There are so many cases where we have saved money by not throwing out something broken. How is that possible? There are several things you can do with an item you might be thinking of throwing out (forgive me if any of this is something you already know):
∞ Fix it: I am fortunate to have a friend who is a great seamstress. So when friends give me clothes that are too long, my skirts are too tight (or too loose on rare occasion), or my son busts the knee on a pair of pants, she can fix them. This does cost, but certainly more than replacing the item. For other things, like broken holes in our shower curtain, we were able to find reinforcer kits at Bed, Bath and Beyond so we didn’t need a whole new curtain.
∞ Replace it (at someone else’s cost): I have had very good luck with contacting customer service departments of various companies. I have gotten many items replaced when they were faulty. For example:
– coupons for new straw cups when we had problems with ours (from Playtex)
– new swaddle wraps when the zipper broke on one (from Kiddopotamus)
– coupons for new snack cups when the lid wouldn’t close properly on one (Gerber)
– replacement hand sanitizer when the bottles leaked because of poor packaging (Babies R Us)
– replacement hand mixer when ours broke shortly after purchasing (we did have to pay shipping, though)
These are just a few examples. The point is that it was definitely worth my time to contact the company! With the internet, it is so easy to find customer service phone numbers now.
∞ Give it away or recycle it: The last option is always to give the item to someone else or a resale shop (if it is not in too bad condition and maybe they can fix it or don’t mind) or to recycle it. At University City’s recycle center (and many other centers, too), there is a bin for used clothing. Click here for places to recycle clothing. You can put things in that are torn or damaged, too. They give the clothes to other countries that need them or make them into new items (like rags). I always keep a bag handy to throw in items to take there. This way I can feel that my item is not adding to a landfill, but finding some new use! Check out Earth 911’s Recycling Guide for details on how to recycle many things!