Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Making the most of Energy Star tax-free holiday

Appliances! New! Stainless steel! Energy Star! Not yet delivered or installed!

Over the weekend, while Virginia was having its Energy Star appliances tax-free holiday and Sears had its Energy Star appliances on sale for an additional 20 percent off, Matt and I made two major purchases: a dishwasher and a fridge.

"But Stephanie," you, loyal blog reader, say. "I thought you did not need new appliances. I thought you said 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'" Yes, this is all true. This was an uncharacteristic move. This, my friends, is what happens when your husband decides he would like to make a purchase. Matt, he-who-is-way-more-frugal-than-me, wanted to make a purchase, and I did not want to stand in the way of his joy, and I was not sure when this moment would repeat itself. He did thorough research, and he chose the dishwasher and fridge that came most highly rated for our target price range.

Truth be told, I really wanted a new dishwasher, and Matt was all excited for a new fridge. Our dishwasher is loud, so loud that I cannot be upstairs in our bedroom and not hear it banging around. It works perfectly well doing its job of cleaning, but because we plan to upgrade our kitchen over time to all stainless steel appliances, we figured now was the time to start. The fridge, on the other hand, was not as necessary of a purchase. The ice maker is a bit of a pain in that it gets clogged weekly, but otherwise it's good. Of course, as the largest appliance in our kitchen, no doubt replacing the fridge will have a major impact on kitchen aesthetics.

Here's our kitchen as it stands today with the white appliances:

The old GE Profile dishwasher...

And the new Bosch dishwasher. I am really excited about the hidden controls and sleek design!

The old GE fridge...

And the new Samsung French-door fridge (26 cubic feet)
The appliances are scheduled for delivery and installation on Saturday. Personally, I am not holding my breath for that, and I'll be pleased if they are set up within the next two weeks. Either way, I am thrilled to have these babies on order.

We did not take Sears up on its $10 haul away of old appliances offer. We plan to try to sell both the old dishwasher and the old fridge on Craigslist. We've had several friends manage to do this recently, so we figure that with two appliances in good working condition, we probably have a decent shot. Our buddy Bob gave us this piece of advice for selling old appliances: take photos of the appliances operating for potential buyers to see. So, next time I run the dishwasher, I'll be sure to snap a photo (and hold up the day's newspaper to show the date in time??? Still working on that one...).

Was this a bit of a splurge? A luxury purchase? Sure. But, all things considered, it was also a good enough deal. More importantly, though, by upgrading our house little by little, we won't have to spend a ton of money at once when we're ready to move. Perhaps most importantly, we get to enjoy some of the fruits of our labors while we live here rather than simply passing our upgrades on to the next owners.

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