Back in my Bride Days, I was thrilled and a little lost when it came to registering for gifts. Hubby and I had been living together for two years, so we had accumulated some of the things we would need for survival in the domestic wild. (Curiously enough, we only had one pot. I think that's because neither of us could really cook.)
I knew one thing I wanted for a certainty - a vacuum. We lived in a little, one-bedroom, Bronx apartment, with hardwood floors and a consistent layer of dust that perpetually settled over everything. I was tired of sweeping.
As a bridal shower present, my hubby's mom got me a Bissel Lift-Off. It's red. I love red. Even my sofa is red.
Vacuums are supposed to last 8-10 years. Everyone I have spoken to about this has wound up replacing theirs after around five years. Mine is seven years old, and has taken Very. Hard. Use. The poor thing has had to be fixed a couple of times.
The cheap part comes in here.
1) Fixing it is cheaper than replacing it.
2) Fixing it myself is cheaper than having someone else fix it.
Through the power of YouTube, I was able to replace a broken belt.
Through the power of an online forum on small appliance repair, I was able to find and tighten a loose wire.
Through the power of my father-in-law and his neighbor, a broken switch was replaced.
Total investment: about 5 bucks.
I'm also saving on filters by cleaning them out myself.
And the EXACT SAME FILTER after a wash in the tub and some time drying in the sun:
Oh, and with the removal of a few screws, I can keep the brush clean, too.
The BEST part (other than saving a couple hundred bucks on a new vacuum) was this guy helping me. He even brought his own plastic screwdriver. The DIY force is strong with this one.