The dust from late summer/early fall has been settling, and there have been new and different challenges for us. A neighbor recently commented that we’d had a lot of work done at our house this year. I guess we have, since our budget plan has been generally working, and we were able to save before planned work and emergencies struck. And here’s a new, recent one.
We have shiny new friends in the kitchen! (Don’t judge my backsplash. It’s original to the house, and I’m just not ready to handle a renovation at this time.)
Our range went out two weeks before Thanksgiving. Isn’t that special? It was original to the house (1992), and while it was high tech for its time, and I loved it, the old gal just expired. I suspected it was imminent when it took an hour to cook a pizza. During that episode, the broiler inexplicably turned on.
Add to the kitchen joy that we had a microwave that had a broken handle since 2012. I’d used epoxy, Gorilla Glue, and finally duct tape, to keep it on securely. I’d recently changed out the bright pink duct tape (an unanswered subliminal message that we needed a new one) to white (a quiet acceptance that we weren’t getting one). The point is that I made do with the one we had because it still technically worked and closed properly, and I wanted to save up for a non-cheapo this time, since this was the second one we got in 10 years.
We were able to continue my fall dinner menu plans without much interruption, using a Crock Pot as a substitute for the oven, but mostly cooking on the stovetop. No problem there. I just had never shopped for a range before, and the one I saw in magazines and on the Interwebs that really, really spoke to me, was roughly $3,500 — WAY more than I had for this. I did a lot of research online before heading to the four local stores I had narrowed down.
Since all of the local retailers were having great kitchen appliance sales, I was able to find a range and microwave that matched, at less than I had budgeted. I was also able to get a few fancy features that I might have passed up in the past in favor of a lower price:
- convection option
- programmable start and cook time
- self-cleaning option
- a third rack option
- stainless steel look
- solid surface cooktop
But I did have a budget, and am happy to say I found exactly what I needed with it. Lowe’s offered a 7% discount when we used their credit card, so we cashed in on that, too. Delivery and haul away were included, but not installing the non-tip device, or installing the microwave.
In the past, we have installed our own microwaves, which is not really difficult, but takes a long time to do right. But DH was working late into the evenings, and on weekends, and had zero spare time to devote to this project, let alone get a good night’s sleep. And I certainly wasn’t going to do it myself, because those things are heavy! I gave my appliance repair guy, Phil, a call, and he quoted me less than what Lowe’s did. I was still under budget. I helped him (because heavy), and since he knew what he was doing, it went fast. He also knew exactly what to do and how to measure for the anti-tip device.
Here’s my favorite part of the story.
We had much more than enough in our secondary emergency fund for this! I paid Phil in cash, which came out of the home repair budget. When the Lowe’s bill came, I paid it with a check from the EF2 account, and now it’s done and done! We will not feel this financially. What a great feeling to be able to take care of this without incurring debt! Plus, there’s still a huge chunk in that EF2.
This range is taking some getting used to, though. I’m so used to old school technology, and adjusting for skewed oven temps. I am really having to revise my recipes and habits. There have been a few “overdone” items, and some underdone Christmas cookies, but I think when I get used to it, this appliance will be a huge blessing.
BONUSES: I was able to clean the sides of the cabinets, the wall behind the range, the floor under it, and the entire area around the microwave. Gross, what happens in a year’s time. Also, these appliances use far less electricity than the old ones, so ongoing savings there, too.