The first phase of our appliance saga concluded this weekend when we finally picked up this load of boxes. Buying six appliances at once was scary (exciting, too! but mostly scary) but, like the lights, we knew it needed to happen.
Why the saga? Because Wyoming. From now on, just assume that’s my answer for everything.
We have a set budget for the immediate work that needs to be completed on the house. If/when we ever finish, I’ll share the actual numbers. The budget does not include things like a new couch, TV, and king size bed which are things that we “need” as opposed to things we NEED. It is intended for roof work, appliances, a lawn mower, adding carpet to the bare subfloor in our bedroom, a wood stove, lights, wood floors, fenced yard for the dogs, etc. Some of these areas are fuzzy and bleed over into the “fun purchases” realm (lights, you were sort of fun) but they’re all necessary in that they’re missing right now or are general maintenance items for the upkeep of the place. Unsurprisingly, the budget is disappearing quickly so I’m being a straight up hardass about where it goes and how we save money.
You know the drill – Home Depot and Menards are 4 hours away, Lowe’s is in Idaho falls. I did some price shopping and quickly ruled out Menards, Lowes, and Sears. On my birthday trip to Casper, we scoped out appliances at Home Depot and mentally committed that no matter what we bought, it would come from Home Depot.
Brands: We ruled out GE which I’m still annoyed about because I reeeeally wanted the new GE Artistry Series. My parents have owned more than a dozen places and warned against GE based on their experience. In Alan’s words, I spent a lot of years not listening to my dad, and now I’m old enough to admit that I value his advice. They said to avoid GE, we listened. It’s worth noting that I finally saw the Artistry Series this weekend and, while beautiful, everything is pretty small. They would have been perfect in our Detroit house but may have been quickly dwarfed by this place, so I feel a little better about passing on them.
Colors: I thought all black would darken an already dark space. Alan was oddly excited about appliances so I told him to pick white or stainless steel and didn’t care which he picked. He said stainless. Fine.
Features: Basic. We wanted things that would last, but this was not the time to buy fancy, upgraded appliances.
This is already long, so for now it’s going to be a lot of look at all the things we bought. I stacked a bunch of savings together to arrive at our final number, so I’ll share that (hopefully helpful) info next.
We started here and let that dictate the other choices
Side-by-side, no French doors or bottom freezers. Given current appliance trends, this eliminated all but 3 options that we could view in-store. We knew we’d end up selecting most of our choices online, but I felt strongly about seeing the fridge in person so I could open drawers, move things around, etc.
Lots of freezer storage – living where we do, I buy a ton of bulk produce. I also do annoying things like saving veggie/meat scraps to make my own broth.
The layout of the ice maker on the door – Ok, this is crazy but Radio gets her own ice from the fridge and we don’t intend to stop her so we needed a setup that she could use. Thought I put this last on the list, honestly Radio’s ice maker was pretty much our #1 criteria, which is ridiculous to admit.
Samsung 24.5 cu. ft. Side by Side Refrigerator in Stainless Steel
Model # RS25H5111SR
Original Price: $1699
Side-by-side, stainless, with a good ice maker for Radio. Perks: the in-door ice maker made for a ton of freezer space and the produce drawers were very smooth. I’ve only owned fridges with wire bins in the bottom of the freezer, never full drawers, so this is special and I’m going to feel really spoiled.
30″ width (We thought the opening was smaller, thrilled to find it out its not)
Yeah, that’s about it.
Since we’d already picked a Samsun fridge, I started my search with Samsung stoves. Though matching wasn’t a priority, if they could match, why not? My search process was literally -> click Ranges -> Gas ranges -> Brands: Samsung -> Color: Stainless or Stainless look -> Review Rating: 4 stars and up -> Sort: Price. The cheapest one also had great reviews and anything is an upgrade from our current option. Sold.
Samsung 30 in. 5.8 cu. ft. Gas Range with Self-Cleaning Oven in Stainless Steel
Model # NX58F5300SS
Original Price: $899.00
Perks: 5.8 cu ft of space means I’ll have plenty of room. My parent’s place has dual ovens and I’ll admit that I’m going to miss being able to do so many things at once. The stove also has 5 burners, which is apparently a “thing” these days and I don’t hate that idea. It matches the fridge… who would complain about that?
