Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 4, 2021 · 62 comments

  1. I didn’t sell much on eBay, then again I didn’t thrift much last week. I did try to stop at the N.E. Broadway location after hitting the Franz Bakery outlet, (high end $1 loaves and bagels!) but there was a neighborhood blackout and all the businesses were dark.

    • I parted out a marble chess set, and sold the pieces for $40 and then the board for an additional $15. Not too shabby considering that the set was $4.99!

    • I sold a $3.99 inflatable “Rody” horse for $25. I tried to sell it locally, but had no luck and then sold it overnight on eBay.

    • I sold a few more of my daughter’s $5 Shonen Jump magazines, which have been slow but steady sellers.

  2. I signed up to get six free months of Discovery Plus,which includes HGTV, Discovery, History, The Food Channel, Lifetime, Animal Planet, OWN, TLC, plus a bunch of other channels. I’ve been enjoying Alaska: The Last Frontier, which is surprisingly addictive for this indoorsy city gal.

    This was an amazing tip, especially since it’s the commercial-free version. I made sure put a reminder in my iCal to cancel it on August 1st before it switches over to a paid subscription. Thank you, Jill!

  3. I built a nice fire in the fireplace using wood that I’d gathered after a neighbor’s trees were cut down last summer. These were long burning logs, so two lasted through the entire evening. I have a couple dozen more logs, so we might be enjoying more frequent fires.

  4. We’ve been snacking on bulk purchased air-popped popcorn, I drove my son through McDonald’s a couple times for free McNuggets after the local NBA team scored more than 100 points, I redeemed Kroger coupons for free pasta sauce and cheap eggs, my husband brought an armload of bubble wrap home from work, I glued a broken shaving brush back together, my husband sharpened my good kitchen knife, I took plastic bags to the grocery store recycling bin, (I used to give them to a friend for dog poop bags, but her pup sadly passed away) I gave away a couple things through my Buy Nothing group and I pretty went nowhere and did nothing.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which may earn you a discount, as well as a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 62 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 1, 2021 · 51 comments

  1. I sold a steady stream of things, my favorite of which were free items dragged home from other people’s curbsides and “free boxes.”

    • A sweet antique cupboard that I sold through Facebook Marketplace for $100.

    • A slightly ratty and entirely soggy Carhartt sweatshirt that a neighbor had dumped into a “free box.” Laundered and then sold for $22.50 on eBay.

    • A set of what I termed “industrial” drawer pulls that I removed from an otherwise worthless curb desk. Sold for $15 on eBay

    • A remote control that I grabbed from someone else’s “free box.” Sold for $7 on eBay.

    Of course I sold other things, including a $100 Arcteryx jacket and a $50 Michael Graves tea kettle, but I wanted to shine a light on how it’s possible to make a bit of money with zero cost of goods.

  2. I continue to cook all meals from scratch, with a weekly exception for “Taco Tuesday.” ($1 tacos from a local Mexican food cart!) I do try to vary the menu, and the past week has seen such meals as:

    • Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and peas. This meal incorporated two frozen pieces of gluten-free bread, plus multiple individual packets of ketchup, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, barbecue sauce and A-1 sauce. I normally make a ketchup/brown sugar paste for the top, but ran out of ketchup which is how this meatloaf happened to use A-1 for the topping. This was delicious and I will never go back!

    • Enchiladas filled with rice, scratch cooked black beans, cheese, onion, canned jalapeño, frozen corn and a handful of leftover green salsa containers from previous “Taco Tuesdays.”

    • Chicken soup and potato-bacon soup.

    • Reuben sandwiches. This was prompted by the purchase of a $1 loaf of marble rye bread from the Franz bakery outlet.

  3. I repaired a pair of Birkenstock clogs as the upper had pulled apart from the sole. I’d been meaning to check off this task since the fall, so I gave myself a huge pat on the back even though the job itself took no more than five minutes. All it took was some clear Gorilla glue and a couple of clamps. Then I rode that pat-on-the-back momentum to repair some slippers and a shaving brush.

