Frugal Fridays: Fix and Keep Stuff

I remember when my gramma and I were chatting one day, and I told her I didn’t fix my nylons. I throw them out, often after one use. She looked at me incredulously. In her day, people fixed their nylons.

We live in a very disposable society. There is even a term for how companies design for their products to have a limited lifespan: planned obsolescence. It’s cheaper to throw electronics out and get a replacement than to fix them. When Jason and I needed a new computer, we had to look high and low for one that didn’t come with a keyboard and a monitor. We’ve had the same computer monitor for ten years. I’m writing this post looking at the ten year old monitor. But we had to go against the grain to not buy something new.

Really, it takes a commitment not to buy new things and to fix what is broken. That is, in North American society, anyway. In Ethiopia, I see people fixing things all the time. If you have one sweater, you darn the holes. If you can’t get another camera, you find a part at the Merkato. Necessity is often the mother of frugality. That’s the world that my gramma lived in when she had small children.

Back here in North America, present day, I do fix a lot of things. Mainly around the house… I’m really quite handy and can replace light fixtures and jimmy a fence. I also mend knees on jeans and reupholster furniture. So I try to fix something at lest once a week.

I still don’t fix nylons. But I do darn the busted-out toes of my daughters” stockings. (Those silly things are $5 each, on sale!) Of course it takes time to fix and mend, but if you are going to have a hobby, it’s not back to have one that saves you money!

What do you fix?

4 thoughts on “Frugal Fridays: Fix and Keep Stuff

    • What, not the underwear??? 😉

      Funny, that’s something that we never buy second hand, either. But I have to say that we do take the girls’ used underwear with us to Ethiopia for orphanages. It’s a precious commodity in some places, especially when it’s communal underwear anyway!

  1. You are 100% right. we have everything at our fingertips in America and so we do not ‘NEED’ much. while in Ethiopia they need and cannot get. They don’t care if the camera is this years model. They know and trust certain brands like Toshiba computers and iPhones and Toyota cars but that does not mean they want a 2013 model of those things. they get what they afford and what is easy not this non-stop ‘need’ we have.

    • Funny story, actually. Last year I was in Ethiopia, I had forgot my camera charger back in Canada. So I was desperately looking for a charger or battery for my Nikon camera, which I got three years ago, second hand.
      You know, we drove all over, to so many stores and through the whole Mercato… But to no avail. My camera was “too new….” There wasn’t a battery to match it in Ethiopia!

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