New Chrome in Our Kitchen!

As of yesterday, I’m now a bit more comfortable shall the likes of MTV Cribs show up at my place one day :)  WE GOT A BRAND NEW FRIDGE!!! Woohoo! And a sexy stainless steel one at that – even IF my wallet wasn’t ready for it yet…

But isn’t that the case with everything awesome about home ownership? One day everything’s running as smooth as can be, and the next appliances start breaking down and you’re forced into the market for a new piece of $1,000 metal, ugh.  (And of course you always feel bad while window shopping earlier in the year at big sales events cuz you don’t want to replace something that’s working perfectly fine!) If anyone ever wants to invent a future-telling machine, please put me down for an order.

This came about last week when we opened our freezer and saw ice cream melting all over the place.  Oh the humanity! That poor dessert didn’t stand a chance in the freakin’ heat… And sadly neither did any of our other tasty groceries we had luckily been low on at the moment. I don’t know how long the thing was shut off for, but either way it wasn’t a pleasant thing to wake up to.  And unfortunately we were too dumb to understand the warning signs that had been coming to us over the past 6 months prior… Things like:

  • Our fridge making weird beeping noises
  • Our fridge randomly shutting off and on in the middle of the day
  • Our fridge getting louder and louder as if it was about to take off and shoot through our roof!
  • And a number of other things I’m forgetting that should have alerted us through our thick heads…

But it is what it is, and we were forced to go fridge shopping with a screaming baby which really doesn’t mesh well together – especially when there’s lots of dimensions to be careful of and every dang manufacturer is different! (Seriously, why can’t all fridges be the same size?? I swear I saw at LEAST 62 varying shapes and colors – there can’t be that many exceptions can there?).

And as luck would have it, Best Buy was remodeling and had exactly 3 units in stock (!!) – none of which matched the size we needed – and Home Depot seemed to only have $3,000 super fridges on display with all kinds of bells and whistles and flat screen tvs imbedded in them. Who the heck wants their fridge entertaining them?? (Okay, well I didn’t see those THIS time around, but I have in the past and they’re kinda freaky).

So we shot back home and started a major research project online. Which was equally mind numbing. If you’ve ever searched for appliances for over 5 hours at a time, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  It’s hell. Which is surprising because I thought I’d enjoy picking out a new fridge as I’d never done it before?  I bet it would be different if we had a normal sized one though… Ours seemed to be on the smaller side than your average beefcake model which kinda puts a damper on the options.

It also doesn’t help when:

  1. The fridge needs to be DELIVERED to you (we have no SUV/truck still)
  2. And you have to have it within the next 24-48 hours (we had no food!)

So on top of the crazy ass dimensions we were working with, we were also on a time and delivery crunch.  Which not shockingly adds more money and restrictions to the whole process. I’d be lying if I didn’t want to give up approximately 1,012 times throughout the process.

rockstar magnetsBut alas we found a diamond in the rough, and the price and everything else was right on the money.

Not only that, but we started getting EXCITED about it too!  Because it would mean a total upgrade in our kitchen making our house even easier to sell or rent down the road :) Thus checking off that other “make it better for the future” box, which we’ve been trying to stick to throughout our ownership.

If you’re gonna replace something in the house, make it BETTER than it was before, right? Boy Scouts style, just like we did with our moldy bathroom the other month. No point in spending the money just for an exact replica of something you weren’t too keen on anyways – that’s the worst.

This is the fridge we ended up picking: Whirlpool Gold® Resource Saver™ Bottom Freezer Fridge. MSRP of $1,650, Energy Star, stainless steel, and overall bad ass looking. We didn’t have the option for french-doors, or that would have totally made the cut (those were too wide for what we needed).

And we paid about $1,300 for it, not including delivery/takeaway of $80.  We had found this originally at Best buy for $1,500 with FREE shipping & delivery, but ended up going through who I didn’t even know was still in existence? Haha… We landed a deal at $1,300 after finding an online coupon code which saved us an additional $100! Best 2 min search of my life. (I highly recommend doing this no matter WHAT you buy online btw – you never really know what you can get for free like that until you give it a quick shot. It’s super easy, just type “PRODUCT coupon code” into Google, that’s it.)

