Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 7, 2020 · 65 comments

Life putters along here at casa Wolk-Stanley. My husband continues his full-time work as a paramedic, ironically less than normal. (911 call volume is drastically lower in Oregon due to fewer car accidents and people’s understandable reluctance to venture into an emergency room.) I’m running the household and selling a few things here and there, although it’s mostly stale merchandise due to the inability to hit up my favorite thrift stores. (I know it’s trite when compared to the big picture, but I sure do miss my Goodwill!)

Mine is a simple life that would normally be considered enviable, but the daily onslaught of deeply upsetting news does not invite a restful mindset. These are confusing times, and there’s no instructions manual on how to handle the emotional repercussions of quarantining.

My husband’s lessened paychecks shine a light on how it’s more important than ever to practice non-consumerism. Extreme frugality and waste avoidance were already in our wheelhouse, and these skills are more important than ever.

So “Five Frugal Things?” You betcha!

  1. My eBay sales dribble in, although they’re mostly my daughter’s old Shonen Jump magazines from when she subscribed from 2003-2012. I also sold:

    • A Fiestaware mini disc pitcher.

    • A “Dundie” award for “Whitest Sneakers.”

    • A Ralph Lauren teddy bear.

    • A pair of Oakley sunglass replacement lenses.

  2. I’m focusing on financial tasks to put money back into our bank account. For example:

    • I’d registered for a fall 2020 financial conference, so I sent an email asking for a refund. Not going to attend, even if they somehow figure out how to safely organize it.

    “Money, please!” <– Mona-Lisa Saperstein voice from Parks and Recreation.

    • We paid $50 to replace our son’s lost electronic key fob awhile back, and then found the lost one when we packed up his apartment. I spoke to the property manager who agreed to refund our money if we mailed it back. You know I immediately popped that bad boy into the mailbox!

    • Dealt with our daughter’s non-refunded apartment deposit from 2018. It involved some tricky detective work, but in the end we got her entire deposit back.

    • I called Comcast to see why our cable/internet bill had increased. I spent almost an hour talking with a customer service which was not a great use of my time. (Please note that the call was this lengthy due to his upselling tactics and him being deliberately unclear.) I think I finally have my sports obsessed husband convinced to cancel cable, which we’ll do after he can fix our roof antenna this weekend. Until then, we got $10-per-month knocked off our bill as well as speedier internet.

    • I continue my attempt to sublet my son’s college apartment. I check in a couple times per week with the management office and communicate with potential tenants through Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist ads. It might be a bust in the end, but it won’t be because I dropped the ball. Argh, I hate wasting money!

  3. I’ve gathered all my kids’ random video game component pieces in the living room. We now just need to test everything to see what works and what can be sold “for parts.” Either way, this falls under the category of “crap out of the house, money in,” and is long past due.

  4. Our meals have been prime examples of both “use it up” and “make it do.” A potato salad used up two bottles of mustard, a jar of olives, the scrapings from a jar of mayonnaise and three strips of bacon; and then Pad Thai made use of an almost empty jar of peanut butter and the last of a bag of broccoli. Other meals such as Mexi-bowls and omelettes lend themselves well to this loose recipe mindset. Now is not the time for dropping by the grocery store for last minute ingredients.

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

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 65 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 30, 2020 · 77 comments

  1. My eBay continues to putter along, and although no individual sale will knock your socks off, it still added up quite respectably.

    My favorite sales were:

    • A new in box Ikea slipcover that I picked up at Goodwill a couple years ago. I bought two that day, and still have one to go. Turned out to not have been such a great find, but I’m happy to have finally unloaded this one.

    • A Patti Smith concert hoodie that sold to a friend.

    • A cool vintage classroom style clock, that sold through Facebook Marketplace.

    • An Under Armour brand visor that I found washed up on my sister’s Bronx, NY beach. (It cleaned up perfectly.) I deeply love that I found a new home for this abandoned item.

    Most these sales had been listed for months, which is a good example of how reselling often requires a hefty dose of patience.

  2. My husband and I drove down to Eugene, Oregon with our son to clean out his college apartment. We’re eight months into a twelve-month lease and are hoping to find someone to sublet and take over this financial responsibility, as he now lives at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    We 110% micocleaned the apartment to give ourselves the best chance of finding a new tenant. If we continue to pay rent on an empty apartment, it won’t be because we didn’t give it our best effort.

