The Daily-Ness of Non-Consumerism

by Katy on August 30, 2011 · 8 comments

Living a non-consumer life has a rhythm neither rising too high nor lowering too far. I putter around the house, find free entertainment and activities and slowly but surely try to sell my unneeded possessions to the highest bidder.

And yes, I occasionally go to work.

So when I had a brief but dramatic kitchen fire yesterday, (I had let the olive oil get too hot, so when I added the frozen chicken breasts, flames suddenly and quite dramatically leaped up at least 2-1/2 feet in the air. Luckily, I had a tempered glass lid at the reach, which quickly extinguished the flames.) I did not pick up the phone and order pizza. I let the pan cool down and continued on with preparing the pesto with chicken for the six hungry mouths that congregated at my dinner table.

And when my son and his friend got bored, I took everyone to the nearby arcade. This was a frugal choice, as they send out free passes, which include $4 apiece in nickels to play the games. And as always, I admonished the boys to “make these last!”

We didn’t go see any movies, we didn’t eat out, we didn’t pay for anything.

Just another day in non-consumer land.

My poor, poor children.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary August 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

I read your blog & think: your lucky, lucky children! They are learning how to enjoy life by being creative.
I can’t believe you put out the fire and just kept cooking – that’s amazing 🙂


Katy August 30, 2011 at 10:06 am

There was some adrenaline involved for sure. I screamed the word “FIRE” really loudly, but by the time people ran into the kitchen it was out.



Katie August 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm

“…and slowly but surely try to sell my unneeded possessions to the highest bidder”

haha! I relate to this so much. Next up: fretless bass on Craigslist.


Katy August 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I just this very second sold my vintage tandem bicycle for $125. Really excited to watch my kids’ Japan trip savings accounts grow!



Megg August 31, 2011 at 6:09 am

Yes, your poor kids 😛
I’m so glad that you’re raising them to be smart about their money (at least I hope they’re learning that from you!) It’s my goal to do this with my future family. Not that my family wasn’t money-smart, but they just didn’t talk about it and I didn’t learn to be frugal until I’d lived on my own for a while. Well, better late than never!


Fran August 31, 2011 at 6:32 am

Good going, Katy! I love reading your blog but this is the first time I’ve posted. Some kids get so much stuff and are so constantly entertained, rather than entertaining themselves, that I feel they will have no sense of reality when they grow up.


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares August 31, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I like to save spares of things that are harder to find at a reasonable price and I know I’ll need FOR SURE. I have a hard time finding sandals I like in my size, so I don’t mind having a spare for when my current ones are worn.

I don’t need spare shirts, because those are easy to find at thrift stores.

So, I ask myself, “What’s the worst that will happen if I get rid of this?”

If the worst case is great inconvenience or unreasonable expense, it stays. If it’s very minor inconvenience or minimal expense, it can go.

The best thing, though, is to manage the intake. It’s hard to pass up something really cheap or free. Some people feel they OUGHT to take something cheap or free that they might be able to use. The way I keep myself from taking excess to begin with is to figure I will leave it to bless someone else.


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares August 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Oops. Posted that last comment in the wrong thread!


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