Then, two days later, it was installed!!  And, OMG, two quick things here on that too:

  1. MAKE SURE TO TRIPLE CHECK all measurements!! We had done it over and over again, and then ALSO looked up the dimensions of our 15+ old dead fridge, and still we *barely* squeaked by with this one. We literally had 3 millimeters left from the top of the fridge to the cabinets, even though everything pointed to us having an entire inch. It was nuts.  The delivery men thought there was no way it would fit and we got so lucky!! It would have been a night mare to send back, get a refund, swap in a new one, etc etc… This post would have been totally different in that case ;)
  2. Upgraded appliances make ALL the difference in a kitchen.  Seriously. I literally feel like I’m walking into a new home every time I see it out of the corner of my eye! It’s awesome :) $1,300 now, for a much better return in the future. Home psychology is wild…

And that’s the story of a nightmare turned happy ending :) Minus the $1,300 I now have to account for in this month’s budget, damn… That’s a big chunk to be unexpected. But that’s what savings is for. To calm you in times of panic and disgust ;) So make sure you’re building this into your financial goals. It’s not as sexy as stock investing or other things, but you know it’s super important.

Now I gotta find out if we can get some sort of tax credits for upgrading to an Energy Star appliance… Anyone know off the top of their heads?  Anyone excited to go out and buy a new home after reading this? Haha… It’s always something, that’s for sure.

PS: Also, anyone know how to *clean* stainless? Look at all those smudge marks up there already :( And don’t even get me started on our faded yellow cabinets, it feels like 1982 every day!

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  1. Lance @ Money Life and More September 18, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    We get a rebate through our electric company for upgrading some appliances if they are energy star. Might want to check that out.

    We will need a new fridge but just found out at 5 am there are a couple small leaks in my roof! YAY!

    If we get a fridge we want one with a water and ice dispenser…

  2. Brian September 18, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    There is a rebate locator. As far as I know there are not any for refrigerators at this point, but it never hurts to look.

    We measured so many times to make sure a fridge fit (we have an old house) and still had to take a saw to some decorative woodwork under a cabinet to make our new fridge fit. But it had everything she wanted and was way more efficient than the old one!

  3. Slackerjo September 18, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    Thanks for reinforcing my love of renting.

    You can paint the cabinets to spruce up the kitchen. It’s not as exciting as new cabinets but it sure makes a difference. Apt Therapy has great low cost, low effort kitchen reno ideas.

  4. MB @ 12 Year Career September 18, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    Hot fridge! House/decor stuff is my major weakness. Luckily we’re renting now so I’m just able to put most stuff like that out of my mind.

    As for cleaning stainless steel… search pinterest. They have all sorts of random cleaning tips on there. I want to say the answer is cream of tartar… but don’t take my word for it because I don’t want you to ruin your new fridge!

  5. Michelle September 18, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Looks nice! We recently got a stainless steel fridge also.

  6. Laura Brown September 18, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    You can use my all natural everything cleaner – a mixture of vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water. It cleans anything and everything. If there’s a specific stain, I’d definitely pinterest something, but I’m all for my standard cleaner. Safe for around children and pets! It also deodorizes and sanitizes. Vinegar (white distilled) rocks the cleaning world!

  7. Greg@ClubThrifty September 18, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    Sweet looking fridge, bro! (Is it Ok if I call you bro? I know we don’t know each other, but it just felt…right?) Weird aside.. .um…aside – I guess – you can use stainless steel cleaner to clean the fridge. Aptly named, eh?

    Anyway, having to replace big dollar items is a serious bummer. We had to replace our washing machine a few months back, and I hated spending the money on it. I wish we would have spent more because the washer we have now sucks balls. Like you said, we should’ve upgraded.

  8. Mina September 18, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    our power company (BGE) offers a rebate for buying energy star appliances as well. Both when we bought appliances from Home Depot and Best buy, this rebate applied to us. I think we got $100 back in our energy bill. Maybe yours has the same types of rebates??

