I tried to use my paper shredder the other day. It wouldn’t work. It was plugged in, but it wouldn’t turn on. It wouldn’t feed any paper through it. It wouldn’t reverse. I checked for paper jams. There were none.
The paper shredder was dead. It surprised me because it had worked perfectly during a previous session a few weeks prior. I sadly acknowledged that perhaps the motor burned out and it would be time to replace it. A quick search on Amazon told me that I was looking at a $50 to $75 purchase for one similar to the one I had.
And then I remembered the ultimate, modern day cheap trick: Ask the internet.
I Googled the problem. (Or rather, I used Swagbucks so I could earn free gift cards!) A quick internet search and I learned that there is a tiny little switch on the bottom of my paper shredder that is activated when the shredder is seated correctly on the shredder basket. If that switch isn’t activated, the shredder won’t work.
A little monkeying with getting that paper shredder seated just right and it was working again! Thanks to my internet search, I was able to keep $50 bucks in my pocket.
Asking the internet how to fix things, where to find things, and how to do things has saved me hundreds of dollars and hours of time.
The trick is to know where to ask. A quick search (using Swagbucks or Google) will offer you a great starting point. But don’t forget to ask your friends and family on Facebook. Check out online forums. Search the videos on YouTube. Take a peek at Pinterest. Look at your local library’s catalog. Read blogs on your topic. Chances are good that someone out there has had the same question as you. Someone has tried solutions and can tell you what works.
I’ve searched for inexpensive recipes to bring to potlucks. I’ve looked at how to fix screen doors. I’ve discovered eco-friendly ways to get slugs out of my garden. I’ve solved complicated computer issues. I’ve found replacement parts and missing game pieces. I’ve found fabulous deals on secondhand goods through eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook. I’ve found free stuff through Freecycle.
We’re often too quick to abandon something before we even try to solve the problem. But if you take a few minutes to ask the internet, you will often be pleasantly surprised that a low-cost, simple solution is out there.