April 13, 2018

Frugal Flipper: Fail Or Fab?

My frugal challenge: How could I re-purpose this broken kitchen flipper?

Sometimes in my desire to be economical, I go too far and experience what I call a frugal fail. It's all good, as long as no one gets hurt, and waste is eliminated.

However, in one case, I did get hurt. It happened when my kitchen flipper broke and the handle came off. 

I decided to keep using it. 

In dangerously hot pans. 

It reflects my dedication to the cause. Or brain damage.

After a few skin contacts with hot frying pans, I decided that there was a good reason flippers had long handles. In this case, acquiring a flipper with a handle was warranted.

When it comes to pushing the limits of frugality, if you don't know how far is too far, then how do you know how far you can take it? Because I want to take it as far as I possibly can. Preferably without hurting myself in the process. 

As it turns out, because I still wasn't ready to dispose of my handle-less flipper, I did find a use for my broken kitchen implement. 

This fraction of a flipper is quite perfect re-purposed as a dough cutter, and I use it every time I bake bread.

I guess I turned my frugal fail into frugal fabulous. And it only hurt a little bit.


  1. I'm glad you're still in one piece. I also think you are brilliant, a dough cutter is a smart re-purpose. You remind me so much of my Danny. He re-purposes everything he can and his style of writing is very similar to yours. In fact when I read his words, it's like I'm reading your blog. Or when I read your words, I feel like I am reading Danny's thoughts. This makes me very happy. Have a brilliant day both of you!

    1. Good day to you and your Danny (who sounds like a smart lad).

  2. You are such a clever boy! When I read the bit about the dough cutter I could feel that thing in my hand and the dough around it. Much Love, Michael.

    1. Michael,

      Nothing quite like cutting a big dough, freshly kneaded, into four parts to make four loaves. A dough cutter is a nice thing to have.

  3. When I saw it I thought that's what I would use to scrape dishes when I wash something that is baked on or stuck on. I often use my flipper for that very thing even though it has a handle still attached.

    1. Kelly,

      I am in the process of wearing out another flipper, and when it breaks I will have my new plate scraper.

  4. Anonymous4/15/2018

    I had to laugh, Gregg, although I am sorry you hurt yourself. I had a similar situation recently when the handle broke off a large metal strainer used to drain noodles etc...I thought I could manage without a handle until I scalded myself! The strainer has now been repurposed for sifting dust and small bits of debris out of seeds I am saving from my garden. I will keep my eye out at second hand shops and markets for an old, sturdily built strainer.


    1. Madeleine,

      That would "strain" my patience. Burns hurt.

  5. Lovely resourcefulness! Handles; such a luxury. Neither flipper nor colander has handles here. Spatula is in itself long enough to use without a handle. The colander had old pliers attached instead and.it works well. So far neither needs replacemer, or even repurposed - yet.

    1. Onevikinggirl,

      Brilliant! Indeed, a pair of locking pliers can make a perfectly functional handle. I will be trying that.

      "Handles; such a luxury" reminds me of my favourite Monty Python skit with the old men sitting around telling tall tales about how rough they had it as kids.

      I can hear them now - "Handles? We used to dream of having a handle on our flipper."

      "You had a handle-less flipper? Luxury. We had none such thing. My mom had to flip pancakes with her bare hands."

      "Your mom had hands?"

  6. We do have to wonder when we taking frugality too far! We here on this blog are quite good at it. When something causes pain, yep, that is using it past my boundary. What a great story! Now we just need to find a use for that wooden handle! I have a wooden handle like you flipper handle that isn't attached to the utensil it was attached to. I've wondered what I could use it for.

    I had a ceramic flower pot that broke. It had a dish below for water to drain into. I use the bottom water dish to provide water for the birds. There is so much around here that is being used for something different because the original broke that I don't even see it anymore. It's that common place. Sometimes when someone is visiting and sees me using something that broke for another purpose, it usually makes for good conversation. Sadly though some people see it as I am too poor to buy a new one. No problem, I just share about it here where frugality is celebrated!

    1. Terri,

      I think that fixing and repurposing and frugality in general are all very creative challenges, and ones that I enjoy. Buying new stuff is too easy... and boring.

      If anything, other people are "too rich". That would be when you have enough money that you can waste resources and not care about the consequences. Money is not the best solution to every problem.


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