  9. take_flight September 18, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    I think it’s next to impossible to keep stainless smudge free. A friend needed a new fridge recently and opted for black because of that, it didn’t work out any better. I bought my new energy star fridge several years ago and it ended up with cosmetic issues on the door, (from kids, of course!), and I chalk board painted it instead of replacing it. Everyone thought I got a new black fridge! No fingerprints… It’s really cool too because the art is ever changing! Just throwing an idea out there…

  10. daydream kate September 18, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Ugh, I hear you. A few years ago, our fridge completely crapped out on my birthday and we had to go shopping that day to get a new one. On, my birthday is New Year’s Day, so quite a few stores were closed or had strange hours. Fridge shopping bloooooows.

    You talk about triple measuring. Remind people to not just measure their space in the kitchen, but also the doorways it needs to come through. Sometimes those cause issues.

  11. bobbi September 18, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Nice!!! The real danger now is that getting a nice upgraded appliance makes everything else look older and even uglier now! Before if it all matched, but now you start seeing the ‘potential’ of how good everything could look shiny and new! So, now all you start thinking about is getting matching appliances, or redoing the cabinets or stuff like that. A Slippery Slope indeed!

  12. Walnut September 18, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    I spent MONTHS hunting for my fridge. Multiple stores told me that my style (French Door) in my size (small) didn’t exist. A quick trip through Sears saved the day because that fridge did indeed exist. I then spent more time price stalking.

    I buy stainless steel wipes to clean all of my stuff. They come in the same type of container as Clorox wipes and work wonderfully. I realize this isn’t eco-friendly, but the reality is that I clean my stainless steel about five seconds before people come over and there just isn’t time to mix up some elaborate vinegar concoction.

  13. Money Beagle September 18, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    We have a dishwasher that has been dripping but for now I just have a catch pan underneath it. The issue we have is that everything we have now is white and we aren’t sure to switch one by one to stainless steel (which looks kind of cheesy in the interm), stick with white, or replace more of the appliances than we need to so they all match.

  14. SavvyFinancialLatina September 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Appliances always break at the worst times. Well, there are no good times for appliances to break eh?
    My parents thought their fridge was going to die, so they went and bought another one. They now have two fridges in the house, because the old hasn’t died. lol

  15. J. Money September 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    @Lance @ Money Life and More – OUCH! That $hit scares the crap out of me… all home maintenance does, actually, haha… it’s just that some are more fun than others like when you can upgrade and visually SEE where your money went! I hope it’s not too terrible a pain to fix, my man. Good luck!
    @Brian – Haha, my dad had to do the same thing too :) Sometimes you just have to deal w/ what reality is! And thanks SO MUCH for that link!! Totally going to plug in my info and see what happens – if I get money back I owe you a stack of beers :)
    @Slackerjo – We may end up going that route, esp now that our fridge makes the difference stand out even more! Haha… it never ends…
    @MB @ 12 Year Career – HAH! Really? That’s pretty funny… good tip, I’ll check ’em out thanks :)
    @Michelle – Cool! We’re fridge twins!
    @Laura Brown – Oh great! I’m gonna print that out and give it to the Mrs. to try out ;) She’s the keeper of all that stuff.
    @Greg@ClubThrifty – Yeah, that’s the only NICE thing about things breaking – you can replace with something sexier! I’m sure you’ll have plenty of other times to upgrade, unfortunately ;) And sure – “bro” works with me, bro!
    @Mina – Oooh that would be nice! I’ll check with our energy provider too – ya never know?
    @take_flight – I LOVE THAT!!! Man… excellent idea!! I’d have enjoyed that as a kid myself too ;)
    @daydream kate – YES!! The movers actually had to take off our front door completely to get it through, haha… it’s all rather frustrating… but not as much as going fridge shopping on your bday ;) I’d have thought there would be some pretty slick deals around NY’s though, yeah?
    @bobbi – ACK! You’re right!! Now everythings so drastically uglier, haha… but what are you gonna do? Besides dreaming of upgrading even more? ;)
    @Walnut – Haha, good to know ;) I’ll add those to the list to try out… I bet our fridge measurements are smilar too because we were searching for french doors as well, but didn’t find a THING that would fit. And we werent’ too sure that the doors would even work out well even IF it fit perfectly because of our stupid layout. Glad you found your gem, though! That’s great!
    @Money Beagle – I know, doesn’t that suck? All of our stuff was white too (except for the dishwasher, coincidentally enough), but we opted fo the “one appliance at a time” route ;) And have slowly been replacing with stainless steel. The next appliance on the list is our dishwasher which is all kinds of getting rustier by the wash – ugh… but it’s black now, so it’s not *too* out of place, but still doesn’t match either. Let me know what you end up deciding later :)
    @SavvyFinancialLatina – Haha… well I guess that’s a good problem to have, eh? Are they using it in their garage as a back up or something now?

