by Texas Homesteader ~
Do you ever wonder if it’s worth the effort to repair something instead of just chunking it away and buying a new one?
Recently I was quickly running an iron over the fabric to press the wrinkles out of a blouse and I noticed that the iron wasn’t getting as hot as it should. I further noticed the cord was a little worn.
Now I realize an iron isn’t very expensive. But I hate the thought of throwing away one thing so I can buy the very same thing to replace it.
So I asked RancherMan to repair my iron for me. Oh yeah, RancherMan is the king of repairs around our Homestead!
So he researched the problem online and then bought a couple of plugs. These plugs cost only a couple of dollars so they were certainly inexpensive.
And using one of those plugs RancherMan had the iron repaired and working like new in less than 5 minutes.
I now have a reliable iron again and nothing went into the landfill! AND since the plugs came in a 2-pack, we have a spare for the next thing that needs a plug replaced.
How’s that for cheap??!!
Easier (But More Expensive) To Just Replace
Of course the easiest thing to do is just throw something away if it gets a little worn or doesn’t seem to be working just right.
Chunk it in the trash and go buy a brand new one to take its place, ya know? But I’ve found that easier is often not the best route, y’all.
In this case it would not be good for the budget since a new iron would certainly cost more than these two inexpensive plugs to repair it.
And chunking a non-functional iron in the landfill would certainly NOT be good for the environment either! Especially since oftentimes it’s such a simple fix that takes mere minutes of your time to get that iron fully functional once again.
Of course if a repair is over your level of expertise it’s always best to consult a professional repairman. That’s oftentimes money well spent on complicated repairs.
But oftentimes typical household-item repair needs are quick, simple & very inexpensive.
Heck RancherMan often just looks up a YouTube video if he has any questions on a particular repair. He’s almost always found a video to help him actually see the repair in action. If it’s simple enough to not require professional assistance he proceeds on with the easy repair.
Doing The Math
Sometimes even the manufacturers can lead you astray when questioning whether a repair can be made. Even a simple one!
Check this out – a few days ago the small nylon retainer nut on my Braun coffee grinder started cracking. I knew that meant a replacement part would be needed soon.
I use that particular coffee grinder to Grind Dehydrated Onions into onion powder. And I use it a lot for that!
So since my coffee grinder was a name brand I first contacted the manufacturer for advice. Maybe they’d send the tiny replacement part for free. It never hurts to ask, ya know??
It took several days for them to respond. And when they finally got back with me the representative recommended throwing away my grinder and buying a new one.
In her words:
“we don’t have that part to send you & taking it to a small-appliance repair shop to have that part replaced will cost you about $40, you might as well spend $70 and buy a new one”.
YOWZA! Does anyone else see the math flaw in her advice??!
Repair it for $40 or replace it for $70?
$30 MORE to chunk my coffee grinder in the trash and buy a new one instead of just repairing the one I have.
Quick Search Online
But we didn’t even need a professional repair in this case. As a matter of fact since you can easily search for almost anything online, RancherMan quickly researched, found the part we needed and arranged to have it shipped to our home for less than $6!
Yep, you read that right.
When this small part was received he simply unscrewed the broken retainer nut and replaced it with the new one. In just a few minutes I was back in business with a now fully-functional coffee grinder once again.
This simple and inexpensive repair means nothing hits the landfill and I’ve apparently saved the $70 it would have cost to buy a new one!
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle
That coffee grinder is still in my kitchen today, and still doing heavy duty whenever I need it.
I’m trying to live by the Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle mindset in my everyday life. And these quick inexpensive repairs certainly fit into that lifestyle!
I’m living my values by thinking ‘repair‘ before ‘replace‘.
I’ve found it true that it’s often helpful (and significantly less expensive) to think outside the box when you find yourself with an item that isn’t working quite like it should.
Remember, repairs aren’t necessarily complicated nor expensive. A quick search online can answer that question in no time. And more times than not a simple, inexpensive repair is all that’s needed.
Save some money, save the environment.
Other Low-Waste Stories
- Buying Products Used: Good For Your Budget & The Environment
- Closing The Loop In Charitable Giving
- Our Low-Waste Coffee
- No-Waste Citrus Juice For Recipes
- Don’t Waste Those Onion Trimmings
- Ditch The Plastic – Using Glass In The Refrigerator
- 5 Zero-Waste Products We Love
- Food Waste in America: What Do Those Dates Mean?
- Zero-Waste Hygiene – Using A Safety Razor
- Eliminate Plastic Produce Bags
- How I Got Cute Gingham Napkins For Only $1
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