Friday, November 9, 2007

Frugal Friday

My Frugal Friday tip for today is don't rush out to replace things. You can repair or make do with many items before rushing out to replace them. We live in a disposable society, but it doesn't have to be that way in your home.

In the early 1990s, I remember reading in the Tightwad Gazette(the first one) about how Amy repaired her cracked laundry basket with paper clips. She went on to describe a whole list of things that can be repaired with paper clips. I actually did repair a laundry basket with paper clips after reading that!

You can use your own ingenuity to come up with ways to repair items in your home. If you've got some basic tools, wood glue, paper clips, duct tape :o), sewing supplies, and access to the hardware section at walmart, you can fix most anything.

My husband is really good at fixing things and we always try to do this before buying new. He has repaired many water hoses, the runners on wooden drawers, his eye glasses, simple repairs on lawnmowers, vacuum cleaners, etc.

He recently found a nice cooler that had been thrown away by someone. The only thing wrong with it was one hinge was broken. He bought a hinge and repaired it. This cooler would have been worth about $20.00 new, and for a couple of dollars he repaired it and saved it from going to the land fill too.

Since the weather is now getting cold, I've been pulling out some of my winter clothes. I love to wear tights in the winter time and have several pairs left from last year. But, wouldn't you know it, my favorite black cable design ones have a hole in the toe. They are in perfect condition other wise. So this weekend I'll repair them. I think I can do a good job on the sewing machine, but if you don't have a sewing machine, many repairs can be done with good old fashioned needle and thread!

Can you wait a little while before replacing it? It is smart to wait a little while before buying that new item. A recent example of this is my broken baking dish. You can read about the lasagna disaster we recently had here. I immediately went out the next morning to try to replace the baking dish. It was a large, very nice baking dish and I had owned it for years. I had no idea how expensive it is to buy a new one until I started looking at them. Well, you can't repair a broken baking dish, but I decided to just wait to find the best price before I purchased one. Well its been about a month and I haven't replaced it and have gotten along just fine using the metal pans and other glass baking dishes that I already have, thank you very much!

Another example: I wanted to buy plastic shoe boxes to put my "Operation Christmas Child" items in. I went to the dollar store and they were sold out, so I was going to go to another store today. When I got home yesterday I noticed that I had some of these at home that were not serving a very important purpose, so I'll just use the ones I have. This saved a little money and helped me to declutter some too!

Do you really need to replace the entire item? Once we had a broken glass coffee decanter. You can find these in thrift shops and Walmart. There's no need to replace the whole thing if you can just replace the part that's broken cheaply.

The most important thing to remember is to take your time and examine all your options before just assuming that you "have" to make a shopping trip to replace something! If after doing this you decide a new one is the best option, then go for it!

For more frugal friday tips go to:


Littlepenpen said...

This is a good thing to remember. It is very true that we have so many things we can live without! Good post!

Blue Sky said...

You are SOOOO right. R and I both need new laptops - especially me (the M and B buttons fell off) But if I stick my fingernail where the button was I can still type the letters. Its very annoying, but its either that or $1500 on a new laptop!

My name is Michelle. said...

I posted something very similar here today! Great minds? :)

Bethany Sue, CFO said...

Debbie dear. I tagged you on my blog. Please come visit for more details. P.S. Love the post today!

Kara said...

This is very true. I cringed the other day when my child broke something on accident and then replied, "It's okay Momma we can just buy another one." I don't want to raise another generation of children that thinks everything is disposable!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Debbie,
I have started doing this too. Today I was going to buy a new OJ pitcher but I looked around the kitchen and found something I use instead. This is becoming a new habit of mind. To look at home first.

Mom2fur said...

Your idea to repurpose the shoeboxes you already had at home is a good one. I'm always switching things around for a better purpose.
And I'll bet if you are patient, you'll either get a new lasagna pan as a gift, or maybe you'll find one at a church holiday sale. (If you're reaaalllly patient, there's always garage sales next year!)

Deb said...

Oh gosh, I feel bad, I am anything but frugal. I dont really look for deals, since most of the kids clothes are from Walmart or Target! I dont use coupons, cause Im too lazy, but I just try to keep the groceries at 100 bucks a week! I really enjoyed your blog, please stop by my blog if you can!


A Sunday Nugget - Mercy

I am so thankful for God's Mercy!!!  I can never, ever, be good enough, but with His Mercy, I am made whole. Matthew 5:7 - "Bless...