Non-Consumer Photo Essay — Macbook Repair Edition

by Katy on March 8, 2024 · 41 comments

I have some unfrugal news to report, which is that my 2022 Macbook developed a cracked screen requiring a $448 repair. I consider this laptop to be still under the category of “brand new,” so no, I’m not cool with this development. Especially since I know I didn’t drop it or any other aggressive actions.

Moving on, please enjoy these frugal tidbits, which definitely add up to over $448 in savings!

Remember these organizing bins that I pulled from a soggy free pile?

I figured out that they’re the perfect size to store my cut-in-half kitchen sponges. Because what am I, a Rockefeller, using an entire sponge all at once?

I’ve been passively keeping an eye out for two dining room chairs for my son’s new apartment, so I didn’t think twice on thrifting this pair:

Especially since they were priced at $2.99 apiece. Sure, they were an eensy bit scuffed and wobbly, but it wasn’t anything that a Sharpie and an allen wrench couldn’t fix. They now look completely brand new and go perfectly with his $30 Ikea dining room table.

I found half this broken wooden hanger in my coat closet a month or so ago and the metal bit finally rose to the surface. This repair will definitely offset the cost of my new laptop screen!

Did I do it? Did my frugality save me the $448? Sigh . . . .

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Kym March 8, 2024 at 4:14 pm

I thought maybe you’d uncovered a lost piece of art! I’m sure you’re comparison shopping for repair to your laptop. It’s so frustrating.


Katy March 8, 2024 at 5:01 pm

Did not comparison shop, I’m having it done through Apple. Smart? We’ll see . . .


Selena March 9, 2024 at 7:46 pm

I vaguely remember something about Mac Book/Air screens cracking. You probably already googled your heart out but if not, my be worth it to do so.


Ruby March 8, 2024 at 4:30 pm

Ooh, very nice score with the chairs for your son.

I have just wasted $92 trying to get a watch repaired. I feel your pain with the screen expense.


Katy March 8, 2024 at 5:03 pm

Yes, these chairs will be perfect for my son so that was a great find! And so sorry about your watch.


Marie-Josée March 8, 2024 at 4:35 pm

Sorry to hear about your computer screen. My condolences for the loss of your family member, and on a brighter note, I love your haircut.


Katy March 8, 2024 at 5:02 pm

Thank you, thank you and thank you!


Lindsey March 8, 2024 at 5:27 pm

I would never have though to use glue to repair a wood hanger! Your sponge drawer looks unnaturally clean and orderly…I could never meet that standard although I applaud such organization. I may be frugal but I am not tidy. It is nice to have a peek into your life, so thanks for the pictures. Future broken hangers thank you, too.


Katy March 8, 2024 at 8:16 pm

You’re welcome, future broken hangers!

And tidy spaces bring my heart joy.


Kara March 8, 2024 at 6:43 pm

Free food came my way today, I brought home milk, string cheese, an apple, a cupcake and a muffin. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but every bit helps and it gives me a thrill too.
I just tidied a drawer and found an empty tin to help organize the contents.
The chairs are cute, I love the mending of the hanger, and I’m sorry about the screen!


Katy March 8, 2024 at 8:16 pm

Hooray for free food!


Christine March 8, 2024 at 6:44 pm

Ha ha! I love that reference to the Rockefellers in regards to the cut sponges. I think of it every time I cut a steel wool pad in half!


Katy March 8, 2024 at 8:15 pm

Half? I cut those babies into quarters!


Christine March 9, 2024 at 11:31 am

Hmmm…I’ll have to rethink this…


A. Marie March 9, 2024 at 8:54 am

I confess to having used an *entire* steel wool pad to get the rust out of the Wagner Ware chicken fryer I got from my next-door neighbor last week. I’m afraid I’m going to get kicked out of the club.


Christine March 9, 2024 at 11:34 am

I hang my head and admit I have done this with an outdoor grill. A pox upon us!


Liz B. March 9, 2024 at 3:43 pm

Christine, I dunno…..I have man hands. A half or a quarter of a steel wool pad would be hard for me to hold onto and scrub with. Perhaps I should never have been admitted to the club.


Christine March 9, 2024 at 4:48 pm

It’s too late Liz. Like Clark Griswold said in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation: “Nobody’s leavin’. We’re all in this together.”

Liz B. March 9, 2024 at 3:40 pm

A. Marie, you revived a (likely vintage) cast iron pan from the brink, to live and fry again. I think we can all agree you’re safe this time.


Pat March 9, 2024 at 11:20 am

I was told by my stepmother that J.Paul Getty had a payphone in his house for guests?
Don’t know if it’s true.


