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: www.biblicalwomanhood.com/blog.htm