When it came time to replace my sixteen year old dishwasher that went kapooey, I had a very big decision to make. Should I update my sixteen year old kitchen and buy stainless steel appliances or should I stick with the same, but lower costing, standard white models? Being the frugalista that I am, I chose to stay with the white. The salesman at that time, in 2017 when we replaced the dishwasher, pulled me over to the side and told me the Big Box store was phasing out the stainless steel models. GE had just introduced a whole new line of matte white appliances with exorbitant prices to match. If I wanted to stay in style, the salesperson told me, stick with the white. It’ll come back into kitchen fashion trends and not date my kitchen as much.
The salesperson was right. GE does have an exorbitantly priced line of matte white kitchen appliances. The only up-change they made to the white was to add in GOLD handles and knobs. Ugh! So, if I wanted to buy a matte white GE dishwasher and follow the kitchen fashion trend it would cost me $1,369.
No thanks. I stuck to the tried and true and bought a Frigidaire plain-jane, standard dishwasher for $275. It’s been working great ever since. And so has my wallet. The next year, it was time to replace the rest of my kitchen appliances. I stuck with the Frigidaire line and bought an 18.4 cu ft fridge (down from the 23 side-by-side model I had), a stove and a new exhaust hood, all for $1343.96 (I got a free icemaker to go along with the fridge, a $50 value). Except for the hood, I bought all my new appliances in white. The hood is stainless steel to match my stainless steel, double kitchen sink. Total spent: $1718. If I were to buy the same exact things today, it would cost me $2046. That’s an increase of $328 or roughly 19%. Ouch.
Over the years, since 2018, I’ll be honest with you, I regretted NOT buying my appliances in stainless steel. I sometimes feel embarrassed when people come over and see my white appliances. I know this is all in my head. But that’s because whenever I watch HGTV and people look at buying a home, they always complain that the white appliances are outdated and should be replaced with the more trendy stainless steel models.
Even though I love my new white appliances (especially my fridge. the rounded edges make it so cool looking!) and are so thankful that I saved a few hundred dollars over buying white vs stainless steel back in 2018, I still feel self conscious and I still can’t shrug off my regrets.
I looked over my kitchen and understand it would be financially disastrous to replace all my appliances again after only 2.5 years of use. I did, however, contemplate just replacing the stove with a new, stainless steel model and selling off my white stove. When I logged onto the Big Box to look at prices, I was in shock. If I were to buy a new stainless steel model, 30 inch, 5.4 cu, self-cleaning model (same as what I have in white) that cost would be $719. Here’s the shocker, for arguments sake, if I simply wanted to replace my existing white stove with another similar white model, that cost would be $800 (with tax)! Back in 2018, my new white stove only cost me $449 (I wouldn’t spend the extra $50 for the extra fifth warming burner). My current white stove is worth more than a trendy stainless steel (smudge proof) model!
The salesperson was right. White (and black and gray) are making a comeback but with added bells, whistles and trim to up the pricing. I know I should be thankful and blessed but I just can’t shake those HGTV nightmares. I have this thing. I don’t like walking in to someones home and dating when they stopped living. That bothers me. It’s a sign of old age to me. It doesn’t take a lot of money to keep your home or your clothes in style and in season. I’m not saying to go out and buy the latest and the greatest. I’m simply stating that it’s good sometimes to keep up with the trends. The trends usually have added safety features (such as in cars) and can be more beneficial to your health and the environment (such as energy efficient appliances). I don’t want to stop in time. I want to sail right along with it. Not against it.
My newish appliances are probably going to last another sixteen years or so. That’ll be year 2034, just when they predict social security benefits will be reduced by 35%. Then for sure I wouldn’t be buying updated, expensive trendy anything. LOL! Maybe then my home will stop in time.
Till then, I’ll just dream on.