If it’s broke, fix it!

I’m a pretty DIY kind of gal.  I like to make my own bread and granola bars, occasionally sew some clothes, and rig stuff up when I get the chance.  But too often I still have the instinct to throw away broken stuff and get something new.

But not any more!  I’ve started fixing whatever I can, and boy does it feel good.  Even beyond the money-saving factor of not having to replace something, and the knowledge that I’m not sending this thing to the landfill, there is something very satisfying in opening something up, tinkering around, and finding out you’ve turned garbage back into gold.  

But the money factor is pretty sweet: Last week I saved about $40 by fixing a couple of things.  Here are my projects:

1. My plastic stroller rain cover.  After losing the beautiful fitted rain cover that came with my stroller some time last summer, or possibly the summer before, (argh–see my post on the Cost of Being Disorganized) I bought a generic plastic stroller cover to replace it.  Now, it was nowhere near as nice as my old one, but it did the job.  But like anything that comes into contact with kids in the outdoors, mine developed a couple of rips and tears over the year or two of use.  I’d been using it that way for months, but it was starting to get to me.  I mean, the ripped plastic look is not really what I’m going for.

I was very close to throwing it away, but my frugal mind rebelled, knowing I’d have to plunk down another $12 at Sears for a new one.  So instead, I brought it to my sewing desk and zig-zag stitched the tears with white thread.  It worked brilliantly!  No more ripped plastic, and you can barely notice the white stitching holding it together.  I am very proud.

2. An old fan.  We’ve had this fan for a few years now, and the last few times we’d used it, it started making a horrible SQUEEEEEEEEEEAK noise.  The last time we used it, it actually squealed to a halt, making more horrible noises.  Thinking it was a gonner, I was ready to chuck it and pick up a new one.  But something stopped me.  I think it was my pride in my previous repair job that inspired me to give this one a try.  

So I got out the screw driver and opened up the fan.  Turns out years of dust had accumulated inside and gummed up the works (well, duh!).  All it took was a little vaccuuming and a little WD-40, and the fan was as good as new.  No more screeching, and we didn’t have to replace the fan, which would have cost around $20 – $25.  I also gave another fan a good cleaning, so although it wasn’t broken YET, I bet I added years to its lifetime.

So there you have it.  I figure I saved around $40 once you add tax on, just with these two fix-it jobs, and I got the added bonus of pride in a job well done.  Now I’m asking myself, “What else can I fix around here?” !!


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