Washing Machine

The Tale of Two Washers

By Erin Huffstetler | 03/23/2016 | 6 Comments

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We’re big on buying ahead in my house, and over the years it’s saved us quite a bit of money. I shop a couple sizes ahead for the kids. So, when they shoot up several inches over night, I’m able to replace their outgrown shoes and clothes without a trip to the store.

But our buying ahead goes much further than that. If we come across a duplicate of an item that we love when we’re out yard saling or thrift storing, we’ll often buy it, and stash it in the basement for the day when the original dies. And this has proven to be a great strategy for us. When one of our drinking glasses breaks, we just run down to the basement for a replacement. It keeps us from getting upset about an accident, and ensures that our set remains complete.

I also have replacements on stand by for my food processor and a few other expensive kitchen items. I don’t want to get stuck paying retail for these items when they finally reach the end of their lives. So, I’m happy to store that $200 food processor that someone is selling at their yard sale for $10 until I need it.

And in the meantime, when I get into a big kitchen project, and find a second food processor would be handy, I can always haul it upstairs for the day.

Now obviously, this savings strategy requires a fair amount of storage space. And some things just take up too much space to buy ahead.

That’s definitely what we were thinking last Friday when we came across the twin to our much-loved washing machine at an estate sale. We’ve had our washer for 13 years, and we haven’t had a bit of trouble out of it. Still, it’s getting old, and it’s hard to say how much longer it will last. Dryers are easy to repair (we’ve already repaired ours once), but washers are a whole other story.

And I have to say, I’m really not eager to buy a new washer. Aside from the expense, they just don’t last as long as they used to, and I have no desire to own a front loader. They’re pretty, but they’re prone to mildew, and I’m not sure how you’d dye fabric in a front loader. I realize that’s not a normal person consideration, but it is a consideration in our house. We’re crafty, maker types.

So, we found ourselves contemplating the purchase of this washer. It was unbelievably clean, and had only been used to wash one elderly woman’s clothes. No doubt it had a lot of years left in it.

And did I mention they were only asking $40 for it? Yep, that pretty much cinched the deal for us.

We grumbled at the thought of making space for it in the basement, but ultimately, it was too good of a deal to pass up. So, we hauled it home, and you know what happened next? Our washer died on Sunday.

Not. even. kidding.

My husband hooked up the new washer, and we continued on with our laundry marathon.

He’s going to see if our old washer is repairable. If it isn’t, we’ll scrap it, and get some of our $40 back.

Either way, I’d say we got a heck of a deal. $40 wouldn’t even cover the tax on a new washer.

Do You Buy Ahead?

I’d love to hear what items you buy before you need them.

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  1. We just replaced our 27 yr-old washing machine. ONE repair over 27 years (DH fixed it, the part was less than $20), but it was starting to make a noise I associate with motors having issues & I wasn’t about to try to yank the motor. So we bought a new one, top loader, GE, for less than $500. If it lasts HALF as long as my old one I’ll be surprised and very happy.
    We don’t really stock replacement things. For a while I had a spare jar for my blender but then the base gave out and I couldn’t find the same model.
    We don’t have basements here in OK though, for the most part, and I don’t like using attic storage, so there’s no real space for storing back-ups.
    PS love the yellow coffee table from the last post.

    • Sounds like you got your money’s worth out of your washer 🙂 I’m hoping dh will be able to repair the one that just died. At least there’s no hurry on the repair now.

      And thanks for the compliment on the coffee table. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

  2. I have this same washer and love it. I purchased it in 1998 _ it’s a work horse!
    I don’t blame you for buying it, that was a great price.

    • Yep. It’s a good one. I honestly think that might have been the end of the line for washers that were built to last. Super happy that I didn’t have to buy a new one.

  3. Hang on to that washer as long as you can. About a year ago we replaced a “basic” washer with a new “improved” basic washer and I hate it. The lid locks and we’ve had three service calls because I didn’t use the correct sequence to unlock it to add an item. It would not restart without a service call!

    • Ugh! What a hassle. I’ve heard tons of people complain about various problems with their new washer. It’s definitely made me determined to stick with what works for as long as possible. I’m really hoping my husband will be able to fix our old washer, so we can put it back in service whenever our new-to-us washer dies.

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