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Dean Kirkland

The Non-Consumer Advocate

http://thenonconsumeradvocate.wordpress.com/

Located in Portland

Last update: December 10th, 2014 at 09:00 am

ping: http://ignoregon.com/ping/1474

255 post clicks in the past 90 days

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

My friend Sasha is coming over this morning, and I’ve set aside my $5-for-$10 Starbucks Groupon from a few weeks ago. I’d actually given it to my husband as a gift, but he kept not using it and I figured it would do me more good than him, as it will keep me from spending any money […]

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I used to live in New York City in the late 1980’s and it was a beautiful time. Why? Because it was before any of us know to worry about bed bugs. A time when a fresh faced young Oregonian could schlep home all the amazing curbside finds that New Yorkers abandon in front of their apartments. […]

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Remember my free aloe plant that I rescued from one of Portland’s infamous free piles? It was planted in a not so attractive glass bowl with regular dirt instead of potting soil. However, it was alive, and I figured I could give it a new home without any possibility of buyer’s remorse. I grabbed a vintage bean

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1) This Portland free pile, which generated a lot of interest. Me? I brought home an aloe plant and concrete planter. My plan is to transplant it into a vintage flower pot with some nice hens and chicks, which I already own. 2) Turkey soup, turkey pot pie, turkey casserole, turkey stock, turkey enchiladas . . […]

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Today is Black Friday, which means it’s time to leave your family at home and shop till you drop! And what’s Black Friday without some promo code love? So here you go. You’re welcome! IALREADYHAVEENOUGH ILIKELYHAVETOOMUCHSTUFF THEBESTSAVINGSISMONEYNOTEVENSPENT SLEEPINGINISBETTERTHANWAITINGINLINE MALL?NOTHA

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Today I am thankful for: The health and wellbeing of my family and friends. Food, shelter and clean water. One very reliable automobile. That I have everything I need, and lack for nothing. My job as an RN that pays well enough to work part time while still earning a living wage. A functional kitchen […]

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Today I am . . .  Making pies, cranberry sauce and picking up a few extra Thanksgiving necessities such as brussel sprouts. (We’ll be eating our Thanksgiving meal at my brother-in-law’s house on Thursday, but having my family over the next day.) Making my sister happy by registering for HBO GO just so she can [

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When I completely screwed up my hair, a local reader (and stylist) generously offered to come to my house and fix it for free. She did a great job and left with a review copy of Handmade Gatherings, a jar of applesauce and a half-dozen pumpkin scones. My husband and I both registered our American […]

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My sister dropped by last night to return my Bissell rug shampooer. She’s selling her truck and wanted to create a not-mildewy vibe for the new owner. I bought the shampooer on Craigslist probably four years ago, and it’s since been borrowed by at least six different people. It’s one of those items that&

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Yesterday I had a whole plan in place about how I was going to the “fancy schmancy beauty school” to get my hair cut. It was going to be free, and I was going to use my free bus pass to avoid paying for parking. Good plan, right? But then someone in The Non-Consumer Advocate […]

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Today I am . . .  Home from work. Scheduling a free haircut for tomorrow through our local fancy schmancy beauty school. Planning on taking the bus so I don’t have to pay to park in the fancy schmancy downtown neighborhood. Pulling out a tub of miscellaneous papers to organize and shred. (Isn’t it unbelievably

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Today and every day I choose my outfit from my small collection of thrift shop clothing. Today and everyday I sit on second hand furniture in my home. Today and every day I choose the cold water cycle for my laundry. Today and every day I make my phone calls on my husband’s hand-me-down iPhone […]

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I’m from the school of thought that believes that having limitations in life breeds creativity. Sometimes those limitations are yours by choice, but more often they aren’t. Either way, you can choose to bemoan your limitations or you can embrace them. I choose to embrace my financial limitations. Challenging mys

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Today I am . . .  Taking care of bidness business. Organizing the drawers in my built-in buffet. Decluttering the inside of my piano bench. It had been filled with hard copies of interviews I’ve given over the years, but multiple copies of newspapers and magazines was getting out of hand. The newspapers went into [&#

