Changing Your Buy-More Mindset: Why Repairing Beats Replacing Worn-Out Household Items

Be honest. When something breaks, your first thought is to throw it away and buy something that’s new.

We all do it. But, did you know that repairing something that’s old can actually make it stronger and better than buying that same thing new again? If you’ve ever wondered whether something was worth repairing, here are a few fixes that should get you thinking .



Furniture seems like something you just dispose of when it gets old. But, well-made furniture can last generations. Wobbly legs and torn upholstery are the most common things that “break” on a couch or chair, but these can be replaced pretty easily.

Tables, especially older tables, are usually very well made and sturdy. So, if something like a table leg is broken, you can buy new table legs and fix the thing for a lot less than what a new table would cost you. And, you’ll have a hard time finding a new table of the same quality as an older one made of pine or a hard wood.

Your Shoes

Assuming you get really nice shoes, or at least shoes that can be cobbled, repairing your shoes is much cheaper than buying new every time. Find a local shoe repair shop to resole your old shoes. A good cobbler can fix worn-out heels and bring your shoes back to life. They can even fix scuffed leather. He or she might also be able to fit your shoes with new insoles and stretch them so they fit better.

A good pair of shoes can be resoled about 10 times. Heels can be fixed up to 15 or 20 times, and at a fraction of the cost for a new pair.

Your local shoe repairman can also repair leather belts and fixed damaged luggage, too.


Some types of clothing can be repaired without too much trouble. A master tailor, for example, can fix almost anything. A well-made shirt, blouse, skirt, or pants — even jeans — can be sewn up and repaired.

Some Outdoor Gear

Things like tents and backbacks, sleeping bags, and other outdoor gear can be fixed for a lot less than what it’d cost you to buy them new. Some companies, like Rainy Pass Repair, will fix them for you without you having to do much other than ship the items to them and pay a simple fee for the repair. North Face will also fix damaged camping gear.

Some Appliances

Fixing things like washers and dryers doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take skill. Still, a professional can replace the belt on a washer, returning it to “like new” status. Dryers can have their heating elements and coils replaced and start drying like they were just purchased yesterday.

Most people spend about $200 to fix a busted appliance, according to Home Advisor. But this is much more affordable than spending $2,000 to buy a new washer/dryer set. Consider it.

Other appliances, like microwaves and dishwashers, and lawnmowers all have replaceable parts. And, in most cases, they can be fixed for a lot less than buying new.

Niamh Sheppard is a make do and mend kind of girl. She loves thrifting, upcycling, supporting small local businesses and boycotting plastic! She contributes to a range of websites with her frugal focused articles.

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