Friday, June 12, 2009

Frugal = Fix it yourself & Get it for free

My hubby is not what you would call a "handyman" or well, he wasn't. Until Lately. He didn't grow up with a dad like I had. In fact, my parents bought him his first set of screwdrivers for Christmas the first year we were dating per my request as he didn't have a screwdriver one time when I was at his house and we needed to fix something.

Just to give you an idea of his upbringing . . . we were staying with hubby's parents when they had power go out in one room in the house. I asked his father where the breaker box was. He had no idea. They had owned the house 8 years!

But, when times are tough one can get resourceful. I am becoming the queen of getting things for free. Friends and Freecycle.org are my biggest resources. My hubby is becoming the greatest handyman around. He is using the internet a lot to figure out how to fix everything.

Couple of examples:
1. I got a replacement stainless steel sink and faucet from a friend who was upgrading. Well, her old one was an upgrade for me!

2. I have several friends with sons who graciously give me tons of clothes and toys for my son. Have barely bought that kid a thing since birth.

3. Have a great friend in Boston who passes all her daughter's clothes down to me. Her closets are jam packed!

4. We needed a new mower. I saw a garage sale ad that said mower was going to be for sale. Sent hubby to see. He came back with a FREE unworking mower. He got online and found out it just needed a new $5 air filter. Works like a charm!

5. Our microwave broke. It was 26 years old. Got on Freecycle.org and posted exactly what I need. A 36 inch over the range microwave with brackets to hang. Got almost the identical microwave I had from some nice woman. Same make. Same color, Same size, Same buttons. Only difference is that it is only 16 years old. Works like a charm!

6. I had been wanting something for the living room to store DVDs. Someone on Freecycle.org was giving away one of those black wood benches with the wicker storage baskets underneath. I snagged that one and it fits into my decor perfectly and holds all our DVDs nicely. Serves as an art table for the kids too!

7. My blender broke and the same lady who had the black bench also had a brand new Oster Blender! I don't think she ever used the thing. Still smelled new. No box or instructions but who cares. It was so shiny and clean! Works too!

8. Needed a booster car seat for my girl. A great friend lent me hers to use.

9. Hubby's LCD screen on his laptop broke. He researched online and found a replacement for only $99 and found step by step picture instructions on how to replace it himself rather than pay a computer repair shop $70. Took him 5 minutes and voila! A new working screen!

10. My printer/scanner/fax/copier broke (do you get the sense that everything is breaking lately?) I was working at my son's preschool one day just helping out and telling the director of my dilemma. She took me to a closet, opened it up and handed me a printer. Said, "Hold this at your house until I need it again." It was older and only printed, nothing else. But what a surprise to find out it took the exact ink my old one did and I had extra to use up at home!

11. I waited patiently and finally someone posted on Freecycle.org that they had a scanner to give away. It is the back of my Yukon. Picked it up last weekend. Soon I shall hook it up!

12. Our dishwasher broke. We weren't sure what happened. Something in the control panel. Hubby called repair guys. $85 just to come out and take a look! Phew. That's steep. He got online and found out it was most likely a fuse. He drove 20 minutes to an appliance part store and paid $20 for the part. Followed the detailed instructions he found online for replacing the fuse and Voila! It is fixed!

So I wonder if hubby is handy enough to replace his own rotors on his car? Eh. That might be pushing it . . .

b

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

Wow, Amy! Good for you!

Michal said...

Cheap Flights

Anonymous said...

I can relate! Our icemaker broke and instead of just picking up the phone to call the repair man, hubby and I took it out ourselves, ordered one online, and replaced it ourselves! We probably saved a couple hundred bucks that way!