Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Frugal Organic: Do It Yourself

Moving into an older house has had its challenges. 

For starters, more work. 

The Engineer has already removed raccoon poop and blown insulation into the attic, searched for a leak in the basement, and discovered that if the thermostat doesn’t have batteries, it chirps like a chipmunk.

We have dabbled in electricity only to discover that we have a mixture of copper and aluminum wires . . . some of which are melting. 


Since moving here we have had to repair the washing machine, have a simple piece of plastic removed from where the dishwasher connects to the sink disposer, and had a plumber out twice for the same three leaks (of which one leak will forever drip until we replace the fixture.)

Each time someone has come out . . . $100.

You see, we thought we had this GREAT deal.  The house came with a 1-year Homebuyer Warranty.  The man we purchased our house from provided it as part of the closing agreement.  Our realtor sang this warranty’s praise. 

I however have not been nearly so impressed. 


In the pipeline we know that the dryer is dying a slow death (due to it sounding like an eel), we need a new roof, and all of the windows and doors need to be exchanged for energy efficient ones. 


Despite all of these home repairs, fix-it lists, and honey-do’s, family life goes on.  We still eat.  We still drink.  We still bathe.  We still sleep.

And some of those things cost money.  Especially the rather organic things.  Many of you have asked me what our monthly food budget is . . . of which I will say . . . it is higher than most. 

I know that my grocery bill is big.  I know that if I want raw butter, unheated honey, free-range eggs . . . something has to give.  That is why we use cloth napkins, cloth diapers, make our own yogurt, drink homemade carbonated beverages, and grow a garden to name a few. 

Frugal organic

So I have something new to add to my frugal organic list . . . do your own repairs.  I’ve discovered a nifty little site that I thought I would pass along to you. 

Before you call the repair man, consult PartSelect.  I’m pretty excited about this gem.  I’ve been trying to think about what I could repair before the Engineer gets home. 

PartSelect carries over 16 name brands . . . like our refrigerator, Whirlpool.  You can find parts for your dehumidifier, cell phone, washer and dryer, trash compactor, and TV to name a few. 
Here is what PartSelect promises you:
  • same day shipping
  • 2 million parts (I would hate to be the inventory guy for that one!)
  • 30 day return policy
  • and . . . easier on the earth . . . meaning environmentally friendly.
To make this easy, you simply need to know your make and model number of your appliance. 
But suppose you don’t.  Let’s say, you have no idea where to look . . . such as me when I was trying to figure out what water filter to purchase for our adopted refrigerator.

No problem. 

The Virtual Handyman can help you look.  Simply choose your appliance.  I chose my fridge.

Fullscreen capture 612011 33011 PM

Next, a screen will pop up to tell you where to locate the model number.  Easy.

Fullscreen capture 612011 33020 PM

Go look where the diagram suggests!  Find your problem, locate what part you need, watch a video perhaps, and fix your appliance yourself.

Perhaps one of the best features about this site, and one that I think will really help us women . . . who want to fix something before the Hubby gets home to allow more time for him to install the garden fence play with the kids, is the nifty Virtual Repairman.  The Virtual Repairman is essentially a free tool that instantly helps homeowners figure out what’s wrong with their appliance. PartSelect has spent the last few years collecting data on symptoms for each individual model and connecting that data with the parts that fix each symptom.

Pretty cool.

Or you can use any of the more than 105 installation videos, like this one to attach the lid hinge to a Whirlpool washing machine.  Handyman Steve guides you through various installations, first instructing you to grab the necessary tools.

Hope this helps you out a little bit . . . because life, going organic, cooking whole foods . . . can and is overwhelming.  Top that off with fixing stuff at home . . . having a stranger enter your home . . . try fixing it yourself.  Try PartSelect

P.S.  I will admit that I was paid for this post.  I typically DO NOT write paid posts.  But here is why I did.  I had a pervious working relationship with PartSelect AND I genuinely feel that this lines up with one of my goals – providing ways for  my readers to Go Organic Frugally. 
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