The Fix Is In The Bank







Dipsose of the Disposable Mentality was one of the earliest posts of this blog and the basis for the Waste Not Want Not tab on this site.  Some of the not-so-frugal tend to argue that tossing inexpensive items does not seriously impact their bank account.  Even though post after post on this blog proves otherwise, to each his own.  But when it comes to the big stuff (items that have a price tag with at least two digits), this argument falls flat regardless of your tax bracket.  Even if your DIY skills are limited, many household items can be easily and inexpensively repaired by you.  The internet is full of how-to sites that give you step-by-step instructions that included detailed photos, or better yet, videos.  Consider this example.

We own a Black and Decker Cordless Lawn Trimmer, which was purchased for $40 about 13 years ago.  Three years ago the rechargeable battery lost its ability to recharge.  It was as dead as dead gets.  Considering the trimmer was then 1o years old, many people would have decided that it was time to buy a new trimmer – not Ms Penny Pincher.  A new battery cost $21.95, a reasonable investment to prolong the life of this trimmer; especially since the price for a new trimmer was up to $59.  It took my husband just a few minutes to replace the battery.  Just this past summer, the string cover snapped and rendered the trimmer inoperable.    A total (including shipping) of $6.51 allowed by husband to just keeping trimming.  So for those of you that are math challenged, let’s recap.  A total of $28.46 was invested to repair our trimmer, which has prolonged its life 3 years – so far!  If you add the cost of replacement parts ($28.46) to the original cost of the trimmer ($40.00), the difference between the cost of repairs and the cost of a new trimmer ($59.00) is only $9.46!

The next time that you have a broken tool, appliance, etc., don’t be so quick to toss it and replace it.  Don’t automatically start flipping through the yellow pages looking for a repair shop either.  Instead, consider a simple internet search using phrases like “how to repair…” or “how to fix…”  The internet also gives you access to all kinds of replacement parts that may not be available to most of us locally.  Too afraid to try DIY repairs?  Think of it this way – what do you have to lose?  If your inclination is to toss the old and buy something new, who cares if you totally mess it up?  But if you repair it successfully, you have boosted your confidence and left money in your wallet!


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Be Acid Free for Free

Heartburn, indigestion, dispepsia, upset stomach – call it what you like, it’s no fun at all.  Evidently, occurrences of indigestion increase as you get older.  Sadly for me, I was starting to suffer from this internal inferno up to 4 to 5 times per week.  The pain often kept me up all night.  I tried every over-the-counter and home remedy I could find, none of which took care of the problem.  My husband and I are very busy people and often eat our dinner later than most.  I found that most days, after finishing dinner, I was soooo tired that I just plopped down on the couch where I stayed until bedtime.  One evening as I was literally curled up on the couch, I became aware of the position of my stomach – all crunched up in a ball.  I wondered if this could be causing my trouble.  Being a scientist by education, I commenced a little experiment.  I decided to keep myself upright for a period of time right after my dinner.  What an easy (and might I add FREE) fix!!  Besides all the money I am saving on antacids, I have bought back (so to speak) over 2 hours per week of time that was being wasted on the couch.  It’s the perfect time to do the dishes rather than leave them piled in the sink, get a little ironing done, take the recyclables to the bins, etc.  Since I am no longer staying up multiple nights a week with tummy trouble, this 15-20 minutes after each dinner is an invaluable investment.  This is the freebie of all freebies!!

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