In May our very old gas stove finally quit working. It must have been close to 30 years old and when we bought our house 12 years ago it was included in the sale. It was ugly. The paint finish was flecking off the front and the back burners had to be lit with a match. But as long as it was working and wasn't a safety hazard, I kept using it. Then one Friday night, it quit working.
Saturday morning I went shopping. We try to buy local as much as possible. Fortunately in our small town we have a couple of choices. One is Sears. Sears has wonderful sales but they do not install appliances and if you need a service call they send someone from the Des Moines area (1 1/4 hours away) and it could take a couple of days. The other choice is a local family business that sells appliances and services everything they sell. I went to the local family business and purchased a gas stove at 9:30 a.m. and it was installed in my home within the hour. The wife showed me several gas stoves. I am not a frills person. I don't need self cleaning nor anything fancy. Basically I wanted 4 burners, an oven, light in the oven and window to the oven along with a broiler. Yes, give me the basics. When I have bought anything with more fancy gadgets on it I tend to use only what I would use day to day and I forget about the gadgets.
Case in point, my microwave. It has too many options and features. When it dies, I will buy a basic heat and eat microwave.
In choosing appliances I am replacing the old ones that are an almond/beige color with white. In my opinion you can't go wrong with white. Now I have a white stove, an almond fridge and an almond dishwasher. Part of me would like to go out and be able to replace the fridge and dishwasher so they match the stove, but they are still working so I don't care about the color.
Our refrigerator is 20 years old and has never had a service call. Now that I have said that, it will break down. In May our freezer quit working. Fortunately when I discovered it, all was not lost. Many items could be salvaged such as roasts since they were still frozen rock solid but hamburger, orange juice, vegetables and such were very soft and defrosted. I did not want to take a chance so I threw the stuff out. I went shopping for a new freezer and I kept thinking that I should be shopping for a new refrigerator. When I went to the same appliance store that sold me the stove, they were surprised I wasn't in there to buy a fridge. Again, the freezer was purchased and installed in the same day.
We had money in savings to cover the costs of the appliances. In years prior, we would have had to put these purchases on plastic. We have tried hard over the past year or so to put money into savings to prepare for such an emergency. This brings me back to buying basic appliances. When I am paying cold, hard earned and saved cash I find that I forgo any feeling of needing extras to purchase what I can afford. This is usually something basic.
I keep thinking I will be replacing that old fridge soon but..... the washing machine is acting up. Again, here I go babying an appliance. After the wash cycle when it spins out and goes to rinse; the dial gets stuck. I have to set my kitchen timer and then go down to the basement and lift the lid to the washer and set it down once again and then it activates the dial/timer and spins out. It will cost around $100 to repair this. The washer and dryer are 6 years old. I did not purchase them from the mom and pop appliance store. However, they will repair it but I think that for $100 I can set a timer and go to the basement to lift the lid and close it in order to get the machine to continue working. I do laundry for the most part on one day so I have it down to a system.
I was told that most appliances these days last 10 years. So I will continue to baby that washer and be thankful that the fridge keeps running and running.