I’m frugal. There, I said it. To anyone who has known me for an extended period of time, this is no big revelation. I like being frugal. It spurs the creative side. It also makes me look at alternate solutions to sometimes costly problems.
In recent months, I’ve spent a fair amount of time at my local pick-and-pull wrecking yard. My last trek to the local vehicle graveyard had me searching for a driver’s door for a new project vehicle. Suffice it to say, I came for a door, but left with a wheelbarrow full of other parts as well. Some stuff I needed, other stuff -- well -- I figured I might later.
For less than it cost to fill up my tow rig, I left with stuff that would have cost me hundreds new. Of course, not everything was in pristine condition. But, when you’re scrounging parts for your trail rig, a little scuff here and there isn’t going to be the end of the world. If you have never experienced a pick-and-pull style junkyard, you are seriously missing out. At my local yard, two measly dollars is all it takes to get you in this penny-wise superstore.
You may think your local yard will never have your specific vehicle, but you might be surprised. On more than one occasion I’ve spotted late-model Jeep Wranglers. Both were picked over in a matter of days, but not before I grabbed a couple valuable pieces myself! I’ve also seen an assortment of lifted and modified rigs parked in the sea of crumped metal. Although you’ll have to handle the removal yourself, the low-cost tradeoff is well worth the sweat equity.
Even if you don’t want to buy anything, I still urge you to go. Part of the fun of the wrecking yard is browsing the rows. You can endlessly rubberneck without holding up traffic. My point is, take time out of your day to remind yourself the automotive hobby doesn’t have to be an expensive one. Every budget is different, and this is just one more way to make yours go a little further.