Thursday, January 7, 2010

Big People Purchases

When we bought our house, we knew well in advance that the washing machine and dryer weren't staying. It was inconvienient, but we were also pretty pleased and excited because the machines were older, so we'd end up saving money in the long run by replacing them with newer models that wouldn't hike up our electric bill each month. We knew that we'd be looking for front-loading, energy efficient models, it was just a matter of picking out the ones we wanted.

Then, shortly after we closed on our home, we discovered that the fridge (which was also an older appliance) no longer worked. Sure, the light turned on when we plugged it in, and it was blowing air, but it never got cold. The fridge was easily 30 years old, so it was another energy-draining, bill-jacking appliance. We were already spending money on two appliances, so in the long run, what's one more?

Here's our fridge. It's nothing fancy or special. We were hoping for one that had a freezer on the bottom because they're slightly more efficient (thank goodness cold air sinks!), but because of the cabinets above the fridge, we couldn't go too high. All the bottom freezer models we saw were far too high for the space we have.

Color wasn't something that was important to us, so we could have ordered the black model and it would have come to us a few days later, or we could get the in-stock, white fridge the next day. Since we needed a fridge and white vs. black doesn't matter to my kitchen, we stuck with the white model. Our plan for the future (once we remodel my box o' tile kitchen) is to remove the cabinets above the fridge (I can't reach the damn things anyway), move this fridge to the basement, and replace this with a bottom freezer model.

Once we decided on a fridge (which, by the way, took entirely too long), it was time to pick out washing machines and dryers. I cannot tell you how excited I was for this. I hadn't used a decent washing machine since I moved out of my parents' home. I borrowed their machines and electricity during breaks in college, but the machines at Mac were just okay, and at least one was always broken or out for repairs. In our apartment, the machines were just "okay". Nothing special, and we were spending between $40 and $60 a year in quarters to do all our laundry. During the summer months we'd line dry our clothes and save a few dollars here and there, but it was still a big pain to haul our clothes downstairs, fumble with the machine, dig around for quarters, realize I'd forgotten them upstairs, mutter explatives all the way up and all the way back down, climb back up the stairs, set the timer for 18 minutes, go down to put in the fabric softener, go back up, wait 10-15 minutes, and finally scurry back down to retrieve our clothes before someone removed them from the machine and dumped them on the floor, college-style.

Here are our new, energy-efficient, eco-friendly, earth-massaging and loving clothes cleaning machines:

All three appliances were our second anniversary gift to one another. We weren't expecting the fridge, and it's our most expensive anniversary thus far, but these three gifts were well worth it! Sure, they've got fun settings and special settings for "delicate" clothes and "heavy duty" loads. Sure, the lint trap in the dryer is so clean and new I could serve dinner on it. Sure, they're eco-friendly with the front-loading options, etc. But, my favorite feature? No quarter slots. I can't tell you how gratifying it is to throw my dirty clothes in the wash and not have to fumble for 5 quarters. It's glorious! My friend Jess was probably more excited for this purchase than I was! We've talked for years about how wonderful it will be to do laundry for "free" in our own homes and not have to pay $1.25 per wash and per dry. And Jess, it's even more wonderful than we imagined. Wanna come visit and do laundry for free? I'll even let you press "start". :-)

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