  3. My husband and I cut his hair and it actually turned out pretty good. He did the part with the electric clippers and I batted cleanup with a simple pair of scissors. We were both pleasantly surprised with the results and my husband can once again venture out in public with his head held high. (He works as a first responder, so he’s not housebound like the rest of us.)

  4. We got our son a free McDonald’s first responder’s meal through my husband’s work ID, I finished listening to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek audiobook through the library’s free Libby app, I honed my thrifting eye by watching hours of reselling YouTube videos from ReadySetResell, I gifted a jar of yeast to a friend, I listed some fabric on eBay that had been languishing in my sewing basket and I may have created enough homemade meals to time travel back to the oppressive 1950s.

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

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 77 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 23, 2020 · 56 comments

  1. My eBay sales kicked into gear over the past few days, and I’ve made a couple of juicy sales including:

    • A bolt of unbearably cute cowgirl-style fabric that I picked up at the Tillamook, Oregon Goodwill.

    • A George Mpata painting that I bought at the Goodwill on S.E. Powell’s Blvd. This was sold through eBay’s Global Shipping Program and appears to be on its way to Italy.

    • A new old stock 1970 latch-hook kit. I purchased this either at the Salem or Albany, Oregon Goodwill in early March on a day that I drove down to Eugene to take my son out for dinner. Ahh . . . that was a fun day.

    • A piece of cute Ikea fabric from the Goodwill on S.E. 52nd Avenue, off of Woodstock Blvd.

    • An antique floor lamp that I sold through Facebook Marketplace. Although I liked the lamp, (and had it in my living room for twenty-plus years) I replaced it with a $12.99 Goodwill lamp that was more streamlined/less fussy.

  2. I grabbed my mending pile and spent an hour or so winnowing it down to just a few odd socks. I usually enjoy mending my family’s clothes, but it felt more like drudgery than a enjoyable chore, which I attribute to the self-quarantine.

    Before quarantine: Mending = a rationalization to watch an hour or two of luxuriously stupid TV.
    Mid-quarantine: Stupid TV is no longer a luxury.

    Luckily an enjoyably darned sock is just as functional as a sock darned with resentful boredom.

  3. My husband switched our phone service over to a less expensive carrier. Still too much money, but any savings is good savings.

  4. I lent three Star Wars Lego books to a neighbor’s twin sons, we let our next door neighbors use our internet for the couple days when theirs was down, I continue to play the windows open/furnace off game on warm days, I’m showering every other day, my husband signed up for a free week of Apple TV+, (which prompted five straight hours of us watching The Morning Show!) I’m cooking entirely from scratch and I went nooooowheeeeerrrrreeee!

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

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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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.

{ 56 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 16, 2020 · 92 comments

  1. Reselling income has been down, but this makes sense as thrifting no longer exists and I have yet to optimize my “death pile.” (A term used by professional resellers to describe the pile of unlisted items that plague even the best of us.) Of the things that have sold, only one item followed a logical track of what you’d think would sell during a global pandemic. (Unopened vintage West German sewing machine needles.)

    • Sewing machine needles.

    • A vintage pool cue.

    • A studio made glazed vase.

    • Two vintage tiled trivets.

    • A 1970s Scrabble set.

    • A lot of 2005 Shonen Jump magazines.

    • A set of game pieces from a Ravensburger board game. (This was an experiment to see if I could maximize profit from a quality board game by selling the component pieces separately.)

    • A gorgeous, (if a bit scratched up) silkscreen of Oregon’s Mount Hood.

    • A vintage metal patio chair that I grabbed a few months ago from a neighbor’s free pile.

    This may sound like an impressive number of sold items, but keep in mind that I haven’t posted about sales since March 15th.

  2. There’ve been two incidences where I’ve come across items at home that I didn’t realize existed — so yes, I’m categorizing them as “frugal things.”

    1. A favorite pair of sweatpants. These lightweight sweats not only fit me perfectly, but feature deep pockets, ideal for brick-a-brack or balled up fists of rage. Sure, my husband insists that they’re technically “men’s pajama pants,” but I don’t let the existence of a single button-fly sway my opinion.

    Why are they a frugal thing?

    I thought I’d left them at my sister’s NYC apartment during one of the five trips that I took to visit her over 2018-2019. Instead, they hid neatly folded at the back of a dresser drawer that mostly holds my husband’s track pants.