  16. Gillian @ Money After Graduation September 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Ugh, it’s so annoying when appliances break. Nice choice, I love stainless steel ! My parents have one at their place, I’m trying to remember how she cleaned it (since back then I never lifted a finger to help, I was a wonderful child I know) and I think she used stainless steel cleaner. I say go for the all-natural cleaner listed above if it works, because it’s greener and CHEAPER than buying cleaner.

  17. maria@moneyprinciple September 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    This fridge look really cool (pun intended). As to the rest, well we had a complete electrical and electronic meltdown couple of years ago. Open freezer – everything defrosted; start washing machine – nothing happens; try the dishwasher – big nice swimming pool in the kitched, dirty dishes and the smell of burnt electronics. OK, keep calm, I think to myself, just go and check how is the internet doing. Yep, you guessed it: my laptop as well. This was an expensive month – but you know what? After the second thing I just could be annoyed any longer; just thought that I am having a really bad run.

  18. Carol in Mpls September 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    When my condo was remodeled six years ago I went with a “cottage” look/feel (natural maple cabinets, ribbed glass doors, and a neutral, multi-color granite to hide stains). Got the white farmhouse sink I’d been lusting for, and went with white appliances, which are also cheaper, and no problem with stray fingerprints. I also had a tight fit for my fridge, but got the smallest Amana 18cft with the bottom mount freezer, and I love it. The french door models are awesome, but I have a wall in the way, and that precludes ever getting that style.

  19. Sean @ One Smart Dollar September 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    stainless steel is a pain to keep clean, but it adds a lot of value to a kitchen. They sell special stainless steel cleaner, but I have found that a little elbow grease does the job as well.

  20. Chris September 18, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Okay…two things. First you should really start researching preparedness and what sort of foods to have in your house that don’t require refrigeration (extended power outage?) that you and your family can eat, but it could have saved you from having to *rush* it! Sorry, I was a boy scout “Be Prepared” is my motto. Second, (this one might piss you off a bit) my mother works at Lowe’s Home Improvement and when they receive damage appliances (like a small dent), which happens a lot, they sell it for like 20% the value or something crazy. My mom has a $2000 refrigerator she got for like $500 – $600 or so. You just have to ask around and do a couple searches in your area. This has saved us a ton of money on a vinyl privacy fence, 2 stand up freezers, carpet, etc. If you ever have to upgrade anything else keep an eye out for it :).

  21. Pam September 18, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Norwex enviro cloths are well-known in Canada for cleaning stainless appliances. The cloth wipes up all of the schmutz into itself, doesn’t just smear it around. Use it with plain water- no need for chemical cleansers or homemade vinegar solutions. ake a look on my website to learn more about them.


  22. WorkSaveLive September 18, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    See if windex will work on the stainless. I’m not sure it will but we use that on a lot of our shiny surfaces and it works great. I couldn’t agree more with checking the measurements. Why don’t they make those spaces and counter depths all the same width and depth? It’d make our jobs way easier!

  23. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager September 18, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Check and see if you get a removal credit too. In Portland, you can get $50 for every fridge that you recycle.

    Congrats on the new fridge, my little brother just got me a fridge to turn into a keggerator in the basement. It gets delivered tomorrow!

  24. Brian September 18, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Ugh, the search (and the cost!) are exactly why I’ve been neglecting getting a new fridge. Since it’s just me, I picked up a mini-fridge with a small freezer on top to tide me over until I move or finally spend the time searching for a new fridge.

    Congrats on the new fridge! It’s a good looking one and you’ll need it once the kid starts growing up and loving fruits and veggies!

  25. KT September 19, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    A few short weeks ago my fridge freezer also died. I came home from my grandpas funeral to discover my frozen food defrosted and my fridge not as cold as it should be.

    But I did something different. I didn’t rush out to get a new one. I got my tools together, and googled the possible problems and over 2 days I fixed it.

