About a year ago I started noticing some oddness coming from our fridge. Every time it wanted to turn itself on, it would make four or five attempts at it before giving up. Then it would try again after a rest, perhaps five minutes later, at which point it might or it might not have found success. Similar to a grandpa trying to make it out of his lazy boy after the evening news every night.
After a couple months of this, I decided it might be a good thing to deal with while it could still be dealt with on my own terms.
This older, white fridge was one of the senior members of our arsenal of tired and aging stuff. But despite that fact, I decided to make an attempt at going the frugal route, and resisted the urge to spend a month’s wages on a new machine that does the same job as the old one.
In I called a technician.
For a hundred bucks he sorted out the issue, though admittedly he did have to return for a second (free of charge) go at it.
But, within a couple months she started acting up once more, this time in a more serious manner. Like, coming home to thawed meat, ice cream and loaves of bread in the freezer. Only to be space-age cold by the morning, and not shutting off for another day after that.
In a last ditch effort we called the technician once more, but as expected he didn’t sound overly optimistic this time.
We got word that Sears was having a sale and so decided to go check it out. Six hundred dollars for your basic, white, replacement fridge. “Not as bad as I thought…” I murmured in the store. To be honest, I was surprised to see they even still make basic, white fridges like our old one anymore.
But then the inevitable began: only fifty more for the silver exterior. But then this other one has the freezer on the bottom for only another hundred (it is difficult to try to work out why that costs extra money). This one over here has Spanish doors. Or whatever country it was. And before we knew it our ideal model was eleven hundred dollars, before taxes, delivery, and the extended warranties we would soon have to battle.
I was quite surprised to learn that the typical fridge I see in most kitchens costs more like two to three thousand dollars. Nowhere near the ‘cost-conscious’ eleven hundred dollar bill we were contemplating.
Luckily we were short on time that day, so were forced to leave before signing on the dotted line.
Old Things Can be New Things Too
After even more perusing through Craigslist, possibly my favourite website on the internet, I was forced to give up trying. Nothing remotely good in my area was turning up. Possibly the thing I miss most about living in the city is the wonderful catalog Craigslist has on offer, right at your doorstep.
Like a bullheaded blogger trying to maintain the integrity of what he preaches, I kept fighting the urge.
To the secondhand store I went. And with great optimism for some reason. I have no idea why. Somehow I must have known what was in store for me.
In I walked to finally find our new, modern-aged, stainless steel Frigidaire staring at me. Three hundred and seventy five dollars plus sales tax. Note the beauty of buying used things at a lower cost: the unsettlingly high number of options are far fewer, and extended warranties and that sort of jazz inherently melt away, since the whole thing is less of a concern if it breaks. I realize this is probably the opposite feeling most people have towards used things. But remember – I can buy at least three of these fridges before it totals the cost of that ‘cheap’ one from Sears. Chances are good that I will beat the house on this bet.
In any case, my determination finally paid off!
Like the last fridge, the new one doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. Or any for that matter. Luckily, I have never let the burden of having to bend over slightly to retrieve the cold milk, or manually fill ice cube trays get into my head. I would say keeping yourself happy with the basics is a good rule to have, in general.
Instead, I have to be content marveling over how I saved over eight hundred dollars, every time I look at that shiny, silver machine beaming at me from the corner of the kitchen.
It really isn’t difficult to do.