Saving Money : even when you have to spend it / & they don’t make ’em like they used to

I don’t have a lot of luck in regards to stoves ( in this decade. ) When I moved here I brought my old stove and had to pay someone to come and hook it up. ( Gas )

Two years down the line, on Christmas Eve, it stopped working. I was beside myself because I host Christmas and I had no extra money.  And I had to cook!! My oldest son did have some extra money at the time and offered to go halves. I had to enlist a neighbor and his truck, and my brother-in-law for hookup, and we had to go buy whatever stove was available in the store at Lowes on Christmas Eve. I started a charge and got one of those interest free deals so given that I only had to pay for half of it, it was paid off in a few months.

I chose a black Frigidaire and some nine years later it’s already going out the door. They don’t make appliances like they used to, do they.

Early Style Wedgewood



So there I was back at Lowes the other day for a stove again! I’d checked out stoves and prices online and went there for one that was on sale. Looking at my old Whirlpool refrigerator that is rusting out ( can you say ‘chippy / shabby refrigerator? :)  but still running, I thought “HMM…maybe I’ll go with the Whirlpool that is on sale / not too fond of the Frigidaire brand at this moment! ”

The Whirlpool was marked down 80.00 and with my preferred customer Lowe’s charge card I could bring it down 5% more to 406.00.   If you have not shopped for a stove lately do you realize that there are stoves selling for thousands of dollars? And WHY would anyone spend that since the lifespan is about 8 years nowadays? The saleslady at Lowe’s confirmed this lifespan to me!  NOPE, they don’t make ’em like they used to…



At that point I was offered a kit for hookup and an installation package. The kit was 30.00+ and the installation was 130.00.  IF you have a husband that would normally do this, fine. I do not. However there is no way that I was falling for this. For one thing, I already have a “Kit” on the back of my stove which could be disconnected from the old one. Furthermore, I intended to ask my brother-in-law to disconnect the current stove, and then if he was not available to connect, I know that a local company would do this for far less.  I informed the person at Lowes that I knew that installation was necessary but that I also knew that they hired a contractor and then marked that up, so no thank you!

Sure enough, a local guy would hook up for 70.00….so that gives you an idea of the Lowes / Home Depot markups in regards to their installation fees.  I went through a similar scenario in the spring…I had laminate installed in my dining room.  I shopped both stores then made the one store meet the other’s match, and then I picked everything up at the store versus having it delivered and saved a lot of money that way.

( No I am not strong enough for that : They load it for you at the store and then you bake a pie and lure one your sons over to unload :)

My brother-in-law is someone that I only bother in dire emergencies…I try to keep my requests to him at a bare minimum. He unhooked my old stove for me and offered to come over to hook up the new one and save me the 70.00 …..He’s going to be off the day they deliver the new stove and running errands in this area. I am lucky in that regard, but even if he were not able to do that, I’d have saved money by not taking the Lowe’s installation package. So sometimes even when you have to spend money there are ways to save how much you spend.

( By the way, my Lowe’s card was declined and I had to reinstate it! Reason ? I’d not charged anything there for over 5 years! Yes I shop there…garden center mostly…but cash only ! I find it is good to save the charge cards for emergency and only for emergency :)



Now of course, I am craving food that can only be baked in an oven or cooked on a stove and I’ll have to crave it for at least two more days :)  I guess that the stores do not keep as much inventory in stock any more as the stove that I purchased had to first be shipped from a central location and was not at the local Lowe’s ( aside from the floor model )

Oh I want to bake a pumpkin pie  right now….or how about some cookies. :) Fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, boiled broccoli, oven fried chicken, meatloaf with roasted potatoes, spaghetti noodles boiling away on the stove for pasta, sweet Italian sausage with peppers and onions….see what I mean ? :)  Suddenly I really appreciate stoves : ) It’ll be crockpot or microwave for a few days.

