Dream Kitchen Appliances & Cost-Efficient Alternatives

I may be the only one, but I could live in a kitchen appliances store. No, I’m not kidding, I would be more than happy to take up residence in a tent between the stoves and the dishwashers, and especially my personal favorite – the refrigerators. So, in the interest of our well-being, I’m going to tell you about some of the best and greatest options out there, then we’ll talk about alternatives that we could actually afford.

When it comes to appliances, stainless steel is all the rage, and I have to admit I have officially jumped on the bandwagon. The silvery look is clean, sleek, and classy, plus it matches pretty much any decor and resists stains well. The stainless steel, bottom-freezer refrigerator with French doors is by far the best and classiest option on the market. The French doors offer everything we love about side-by-side refrigerators with the convenience of a freezer on bottom, easy on the back when reaching bottom of the refrigerator and ideal for those in wheelchairs; these cost around $2,000 to $3,000. However, if you are set on the side-by-side, you can actually them with flat screen televisions now; ideal for the mom who spends a lot of her time in the kitchen.

Stoves are also amazingly versatile these days. Most people prefer electric stoves; however, gas stoves do offer very even cooking, but the pilot lights are dangerous if you have small children. Electric stoves offer so many options, many with spots for griddles or grills and radiant cooktops. Not having to clean the burner pans is a blessing especially for the busy mom. Other stoves offer a “Sabbath” option allowing you override the automatic shut-off feature (yes, they have that too) so that you can keep food warm as long as you want.

Dishwashers have also come a long way. Some dishwashers have a 24-hour time delay so that you can start dishes while you’re at work or at night while you’re sleeping. Other dishwashers have an adjustable top shelf that can hang horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. One of my favorite features of new dishwashers is that some them offer three or four shelves allowing you to wash more items at one time without stacking them on top of one another.

So, dreaming of appliances tonight? Well, you can actually purchase similar options for half the price. First, you always want to check for dented, damaged items in stores; some retailers have a separate store just for damaged items. You may actually be able to get some of these dream items for half the price. However, you can also find items that are not name-brand, often made by the same manufacturer, for half the price. Look for alternatives as well; perhaps you can do without French doors or a television on your refrigerator. Be sure to check Consumer Reports for feedback on items. An appliance may look great, but the performance leaves much to be desired; don’t spend your money on looks without considering performance. Finally, be patient. If you have the time, shop around; wait for the big sales or visit the damaged goods store each week; you’ll eventually find the perfect items for your kitchen.

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