never seen a sake glass/cup before. They’re adorable.

Good catch on the best bargain on toothpaste.

I love the library and will be glad when our local branch reopens late summer (which a friend with connections tells me means late August).


A. Marie June 5, 2024 at 3:30 am

Katy, I like your collection of sake glasses and other plant-rooting vessels. I use old pint and half-pint cream bottles, Good Seasons salad dressing cruets, etc, for the same purpose.

Yesterday, in addition to being the last day of Grad School BFF’s visit, was the first anniversary of DH’s death. I got good moral support from BFF and others. A widowed friend invited me and another widowed friend to dinner so that “you won’t be alone tonight.” And Dr. Bestest Neighbor gave me a Jewish memorial candle, which I lighted at 2 pm (the hour of DH’s death).

DH’s memory will always be a blessing. And I thank everyone who’s supported me through this past year, including all of you here and at The Frugal Girl.


Fru-gal Lisa June 5, 2024 at 5:47 am

A. Marie,
Sending you a virtual hug on this sad anniversary. Sometimes anniversaries like this are difficult. But, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back: you’ve made it through the first year. That may have been the hardest time, since you had to adjust to widowhood. Going forward might not be super easy, but perhaps it will be somewhat easier from here on out. Glad you have supportive friends and neighbors in your life to help you mark the occasion, and I’m sure your DH is sending you love from Heaven.


Q June 6, 2024 at 4:58 am

I am so glad you have such good friends and neighbors to sustain you.


Bee June 5, 2024 at 6:05 am

Sending hugs across the miles.


Kathy June 5, 2024 at 7:51 am

A Marie
Thinking of you and glad you weren’t alone for dinner


Heidi Louise June 5, 2024 at 9:02 am

Sending you all good thoughts.


MB in MN June 5, 2024 at 9:22 am

A. Marie, I’m glad this first anniversary was meaningful and spent with loved ones.


Lindsey June 5, 2024 at 10:27 am

Not a hugger but am sending you hugs anyway. I marvel at the kindness of your widowed friend’s dinner invitation and your BN giving you a memorial candle.


Katy June 5, 2024 at 11:23 am

So happy to read that your community surrounded you with love and support. One extra virtual hug headed your way!


Pat June 5, 2024 at 12:01 pm

I experience it every April 11th.
Hugs to you.


Selena June 5, 2024 at 6:51 pm

I tend to be the opposite spectrum – the anniversary of my Mom and grandfather deaths, I prefer to be alone. We all handle grief and death in our own way. I’m glad you have a circle of friends who know you well. A lot of folks don’t even know their neighbors or any others in their area.


JC June 5, 2024 at 8:06 am

Haven’t done frugal 5 for awhile. So many things I do just seem like rinse and repeat.
1. Friend gave me the legs and thighs from 2 wild turkeys they had hunted and only took the breast from. Many hunters do this, they just use the breast. It seems so wasteful. I removed the thighs and legs myself from the carcasses. I saved much of the feathers and the wings and have them in the salt and borax solution and they will end up in my Fall and Holiday decor.

2. cooked the legs and thighs, picked out bone and tendons and made a pot of BBQ’ed turkey…tastes just like beef and so good. Froze in meal-sized portions.

3.Same friend brought me a 2# bag of English walnut meats and 5# bag of dried tart cherries in exchange I make them bread and keep them in jams and preserves. All of which are made with marked-down or free fruits.

4. Made a loaf of cherry-walnut bread and it should last a couple more days, IF I can stay out of it.

5. All gardens are in and growing. Spent planned money on perennials. I also bought a few annuals for instant color but bought 4 and 6 packs of starts and using plant food to get them large and lovely.

Bonus….I have been drying and grinding banana peels for food/fertilizer on my roses. It really works!!!


Q June 6, 2024 at 5:02 am

Thank you for the rose/banana tip: I’m going to try it!


Mary Ann June 5, 2024 at 1:55 pm

1. Turned off AC while I was at work. It is going to be 106 today. Now I am home and have started it again to cool down.

2. Used a “chip clip” on my toothpaste to use as much as possible. The clip stays in place.

3. I created a “greeting card template” from pages. Now I just print homemade cards on cardstock that fit envelopes I got for .25 at GoodWill. I coordinate funky colored cards to match the envelopes. I also often use a decorative stitch from my sewing machine to add a little dimensionality.

4. I drank cold water from numerous flasks instead of drinking soda.

Here is a question?
How so you use the last of the deodorant disk without scratching your under arms?


Martha Sell June 5, 2024 at 2:19 pm

I use a stick deodorant and scrape out remains with whatever is handy in my vanity drawer. There’s quite a few days worth left.


MB in MN June 5, 2024 at 2:21 pm

I love this question. I use a toothpick to get all the deodorant out and place it in a shallow jar or tin. Then I rub each thumb in it to get enough to spread on each armpit. It takes me a long time to use it all up this way.


Loretta June 5, 2024 at 4:39 pm

Love the sake glass! Am into all things Japanese, especially novels in translation. So many great Japanese writers (apart from. Murakami, whom I love) and fortunately a lot of them are available at my library
My son is having knee surgery today, which is free thanks to the Australian health system, in a public hospital. If we’d chosen to jump the queue and go private it would have cost $14k AUD!
This balanced our my month-long overseas holiday, where I ate out most days and drank the most expensive coffees ever (the UK). Now I am home it is home cooked meals and home brewed tea all the way!! But the only ‘souvenirs’ I bought were cards for framing, 2nd hand books and a couple of items of clothing from a charity shop as it was warmer than I’d packed for. The clothes went back to another charity shop at the end of the trip.


Ruby June 6, 2024 at 8:47 am

Those sake glasses are so cute.

Past Me got smart and divided a 16 ounce package of ground Italian sausage in half before freezing it. Half is the perfect size for making a small pot of spaghetti sauce.

Did not spend $4.99 on a small carton of strawberries today. Blueberries were $1.50 less expensive, so they are the fruit of the week. Have rack dried many loads of laundry and throw rugs this week. Picked three cucumbers and a double handful of cherry tomatoes from my container garden. Everything is grown in large pots, but I have to avoid saying “pot garden”!


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