Non-Consumer Tidbits

by Katy on August 1, 2012 · 18 comments

Today . . .

• I was tasked with the chore of buying paper plates and disposable cutlery for a school picnic. My older son was helping to unpack the groceries and loudly exclaimed:

“Paper plates?! But you hate paper plates!”

Man, I love that kid!

• I visited with my friend Sarah when she came by to borrow a couple of roll-aboard suitcases for a family trip to Mexico. She and I always borrow luggage from each other, and it’s never been an issue that we vacation at the same time. What I love is that neither of us has to spend the money to own a large amount of luggage, and neither of us has to store large amounts of luggage.

Plus we get to hang out whenever we need luggage!

• I picked up a Japanese exchange middle school student who will stay with us for the week. I paid to park in the airport short term parking, but made a beeline for for the automatic payment machine on my way out of the garage rather than wait to pay at the kiosk as I drove out.  And it totally paid off as I clocked out at 59 minutes! Had I clocked out at over an hour it would have cost an extra $3.

I know it outs me as a frugality geek, but I live for this stuff!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.

Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.

Click HERE to follow me on Pinterest.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Pamela August 2, 2012 at 1:59 am

The little things definitely add up. As a bonus, the things you don’t own but borrow from your friend (and vice versa) free up space for you to store bulk-purchased items or other useful things.

And I love the parking story. It seems like just a few minutes but when you’re at the end of an hour, it turns into a real money saver.


Linda in Indiana August 2, 2012 at 3:34 am

Nothing’s too small to make a difference.


AnnDenee August 2, 2012 at 3:40 am

It’s the little moments in life that make it fun and interesting.

As an aside, how is that you’ve become so involved in hosting exchange students? It seems like you’re constantly either getting ready to host or hosting! 🙂


Katy August 2, 2012 at 6:13 am

My sons have been in a Japanese language immersion program since kindergarten.



Diane August 2, 2012 at 3:41 am

Just a tip…vacuum that suitcase well and dispose of what is vacuumed up in a sealed bag before the suitcase comes back into the house. I am now paranoid about hitch hiking bed bugs.


Katy August 2, 2012 at 6:12 am

Good tip, thanks! (Or, conversely, *gross* tip!) 😉



Lili@creativesavv August 2, 2012 at 4:52 am

The sharing of the suitcase reminded me of something I heard years ago.

A couple of brothers who were about the same size/build, shared one suit. They lived in different towns. For 15 years, when one of them needed the suit, the other would ship it to him. They never had a time or event when they both needed that one suit. I always wondered what they’d do upon their deaths — who gets to be buried in the suit?

As for disposable cutlery — have you ever tried the compostable stuff? It doesn’t stand up well in hot things like soup, but the forks seem to work well. It seems to be gaining in popularity. I used it at a big event when my son graduated University. My son’s work keeps a stash of that
stuff in the kitchen for employees. It even turned up at a church picnic last summer.

For our family, though, even when we picnic, we prefer to bring the real deal. I bought a bunch of stainless flatware pieces from the thrift shop years ago. None of it matches, but this is the stuff I pack in school lunches, take on picnics, use while vacationing, etc. If we lose piece it’s not a big deal.


Katy August 2, 2012 at 6:12 am

I would have bought compostable flatware, but the store where I was shopping didn’t have any. However, the plates are compostable, and we are going to have a bin for compost for the 50+ (?) people who come to this outdoor potluck.



Lili@creativesavv August 2, 2012 at 8:10 am

That is so great that you’re going to have a compost bin for the paper stuff at your event. I find it so annoying when at a large gathering that they just want everything dumped in the garbage. I mean, really, can’t you even have a recycle bin for cans and bottles?! But a compost bin is one step better! Good Job!


Dogs or Dollars August 2, 2012 at 6:12 am

Agreed on the compostables. Even better, depending on the function, getting parents to send/bring durable plates and cutlery. This might not work for all age groups, but I’m betting your boys are old enough to keep track. Maybe.


Dianna @ practicing frugal August 2, 2012 at 5:33 am

My kids would have said the same thing about paper plates. Not only are they waste, but they have gotten outright expensive.
We rented a car recently and when I picked it up at the airport, I had my husband drop me off at the rental garage. When we returned the vehicle, my daughter waited at a nearby gas station until I was done with the return so she could drive up and pick me up. I didn’t pay any parking fees and was so happy.


Carla August 2, 2012 at 5:56 am

I was recently tasked with bringing plates and glasses for a work shindig and I couldn’t bring myself to buy the make-more-garbage type. So, I went to the dollar store and found stainless steel bowls and glasses for $1.29 each(in Ottawa, Canada), bought a bunch as I took a gulp because it was well, way more expensive the the aforementioned garbage-making type. But, we used them 2 days that week at work and I’ll bring them in any other time we need. And now, they’re our potluck plates/glasses at home as well as the designated children’s dishes (ages 6,4,1) placed in a low shelf so they can help themselves to a plate/glass when they need it for a snack or a drink of water. And they’re brilliant in the dishwasher!


Lisa S August 2, 2012 at 6:20 am

I hate to break it to you, but you were already out as a frugality geek.


Katy August 2, 2012 at 6:23 am

But I was so in the closet! 😉



Lisa August 2, 2012 at 11:56 am

A couple of years ago our school bought reusable plates, cups, bowls and silverware. Of course, they would have to be washed afterwards but it never seems to be a problem getting a couple of volunteers for that.


Diane C August 3, 2012 at 7:05 am

My BF is dealing with the affairs of his aging parents, both of whom have dementia. They have been life-long garage salers and both(!) of their homes are filled-to-burstin’ with stuff. Cleaning it out is a daunting prospect. In a way, too much used stuff is almost as bad as too much new stuff.


Diane C August 3, 2012 at 7:08 am

Whoops! I posted this in the wrong place…Sorry, this comment is in reference to the August 2 post.
Oh well, at least I didn’t spend any money, LOL!


Mary Stubblefield August 12, 2012 at 8:29 am

I love that you “beat the clock” I think the $3 difference is completely ridiculous! Good for you!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: