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Dean Kirkland

The Non-Consumer Advocate

http://thenonconsumeradvocate.wordpress.com/

Located in Portland

Last update: January 12th, 2015 at 11:49 am

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255 post clicks in the past 90 days

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

Today I am . . .  Stopping at both The Grocery Outlet and Fred Meyer on my way home from dropping my son at school. I bought two huge bags of groceries plus an enormous bag of oranges for only $28 at Grocery Outlet and then paid $5 apiece for 2-pound Tillamook cheese loaves using […]

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Do Your Taxes for Free! I am a big fan of using online Turbo Tax for doing our taxes, and for the first time ever they are now free for both federal and state if you file the 1040EZ or the 1040A forms. (You used to have to pay to file the State taxes.) I am […]

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I am coordinating my paper coupons and Safeway’s Just For U e-coupons to get ready to go to the grocery store. I have the monthly $10-off-$50 Safeway coupon and will combine everything to grab staples and lots of great deals. I know that many people shy away from coupons due to the fact that most of […]

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Remember the Found Change Challenge? Where I collect all my found change (and bills) in a jar, and then tally it all up at the end of the year? Well it might have been January 5th, but I finally took my heavy jar over to the credit union and dumped the entirety into their free […]

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My husband’s birthday gift for me is to upcycle my garbage picked five-panel door into a headboard. Yes, he’ll have to buy the crown molding for the top, but I think we pretty much already have everything else for the project. I would a million times rather receive this kind of gift than anything he could [R

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Yesterday was my 47th birthday and I worked to figure a number of great frugal activities and treats to share with my family for my Birthday Day of Adventures. We were all very excited.  Sadly, every single one of my plans went bust. The frugal wow-factor restaurant I had my heart set on turned out to […]

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As a parent to teenage boys, I feel like I’m full of amazing, affirming and wonderful advice. “Be mindful in the world you live in, be aware of your screen time and deal with stuff in a timely manner.” (Of course, only a small percentage of it sinks in at any time, but that’s just the nature [̷

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Happy: Building a fire in the fireplace. Not only is it relaxing and cozy, but it draws my teenage boys out to snuggle up with me on the couch. A rare and appreciated pleasure. And since my couch is on casters, I push it up comically close to take full advantage of the warmth, which yes, makes […]

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Note: This is a previously published blog post from last year. And if you enjoy the piece and its message, please feel free to share it with your friends. Enjoy! We’re already into our second week of 2014 and if you’re anything like me, your new year’s resolutions are already starting to fade. Your vow [&#

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There’s a lot on the internet that makes it appear as if people are living perfect lives. Whether it’s happy families on Facebook, perfect mommies on Pinterest or spotless homes on blogs. It makes it seem as though other people have somehow figured out how to create these effortless existences that elude the

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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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