Garbage disposals are not trash compactors, and treating them as such can causes them to fail prematurely. Be sure to rip up large chunks of food before throwing them down the drain, and throw out non-food items like meat bones, paper, and plastic into the trash can.
The garbage disposal is one of those modern conveniences that makes your life a lot easier. It lessens the amount of garbage you have to deal with, helps your kitchen drainage system run more smoothly, and in general saves you a lot of headaches.
It’s a very valid question: “If I can buy a drain snake at a plumbing store, why call a professional plumber?” Here in Geneva, plumbing supplies are available at any hardware store, and indeed for the most basic of drain clogs, a basic snake will probably do the job.