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Dean Kirkland

The Non-Consumer Advocate

http://thenonconsumeradvocate.wordpress.com/

Located in Portland

Last update: June 2nd, 2014 at 10:08 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

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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I was feeling a bit housebound yesterday, so I headed over to my local Goodwill “to look for weird stuff to photograph.” Oddly, none of my beloved family members took up the offer to accompany me. Oh well, their loss . . . Although I didn’t come across any spectacularly bizarre items, I was taken […]

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I have a tendency to be a bit of a hermit. I enjoy my home, and I’m quite content to putter around the house and never seem to run out of tasks calling my name. (“Katy, Katy, is there a reason why the kitchen floor is crusted with waffle batter?”) However, I do have a few […]

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The following is a reprint of an article I wrote that originally ran in Get Rich Slowly. Enjoy! Garage sales, yard sales, tag sales, boot sales. Whatever you call them, they’re a great way to make extra money while ridding your home of unwanted Stuff. A well-organized and well-stocked garage sale can bring in hundreds o

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You may have noticed the Throwback Thursday trend on social media, where people post extremely flattering old photos of themselves, like so: See? I was not kidding when I wrote that our house was a fixer-upper! But for a true Throwback Thursday, I present the 1930 booklet of Better Meals for Less: Featuring a lovely […

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We native Oregonians know that you do not let an unseasonably sunny day go to waste. You mow your lawn, walk your errands and you sure as hell find any and all opportunities to soak up whatever vitamin D is raining shining down from the sky. So when Monday’s seven day forecast called for seven days […]

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April 22nd is Earth Day, each and every year. But unlike traditional holidays, (Christmas, Passover, etc.) Earth Day seems to have a different vibe each year. One year will be about everyone needs to replace their incandescent lightbulbs with fluorescent bulbs and plant a tree, and the next year will focus on drinking fro

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I have a problem with concept of planned obsolescence. Because unlike a traditional manufacturer, I expect everything I own to last forever. Unfortunately, the stuff I use does eventually wear out. Luckily, I have a multitude of tricks up my sleeve to squeeze every last drip, drop and morsel from every single item that e

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The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy! I recently came in possession of an antique Goodwill mirror in dire need of a spruce up. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it, so I hung it on the wall to ponder for, oh . . six months or so. […]

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I am still in New York City, and am trying to organize the troops for a trip to The Museum of Modern Art, so today I offer up more photographic evidence of our travel. An upcycled vintage VW bus from a delicious albeit pricey Mexican restaurant in SOHO. (Although the expensive lunch was balanced by […]

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Today I am . . .  Staying at my sister’s apartment in Manhattan. Walking my sister’s dog. Visiting my my sister’s in-laws who just filled her fridge with homemade chicken soup and various goodies. (Yum!) Going on a Sweatshop Workers tour at the Tenement Museum, which also includes an extra discussion peri

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My family is still here in Washington D.C., as my husband receives his award, and does related conference activities. (Today he meets with our senator and congressman!) Me and the kids? We’re meeting up with our own version of area dignitaries. Recognize anyone? Yes. It was the earth shattering moment when The Non-Con

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My family is in Washington D.C. right now, and it’s a very interesting mix of very expensive and extremely frugal. Here, let me elaborate: My husband is being presented with an award, so the airfare and very nice hotel for the two of us was free. However, the tickets for the kids were $580 apiece. […]

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  Today I am . . .  Getting ready for our east coast trip by running errands, writing to-do lists and trying to achieve a goal of leaving the house in a state of complete cleanliness and order. Nothing’s more depressing than coming home to a stale and messy house. So depressing! Looking forward to […]

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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. The Luxury of Time Allows For Creative Problem Solving It may seem as if I’m able to come up with frugal hacks without batting an eye, but that’s simply not the case. Each wheel that […]

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If you own possessions, you’re already fully aware of the content decline of everything that surrounds you. Appliances need repairs, clothes need mending and stuff simply needs fixing. But just because your possessions crumble in front of your very eyes doesn’t mean that they have to be replaced. Just the other

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There are two things that set my teeth on edge, wasting money and buying single use items. Example of the two? The obligatory graduation cap and gown. My son’s high school kept sending information about graduation products to buy, (class rings, mementos, official announcements) and of course the cap and gown. I asked

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My family is soon to spend a week and half visiting Washington D.C. and New York City. This trip kind of fell in our laps as my husband recently learned that he was being presented with an award in D.C. Luckily, this means that the airfare, housing and food are paid for while in D.C. […]

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I am not and never have been a fan of paying for something when I can figure out a free alternative. Yes, it’s usually easier to plop down the ol’ debit card and pay for convenience, but where’s the fun in that? Remember how I was rooting rosemary from my neighbor’s cuttings? I was waiting to [̷

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