    In this essay I will postulate how the perfect pair of sweatpants holds more value than hard currency . . . . 

    2. A bundle of bubble wrap. As an amateur eBay seller, I’m able to source all my bubble wrap needs from a local music shop and my husband’s employer. That was, until the Coronavirus shut down all non essential businesses! I’m loathe to buy new packaging supplies as A) I don’t want to prompt the manufacture of plastic products; and B) My sales are generally pretty low and paying for packaging cuts into my somewhat meager profits.

    I sold the aforementioned pool cue, which sent me into our attic in search of a large box that I could Frankenbox into the right configuration. I grabbed a huge box that previously held a vintage electric guitar that my son ordered from Japan last summer. At the bottom of the box was a mushed up, but perfectly functional wad of bubble wrap that should get me through the next week or two of shipping.

  3. My husband and daughter are both essential workers and I’m currently running the household full time. (Plus watching TV — so much TV!!) I’ve been disciplined about self-quarantining as I know that earth’s only chance of stopping this pandemic is to go home and stay home, which turns out to be an extremely frugal endeavor. My husband has been tasked with all grocery shopping, as he’s already being exposed to the outside world due to his job as a first responder.

    Going nowhere, cooking from scratch and buying nothing beyond groceries is extreme, even for me. With next to no gas station fill ups, “grabbing a bite” while out and about and minimal impulse purchases will hopefully keep our heads above water.

  4. Some businesses are refunding and decreasing fees, which for us includes our auto insurance and our son’s university.

    Specifically we’ll be receiving “A 20% credit on two months of premiums in the coming weeks” from USAA, and a refund of activity and on-campus fees from the university. Plus my son dropped a PE class, as it made zero sense to take a rock climbing class from afar.

    We’re waiting for the inevitable moment when the Portland Timbers soccer team admits that they need to refund season ticket holders, which’ll put a nice chunk of change back into our pockets. Sadness for husband, happiness for bank account.

  5. I gave my thrifted Hydroflask to my daughter, as hers was stolen at work last week, (It’s not like I’m utilizing any travel related items right now) I lent out some cream of tartar and a puzzle to a neighbor, I make endless frugal meals for my family, (including this Bibimbap!) I remember to turn off the furnace whenever I open the windows to enjoy Portland’s sunny weather, (technically . . . I remember after I wake up shivering in the morning) and I sit at home, day after day.

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

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 92 comments }

Anger in The Time of Covid-19

by Katy on April 2, 2020 · 200 comments

I know that I’ve been letting the blog lie dormant over the past few weeks, and it’s not because I haven’t tried to write. I have. I’ve started blog posts with an eye to bringing normalcy to our crazy world, I’ve tried to write about how my family is spending our days, and at one low moment I wrote up an entire blog post only to discover that I somehow wasn’t logged into WordPress, which meant that every single word disappeared when I reformatted the piece.

I assumed that I couldn’t coalesce my thoughts due to anxiety or generalized “mush brain,” which is a term I recently coined.

Use it in a sentence?

“My mush brain has resulted in me reading this same damned paragraph eight times in a row without an iota of comprehension.”

“Mush brain.”

But I’ve realized that it’s not anxiety — it’s anger!

  • Anger that people have died/are dying/will die due to deliberate self serving egotistical acts by the corrupt Donald Trump administration.

  • Anger about the saccharine “medical care workers are heroes” narrative that shifts the attention away from the why of how scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE) was ever allowed to happen.

  • Anger that we’re all cowering in our homes while the extended Trump family and CEOs profiteer from a global pandemic.

  • Anger that my son is trapped in his childhood bedroom taking online university classes instead of sitting in a classroom with his peers.

  • Anger that my 77-year-old mother is terrified that she and her husband will be denied life saving medical care because ventilators are being prioritized for the non-elderly.

  • Anger that health insurance is tied to employment at a time when millions of Americans have just lost their jobs.

This list is seemingly endless, but it pretty much describes why I haven’t written any blog posts about nifty thrift store finds or cooking from scratch.

I’m angry. So fucking angry.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 200 comments }

Six Frugal Things

by Katy on March 15, 2020 · 96 comments

  1. I haven’t sold much over the past week or so, which I believe to be due to people’s understandable focus on Covid-19 rather than the accumulation of cool quirky vintage items. (Hardly a priority right now!) However I did sell:

    • A midcentury dining room chair.

