Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dumpster Digging

I never thought I'd go dumpster digging, but it has a lot going for it and I won't say I'll never do it again.

Maybe this needs a bit of explanation because this is not something I would normally do, or do every day. But each day is different around here, and that's just what today called for.

I've been reading a lot about living more simply, living with more environmental awareness, and yes, living frugally (i.e. cheaply). That doesn't necessarily mean finding things in dumpsters, but that was my experience.

This week our old stove was determined to start a fire, starting with one very bright spot in the oven element. Luckily, I caught it in time and turned the stove off, and was happy knowing that we still had our trusty toaster oven. In reality, I use it more often than the oven anyway and thought we had time to shop around for a sale. While voicing this very thought out loud to my lovely husband, I was watching three loaves of bread rising.

"How do you plan to bake that bread?"

" The way I always..... Oh, right. Hmm..."

I headed off to my friends house to borrow their 350 degree heat source and provide their home with the wonderful yeasty smell of fresh bread, and realized that we needed the oven more than I thought. Last night we baked 3 dozen cookies for an event - 9 cookies at a time in the toaster oven.

Fast track to today.

I bought a new element for the oven without any problem and thought I'd fix the other little stove problem at the same time. For some time now we've been operating with three burners because one of those x-shaped supports under the burner snapped on the fourth element. Unfortunately, they don't make them anymore.

Why? Do stoves not need them anymore? Who knows. I think it's one of those built-in obsolence things. But there's no way I want to spend $1100 on a new oven just because of little unavailable parts.

After two more stops looking for them (the local ECO Station and another old appliance graveyard), I ended up dumpster diving at a scrap metal dealership. And found two free x-shaped supports! Yay! Actually one is totally misshapen, but I grabbed it because what if another one of ours breaks?

Hopefully our new-old stove will have another few years of life left and I've saved $1100.

I also saved the landfill one big appliance. All in all, a satisfying experience!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The first comment!