Broken Toaster

While browsing the New York Times’ reader-submitted Survival Strategies for the recession, I came across a wonderful frugal phrase: “Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.”  It’s got cadence, rhyme and good sense, and it’s been haunting me ever since.

Yes, haunting.  Because, how do you deal with a broken toaster with that running through your mind?!?

Stupid toaster.  It was a wedding present from our registry so we only have ourselves to blame, has never worked properly, either giving us slightly warm bread or carcinogenic crusts, and now the popper-downer thingy isn’t working.  Yes, it’s plugged in, and no, it’s not set to the lightest setting.  It feels like there’s a latch in there that isn’t hooking onto whatever it’s supposed to.

So.  Frugal mind at work, I’m thinking, “How can I get away with not replacing it?”  Some thoughts:

– I should try cleaning it.  The toaster hasn’t been cleaned in god knows how long, and maybe, just maybe, there are inches of residual toast crumbs blocking the popper-downer thingy.

– Wait for the Great Glebe Garage Sale, which is next weekend.  What are the chances someone will be upgrading to a fancy digital multi-slice toaster and want to get rid of their classic hard-working model?

– My George Foreman grill sortof works . . . but this is obviously a short-term solution.

– Take it to a repair place?  I bet it would cost more to fix it than to replace it.

– Fix it myself??  I suppose I could only make it “more” broken . . .  

So, I’ll try cleaning it and looking at the Great Glebe Garage Sale next week, and using the grill in the mean time.  And if neither of those work, well I guess I’ll give home appliance repair a try.  

Isn’t there a certificate on that I can get in my spare time?!

Update: Cleaned the toaster, found about a half pound of well-aged toast crumbs inside, and lo and behold, the thing magically fixed itself!  I’m certain there are people out there who would have junked it instead of taking a couple minutes to clean it out.  Of course, there are probably a lot more people out there who clean their toasters regularly and don’t encounter these kinds of problems . . .  In any case, no more George Foreman toaster fakery!


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