  4. My friend Lise dropped off a box of bubble wrap, I gifted a couple of items through my Buy Nothing Group, I started rooting another batch of spider plant babies, I boiled up a small batch of cranberry sauce from a 50¢ bag of cranberries, I went for a dental cleaning and then batched errands as I was across town, (such as stopping at Trader Joe’s to pick up their nothing-beats-it Mediterranean hummus and 19¢ bananas) and I started a new audiobook through the free Libby app.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

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.
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Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which may earn you a discount, as well as a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 51 comments }

My 2020 Reading List

by Katy on January 27, 2021 · 62 comments

I love books. I love fiction, nonfiction, books with pictures, hardbacks, paperbacks, mass market, short stories and even serious literature. I value the weight of a physical paper book in my hands, but truly believe that e-books and audiobooks also fall under the umbrella of “real reading,” and will fight anyone who says otherwise. I may have studied nursing in college, but I snuck in an English minor.

It’s normal for me to have a couple books going at the same time. This used to look like a stack of library books as well as a Libby audiobook that I listen to while driving, thrifting or puttering around the house and garden.

2020 was not a normal year. Not only were my county’s libraries rightly closed for many months, but they opened back up solely for scheduled pick ups that would take so long to come in that I wouldn’t even remember having put the books on hold.

2020 became the year of the audiobook. This served three purposes:

  1. Audiobooks were usually immediately available.

  2. Audiobooks were a contactless transaction.

  3. My brain was a mushpot throughout the 743 days of 2020, and I couldn’t maintain the required focus to read words on a page.

I didn’t want to read anything that added additional stress into my life. I made a decision to read books written by women authors, as I’m done with cliché two-dimensional female characters, and wanted to support the countless ah-fucking-mazing women who put effort into creating full fledged characters. I read less than normal, and certainly in fits and spurts as my aforementioned ability to focus ebbed and flowed without rhyme or reason.

Not every book was a winner, but that’s okay. There was something of value to almost every book on this list. The asterisks are next to the books that I especially recommend.

  1. “Save Me The Plums,” by Ruth Reichl.

  2. “Bad With Money,” by Gabby Dunn.

  3. “The Distant Hours,” by Kate Morton. **

  4. “Maisie Dobbs,” by Jacqueline Winspear.

  5. “Wonderland,” by Jennifer Cody Epstein. **

  6. “Scrappy Little Nobody,” by Anna Kendrick.

  7. “The Lake House,” by Kate Morton. **

  8. “The Forgotten Garden,” by Kate Morton. **

  9. “The Woman in Cabin 10,” by Ruth Ware.

  10. “The Island of Sea Women,” by Lisa See. **

  11. “One More Things: Stories and More Stories,” by B.J. Novak <– Oops, a male author slipped in.

  12. “Unsheltered,” by Barbara Kingsolver.

  13. “Not Becoming my Mother,” by Ruth Reichl.

  14. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” by Lee Israel. **

  15. “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane,” by Lisa See. **

  16. “Where The Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens. **

  17. “A Kim Jong Il Production,” by Paul Fischer. <– Oops, another dude.

  18. “Agatha Raisin and The Wellspring of Death,” By M.C. Beaton.

  19. “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek,” Kim Michelle Richardson. **

  20. “All The Things I Never Told You,” by Celeste Ng. **

  21. “The Downstairs Girl,” by Stacey Lee. **

  22. “The Magician King,” by Lev Grossman. <– I guess this guy is a “guy” as well.

  23. “The Vanishing Half,” by Brit Bennett. **

  24. “Still Me,” By Jojo Meyers.

  25. “The Other Woman,” by Sandie Jones.

  26. “Love and Treasure,” by Ayelet Waldman. **

  27. “Something in The Water,” by Catherine Steadman.

  28. “How About Never, is Never Good For You?” by Bob Mankoff. <– this was my last physical library book.

  29. “The Assistants,” by Camille Perri.

  30. “One Day in December,” by Josie Silver.

  31. “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill,” Abbi Waxman.

  32. “Mrs. Everything,” by Jennifer Weiner. **

  33. “The Lions of Fifth Avenue,” by Fiona Davis. **

  34. “Evvie Drake Starts Over,” by Linda Holmes.

  35. “Beach Town,” by Mary Kay Andrews.

  36. “Island of The Blue Dolphins,” by Scott O’Dell ** <– This man gets a pass, as this book is a classic for a reason!

  37. “Ask Again, Yes,” by Mary Beth Keene.

  38. “Winter Solstice,” by Rosamunde Pilcher.

  39. “The Shell Seekers,” by Rosamunde Pilcher. **

  40. “I Want to Be Where The Normal People Are,” by Rachel Bloom.

  41. “The Lieutenant’s Nurse,” by Sara Ackerman.

  42. “Searching For Sylvie Lee,” by Jean Kwok. **

  43. “The Actor’s Life,” by Jenna Fischer. **

  44. “Love Your Life,” by Sophie Kinsella.

