Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How to Shop for Kitchen Appliances!

When we began the remodel I had visions of vintage appliances and running around the house in cute little dresses looking like Donna Reed. Once I realized that I was in fact running around the house in Dave's old sweat pants and a bandana and couldn't find any working vintage appliances we could afford, I snapped out of it. I decided to go with glossy white appliances as a nod to vintage style while still updating the cooking/refrigerating capabilities of the kitchen.

Once that was decided we started scouring the local appliance stores. In one store I started drooling over a beautiful Kitchenaid refrigerator. What girl doesn't love Kitchenaid? How proudly we display our Kitchenaid mixers and to be able to have that label slapped across all your appliances is like domestic diva bliss. However, with the $2,000 price tag I knew there was no way The Man was ever going to let that one come home with us. So, we continued our search. One day while we were walking through the scratch and dent section at Lowe's the clouds parted and down from the sky came the same exact refrigerator that I had been drooling over (ok so it may not have been quite that dramatic).  Apparently it had been a special order item and it had come in with a few dime-sized dings in the side. Since they needed to get it off the floor they were selling it half price. We walked away from Lowe's with my dream fridge for $1,000.

We had already seen the matching dishwasher at another store for half price because it was a model closeout.

Soon after we found the range on ebay at a store in Birmingham for half price. We made the hour long trek down there our the 1993 Ford Escort station wagon (inherited from my mom and affectionately known as "the truck") and brought it home.

We got all our appliances for about $2,200 even though they retailed at around $4,400. I seriously believe God went before us in that and for some reason let me have my silly appliance fantasy turn into a reality.

As an added bonus we found our brand new Kenmore microwave for $40 (normally retailed for around $200) at our local flea market. A woman had a booth where she was selling the items that Sears had overstocked for Christmas and sold to her at a huge discount.

My advice for appliance shopping is to get started early. If you wait until it's time to put the appliances in the kitchen to start looking you will most likely either pay more than you should for nice appliances or end up with lower quality appliances than you could have gotten for the same price. We had our appliances months before we finished out the kitchen. This goes for all kinds of appliances and items but obviously big ticket items make the biggest difference in a renovation. We saved about $500 on a Rinnai tankless water heater by buying it on Ebay rather than purchasing it from a retail store.

Have a general idea of what you are looking for and go to all the appliance stores in your area. Look for model closeouts and scratch and dent items. Check out the scratch and dent section at Lowe's (ask at your local Lowe's if there is another Lowe's nearby that carries more scratch and dent items. Go to and search stores near your area. Look on Ebay, Craigslist, and Google Shopping. I generally look for closeout items, floor models, or scratch and dents where the damage is in an area that will be hidden by cabinetry. I usually avoid items that have been refurbished as they may end up having problems later. We just bought a Kitchenaid stainless dishwasher that retails for $1,500 for $650 including tax. We found it on and it was a floor model at a Sears 20 minutes from our house. It looks amazing and is so quiet I have a hard time knowing if it's running. If you are willing to take a little time and make the effort, you can get great appliances for a steal.

The Lettered Cottage

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