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Dean Kirkland

The Non-Consumer Advocate

http://thenonconsumeradvocate.wordpress.com/

Located in Portland

Last update: July 23rd, 2015 at 10:57 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

My older sister and I are dedicated non-wasters. We mend and repair, barely ever buy new and we watch our families’ food waste like a hawk. This means that our refrigerators are ripe rife with many small containers of leftovers just waiting to be consumed. Sometimes those leftovers are in high demand, but often they [

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I cashed in my Found Change Challenge jar as we’re gathering any and all available money to send our older son off to college. It contained $23.21 in coins plus $26 in bills, which added up to $49.21! Not quite enough to fund a year of college, but not a bad addition either. I Craigslisted a small black and [̷

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I’ve had an anxiety dream on repeat ever since we bought our overwhelmingly difficult fixer-upper house in 1996. In this dream my husband and I buy a falling down house and put all of our time, money and energy into the house only to give up and sell it at a loss. The subsequent buyers […]

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Yesterday’s plans to visit a friend in Queens and grab delicious Indian food went kaput when she forgot about our plans and left town. The weather was hot and humid, which threw a haze over our normally keen decision making skills, so we ended up deciding to see a movie instead of some fabulous and […]

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Just a quick reminder that the NYC Non-Consumer Advocate blog reader meetup is today at 6 P.M. at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park! I’m really looking forward to meeting you! Katy Wolk-Stanley “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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Sorry to have left the blog dormant the past two days. I try not to let that happen too often, but daily life gets in the way and there’s simply no way I’m going to sit down at the computer to blog when I see my sister working to put a meal on the table […]

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Today I am . . .  Arranging a get together with my friend Pam for Thursday. Very appreciative that my friend Jeff from college is lending us his Whitney Museum workplace passes. Excited to walk the Highline, poke through the Whitney and then have lunch with my friend Pam! Starting to plan out my sister’s garage sal

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My son and I went to a New York City Football Club (NYCFC) soccer game today at Yankee Stadium. We brought our own reusable water bottle which we filled repeatedly at their water fountain. I was very proud that I’d remembered to do this, since bottled water was being sold for $5 a pop! We took public transportatio

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When traveling, it’s important to keep a close eye on expenses. Admission prices, meals and transportation can add up faster than an uptown subway train. Luckily, I am above average when it comes to keeping an eye on my money. But even I, The Non-Consumer Advocate can slip up now and then. Take today as an […]

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Life in New York City is nothing but glamor and celebrities. Or . . . helping my sister with her daily routine and squeezing in a few touristy moments. Like how she needed to take her elderly dog to the veterinarian’s office, which just happened to be a few blocks from Central Park. We overheard […]

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There are certain things in life that are completely and utterly joyful; big exciting (and expensive) things like travel or special events. But those occasions are hardly daily occurrences. Daily life is getting up and taking care of the day’s unglamorous tasks. Making dental appointments, going to work, staying on t

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I just fixed myself a delicious yet scrappy Mexi-bowl of goodness. It used up the last of some homemade refried beans from last week, as well as the last of some cheap-o Grocery Outlet sour cream. It also included a healthy squirt of Sriracha sauce, a handful of shredded mozzarella and some trimming from a bunch […]

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I made good use of my library yesterday by picking up a hold copy of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. My son owns all the movies except for this one, and had been wanting to rewatch it. It took a few weeks to come in, but that made no difference as there was no hurry to watch what […]

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Like any other lifestyle habit, it can be difficult to stay motivated when it comes to frugality. Why? Because frugality, especially the extreme frugality that I practice involves a fair amount of choosing to “do without.” I cook from scratch, (even when I crave a restaurant meal, which is frequently) I wear

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Today I am . . .  Going to a friend’s staged reading, and bringing two canned goods, which is the price of admission. Happy that the birthday party that my son went to was a “no gifts” event. My son will have a sleepover with friends next weekend, and he spontaneously told me that that […]

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It’s time for another Non-Consumer Mish-Mash, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that. Celebrity Homing I was reading through the Sunday paper this morning when I came across the syndicated Hot Properties column which features celebrities selling their insane multi-million dollar estates. I

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My husband’s health insurance uses an online pharmacy that dispenses 90-day prescriptions for the normal price of a 30-day scrip, so we try to use it whenever possible. However, one of my husband’s prescriptions ran out without us noticing. This meant I had to fill it at our nearby Walgreens. So me being me, I

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I downloaded the Apple Podcast app onto my phone so I can listen to Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft’s free Happier With Gretchen Rubin podcasts. I love distraction from dull tasks, I love Gretchen Rubin and I certainly love free! I’m currently reading Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits o

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Yesterday was my younger son’s 17th birthday, and as always we made a rather enormous to-do about it. Which for us means a Birthday Day of Adventures over the weekend, plus a celebration on the actual birthday. I know it seems like I write about nothing besides birthdays lately, but that’s only because my focu

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My family spent yesterday celebrating my younger son’s 17th birthday. Because we ate a filling lunch in the late afternoon, we didn’t end up needing a dinner. I finished reading my library books, but have two waiting to be picked up. My friend dropped off her volunteer cherry tomato, which was quickly transplant

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My husband had a soccer game yesterday, and I spent a fair amount of time walking around the surrounding track and spying treasures that were free for the taking. Of course, not every free item is a bargain I want to take advantage of . . . . This condom may have been new in package, […]

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Although my family’s birthdays are generally spread out throughout the year, we do have a few that clump up in the middle of May. First around the bend is my husband’s on May 16th and then my younger son’s on the 19th. But that doesn’t mean they don’t each get their own celebration. And in my

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My neighbor posted on Facebook about having two large volunteer cherry tomato plants in her yard for the taking. I responded that I would take one, which was perfect timing as I have an empty flower pot that I’d just been thinking would be the perfect size for a tomato plant. I always regret the years when […]

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Screen-Free Week was wholly undocumented, but that doesn’t mean that I used the non-blogging excuse to spend out. Here’s but a small number of frugal activities that filled my week: I took full advantage of my library by reading two Betty MacDonald books, (The Egg and I and Onions in The Stew) and listening to [

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Today is Thursday, or day-four of Screen Free Week, and I wanted to slink over the blog and confess my sins. Last night I watched an episode of Mad Men that’s been sitting in my DVR since Sunday night, as well as an episode of Supernatural with my 19-year-old son. My son and I have a […]

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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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