Welcome to The Non-Consumer Advocate!

by Katy on August 23, 2012 · 39 comments

Welcome to The Non-Consumer Advocate! Sure, you may have been reading this blog since its inception in 2008, but chances are that you just clicked over from my Today Show appearance.

This blog is about frugality and buying less, but it’s so much more than that. I also write about simple living, food waste, environmentalism, happiness, decor, raising kids in this crazy consumer world and a myriad of related topics like my clothesline, which I love with all my heart!

My tagline is “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” and I really mean it. I make do with what I already own, and actually work to get rid of more stuff that I bring home.

If you’re looking to read more of The Non-Consumer Advocate, here are a few of my favorite posts:

Can I Talk You Into Trying The Compact?

A Love Letter to my Cast Iron Skillet

Getting Crafty on a $0 Budget

Calling All Spendthrifts — Keep it Up!

Princess Katy and the Bedside Table

The Time Has Come to Usher in The Era of The Reasonably Priced Kitchen

Hello Gorgeous Lamp, Wanna Come Over and See my Etchings?

My Island Dreams Don’t Involve Balmy Breezes

Can Happiness and a Love of Possessions Coexist?

The Good, The Bad and The Overpriced —  A Trip to Goodwill 

But since I’ve written 1431 posts, it’s hard to say which are my favorites. Please feel free to browse through the archives on the right side of the blog.

So thanks for stopping by, I’m always happy to welcome new readers!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth @ The Bare Midriff August 23, 2012 at 4:30 am

Yep – your Today show segment just finished!

The timing couldn’t have been better for me to find you. I recently left a comfortable teaching job to pursue writing. I nearly cried when we re-evaluated our budget. I have been feeling so low lately, wondering how I will be able to tap into my creativity when I have this “money money money” cloud looming overhead all the time. I intend to read back on your posts and follow you now; you’ve inspired me!


Rebekah August 23, 2012 at 4:35 am

What were the email addresses of on-line second hand “stores” mentioned on the Today show?


Jacinda August 23, 2012 at 8:10 am

Here are the sites that were mentioned:


Jacinda August 23, 2012 at 8:17 am

Loved the segment! I missed it on TV but found it here online:

Great job, Katy!! I must admit that I’m envious of your Goodwill. I live in a pretty small town, and ours is nothing like that.


Debbie T August 23, 2012 at 5:04 am

Haha! I DID find you through the today show. I’m impressed and am looking forward to reading your posts. I have tried to adapt more of a compact simple life but there is always room for improvement. I don’t know about a full year but I’m keeping an open mind! Thanks for your info!


Natalie, the Chickenblogger August 23, 2012 at 5:34 am

Congratulations, on your lifestyle, and on this Today opportunity to get your message out. I am subscribing to you blog.
Our own family has been on a purge… it’s hard sometimes, but mostly liberating to clear the clutter, donate useful things to people who will actually use them! I feel fortunate that each of our four children love-love second hand finds, and have a deep respect for making, repairing, and reusing.


Justine August 23, 2012 at 5:48 am

Katy, I appreciate your attitude. I find that many that adapt a lifestyle of simplicity become somewhat arrogant, and often judge others for not doing exactly the same in many ways. Your appreciation for the differences in all of us is refreshing. Your lifestyle is inspiring only because the heart of the person behind it is inspiring. Bravo!


Renee CA August 23, 2012 at 5:51 am

Yes, welcome new readers! This is such a fun, informative place to hang out. I’ve been inspired and learned so much! And laughed out loud more than once.


Lauri August 23, 2012 at 6:30 am

I’ve been a reader for almost a year now, but have never posted any comments. I just wanted to say congrats on the Today Show clip – you were awesome! Thanks for all the great posts & I look forward to many more.


Maureen August 23, 2012 at 6:48 am

I also welcome the new readers, Katy rocks!

As an older reader of Katy’s I forgot to set my DVR. I hope I can find it on NBC.com later today. I love her posts.


debbie T August 23, 2012 at 7:15 am

You can find the clip online, Maureen!


Reese August 23, 2012 at 10:54 am
Jo August 23, 2012 at 7:03 am

Congratulations on The Today Show- I wish we could see it here in South Africa. I’m with you on the Compact over here, though I dream of the thrift stores back in Boston, MA.

We’ve found that by seeking alternatives to buying, we have been able to fundamentally alter the way we live: we need less space so at age 29 and 33 we live in a little house that’s paid for, and we’re able to take care of our toddler and newborn without daycare, by both working just part time.

I love that we can find community online, like this one, to encourage us. Go Katy!


Judy August 23, 2012 at 7:26 am

Good job on the Today show Katy. Hope you are enjoying your time
on the east coast.
Welcome new readers!


Linda in Indiana August 23, 2012 at 7:35 am

Excellent job on The Today Show! Also welcome to new readers…you will never look back and will wonder where Katy has been hiding all this time:)! PS.Katy, you looked great!!


Teresa August 23, 2012 at 8:05 am

Congrats Katy! Old time reader here. Any way that you would be able to post a link to the Today show segment on the blog. I missed it, but want to see it.