    • A lot of embroidery floss.

    • A Pendleton travel mug.

    • Two double sets of high-end ski gloves that I pulled from a neighbor’s free box.

    Supposedly I have someone coming by today to buy a jumble of Thule bike rack pieces that I brought home from that same neighbor’s free pile. Although I know from experience to not count my chickens before they hatch. Edit: They just now picked everything up!

  2. I haven’t been stocking up on groceries any more than usual, although we probably have enough on hand for a couple weeks of meals, especially if we relax our standards about what passes as a normal meal.

    “Lasagna with shredded white chocolate chips instead of mozzarella? Okay!”

    I’ll let you know if we dig into the three jars of handmade fig jam from 2019, 2018 and 2017 from my husband’s co-worker.

    I really don’t like the texture of fig jam!

  3. Portland’s brick-and-mortar library system is closed for an indefinite amount of time, (snif!) but their digital services such as Libby and Kanopy continue to serve patrons.

    I have three physical library books at the moment, although my focus is pretty scattered right now, so I’m not sure how much reading I’ll be doing. I got twenty pages into a library copy of The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich last night, and will try to prioritize taking time to read, as I’ve found that I do best when I read in big chunks rather than starting and stopping.

    I also have a few meaning to read them books that deserve a bit of love and attention.

    Luckily we have Netflix, my mother’s Amazon Prime, a friend’s Hulu and our own CBS All Access. (Star Trek: Picard!)

  4. My son is coming home from college today for an unspecified amount of time. We’ll still have to pay his rent, but it’ll be cheaper for him to eat home cooked meals than to pay for separate groceries. This is the only silver lining, (and really only the tiniest sliver) to his university putting all classes online.

    I already know that my son is going to be super bummed to spend an extended time away from his friends and community.

  5. My 84/almost 85-year-old father came over for lunch on Friday. We normally walk to a nearby popular Mexican restaurant, but both felt it would be best practice to avoid crowded areas. Instead recreated his normal “Bryan’s Bowl” order and presented it as a “Tony’s Bowl.”

    This dish varies seasonally, (as it always includes lots of fresh veggies) but mine consisted of pinto beans, black beans, rice, avocado, sautéed onions and peppers, roasted sweet potato chunks, tortilla chips, cilantro, salsa and avocado salsa. Very frugal, certainly filling and societally responsible.

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

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

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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{ 96 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 2, 2020 · 87 comments

  1. I sold just a few things over the past week, but since it was mostly higher dollar items, I’m stoked with the results. This included a Green Day concert T-shirt that I pulled out of a Goodwill Outlet bin, a Playmobile set, a new pair of Solmate socks and the antique doll chair that I reupholstered back in September.

    Bizarrely, the most expensive item that sold was the Green Day T-shirt, which brought in a whopping $100!

  2. My daughter and I took my mother out for a Birthday Day of Adventures. My son is still in college, (not to mention never ending surprise bills) so our budget is tighter than an Edwardian corset. (You’re welcome for this extremely timely reference!)

    • I treated my mother to lunch at Mod Pizza, chosen because A) It’s across the street from a terrific Goodwill, and B) I’d earned a free Mod Salad from buying one in January. My mother and daughter chose pizza, and I got the salad, (duh!) and we split them both.

    • We then shopped at Goodwill, although none of us found anything that called our names.

    • I then drove us over to Ikea for their free tea and coffee. I’d packed my own tin of freshly baked gluten-free cookies which we enjoyed with our hot caffeinated beverages.

    • Next up was a drive to the top of Rocky Butte which sits atop an extinct volcanic cinder cone and provides 360° vistas of Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood, the Columbia river and downtown Portland. It was an unseasonably bright clear day, so the view was spectacular. This free park was built as part of the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) project in the 1930s and resembles a cool medieval castle.
    • Our last stop was to the Goodwill on Powell Blvd., where I picked up a vintage pharmacy-style floor lamp. My plan was to resell it, but I decided that I like it better than the fussy antique one that’s been in my living room since Edwardian times.

    This “Day of Adventures” was not my best effort, (especially since my mother’s birthday was in October!) but we all had fun, munched some tasty food and enjoyed one another’s company. A day of experiences beats a shelf of unwanted gifts any day of the week!

