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Angie’s List: Save Money By Repairing Older Items

(Photo by Johannes Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by Johannes Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Susan Koeppen
A nationally known, award-winning journalist, Susan Koeppen co-anc...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Did you replace your favorite pair of shoes because the soles had worn out? Toss out a skirt because the zipper broke?

Bought a new couch because the cushions on your old one were sunk in?

Today’s Angie’s List report gives tips on how to make your old items new again.

“Everyone wants to stretch a dollar these days and you can do just that with your wardrobe and your shoes. The key here is instead of giving up on the outfit and donating it, consider getting it altered or getting your shoes repaired and you can really make your money go a long way,” angie Hicks from Angie’s List said.

Sue Ellen Scheppke’s handbag was lightly colored and started to get pretty dirty, so she had it repaired instead of buying a new one.

“Did a little dying of the bag and it lasted me through another summer and I was really pleased because I enjoyed the bag and it was good quality. It wasn’t something that I just wanted to toss after one season,” Scheppke said.

Before tossing a purse or a pair of shoes, consider repairing them first. The average shoe repair costs between $8 and $12 dollars.

“We can actually stretch a shoe length and width. So, if it’s a little tight or it just doesn’t feel right, we can actually stretch the shoe size because a lot of people say, ‘Oh, I got a great deal on this shoe, but it doesn’t nearly fit,’” James Coffman said.

“I think we can all admit that we tend to fluctuate sizes every now and again and we tend to toss out the clothes as they don’t fit, Instead try taking them to an alterations company because they can actually help those clothes continue to look good even though they may not be the perfect size today,” Hicks said.

“Now, the trend is because of the economy, some people try to go to a secondhand store and buying clothes that were a good deal or they try to go to the clearance and buy something and come here to fix it and now I notice some people go back in their closet to check what they have and bring it here to update,” seamstress Lucy Qi said.

What about your older furniture?

“Furniture is another great place where people often times might decide after a few years they don’t really like what they have. So, the key here is how you reinvent your sofa without spending a ton of money. So, you can obviously have it reupholstered – a lot of times people don’t think about it. If the sofa itself is in good condition and it’s comfortable, this is a great alternative. Also, if you’re looking for something even less expensive, putting a slip cover over your sofa can be a way to give it a whole new look while still being able to get a few more years out of it,” Hicks said.

“Over time, let’s say your couch, and it all depends, different couches have different stuffing, but you’ll start to notice that your foam is starting to sink where you’re having a harder and harder time getting up off the couch. You’ll find yourself scooting to the edge to lift yourself up. Just by us coming in and replacing that foam in there, everything else on the couch is good, we just come in and take the old foam out, put a brand new piece of foam in there whether it’s a firmer foam or tall foam but something to give it a bit more life,” Vitian Robinson said.

When you find a repair company, Angie’s List recommends taking a small item in to test to make sure you like their work.

If the cost to repair is high, you may be better off buying new.

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