Frugality Means Fixing Things

…instead of buying replacements.  We’ve had a rash of appliance near-deaths around here lately. 

Instance #1:  Ben walks backward through kitchen not realizing that the dishwasher behind him is open.  He falls backwards, landing hard on the door.  The dishwasher still works, it just closes terribly and makes way more noise than it used to.

Solution:  After taking apart the whole thing (voiding the warranty — which doesn’t cover child-induced damage anyway), trying to bend it back, and realizing it wasn’t going to happen, Kelly and David order new hinges.  They arrive a week later.  David installs them and the dishwasher is almost as good as new (there are still a few little twinges that we notice because we know they’re there).

Total cost:  $32

Instance #2:  Vacuum finally gives out after seven years of heavy-duty use, including new carpet that shed like the dickens when we moved to our current house.

Solution:  Local repair shop determines it needs a new roller bar and belt.  Kelly says thanks so much, offers to pay them the $10 fee for diagnosing a problem, but they refuse it.  Parts arrive from online shop about two weeks later.  Kelly installs them; vacuum is resurrected.

Total cost:  $22

Instance #3:  Five year old gas grill has had a faulty electronic ignition since year two.  Lighting with a lighter suits the family just fine, but recently the burners quit.  

Solution:  Kelly disassembles grill, gives everything a good scrubbing and puts it back together.  Burners resume working and ignition now works intermittently.

Total cost:  elbow grease (literally — I got pretty dirty doing this.  I really should do it more frequently.)

Instance #4:  Kelly decides that the kids need a computer station in the schoolroom for the upcoming year.

Solution:  Rather than purchase a new computer, David digs out an old laptop with a faulty keyboard and mouse.  He buys a wireless keyboard and mouse and installs them.  Computer works perfectly.

Total cost:  $30

Have you rescued anything from the trash heap lately?  Saved any serious money?  Share your story!

3 Responses to “Frugality Means Fixing Things”

  1. Tracy Novick

    Does my cleaning my "got free off Craigslist, has only three working burners, is always 50 degrees lower than indicated" stove count?


  2. Rebecca

    I must say I love craigslist for the re-using factor alone. We just bought a really nice wrought iron patio set, talked him down in price by $50, and after a brush with a steel wire and a coat of Rustoleum it's beautiful! We're all about saving money!


  3. GrandmaK

    Haven't had to of late but If need be we might find the remedy somewhere in our garage. Your father-in-law may have saved the part. That's how we avoid having to buy a new lawn mower. Really proud of you both!!! Cathy


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