    Experiences > Stuff 

  3. I finished listening to the audiobook of Lisa See’s The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane through the free Libby app, I picked up a Lucky Day copy of Delia Owens’ Where The Crawdads Sing which I’ll start on this evening, we watched a library Blu-ray of Star Trek: Generations, I picked up two loaves of Orowheat rye bread at the Dollar Tree store, (they normally sells for $4.29 apiece) I accepted a friend’s roll of thin styrofoam packaging to reuse for eBay sales, I narrowly avoided buying a much needed ream of paper, as my daughter unearthed one while cleaning her room and I picked up two 99¢ half-gallons of sale milk from Fred Meyer.

  4. I replaced the belt on my 1999 vacuum cleaner. Whenever I replace a belt I wonder how many people assume that their vacuum cleaner simply isn’t working well, and use that as an excuse a buy a brand new one. It takes just a few minutes to do and makes the vacuum work exponentially better.

    Have you ever replaced an entire vacuum cleaner, (or know someone who did) when all it needed was a $3 belt?

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

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

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.

{ 87 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 24, 2020 · 66 comments

  1. I sold just two things last week, specifically a Goodwill “bins” T-shirt and two yards of some thrifted but brand-new fabric. Yawn . . .

    However, a neighbor down the street has been cleaning out his basement, (or so it seems) and I lugged home a set of expensive ski bindings as well as a jumble of rough Thule bike rack parts. (This is the same neighbor who put out the ski gloves last week.) I scrubbed the roof rack parts, which are admittedly rough, but I should still be able to sell some of it to a local shop that specializes in second-hand bike racks. The ski bindings are listed on eBay.

    Even if only some of this stuff sells, it was all free to me and all it took to ready it for a new owner was an hour or so of elbow grease.

  2. My sister flew into town last week for a short trip for our aunt’s memorial service. Although the reason for her visit was a sad one, we still enjoyed the opportunity to spend time together, as well as to see family — both nuclear and extended.

    We ended up indulging in multiple restaurant meals, all of which were on the dime of our parents, (Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!) but I think I’m ready for a week or so of deliberately healthy home cooked meals.

    My sister is just as big a fan of thrifting as I am, so we ended up hitting two Goodwills over a three day period. I didn’t find anything to buy, but my sister nabbed the above stack of colorful Fiestaware bowls, as well as a ceramic Starbucks tumbler to replace one that had broken. Come to think of it, the bowls were also purchased to replace a dwindling stack due to breakage. (Her last house had tile floors in the kitchen, which was hostile to both sore feet and crockery!)

  3. I gave an an interview for a Nerd Wallet/USA Today article titled, Having a Baby? These Are The Money Saving Items You Need. I’m very pleased that the author, Laura McMullen quoted me liberally throughout the piece including this important point:

    “We owe it to future generations to take a step back from the consumer culture and think about how these purchases are affecting the planet.”

    I often give interviews where I make this type of statement, and then get quoted as saying “Wolk-Stanley encourages people to check out their local thrift store.” Sure, that’s one thing I said, but I also talked about big picture issues such as the environment, overmanufacture of consumer goods, buy nothing groups and the utter ridiculousness of needlessly gendered baby items.

    It’s good to get my message across.

  4. I gave away an unused queen-size duvet on my buy nothing group, my friend Lise picked up four loaves of bargain bread for me at the Bob’s Killer Bread outlet store, (I did reimburse her) my daughter cleaned and decluttered her bedroom, which unearthed an excessive amount of straight-up garbage; but our lovely next door neighbors let us put an extra bag in their outgoing can, (Thanks, Nancy!) I fed a neighbor’s cat while they were out of town, I renewed library books before they were overdue and I picked up a Blu-Ray of Star Trek: Generations as we’re currently rewatching all The Next Generation movies.

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

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

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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{ 66 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 18, 2020 · 70 comments

  1. I sold five items on eBay this week, although none were high dollar sales. Three of the five sales were items that I’d listed at least six months ago, so it was a good lesson in “list it and forget it.” It’s great when things that I list sell immediately, but that’s rarely the case.

    However, I haven’t been listing much new stuff lately, so I have no one to blame but myself.

    Here is what sold:

    • A $12 Danish wooden troll figurine.
    • A $12 framed print .
    • An $18 mini Land’s End canvas tote.
    • A $50 vintage rotary telephone.
    • A $50 miniature Edward Gorey book.

