Have you shopped for a refrigerator lately? Well, you might want to be more prepared than I was. This can be your consumer report for the month. Read it carefully and you’ll be ready to hit the appliance aisle at your local Home Depot.
Our eleven-year-old refrigerator has been freezing lettuce and making slush out of lemonade for about six months now. We’re a little slow when it comes to making big purchases. We don’t like to give up on something unless we really have to, so we tried several adjustments to the refrigerator’s dials, hoping the problem would go away. We changed our buying/eating habits and stopped using the vegetable bin. But last weekend we finally gave in and went shopping.
There are only about a dozen stores in our local area that sell refrigerators. We could drive to the next town or even buy one online, but then we’re looking at huge delivery charges. So we headed to Lowe’s. That’s when the confusion began.
Do you know how many questions a sales person can ask you about something as basic as a refrigerator? What size do you need? Color? Finish? Glass shelves or wire? Stationary door shelves or adjustable? Ice maker? Water in the door? Water purifier? Freezer at the top or on the bottom? Side by side, French doors, or conventional doors? Whew! And it had been so long since we had purchased a refrigerator that I didn’t realize you can now pay as much for one as you would for a used car! Look, I just want a refrigerator to keep lettuce cool, milk cold, and chicken frozen. It doesn’t have to entertain me!
However, even a limited search of the internet will show you that a refrigerator can do just that and more. You can get one with a radio/TV/computer in the door. You can get a temperature control alarm, or a “door ajar” alarm. You can get beverage coolers and sophisticated temperature controls. You can get all kinds of dispensers in the door. You can find two doors, three doors, and something called an “elevator” drawer. Refrigerators can blend into the woodwork or stand out in a variety of gleaming colors and finishes. And all of this for a mere $1,500 to $6, 249! Yes, Jenn Air makes a refrigerator that will cost you over $6,000! Viking makes one for $4,000+. Even Maytag has a $2,000+ model.
After thirty minutes at Lowe’s we went comparison shopping at Sears and a local appliance store. My husband is really into comparison shopping. He’s the “real” shopper in our family. I just fake it. Comparison shopping means more models and features and a confusing difference in prices! I finally started making some notes and suddenly realized there were three things I wanted, or actually didn’t want: no ice maker, no dispensers, no extras. That translated into a plain, 21 cu. ft. “bottom of the line” refrigerator, which we had seen at Lowe’s for $468. Back to where we started!
It arrives tomorrow. Yeah! Fresh salad is only a day away!
Of course I still have to fill ice trays and get my own water.
A little suffering is good for the soul. Later…