  45. “The Scent Keeper,” Erica Bauermeister. **

  46. “Mambo in Chinatown,” by Jean Kwok. **

  47. “Big Summer,” by Jennifer Weiner.

I wish 2020 has ended with a satisfyingly tidy number like 50 or 52, but such was not to be. I am already on book #5 for 2021, having just finished “Before We Were Yours,” by Lisa Wingate, which was amazing! **

I mostly post what I’m reading on Instagram, (which gets more frequent content that the blog.) So if you’re looking for reading inspiration, I invite you to follow me over there.

Did you read any of the books on my list? Do you have books to recommend? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 62 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 21, 2021 · 103 comments

  1. I combined a few necessary errands with Goodwill trips over the past week and came home with some nifty items to sell both on eBay and Facebook Marketplace. My favorite flips were a trio of Rockband Guitar Hero controllers. I’d seen other sellers do well with them, so I took a gamble as they were priced at just $6.99 apiece.

    I like to think of this as “market testing a category.”

    All three sold in under 48 hours for $60, $60 and $55. So yeah . . . I’ll start picking these bad boys up whenever possible.

    Oh, and for those who wonder how I ship such unwieldy items, I used the free USPS large flat rate boxes that are designed for board games.

  2. I’ve started making a deliberate effort to always have a tub of homemade soup in the refrigerator. All four of us enjoy soup, so it never gets wasted. Plus it’s my favorite trifecta — delicious, healthy and cheap as hell!

    Want to know the secret to my delicious soups? I sauté chopped onion and then purée it with chicken broth before adding the other ingredients. This imparts a deep layer of flavor that only intensifies the savory goodness. For anyone who may wonder about “the why” behind this step, my daughter has a lifelong aversion to the texture of onions, so we purée whenever possible. It being tastier is an accidental side effect.

    Here’s my recipe for Red Lentil Soup.

  3. I cross posted a couple of eBay items on Facebook Marketplace, which I always think is going to be a pain in the tuchus but actually takes just a few minutes as the photos are already taken and the description is written. This resulted in one quick $65 sale.

    I also looked through my expired Facebook Marketplace listings and put together fresh new listings from otherwise stale merchandise. This resulted in quick $30 and $20 sales!

    Minimal effort with a $115 reward.

  4. I’m listening to an audiobook of Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate through the free Libby app after having finished Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid; I borrowed a manual air pump from someone in my Buy Nothing group, I made a Costco trip and bought just the cat litter, olive oil and roasted chicken from my list without succumbing to any impulse purchases, (I’m talking to you, $1.50 hot dog!) I found two dimes and six pennies while out, masked and about, I picked up two big bags of free packaging supplies from a local business, I finished reupholstering a thrifted midcentury foot stool that I’d started and apparently lost interest in completing, and lastly I sold two curb-picked items — a wooden planter for $10 and then a cupboard that garnered me a sweet hundred bucks!

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

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.
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Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which may earn you a discount, as well as a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 103 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 10, 2021 · 95 comments

  1. I put a massive effort into selling stuff over that past month and it’s really paid off, as I sold over $2500 through eBay and Facebook Marketplace. I enjoy selling for the increased income, but mostly I value ensuring that still usable items stay in circulation instead of being dumped into landfills.

    Here are five of my favorite sales, not just because of the money, but because these unique items would have otherwise languished.

    • An empty Game Cube “Teen Titan” box. Because someone had the game disc but no box!
    • A “Collette” plush from the 2007 movie “Ratatouille.” Because it went to Norway, and I love that this specific Goodwill toy was exactly what some Norwegian person was looking for.
    • A pair of antique framed botanical prints that used to hang above our bed. Because it would have been easy to set them aside after my husband and I renovated our bedroom, but instead I listed them and quickly got them into the hands of someone who’d love them.
    • This vintage aluminum roaster lid. Because there had to be someone out there with the bottom but not the top.
    • This vintage 1980s ski suit. Because it looked like a wardrobe piece from Hot Tub Time Machine, and made made laugh. Also because it weighed almost nothing which made it a Goodwill Outlet “bins” bargain.

  2. I’ve been really good about cooking from scratch, as well as avoiding food waste. Being at home almost all the damned time means there are few opportunities to rationalize take out meals or drive through.

    It turns out that never going anywhere is an insanely frugal life choice. Also boring. Super boring. Yes, I’m willing to do it for the sake of humanity. But boring.