    I took myself on a couple of Goodwill trips and did pick up some new inventory, which’ll hopefully generate some sales.

  2. I spent a full evening completely reorganizing our coat closet. This “closet” is actually just a spot underneath the staircase that a previous owner walled in, so it doesn’t actually have a door. This means that all contents, haphazard or otherwise are always 100% visible.

    I’ve come to the realization that I live with a cult of coat worshippers.

    However . . .

    • I gave away four jackets and a pair of winter boots through my Buy Nothing group.
    • I put a nice hat, a scarf and gloves into the donation box at the library.
    • I took a torn up pair of indoor soccer shoes to the recycle box at the Nike store, where they’ll be shredded for reuse.
    • I threw away a literal moth eaten scarf.
    • I gave one REI fleece jacket to Goodwill, which no one had wanted in the Buy Nothing group.
    • I threw away one cheap canvas tote bag, which glowed yellow under a black light. (Damn cats!)

    I didn’t need to buy any “closet organizing” products, I simply needed to decrease the number of things within the closet. A good lesson in how you don’t need to organize that which you don’t own.

  3. I brought home a large bag of grubby looking but high-end ski gloves that a neighbor had put out in a free box. I gave them a good wash and will list them on eBay to find new homes. I’m guessing that I’ll make a hundred dollars or so from my efforts.

  4. I finished reading a library copy of The Island of Sea Women and immediately put another one of the author’s books on hold, I spent at least three hours weeding and thinning out the jungle of our front yard yesterday; and enjoyed that every single one of my plants are starts from friends, I assembled a huge pot of chili that incorporated two containers of scratch cooked black beans and the last scrapings from a jar of pasta sauce, I got together with my friend Lise for a free-coffee-from-Ikea work date, I redeemed a coupon for a free big salad from Mod Pizza, (they had a promotion where each salad purchased in January earned you a free salad in February) and I cleaned out the interior of my car using nothing but water, a squirt of dish soap and a tremendous amount of elbow grease.

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

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 8, 2020 · 87 comments

  1. I sold a few items, mainly on Facebook Marketplace as most items would be tricky to mail. This included a midcentury end table from the Albany, Oregon Goodwill, (my current favorite Goodwill location!) a delightfully groovy vintage lamp, a midcentury footstool and a faux-wood piece of wall art shaped like a big ol’ bonsai tree.

    The footstool was a $3.99 Goodwill find that I reupholstered, (ha!) by stapling on a rectangle of red velvet. It took an hour or so and turned a dated piece of furniture into an on-trend item that quickly found a new home. Click HERE to see the before-and-after.

    On eBay I sold five more Mary Engelbreit magazines, a length of lovely wool fabric and a pair of 1950s pink hand towels that I listed back in April. I call this “playing the long game.”

  2. I roped my friend Lise into going to Winco with me, as I was feeling unmotivated for the dull task of grocery shopping and thought a friend would help the situation. We also snuck in a quick trip to Goodwill as well as the Fubonn Asian grocery store.

    I thanked her by driving us through Best Baguette for their egg, cheese and avocado croissant sandwiches, which are what I’m currently craving morning, noon and night. Great . . . now I’m craving them again!

    I’m not really a “let’s meet up for drinks” kind of friend. Want to be my friend? You’ve been warned!

  3. The tailgate handle on our Prius had been broken for a couple months, which was an annoyance but wasn’t affecting the functionality of the vehicle. My husband ordered the $73 replacement part, which then sat for a couple weeks until he found a time when he wasn’t working/it wasn’t raining/he could force himself to install it. These factors finally coalesced a few days ago, and we can finally open up the back of the car again.

    I don’t know how much it would have cost to hire a mechanic, but I’m sure we saved at least $100. Whether it’s darning a sock, cooking from scratch or doing minor home and car repairs, we save thousands of dollars per year by choosing to hire out as little as possible.

  4. I finished one library book and started another, I binge watched the new season of Shrill through my friend Lisa’s Hulu account, my mom washed my daughter’s huge comforter for us in her large-capacity machine, (I then thanked her by inviting her and my step father over for a burrito-buffet night) I thrifted two more glass bottles, (with lids!) for our Soda Stream, a blog reader gave me a mostly full container of laundry detergent that didn’t work in her machine and we lent our Sawzall to our neighbor, with whom we have a symbiotic moochy relationship.

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

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

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 follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

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