    I might not have a shiny new one but it is working like new again. And in the end it only cost me things I happened to have in my home anyway. Much better for my budget especially as I was pre-self-employed at the time.

  26. anna September 19, 2012 at 7:04 AM

    I used to clean houses for a living.. and we would wipe down the fridge and then after you get the smudges off.. we would use W-D 40 to put a shine on it.

  27. daydream kate September 19, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    @JMoney: Now that you mention it, we did get a pretty good deal. Granted, we needed a smaller model because of a really small space, but we didn’t have to drop a ton of cash. We ended up getting a floor model for $400. And we didn’t pay for hauling because we have a truck, so we just moved everything ourselves. So not as bad as I remember!

  28. Andi September 19, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    So…two things. One is since you squeezed that fridge in, you’re going to want to check on it every once in a while to make sure it’s not getting too toasty and can vent well. Our delivery guy wouldn’t even install ours unless we had an inch or two on each side. And based on your pictures, your cabinets are “American Standard” cabinets which was one of the most prolific construction grade cabinets in the 90s. While yes they are not pretty to look at, the boxes are usually all standard measurements. You can always measure out the cabinet doors and drawers and set up a craigslist search. I’ve seen people sell gorgeous modern ikea cabinet doors for 30% of original price.

  29. J. Money September 19, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    I never get tired of looking at it :)

    @Gillian @ Money After Graduation – Yeah, I’ll def. be trying all different kinds and will hope the more natural ones do the trick, but if not I’m sticking to the one that works.
    @maria@moneyprinciple – Oh man, that sounds miserable… I think in those cases you do have to chalk it ups as just a crap deal and move on before you get too frustrated :( You have a great head on your shoulders!
    @Carol in Mpls – Well that sounds pretty! I think anyone who can make white look good (and natural) in their home is awesome. Farmhouse sinks are dope too!
    @Sean @ One Smart Dollar – We’ll see which one ends up working… I have a feeling I’ll be trying a lot of them.
    @Chris – That doesn’t piss me off! Haha.. I love it :) And have even bought some of those discounted “floor items” at Home Depot myself! If I recall correctly we got our stainless steel stove for like $400 off – it was awesome. We just got stuck in some bad timing this go around, but it’s all good.
    @Pam – Cool! Thank you. I will look into :)
    @WorkSaveLive – Windex?? Haha… okay, worth a shot I suppose?
    @Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – LUCKY BASTARD!!!! :)
    @Brian – Haha oh yeah… right now those veggie sections just hold beer bottles at the moment ;) So looks like we’ll all get healthier as the kid grows up!
    @KT – Awesome, way to go! I don’t have the patience or desire to do it myself cuz we wanted a more updated one anyways for when we sell/rent out the place… great you were able to rock it yourself though! Sorry to hear about your g-pa too, I miss mine as well :(
    @anna – Really? That’s awesome! I’ll try that one out too then :)
    @daydream kate – Nice! Floor models are def. the way to go – we just didn’t have that option in this particular case :(
    @Andi – Oh cool! Okay, well maybe that part will be easier then? And roger that on ventilation/etc – it did cross my mind but only momentarily… I’ve been paying attention to heat though and so far so good, but appreciate the reminder to stick with it. We def. don’t need anything messing up our entire kitchen and/or house! Scary…

  30. Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter September 20, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Congrats on the new fridge! We will hopefully be moving into our new house within the next 3 weeks and I am actually a tiny bit worried about the fridge I bought actually fitting (also a stainless steel beauty that will be hard to clean, lol). Based on the measurements, we should be good to go, but the actual empty space in the new kitchen looks smaller than I think it should be, lol. I will be measuring again this week. Anyway, congrats!!! Looks great!!!

  31. J. Money September 21, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Thanks! GOOOOOOOOOD Luck with yours too! And the entire moving in process! Exciting and tiring all at the same time :) You’re gonna love it though. Totally jealous you went out and did it – good job.

  32. Jacob @ iHeartBudgets September 22, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I love it when appliances break. Just wrote about our dishwasher replacement this week as well. And yes, that is a sexy lookin’ fridge you got there. Hoping mine dies soon as well! :)

  33. J. Money September 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Haha… a great way to think about it, I guess :) As long as you have the money set aside just waiting for it to be used!