    My most recent impressively frugal meal was a large pot of delicious black bean soup that incorporated:

    • A cup or so of leftover rice.
    • Four or five tiny cups of leftover hot sauces from our Taco Tuesdays.
    • A quart of homemade chicken stock from a Costco roasted chicken.
    • Chopped pickled jalapeño peppers and carrots, also from our last Taco Tuesday.
    • The last of a bag of frozen corn kernels.
    • The shards from the bottom of a tortilla chip bag.

    Needless to say, the black beans were a bulk purchase from Winco, and we continue to hit up Su Casa Tacqueria for their $1 tacos on Tuesdays. Because there’s only so much cooking I can do before my brain implodes.

  3. I turned 53 last week, so my husband and I masked up and spent the day hitting different Goodwills. I scored a ton of great stuff, mostly for resale. (A rattan chair for $1.99! An entire new-old-stock bolt of IKEA fabric for $12.50! A $30 like-new pair of Doc Martin boots for my daughter!) My husband bought a “new” snow shovel to replace our broken one. You’d have thought he won the lottery from his excitement.

    We also drove through Starbucks for a free birthday caramel macchiato, which I shared with my son as it was enormous and cloyingly sweet.

    My husband then made dinner at home (salmon, rice and brussels sprouts) and we spent the evening watching “Star Trek: Discovery” through our free 30-day trial of CBS All Access.

  4. My husband built me a Little Free Library for my birthday from our basement’s never ending supply of woodworking leftovers, I hauled home an antique shelf that someone put out for free, I then used wood glue and clamps to fix the aforementioned shelf, I went for a couple walks with my friend Lise as she was dog sitting over the weekend, I finished listening to Recipe For a Perfect Wife through the library’s free Libby app and I sold the $1.99 rattan chair for $35.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or incite insurrection from my gold plated bunker in the sky.

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.
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Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which may earn you a discount, as well as a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 95 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 28, 2020 · 96 comments

  1. I’ve sold a ton of stuff through both eBay and Facebook Marketplace. My son’s very last college tuition payment is due on January first and I’ve been madly scraping together all I can to pay this looming bill in full.

    It would be great if I could source a couple of thousand dollar items at Goodwill, but so far this holy grail has eluded me. Until then I’ll have to enjoy the sales of these $90 shoes, this $45 vintage fabric or these $50 antique botanical prints. Better a fast nickel than a slow dime.

  2. I had a plan to hold out on haircuts during the pandemic as an experiment to see how long it would grow, but I reached my snapping point today as it was constantly tangled and braids made my scalp ache. (How Willie Nelson does it I’ll never know!)

    So I handed my 22-year-old son a pair of haircutting scissors, (a splurge from when the kids were toddlers) and gave him loose instructions for a below the shoulders blunt cut. I’ve had my son trim my hair before, but this chop job was a matter of eight or so inches. I have to say that he did a terrific job and I am 100% satisfied. No more “sister wife” aesthetic for me . . . well, except for my demure and respectful calico smocks.

  3. We gave minimal gifts for the holidays, and most of what we did give were consumables or practical gifts. Our son had asked for an expensive digital drawing tablet in November, and we’d said “sure” as it was school related. However, we let him know that this $300 purchase would serve as his “anchor” gift. (We’ve traditionally done an “anchor” gift, along with a smattering of “satellite” gifts.) He was super happy to receive such as substantial item, and my husband and I decided to gift the same thing to our daughter who also studied digital art in college. This electronic tool will help both kids to level up their skills and digital art careers as they transition into adulthood.

  4. My son and I drove through McDonald’s for some free McNuggets as the local basketball team had scored more than 100 points, I paid the bi-annual $86 to my neighbor as our half of the shared garbage bill, I cut off the back of my shredded Keen slippers and sewed blanket stitches over the raw fabric to transform them into “slip-ons,” I signed up for a free 30-day subscription to CBS All Access so my family could watch the latest season of Star Trek: Discovery, (I also made sure to add “cancel CBS All Access” onto next month’s calendar) my husband fixed a leaking spot on our roof rather than hiring out the job, I gave away a calendar and some card games through my Buy Nothing Group and also received a couple bags of bubble wrap from said group, my husband brought home catered leftovers from his all-day Christmas shift and we’ve been keeping up with our Taco Tuesday tradition with $1 tacos from a local cart, even though I’ve mostly abstained as I’m happy to eat what we already have.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold plated apartment in the sky.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 96 comments }

Merry Christmas

by Katy on December 25, 2020 · 18 comments

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate! May the sacrifices to stay away from friends and family this year make it all the sweeter when we can see one another in person again.

