How to Choose the Right Appliances for Your Family

I’ve been thinking a lot about appliances lately. First, the dishwasher went, then the dryer started eating clothes. Actually, it goes back even further, to the 2-year period when every, single appliance in the house took their turn. Last year, out washer and dryer died the night before Thanksgiving.

We spent several hours at the laundromat, finishing the linens for Thanksgiving and washing all our clothes, since we didn’t know how long it would take to repair them over a holiday weekend. We ended up buying a cheap set from a friend of a friend on Facebook, but they were much smaller than ours, and I’ve been playing catchup ever since.

The size of the washer and dryer turned out to be very important. A lesson I had learned years earlier and already forgotten. Our first washer and dryer was purchased for a small family of 3 — just the two of us and itty, bitty, baby clothes. Fast forward a few years, and I was trying to keep up on laundry for 5 with that same small set.

There are a lot of factors that should go into choosing the right appliances for your family, but so often we get caught up on the price tag. There’s far more to appliance shopping than just your budget. Here are 4 things to consider the next time you shop:

  • Budget: This one is usually the first consideration, but keep in mind that you can find great bargains with scratch & dent items, clearance prices, and secondhand deals. Be careful not to overbuy, too. Our microwave is far more powerful than we need, since I’m a toaster oven girl, but it was the best one we could find in our price range. I could have actually spent a whole lot less and come in far under budget, but we had a number in mind and stuck with it.
  • Family Size: The size of your family will be a factor in choosing items like washer & dryer, dishwasher, and water heater. The more people adding to the load, the bigger it needs to be. Think ahead, too. We always knew we’d add to our family, but that didn’t stop us from buying for 3 about a year before our 2nd child was born.
  • Personal Style: If you aren’t much of a cook, you don’t need all the bells & whistles on your stove. If you prefer to hand wash your fancy pots & pans, you don’t need a heavy-duty dishwasher. Consider how you will use the appliance and shop accordingly.
  • Space: Take measurements before you go, to be sure the new appliance will fit appropriately into the space. You also want to consider the look of the room, but keep in mind there are plenty of ways to makeover an appliance so don’t get caught up on color, if you can find a great deal on something suitable.

Photo Credit: Flickr user maryandjc

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