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I try to minimize my driving, so it’s rare that I ever drive across town (or anywhere, really) for a single errand. So when my son needed a ride to school yesterday, I threw in a few extra N.E. Portland stops to take full advantage of the neighborhood. First I stopped at my father’s house […]

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The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy! My family is most definitely a two income family. My husband works full-time in emergency services and I work very part-time (16 hours per week) as a labor and delivery nurse. I’ve been in the same job for over fifteen years, so my hourly wage is gen

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A few years ago my friend Sasha knitted me a beautiful scarf. The yarn is buttery soft, and the pretty blue colors brighten up Portland’s oppressive grey weather. It’s really long, which makes it super versatile. I’d been admiring the on-trend look of infinity scarves, so I hatched an idea to sew the sc

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Today I am . . .  Happy that my middle-aged near sightedness can be fixed with a $1 pair of Dollar Tree reading glasses. Planning a Safeway grocery trip to take full advantage of their monthly $10-off-$50 coupon. I’ll also ask the neighbors to save their coupon for me. Needing to clean one of my […]

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It’s time for another one of my Non-Consumer Photo Essays, where you get a glimpse into the death defying exciting acceptable visuals from my world. Remember my $6.99 5-pound bag of bleu cheese crumbles from The Grocery Outlet? Well I finally divvied it into canning jars for the freezer. I can now pull out normal siz

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I’m not a traditional food shopper, as I shop all around town to meet my family’s food and household needs. Costco for olive oil, yeast and yogurt; Trader Joe’s for Dishwasher detergent and toilet paper, Fred Meyer and Safeway for loss leader sales and  The Grocery Outlet Bargain Market for gourmet goodi

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I went to a meeting last night for my son’s upcoming trip to Japan. One of the parents brought a case of tofu from his cousin’s factory, and I accepted two free packs. Tofu isn’t on my regular rotation, so I asked Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook Group members for ideas, and I now have at least a […]

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I hate paying money to fix problems. I rarely, if ever throw money at a problem, instead I try to figure out a solution from what I already own or can get for free. (Hello . . . my mother’s basement!) I have a hedge-row of arborvitae in my backyard that we planted back in the day […]

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Although we are two weeks past the completion of Screen Free Week, I am still trying to be mindful about how much time I spend in front of a screen, be it television, computer or my soul time-sucking smart phone. As a blogger and administrator of the blog’s Facebook Group, it’s easy to get sucked in approving

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One thing I like about going to Goodwill is that you just never know what or who you’re going to run into. For example, you might come across our Commander in Chief catching a wave: Or Señor y Señora Maraca. ¡Hola! (Cómo se dice “googly eyes” en Español?) But sometimes you simply come across the 

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An interesting post came up the other day over at The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook Group about buying used sheets. Here’s what Susan wrote: “I just purchased (at a great price) 3 sets of sheets at a thrift store which will become the sheets we take to our rented beach house each year. My husband will balk [&#

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I started writing the blog on May 20th, 2008 with a post titled Welcome to The Non-Consumer Advocate. Explaining that: “Anyone knows how to live well in good times – lots of delicious dinners out, sumptuous presents for all, great clothes and furnishings. The art is to know how to live well whether your income is [

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My younger son turned sixteen today, but since his birthday fell on a Monday, we celebrated yesterday. A few years ago, I started a new family tradition where the four of us spend the day together going from one activity to another. I call it a “Birthday Day of Adventures,” and it involves planning out a [̷

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I needed a pair of new athletic shoes, so I usurped a pair of my son’s many new looking pairs of Nikes. I will reimburse him the $20 he paid for them at Goodwill and spare myself the unpleasant task of thrifting for sneakers.  My sons had a soccer game yesterday, and it was sunny outside. I grabbed my […]

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It’s time again for Non-Consumer Mish-Mash, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that. Is it Time to Think Outside The Pouch? A link from The Story of Stuff Project showed up in my Facebook feed this morning, which included this eye catching graphic:   The link took me […]

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I was feeling like I wanted to treat my older son to something special, so I offered to take him to a movie. However, the movie he wanted to see was Thor: The Dark World which is no longer in theaters. I located a nearby $1.30 DVD through Redbox, and the two of us enjoyed a lovely […]

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