Until then, enjoy your Cowboy elf ornament. My sister’s gift My gift to you.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 18 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 5, 2020 · 91 comments

So sorry that my blogging schedule has devolved to the far side of infrequent, but my focus has been on family, health and hearth.

  1. I’ve continued to sell things here and there on eBay, including a handful of items pulled from “free boxes,” (ski gloves, ski bindings, a book, a Christmas stocking and a set of brand new bathroom handles) as well as a few goofy Goodwill finds such as a Miller Lite Christmas sweater, a pair of brand new (but still creepy) “Five Finger” Vibram sneakers; plus a $25 mug and a $35 mug, both of which sold to international buyers!

    My favorite sale was a high-end Nyjah Huston skateboard that I picked up for $30 and sold for $165. This one was through Facebook Marketplace.

  2. I’ve barely even started any holiday shopping. I have a couple of ideas, but am otherwise completely uninspired to gift for the sake of gifting. We have whittled down the number of people with whom we exchange gifts, which helps.

    As an agnostic Jewish person who practices non-consumerism, the “holiday season” doesn’t really speak to me and I struggle with this disconnect every year. There are certainly elements of the holiday season that I enjoy, so I’m hoping to take the opportunity of this bizarro year as a reset. Keep the traditions that my family enjoys and ditch the rest.

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

  3. I’m been pretty much staying home all day every day, which is what needs to happen in the Covid era, but is a challenge for someone who enjoys being out and about. My husband and daughter are essential workers and my son is a full-time university student, so I’m the one coordinating everyone’s lives.

    Housewife? Life coach? Couch potato? Laundry fairy? Leaf gatherer? Morale officer? Mediocre chef? Titanic deck chair rearranger? You name it, I’m that person!

    However, I maintain that staying home all the damned time counts as a frugal win as gas station fill ups have dwindled, as have expenses adjacent to doing anything outside the house. I don’t have an online shopping habit, so pretty much all of our purchases fall under the category of “grocery.”

    This may sound depressing, (and at times it can be) but there’s always enough to keep me occupied. As long as I have my healthy body, quality streaming television, a telephone connection to family and free library audiobooks I cannot complain about being bored. Especially when I live in a 2200-square-foot house on a biggish lot. I am constantly aware of how lucky we are to be healthy in our safe home, so I have no right to complain about anything. Seriously.

  4. I listened to a couple different audiobooks through the library free Libby app, (they were neither good enough to recommend nor terrible enough to complain about) we happily gobbled up all the Thanksgiving leftovers, (even though I purchased a smaller turkey and parceled out extra servings for my mother and step father) my son went through some boxes from the attic and donated a ton of stuff to Goodwill, my hair hasn’t been cut for about a year, (I’ve decided that I’m starting to resemble a “sister wife”) I used the targeted free coupons from Fred Meyer (Kroger) on dull items such as eggs and broccoli, I went for a few socially distanced walks with my friend Lise, I’m wearing my free Patagonia fleece jacket that I pulled from a free pile last summer and we continue to treat ourselves to $1 tacos from a local cart every Tuesday!

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold plated apartment in the sky.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 91 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 19, 2020 · 107 comments

  1. I sold a few things on eBay including:

    • An Anthropology mug to a buyer in France. $25

    • An unused pair of Birkenstock arch support inserts. $20

    • Two yards of thrifted Ikea fabric, which is a specific category that’s consistently sold well for me. $35

    • A 1990 American Splendor comic book. $25

    • A midcentury rosewood candlestick. $20

    • A merino wool sweater that required a mend from me. $20

    • A pair of beaten, but collectible Nike sneakers. $30

    • An antique fraternity paddle. $50

    • A pair of ornate silk slippers. $25

    • A 1998 Backstreet Boys concert T-shirt. $60

    • A vintage Revere Ware saucepan. (This link will show you how to identify the vintage pieces.) $25
    • A long sleeve NASA T-shirt. $20

    • A jumble of collectible plastic horses. $40

    • More playing cards from a Ticket To Ride board game that I’ve been piecing out. $5

    You may notice that there’s pretty much zero pattern to what I sell, other than A) It can’t be too finicky to ship, B) I try not to sell anything for under $20 and C) Buy low, sell high.