Dee Skelley August 23, 2012 at 8:55 am

I did just learn about you from the NBC news site. I’ve been looking for you since I started dating my fiance, Buck. He has taught me the joy of living for less. I will admit I am not a fan of Goodwill. My other half and I are on fixed incomes so used is a great form of shopping for us. I find Goodwill has upped it’s prices so badly in the last few years you can get much of the stuff in Goodwill just as cheap new at Walmart. That’s not to say I haven’t found deals. I have a pair of really cute MBT shoes I bought last year from Goodwill for $5 that I thought was more than reasonable for such a nice pair of shoes. I am extremely picky about used shoes, of course. Much to my surprise, when I did look them up, this year’s model goes for $250. But such a find is a rarity. I LOVE yard/garage sales! I also prefer a local thrift shop to Goodwill. My other half is absolutely terrible with driving the streets on garbage day and spring cleanup in our area is a 2 day shopping bonanza – no cash needed – just be ready to fight for what you find, LOL. Admittedly, I find it too embarrassing to go along on the weekly rides but spring cleanup is a different story. We have acquired a rug scrubber out of the garbage and can clean thrown out rugs. Buck can make something fantastic out of nothing… last week he found the firebox for an electric fireplace. He fixed it (it only needed a fuse) then went to the local diy store, bought a scrap of paneling that looked like stone for $4, and proceeded to build a very cute little fireplace for a room I was decorating. (We just bought this fairly older home a year ago and are still decorating, painting, fixing up, etc.). You would be shocked what a talented handyman can do. Most of the stuff he does to fix things from the garbage is CLEAN them (scrubbers, vacuums, etc.) and check for simple things such as fuses. What we don’t use in our home he sells at yard sales he has a couple of times a year. We truly live your motto and I am so happy I found your site!


Margaret August 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

I just noticed that Katy is on the front page of The Today Show website! Exciting! Click soon, as I am sure they will change their page soon.


Congratulations Katy!


Amanda August 23, 2012 at 9:51 am

I am be living this way for several years now. My rule of thumb – when you buy something – you must also donate something. My house is 1080 sq ft and I de-clutter on a monthly basis. I don’t shop at Costco since I do not have storage space, and I never buy new toys, books or kids clothes! Goodwill is the best for all three of those items. I do buy new shoes for everyday use though! So glad to see this going mainstream.


Hannah August 23, 2012 at 9:58 am

I feel like such a cool kid, since I’ve been reading this blog for more than a year. Does that make me a non-consumer hipster?


Shannon August 23, 2012 at 9:59 am

Congrats Katy! You were awesome on tv and it was cool to see your family after reading about them!


Amy August 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I just found your blog on the Today website. This is great!

I’m wondering what you do for Christmas and birthday presents for you family and friends. Recently, I have been trying to treat my family and friends to dinner or a movie for special occasions rather than buying extra stuff they may not want or need.

Keep up the good work!


Becky August 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I didn’t see the Today show, but a friend who did sent me your blog.
When I read what you buy new and realized it was exactly the same as my list of what we buy new, I got really excited.


Paula in the UP August 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Katy you looked great and seemed so at ease!! Great job!


Becky August 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I also love my clothesline…but I use an indoor clothesline since I live smack downtown Portland and have no outdoor space. I miss the smell of wind blown sheets on a warm summer day..but line drying is such a great way to give your clothes a longer life..cheaper on the pocket book and better for our world!


Patricia August 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I started reading your blog about a month ago. Congratulations on your lifestyle. I am inspired by your postings. I collected my change around the house and took it to a coin machine, which gave me the amount of $197.00! And I now carry change to use, so I will not get a ton of coins laying around. I am not ready to stop shopping, but I do want want to shop less and live more. I am so impressed that you work part-time, still have a great life. So baby steps for me…I will get there.


Megan August 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Great Clip Katy! Front page news!

Anyone else think that some of the comments on the article on Today.com were so mean? One of the things I love about this blog is that you recognize that you can’t please everyone, and don’t try. You just plug along with what you believe is right. I’ve been reading for a while now, and plan to come back for more.

Enjoy the rest of your time in NY!


Leigh August 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Congrats Katy. I forgot to set my DVR. Does someone have a link to the video that works? Would love to see it.


Leigh August 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

this link worked for me….great piece. KGW in Portland just aired the first part on the 4:00 news.


Molly August 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm

It’s your green sweater!!!!!


Bauunny August 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm

You are a “natural”! It was great fun to click on the link and see you in both segments. Well done.


Carol August 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Great job, Katy! You didn’t even look nervous! Love your blog and I have been reading it for several years –and it was fun to see your boys and husband too. Have a great time on the rest of your trip!


Ann August 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Your “Today Show” appearance was fantastic! The video they showed was perfect and you looked great! I especially liked Dale’s segment – and his good humor – and “Vinnie the Lamp” (my personal have) in the background! Congratulations on your recognition of late – Huffington Post, Today Show…what’s next???


Ann August 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Personal fave…dang that autocorrect!!!


Kate August 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm

I’m less than halfway through the clip and I’m like “THE CHROME LAMP!! YES!!!!!” I LOOOve how it’s in the background that is amazing!


Ann August 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Yeah!!! Vinnie the Lamp!


Donna Drevdahl August 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

So glad to have found you- a women who thinks like I do!
I too love to hit the thrift stores. I find great craft supplies to feed my cross stitch habit, which I then sell the finished product on Ebay & Etsy to have cash to go back and get more supplies, as so on.
But at least the net result is a little extra cash in my pocket and a hobby that pays for itself.

Looking forward to following you.


margot August 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I wish this blog were more about buying less, as you claim. Instead, I find it’s too often about buying lots and lots of stuff – just buying it cheaply – which still results in a cluttered home, claustrophobia of stuff, and consumerism.


Katy August 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Look through the archives, there’s lots of content for everyone.

Thanks for the kind words.



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