Heidi Louise March 10, 2024 at 7:39 am

If she used it, that would be the real proof!


Vickey March 26, 2024 at 6:13 am

This was, in fact, a question on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me recently. It’s true !


Ls March 8, 2024 at 8:08 pm

I also cut my sponges in half! People tease me about it but it works .
Honestly, a cracked screen on a 2022 is a quality issue. They should fix it for free!


Katy March 8, 2024 at 8:15 pm

I suggested that.

And you save money both on sponges and the soap you’re using less of. It’s a no brainer!


Ecoteri March 8, 2024 at 9:39 pm

Ouch re the Laptop screen. I did that once, however it was prior to the decision to address the old drinking problem, so who knows how it happened. Still hurts. And we use our computers far too often for us to be happy when they are damaged (and unavailable).

1. I went to an event yesterday that was advertised as an opportunity to connect with organizations and people who are working hard to address the under-housed in our community, as well as the poison drug supply that is killing more than COVID ever has in my Province. The people who needed to be there weren’t (the frightened ones who are making a huge fuss about what isn’t being done, but who aren’t willing to be informed about all the efforts being made), however I was there, and had an chance to really dive deeply into some of the issues with a lovely woman who was so willing to share. Besides getting a head and heart full of positive and hopeful ideas, I also was able to nosh a lot on some lovely ‘boards’ that were being ignored by many in the room. Essentially got my supper there.
2. Tonight when digging in the cupboard for something else I found a jar that Past Ecoteri had filled with the flour and spices for a Gingerbread recipe (and the recipe was attached). I had everything else I needed to took the time to make it. Isn’t quite what I was hoping for (a kind of gingerbread blondie with chunks is my dream) however I am happily eating it up and planning another try. And one more pantry item off the shelf.
3. Last weekend I rode shotgun with my bestie when she got to drive an hour each way (on her birthday no less) to deliver the forgotten passports to her #2 son, who had to ride a ferry (2 hours each way) to meet her. He had gone to Vancouver to attend a music event the day before his flight for a family holiday, and of course doesn’t yet have a neat and tidy Katy style travel packing list. Bestie was flying out the next day, so really didn’t have the 2+ hours to spare, but we had a grand time together, and I convinced her to drop by my #2 (chosen) Daughter’s house (she lives up there) to pick up some sourdough starter for me. (I also took her for an imperfect birthday dinner – ok but not fabulous, however the company (hers) made up for the meh food).
4. On Monday, the sourdough starter was divided, one jar in the fridge for #1 Daughter, some in the fridge for my next attempt, and some on the counter – getting added to daily. I have been busy and tired, so each night I looked at the expanding starter, added more flour and water and a promise to DO something tomorrow…. put the container into a larger bowl in case of overflow, and went to bed. This happened 3 nights in a row. Tonight, I dumped in some more flour and some salt, formed a dough, and shaped it into two-and-a-bit loaves. It has risen all evening and I just got it into the oven. I am rather overconfident about my bread these days, so making some without purchased yeast is a fun way to shake things up. There is a pan of hot water in the oven so they are soaking in the sauna. It is only flour and water, what can possibly go wrong? (if I don’t put the oven too hot, that is…)
5. Our scratch and dent (love that term) low cost farmers-market-style store has a corner that sometimes offers large bags of deep discounts. I am still enjoying (and using) the celery that I have been stocking up on, and tonight I cut up some cheapo sweet peppers as well, plus some of the onions from my gynormous 50 pound sac of onions – Those are starting to need attention, however I only threw 3 away and the rest will hold until put to use. All those sliced veggies are destined for fajitas, but I ran out of steam tonight, so they are bagged in the fridge for later. I did get squash cooked in the instant pot for the dog and me, then used the pot immediately to cook up some dried black beans. And I made rice in the rice cooker, cooked up some of the MUST BE USED broccoli, and had food for starving #2 son when he got home. He would live on rice and beans anyway, so waiting for fajitas until tomorrow is no misery.


texasilver March 8, 2024 at 9:44 pm

At my part-time job I saw a plastic basket on top of the trash in the copy room. It had an almost full bottle of dish soap, a partial bag of Tide pods, dishwasher pods, a full bottle of Old English scratch cover, a small can of varnish, and a small bottle of STP gas additive. I wondered where they came from. Then I saw the plastic bags were marked child safety hazards. One of the pediatric nurses must have been giving a child safety talk. The products were the props. They were 4-5 years old. Does soap expire?? Anyway, I snagged them & brought them home.


Marie March 9, 2024 at 8:06 am

No, soap just weakens, I’d use them.


