Frugal Student Tip #13 – Save Money – Repair or Re-purpose

Save money - repair or re-purpose items before you consider throwing them away.“Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.”

The phrase above was popular during World War II when resources were scarce. If you’re a frugal student, your resources are worth saving, too.

Don’t run out and buy a replacement when something breaks or begins to show wear. The first step should always be to save money by trying to fix it. If that doesn’t work, then find a way to re-purpose or, at the very least, strip for parts.

This can be true for virtually everything, not just appliances, vehicles, or things you normally associate with the term “fixable.”

Sweaters with holes, stained fabric — not a problem.

Many minor clothing flaws can be fixed with nothing more than a needle and thread, or some stain-removal know-how. Check out DIY Retailer Clothing Repair Secrets from Thrifty Little Mom for great tips, including one for fixing those pesky deodorant stains.

Google has the answer to just about every stain problem. Be sure to remember your high school chemistry principles before you use anything on a stain! Some commercial stain killers have ingredients that will actually set other substances, so check the Internet before you treat. (For example, the cure for certain substances can be boiling water poured through the stain, but hot water will forever bond bloodstains to fabric.)

Got a pile of t-shirts that you can’t wear any more,  but you’re hanging on to for sentimental reasons? T-shirts can be stretched over frames or hoops for wall art, sewn up and stuffed as pillows, or even stitched into a quilt.

Search online for uses for old jeans, as denim is strong and beautiful. There are many — from tote bags to rag rugs.

Check out the link for making a sweater into a gift in Five Free Holiday Gift Ideas for just one more way to get double use out of an article of clothing.

Don’t fear the needle! If you don’t even know how to sew on a button, remember that you live in the age of YouTube. You can take care of this immediately. Hey — you’re in college. You can definitely figure this one out!

The purchase of a small sewing kit is a tiny investment that can save money in large amounts.

You can look at it this way: If everything you’ve already purchased gets a second life, then you’re getting double value for money you already spent. Now that’s smart.


Author: Amy Widner

Amy is Vice President, Operations at Smart College Visit. She found her 20+ years of experience in corporate and higher education communication to be almost adequate preparation for her recent experience navigating the college search and admissions process with her oldest child. She finds joy in helping ease the process for all.

Share This Post On

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up for SCV News to stay informed news, tips, and resources for parents, students, educators and counselors alike. Your contact info will not be shared without your permission. We don't like spam and assume you don't either.

You have Successfully Subscribed!