I don’t care one bit, as long as we have a dishwasher. My parent’s recently redid the kitchen at their farm and my Mom highlighted a few things that are really nice to have – super quiet operation and tall tub for plates/big things. I searched for “quieter” (among the rankings of quiet, quieter, and quietest) and stainless. I didn’t worry about it being part of the same suite since it’ll be across the kitchen from the fridge. With almost 1,900 reviews and 4.5 stars, I let the people’s voice be heard and trusted their choice.
Whirlpool Gold Top Control Dishwasher in Monochromatic Stainless Steel
Model # WDT710PAYM
Original Price: $599.00
I had some debate here – my original plan was to get a range hood and find a cheap standalone microwave that we could hide in a cabinet. I’m not going to pretend we don’t use a microwave because it definitely gets used daily to defrost things. I just, for lack of a better explanation, don’t really care about a microwave. During our shopping I discovered that a range hood is “merchandise” and a over-the-stove microwave/vent combo is an “appliance” which was crucial to my money saving scheme. Hood vent was out, over-the-stove microwave was in. The reviews are currently showing 1 star which was definitely not the case when I picked it, so I’m now mildly concerned about my choice.
Model # ME17H703SHS
Samsung 30 in. W 1.7 cu. ft. Over the Range Microwave in Stainless Steel with Sensor Cooking
Original Price: $299
Washer & Dryer
I am not on the front loading/cool colors/fancy washer and dryer bandwagon at all. They’re beautiful, but so unnecessary for us. We wanted basic, basic, basic. One step above total bottom of the line was actually our goal here. Our current dryer (parents house, not our new house which has nothing) is an actual bottom of the line and doesn’t have a true cool drying mode, which means our stupid jeans shrink a few inches every month. With both of us being tall, it’s a huge issue and we’re burning through jeans at an alarming pace.
True low/cool mode for drying
Large capacity. Huge is better, massive is amazing.
Top loading washer, front loading dryer. Simple.
Alan kept picking machines that were $899-999 each, I wanted to keep things under $1000 for the set, which is pretty much the perfect example of how we shop. We checked out in-store models and saw this sale price, and made the decision within 2 minutes.
Maytag Bravos XL 7.3 cu. ft. Electric Dryer with Steam in White
Model # MEDB725BW
Original Price: $799.00
Maytag Bravos XL 4.5 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White
Model # MVWB725BW
Original Price: $799.00
Though FAR nicer than we originally planned, these were on sale and seemed to hit all our criteria. I talked them over with my Mom and she said they purchased the same set for one of their houses and she loves them. She was also pretty certain that they were $999 each back when they purchased the units, so the price seemed amazing to all of us. Sold.
Rereading this, clearly we run a lot of things by our parents. My parents have moved a ton and split time between multiple houses, so they just have a lot of experience under their belts. They’re also finishing up work on their new house that they built in a barn, so this stuff is fresh in their minds. Alan’s Dad is a firefighter by career but also has tons of years of experience flipping houses and working as a professional handyman. He’s a general around-the-house badass and wealth of information. Meanwhile, Alan has lived in base housing and been through multiple deployments with less than ideal housing situations. I owned our place in Michigan and it came with the appliances that it came with, then I nursed them along with repairs until we sold the place. Buying all (or any, actually) new appliances is such a foreign, fancy concept that we were happy to accept input from all directions. So yeah, we’re 30 and run things by our parents and welcome their feedback.
I think we all know that appliances never sell for full retail, but before I break down where we saved money, I wanted to see the full retail total.
Samsung Side by Side Refrigerator, Original Price: $1699
Samsung Gas Range, Original Price: $899.00
Whirlpool Dishwasher, Original Price: $599.00
Samsung Microwave, Original Price: $299
Maytag Bravos XL Dryer, Original Price $799.00
Maytag Bravos XL Washer in White, Original Price $799.00
Our total, pre-tax, was $3285.90 which translates into 35.5% savings! I’m really proud of this number.