What a pain in the ass when plastic buckles snap! These cheap little buckles are so convenient when they work, but render an item useless when they break (i.e. a knapsack, belt buckle, etc.). I wish someone would come up with a better design or a different type of plastic so they last longer. Today I noticed the buckle on my dog's "gentle leader" broke. I'm sure it was because of the cold temperature. This was a disaster because without the gentle leader, he could easily pull a locomotive from Mississauga to Toronto without even trying. And if he were to see a squirrel, he could lurch forward with enough force to pull my arm off. Anyway here is a fast fix. I cut the broken plastic buckle off and replaced it with a steel quick link which I bought as a pack at the dollar store.
When living paycheck to paycheck, there are strategies that can help minimize debt. As an environmental guy, I also want to reduce, reuse, recycle, and repurpose whenever I can. Re-use stores such as Value Village, Thrift Shop, and Goodwill are helpful for clothing and other needful things, keeping money in the wallet and fill out of landfill. It is also helpful to be able to fix things. Too many times I have seen bicycles, for example, on the curbside for the sake of someone's inability to repair (or pay for the repair) of a flat tire.
In the photo below I have shown a Swifter which at first seemed broken beyond repair. I wrapped an interior plastic tube (supplied with the Swifter for aesthetics) with packing tape to make it snug against the inside walls and reinforce the broken joint. Then I glued the joint and wrapped the exterior with Technical Tape. For me, Technical Tape is the new “MacGyver” go-to when duct tape isn’t adequate or appropriate.
A while back I fixed a few tears in my BBQ cover with Technical Tape. I also sewed on new Velcro straps to replace the old ones that had torn off. This cover may be due for replacement soon but I’ve been able to get another few years out of it and I’ll keep extending its life as long as I can.
Lastly, I seem to accumulate a lot of Zip-lock type bags. These are expensive! So I wash and reuse them. I may not necessarily want to use them for food again, but they are great for organizing hardware, keeping screws and spare parts together.