I’ve been reminded of the old adage ‘use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without‘ recently, especially the make it do or do without part. We have always been good at using it up and wearing it out- watering down shampoo and wearing un-presentable clothes out in public have long been frugal habits of mine.
Lately however we’ve been confronted with real debt-reduction dilemmas.
Remember how I organize my small kitchen? Well the task has just gotten a bit easier lately, thanks to the microwave’s recent demise in a shower of sparks. Even just a few months ago I would have been quick to run out and buy a new one the next day.
But now, in fact, I’m looking forward to seeing how long I can do without a microwave. True, it does require a bit more forethought on my part. I can’t just zap some veggies as I throw together dinner at the last moment. On the other hand, with my recent efforts to reduce my grocery bill, I have to put a bit more thought into what I’m making for dinner anyway. This planning just folds in nicely to my larger goals.
Our dishwasher, however, potentially creates a bigger problem. It’s been cantankerous of late, making ominous groaning and squeaking noises; the other day it washed dishes for five straight hours before we figured out what was going on. While the dishes were squeaky clean at the end, that’s exactly the sort of thing that plays havoc with the water bill, adding yet another expense.
I’m not about to go without a dishwasher, certainly not with three young kids. Not to mention that, given the size of our water heater, washing dishes by hand rapidly depletes the hot water supply and makes it near impossible to have a hot bath or shower afterward. No hot showers in addition to no dishwasher- no thank you!
So I’m sure you’ll agree that making the dishwasher do has become a high priority. We bought it used, three years ago, when it was three years old. It’s a good brand and theoretically it still has some life left in it. My husband spent the afternoon fiddling with it and I’ve been doing research into known problems. I will call out a repair person as the next resort. We want this dishwasher to last as long as possible; with our plans to move back to the US in the next few years, we really don’t want to buy a new one.
What do you do when your appliances stop working?