I did NOT want to call a repair man. When our washing machine (Maytag) broke down this spring (or was it last?), I called in the repair man and it cost $100.00 for him to come out and let me know that he isn't sure what to repair and it could be a multitude of things. We could try this and that and replace this and that. Well, it was going to be the cost of a small washer to repair it. I opted out of that. I ran out to Lowes, replaced it with a GE top loader that I totally love! The saying "it's so easy even a caveman can do it" completely applies to this washer.
Well, there was no way I was calling a repairman to take care of my microwave, so I called our electrician cousin Phil to borrow a tool so I could test some things in the microwave. That opened an entirely new can of worms. I mistakenly involved men in the process. They took over, took out more screws and pieces and parts. Over the course of a day or two (or three), they tested everything testable inside the microwave down to the door latches. Apparently there isn't anything wrong with it except it doesn't actually heat food.
Really? Because I knew that.
After a few more days, I put the cover back on the microwave and stuffed all of the loose pieces inside and shut the door. There it all sits. To order a knew one is only $300.00. OR I can get just a cheapie counter top one and stuff it away somewhere.
OR, I can be microwave free!
It is a little hard to remember to defrost dinner in the mornings. It is also a bit tough to keep food warm enough for everyone without it drying out. Reheating left overs now takes planning as well. We are doing it though. I admit I miss my microwaved steamed veggies. We all choked down cooked broccoli the other day though and no one complained.
So, we have been microwave free for almost a month now. I think it is really helping our electric bill too. We will see for sure after the next one arrives. I am hoping to find a cheap little microwave that I can hide in the garage and only plug it in when we need it. It will be nice for baseball and hockey players to be able to reheat dinner without using an entire oven and without me having to do it for them. It will also be nice to have when our house guests arrive and we are feeding 4 men and two kids instead of 2 men and 2 kids.
Next on my list it to replace the florescent bulb in my living room with soft white light. I know they are more expensive, but the buzz of a florescent and the unnatural light floating around my children after being exposed to it at school all day bothers me. I think their little brains need a break. I'm willing to pay a little extra for electricity just to know that the stress of florescence is gone. I have LED's in my kitchen ($1 each sent over from China thanks to eBay). The light is wierd and they are falling apart, but the price is right. I know buying them from China is all anti-American to some people, but for my kids, I'll buy my light bulbs where ever I want.
I added a new laundry soap to our lifestyle as well. Sam's Club had a "healthier" version of laundry soap for such a great price, I jumped all over it. I am also going to try and NOT buy dryer sheets after this box is used up. Back to my dryer balls.
As it is, I collect the extra lint from my dryer though to make fire starters. I'm afraid I'll be low on lint once I switch back. On the plus side, I'll be extending the life of the eBay clothes I get the kids. Yep, I totally eBay shop for school clothes. It's such a great feeling to know that we are not adding to waste and not wasting our money. I can get Carly such great pants from eBay that I can't get here in our small town. She can have brand name clothes for a fraction of the price. Jason is warming up to the idea. He is sort of a prima donna prep and its tough for him not to look the part, but I've been able to get him some really great Hollister and Aeropostale t-shirts for next to nothing and he loves them!
My Motto: It's only knew once. Why waste the resources?
Which brings me to a HUGE thank you to my friend Christi who handed down $100's of dollars worth of brand name jeans to my two oldest kiddos! There were enough girls jeans in various shapes and sizes, Carly gave a pair to a friend and we get to mail 3 to my niece Mackenzie! Jason is slowly coming around to wearing his hand-me-overs and wore a great pair of like-new Hollister jeans today.
Caden is also a clothes re-user. He school shopped in his brother's closet before we called the neighbor over to do the same. He was able to score a bunch of polo's and T-shirts. The jeans are another story. Caden and Jason do not, in any way, have the same body type. Caden will never be able to use Jason's old jeans in the same time scale that Jason did. Caden's got a bit of a booty on him, despite that he is slimming up and losing weight. I don't believe he will ever be rid of the GB (ghetto butt), but that will work to his advantage when he is older. He did get rid of his pudgy baby belly though. He is able to wear the same size jeans as last year (which would be awesome if they didn't all have huge holes in the knees).
I have recently joined in the cheaper shopping for myself. I scored a free NEW pair of jeans last week in a size that fits. I had a coupon for 30% off kids clothes and a $19.00 reward card to Fred Meyer. I found a great pair of juniors jeans that were on sale for $19.99. Essentially, when it was all said and done, its like they paid ME to take the jeans. Woo Hoo!
Now, I've got to find Jay some jeans that fit. He has lost a ton of weight and has been working out like a mad man and I think he must be down two pant sizes. I as well, have been losing a lot of weight. I've gone through almost two sizes that I've had sitting in my closet. I have two more pair that I want to fit into before I really go shopping for new clothes. I think I'll have to get my dress pants tailored soon too. I've been going on interviews and each time I put on dress pants, they are bigger than before. Once I get a job and get through the last size in my closet ---It's shopping time! I'll have to give some of the second hand boutiques in our town a chance.