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The idea for this article came one day when I was searching for inspiration and thought, “Why don’t I look around my eco-cabin for something unique to write about?” When I started looking around my house, I was amazed at all the broken things I have that still work (and therefore save me money from not replacing them).
When I reflected on this on a deeper level, I wondered if I had found an element of the Frugalite spirit. The old saying goes, “It is ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” A Frugalite might add to this, “If it IS broke and it still works, why the heck would you replace it?” Well, in this disposable, fast-fashion society with all of its materialistic glory, I think it takes guts to hang on to broken things and well, frankly, rock them! I hope this article inspires you to take a moment to appreciate your own Frugalite spirit and the ways we swim against the tide of society.
My Car, Lucky
Back in 2021, I shared the story of how I found a great deal on my used car, Lucky, in a city about 2 hours from where I live. When I first met Lucky, however, I was a bit concerned. You see, she had a bunch of little dings and dents that didn’t show in the online photos I had seen. When I asked her previous owner about them, he told me that it was part of city living. People would run into him in parking lots and drive off without leaving their information.
Now, these weren’t huge dents, mind you! Her other issue was that some of these fender benders had broken her plastic front bumper. I wish they didn’t make such cheap plastic bumpers like these now! When the front plastic piece split, the previous owner just taped it up. So, the front of my car is held together by duct tape (at least it’s black and sort of blends in). I still fell in love with Lucky and bought her, despite her city life “battle scars.”
If I thought that the car I drive reflects my value as a person, however, I may have turned down this great deal or decided to spend hundreds on a replacement bumper or thousands on trying to get the dents out. I’m so glad my Frugalite spirit allows me to get from A to B without sweating the small stuff!
My High-End Scissors
I absolutely love thrift shopping and have stocked my kitchen with high-end knives and accessories. One of these accessories that I use all the time is my pair of high-end scissors. They have black plastic handles. One of the handles is actually broken right through. Somehow, the plastic is so strong that it doesn’t even matter. So, although these are broken, I haven’t even needed to tape them together. I’m pretty sure this is why they ended up in the thrift shop in the first place, and it doesn’t even matter to me. Ca Ching!
My Kefir Cooling Bowl
I do not have air conditioning in my eco-cabin, and it can get pretty hot in here on the hottest of our summer days. In order to slow down the culturing of my homemade kefir [LINK: https://thefrugalite.com/homemade-kefir/], I put the jar in a bowl of cold water. When it gets hotter, I add an ice pack, using a plastic lid to separate the ice pack from the kefir jar. The large metal bowl that I use to do this has a huge dent in it. How did that happen? Could the author of this article have dropped it in a moment of distraction? I will never tell. Ya, it looks pretty ugly, but it still does its job.
My TV Tables
I don’t have a lot of furniture in my small eco-cabin. I find that my two wooden TV tables are great because they can be folded and put out of the way when they aren’t being used. I rescued both of these from thrift shops for a fraction of what they cost new. I had to fix both of them and refinished the top of one. Now, a supporting bar on the bottom of one of them keeps popping out. I know I should just get out my carpenter’s glue and fix it…and I will….when I get around to it.
If you want to refinish furniture on the cheap, check this out!
Some of My Favourite Clothing
If you ever met me in person, I might be wearing a really nice shirt…with a small rip in it or a grease stain. A few weeks ago, I was bleaching something in the bathtub, and a few drops happened to splash on my shirt near the bottom. When I was younger, I would have gotten all upset and thrown the shirt away. Now, it’s a story to tell.
My Treasured Knick Knacks
It’s possible I’m a bit of a collector. I’m in the process of trying to downsize my huge collection of farm memorabilia and antiques. When I look around the eco-cabin at the knick-knacks I treasure, most of them are broken. Holly the Cow is a hand-painted folk art cow with a twisted string tail. One of her legs had broken off and was glued back on. She was like that when I found her. I can still love her even though she’s broken.
My great-grandmother’s butter dish broke several years ago when something happened to fall on it from a shelf above. I saved the pieces to glue back together. However, I found that it now fits flush against the back of the counter, saving me some counter space. So, even though I could “fix” it, it sorta works better for me this way.
Why Does This Matter?
When I looked around my eco-cabin and my life, I was amazed at how many of my things are “broken.” Am I just cheap? Lazy? Naw, I don’t think so! When I reflected more deeply on this, I concluded that there is freedom in the capacity to love broken things. I’m able to appreciate that function and even beauty can co-exist with imperfection. Plus, broken stuff can save you money!
Frankly, I think a lot of people would replace half the stuff I own. Do you think that Frugalites appreciate function over perfection? Do you have your own story of a “broken” item you own and use that you can share with us?
Please tell us in the comments below.
Colette is passionate about sharing her knowledge of thrifty living and self-sufficiency. She has developed her skills in self-reliance living in the suburbs, the city, and more recently, on her own Half-Acre Homestead. Colette lived five years completely off-grid and without running water in an eight by 24 foot tiny home while designing and building her own 18 by 24-foot eco-cabin. Her website, Half Acre Homestead is attracting followers from around the world who want to become more self-sufficient. Colette invites you to stop by the Homestead and check out all of the great resources including the practical How To Guides, A Tiny Home Resource Center and her organic gardening stories on her blog. She shares her wholistic model (body/mind/spirit) for achieving self-sufficiency in her Free Course, “Growing Self-Sufficiency: The Whole Picture.” Stop by the Homestead today to register free of charge!