K D March 9, 2024 at 5:46 am

You’re saving where you can, money and the planet, so that these unexpected expenses are doable. It is not fun to have to spend that kind of money but sometimes necessary.

I love your humorous approach to this spendy speed bump in your life.


Bee March 9, 2024 at 6:17 am

I don’t know if I would have thought to glue the hanger back together. Wood hangers like that can be expensive. It was a smart thing to do for sure. I glued a eggshell porcelain bowl back together. I could not bear to throw it away. It’s quite old. I did a very good job if I say so myself, but not before nearly gluing my fingers together. Sigh. I do try even when it’s not in my forte.


mary in maryland March 9, 2024 at 7:23 am

I stared down an unexpected $580 expense. I had registered in person for an MRI 4 weeks ago and given all my insurance info. Yesterday when I went for my appointment, they said I needed pre-approval. Since they didn’t have my insurance info, I needed to pay ($580) upfront and see if I could get reimbursed. I quietly pointed out that they had had my info for 4 weeks even if they couldn’t find it. Because lack of pre-authorization was their doing rather than mine, it would be fair for them to take the risk of insurance not paying. Or I could reschedule for a time after they did their part of the paperwork. (I had a late afternoon appt. It was clear they couldn’t fill that slot if I walked.) After fifteen minutes of confab and typing, they said my insurance would cover the test. Good.


A. Marie March 9, 2024 at 8:53 am

Good job on that stare-down, Mary! Not letting them jerk you around for their mistake is a win-win.


Lindsey March 9, 2024 at 10:12 am

You go girl!!


Christine March 9, 2024 at 11:39 am

Good for you for standing your ground! And giving them two alternatives to choose from…that was wise as it probably made them feel like they were in control, not you…but of course you were.


Selena March 9, 2024 at 8:00 pm

Better half switched a Medicare Advantage. Perhaps some day our federal elected reps/senators will tell MA that no pre-auth needed for a Medicare approved service. Yeah, I have high hopes. Well the first time better half had a service, guess who forgot to pre-auth (hint it wasn’t me and I even reminded them). Guess who ate the cost – yep, provider.


A. Marie March 9, 2024 at 8:51 am

True confessions, Hanger Edition: I have so many blasted hangers (plastic, wooden, wire, you name it) that when a wooden hanger loses its hook in the way you illustrate, I’ve been known to toss the wooden part onto the kindling pile for my woodburner. But I applaud your persistence in (a) locating the hook and (b) using the Super Glue.

And my sympathies on the laptop repair. It’s scandalous what Apple charges for their products in the first place, let alone for repairs to them. But they’ve got us over a barrel, don’t they? I’d rather suck on a rope than go back to Windows and a PC.


Christine March 9, 2024 at 4:52 pm

Alright, A. Marie, first you used a whole steel wool pad. Next you’re tossing wooden hangers on the fire. Just what are we going to do with you?!


Selena March 9, 2024 at 8:05 pm

Did you recycle/reuse the hook? I too would have tossed into the kindling pile or used to start a fire in the burn pile or fire pit.
I don’t see what the difference is between cutting a steel wood pad into halves/quarters versus putting the in-use steel wood pad into a baggie for future use. Some put them in the freezer but I’ve never found the need to do so. By the time I toss mine, there is hardly anything left.
And HEY, A. Marie is okay.


A. Marie March 10, 2024 at 4:34 am

Yes, the hook gets recycled: I toss it into my scrap metal bin in the garage. I save the scrap for my yard man/snowplowing wizard.

And I can see I’d better straighten up and fly right from now on. I don’t want to lose my frugalista credentials. 😛


Selena March 10, 2024 at 7:13 pm

Well you’ve nothing to worry about – reuse (kindling) or recycle (doesn’t matter who takes it to recycle). Or as Groucho Marx used to say “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.” LOL.


Bethany M March 9, 2024 at 5:13 pm

I told myself “no” to sushi at the last grocery store run. I was there for loss leaders and loss leaders only.

Besides said loss leader run, I skipped a week of groceries. We ate up the niblings and had a few pantry meals to round it out.

Hubby looked up causes for check engine light and we figured out it was just our gas cap not secured. Canceled our diagnostic appointment.

I’m still doing well on my no buying year of clothes for myself or kitchen stuff. I was actually given a load of clothes recently and told of another pile to look through. These have really helped me have a nice wardrobe for work.

We have a cross-country trip this summer and our van is iffy for something like that. We aren’t in position to replace it yet. Found a screaming rental van and in-laws wanted to pay half. (I think that was because my MIL actually felt bad about some of her recent behavior and didn’t want to apologize, but whatever.)


Vickey March 26, 2024 at 6:26 am

Nice save on avoiding the diagnostic appt.!


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