Non-Consumer Photo Essay — Daily Non-Consumerism

by Katy on September 28, 2014 · 22 comments

It’s rare that my days don’t include a handful of non-consumer and frugal tricks, sometimes they’re a wow moment, but most of the time they’re so routine, they pass by unnoticed. So now that my blog is back and functional again, (hip-to-the-freaking-hooray!) I thought I’d try and record a few of them. Of course, it’s through my Instagram account, so pardon any overly pseudo artsy-fartsy filtering.

Just the other day I decided the time had come to clean out the ol’ mini-van. I find that sweeping it out is 97% as efficient as hauling out the vacuum cleaner, yet is somehow 167% less hassle.

However, I don’t own a hand broom.

What I do have is a regular broom, which when the handle is unscrewed magically becomes a hand broom.

Ta da!

Hand broom

One less thing to own.

After repainting the windows over the front porch, I took a good look around the porch and indulged in a thorough cleaning and decluttering session. I then put the stuff which didn’t make the cut onto the curb, and it was all snapped up within 24 hours:

curbside stuff

But it’s not just furnishings and household goods that appeal to Portland’s curbside shoppers, as I also had a large bag of dense foam packaging that was staking a claim in my garage. I tried to bring it to the recycling center, but was informed that it didn’t fit any one category.

So off to the curb it went:

Free packaging materials

It too became a distant memory by the time I remembered to check back on it.

I’m not the kind of blogger who styles and photographs her every meal, (you’re welcome!) but I do occasionally decide to record a few. Just today I constructed what I’m going to call the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

Constructed from:

  • Loss leader sale Tilamook grilled cheese. ($4.99 per 2-lb loaf)
  • Dave’s Killer Bread, bought at the outlet store, which brings the price down from $5 per loaf to $2 per loaf.
  • A perfectly ripe tomato, which was gifted to me from my next-door-neighbor.
  • Grilled in my ancient cast iron skillet, and sizzled up in my homemade spreadable butter.

Behold the perfect last bite!

The perfect last bite

My husband volunteers teaching CPR, and always brings a carton of Starbucks to the classes. (Paid for by the non-profit that oversees the classes.) The leftover coffee then comes home, and becomes my go-to coffee for the week. I’m not a morning coffee person, but I do love a iced coffee in the afternoon when I start to drag. (Truthfully I’m a drag at all hours, but that’s an entirely different blog post.)

Pour the coffee over ice, add a bit of milk and sugar and I’m in heaven. All in the name of food waste avoidance.

Leftover coffee

Non-consumerism, ever present and rarely a sacrifice.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Maureen September 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm

If I purchase a pound of really good coffee, I always save the leftovers for iced coffee. So refreshing in the afternoon!!!


Maureen September 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm

And I love that my comment does clock before it posts. And that I don’t get an error message. You’re the best Katy!!!!


Katy September 28, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Now I’m craving iced coffee!


Kristin September 28, 2014 at 2:13 pm

So glad to see the blog back up! I also use left over coffee for iced coffee. Can’t let the liquid gold go to waste!


Chris September 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I sometimes freeze the leftover coffee for an addition to iced coffee!


K D September 28, 2014 at 3:26 pm

The grilled cheese sandwich looks and sounds amazing.

We put things on the curb and use Freecycle a lot, it feels great to know your things have a new home.


Diane September 28, 2014 at 3:46 pm

I needed a new cover for my porch chaise. So I upcycled an unused piece of fabric, pinning it to the underside edges of the cushions and voila, a new cover at no cost!

And now I want grilled cheese.


tina September 28, 2014 at 3:52 pm

I love grilled cheese with tomato….yum!


Trish September 28, 2014 at 4:16 pm

I cannot get over that price for a 2 lb brick of good cheese! I buy a 2 lb brick of Cabot extra sharp cheddar, which I slice very thinly (with a regular knife, no cheese slicer here), but it costs over $9 now, and never goes on sale, darn it.


Katy September 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Almost all the 2-kb bricks were on sale a few weeks ago for that price, so I filled the fridge!


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary September 29, 2014 at 5:21 am

Me too. So jealous. I *love* Tillamook cheese, which is not available where I live at all, let alone at such a great price.


Margie September 28, 2014 at 5:36 pm

I have to say that my favourite line in this whole post was “(Truthfully I’m a drag at all hours, but that’s an entirely different blog post.) ” I can so relate to the drag …part of being who I am. I could blame it on business, but that would be a stretch. Honestly, you seem to get so much done in a day/week. I’m impressed. Sometimes I think I should just hook and IV line of coffee up to me and call it good. 😄
Have a great week!


marie September 28, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I have that same broom! LOL


Katy September 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm

I think it was form Costco.


marie September 29, 2014 at 6:06 am

I meant the taking off of the handle. My husband lost my little broom


PoppyEcho September 28, 2014 at 8:38 pm

My mouth actually watered a little bit a la homer simpson or a dog thinking about the sandwich.


PoppyEcho September 28, 2014 at 8:39 pm

I wonder who saves more money: me for not having a car or you for being able to stock on grocery sales, since I can’t carry much on foot or bike.


Deborah Williams September 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

So glad to see comments again!! I have a similar broom that the handle broke and handle was metal so I clean my van the same well so now I just keep the broom under the seat to use regularly in the car..and yes I too had to make a grilled cheese sandwich!!


Dar @ anexactinglife September 29, 2014 at 3:16 am

I love old-school grilled cheese sandwiches made that way too. Did you know that most of the current generation has never made them properly – they just make toast, put cheese between the slices, and melt it in the microwave. Sacrilege!


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary September 29, 2014 at 5:22 am

Hmmm…. maybe we’ll have grilled cheese for dinner! That looks so darn good. 🙂


Susannah September 29, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I am a little bit envious of how easily you can get rid of stuff! I have been trying to sell and now give away a pair of wing chairs for over 2 weeks! Yard sale, then Craigslist, then Front Porch Forum, then Freecycle. Nothing! I don’t live on a traveled road so putting them out with a free sign wouldn’t work. And I dont’ want them to get wet. So now I will post them on Craigslist Free. Hey, anyone in northeast Vermont needs some chairs? 🙂


Katy October 1, 2014 at 8:54 am

It’s a perk of living right in the city instead of the suburbs!


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