  2. I summoned up my courage and hit Winco for a big grocery trip yesterday, but try as I might I couldn’t hit the $100 necessary to earn a free turkey. My plan had been to stock up on certain non-perishables if I was close, but since my filled-to-the-brim cart was barely over $60 I bit the bullet and paid for my turkey. We don’t have Aldi in Oregon, which is a bummer as I hear so much great stuff about them, but Winco is an amazingly cheap regional chain that carries all the major brands, features a sizable bulk food section and (this is my favorite part) is employee owned.

    Another thing I love about my beloved Winco, is that they seem to be exclusively located in low income areas. (At least here in Portland.) You read so much about food deserts across America, which are “geographic areas where residents’ access to affordable, healthy food options (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) is restricted or nonexistent due to the absence of grocery stores within convenient traveling distance.” Offering inexpensive quality groceries in traditionally underserved areas? Respect!

  3. I watched a number of YouTube videos from a couple of different side income dudes, (and yes, they are unappealing “dude” guys) who’ve found financial success “flipping couches” as a side hustle. I have neither the upper body strength nor the ownership of a truck to work this into my routine, (not to mention I’m taking the latest lockdown very seriously.) However it did inspire me to unzip and launder the cushions on my own couch, which resulted in a marked improvement. The cushions hadn’t seemed particularly nasty, but they sure look a hell of a lot better than before. I call that a frugal win!

  4. I brought home a free curbside wooden cedar planter and then transplanted the overgrown and leggy sedum into a different flowerpot, I rescued an orange Fiestaware enamel bowl that was rusting away in my father’s greenhouse, I gave bouquets of backyard hydrangeas to all my neighbors and the woman at my favorite taco cart, I incorporated the last dribbles of a large number of fridge items into some meatloaf which not only made it tastier, but served to empty the fridge in readiness for Thanksgiving, and in the same vein as “don’t replace, just clean/repair what you already own” I scrubbed my stainless steel tea kettle back to a mirror finish using Barkeeper’s Friend.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or refuse to admit that I’m being evicted from my gold plated apartment in the sky.

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.
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Disclosure: This blog post includes affiliate links, which may earn you a discount, as well as a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you. 

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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 13, 2020 · 95 comments

  1. I sold a large number of items, thanks in part to cross posting to Facebook Marketplace and taking advantage of a current promotion where Facebook eats the cost of shipping for your first ten sales. However, I believe this offer is just for people who’ve proven their responsibility with a record of selling and receiving feedback from previous buyers.

    I’d been hesitant to use Facebook Marketplace for non-local sales as it seemed like an extra layer of annoyance, but I watched a YouTube seller’s video where the guy talked about increased Marketplace sales which he attributed to professional level photos, which set him apart from other sellers. My eBay photos are decent, (far from professional) so I thought I’d throw a couple items up on Marketplace to test this theory. I quickly made three sales on things that had been collecting dust, so I’ll continue to cross post even after I’ve burned through my free shippings.

  2. My husband and I drove to Costco to get our printer ink cartridges refilled and then sat in the car listening to the latest Office Ladies podcast while waiting the hour and a half for them to be ready. Sure, we killed a bit of time picking up exciting items such as cat food and litter, yogurt and honey, but there was still an interminable amount of leftover time. Sadly, we called this a “date night.”

  3. I bought a vintage copper and brass Goodwill tray and treated it to a beauty makeover. It really was in deeply rough condition, so I polished it up using my trusty can of powdered Barkeeper’s Friend. (This miracle powder is sent from the gods!) The bright coppery tray now sits on a side table that oddly requires a extra horizontal surface and is now the perfect spot for a steaming cup of hot tea.

    Click HERE to see the before-and-after photos!

  4. I gave away a wooden bench through my local Buy Nothing group, I grabbed a nice Carhartt shirt from a neighbor’s free box, I’m listening to the audiobook of Sophie Kinsella’s Love Your Life through the free Libby app, I sold two huge terra cotta flowerpots that someone had put out for free, (which then inspired me to sell a couple extras of my own) I grabbed a new looking toaster from a different neighbor’s free pile, I treated myself to a lightly used pair of LL Bean shearling slippers on eBay, I brought home and washed an abandoned knit cap, I mended a small hole in a wool sweater which then quickly sold on eBay, I swung by the Franz Bakery outlet and scored my husband’s favorite organic 70-jillion grain bread for a buck a loaf, I was gifted a guitar stand for my son through the Buy Nothing group and I continue to go an extended period without a haircut. I swear my hair will reach my toes by the time this pandemic ends.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or barricade myself in a gold plated apartment in the sky.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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