You might also enjoy : Grandmother’s Handwork : Embroidery  or  Sunday Special November / Thanksgiving  or Nothing Says Fall Like a Wooly Bear Caterpillar

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42 Responses to Saving Money : even when you have to spend it / & they don’t make ’em like they used to

  1. Rhonda says:

    Appliances are not built to last anymore. My oven still works but it is limping along for now.
    Hope you like your new one

  2. Theresa says:

    I just had to buy a new stove last month. My 10 year old Kenmore just stopped working one afternoon. My husband called about buying the part needed and was informed it would cost $480 not including the taxes and the labour. I was looking close to $700 to fix a 10 year old stove that cost me about $1000 a the time I bought it. Umm no thanks!!! I bought a new stove for about the same price it would be to fix my old one. I bought a cheaper model knowing full well it won’t last past 10 years.

    My husbands grandma had the same stove in her house for 40+ years and it worked like a charm. It is disgusting the way we are ripped off these days.

    • debralynnpugh says:

      Theresa maybe it is because of the electronic ignition and all of the doo-dads that they have nowadays :( Who knows :(

    • debralynnpugh says:

      Theresa this is part of the problem…fixing them is just too expensive : ( And I did what you did…just went in looking for the cheapest one because there is no point in spending alot…I just need an oven and some burners on top! :) And of course a good recipe/ that’s it! :)

  3. Oh how I wish I had room for one of those old stoves you’re showing…. My sister has one — still going after 60 years! Good luck in the hunt!

  4. Balisha says:

    That old green one is like one that my friend had years ago.
    Stoves aren’t the same as years ago. Even the sales people don’t always know their product. We bought a new one and my husband still talks about “his old broiler” that broiled wonderful steaks.
    Hope you are happy with the one you chose.

  5. Debra says:

    I too had to buy a new stove last year…and the old one was maybe 6 years old. It was a Kenmore and my new one is a GE. True that they don’t make them like they used to. My mom got rid of her stove that she bought the year I was born – 1959 – a couple of years ago (she only did so at the insistence of my sisters) and it was still a good stove. It needed some adjustments, but they thought she needed something new. Ha! Older is better…and I’d rather pay to have the old Wizard (Western Auto Stores) fixed then have the new tinny stuff that is out there now…hope mine last a bit longer then the last one!

    • debralynnpugh says:

      Debra, I don’t know what the problem is…clocks, electronic ignition, etc ? I know one problem is that to have a repairman come out and pay for the diagnosis and then parts sometimes equals the cost of the is a no-win situation. I know that there are old stoves for sale on the Net that people specialize in restoring but those are not cheap…another no-win! :)

  6. Grandma Kc says:

    I have an old Hot Pointe fridge that I keep waiting to bury. I bought it used 12 years ago. It had to be at least 5 years old then… it won’t die! It does leak, it has rust around the bottom because of it, it is really loud at times (just turn up the music/TV) and it is probably using twice the electricity a new one will — but I’m waiting!

  7. I have a Frigidaire refrigerator that I absolutely hate. It’s only two years old and I’ve had problems with it from the beginning. It was serviced under warranty 3 times! I tried to get Lowe’s to take it back and they wouldn’t. No Frigidaire anything for me from now on!

  8. Debbie says:

    Yep. Been there with the appliance lifespan. It amazes me that people spend over a grand on something with such a short life span. I also just learned about the servicing mark ups. I want to put some laminate in a 12×11 room and the price Menard’s quoted me was insane! I am going to do it myself.

  9. Jane says:

    You are a very wise lady…I really appreciate these tips. Fortunately I’m married to a really frugal guy and he shops and shops and shops before he pulls out his wallet. I don’t do appliances, I tell him to get me the best price on whatever can cook, clean, keep cold or wash!!

    You might be interested…I get the magazine HGTV which is worth every penny. It’s more than a decorating magazine, there are tons of household tips. I believe it was in the October issue, maybe September, you can look for the article online. It was about the total lifespan of all your appliances, including microwave. I found it very informative.


  10. Brenda Kula says:

    I hate to admit it, but I’ve been here in OK with this new stove over two years, and probably haven’t even had it on (it’s gas too, and I’m not crazy about gas) more than a dozen times. And probably half of those times were to reheat pizza. I’m just not a cook anymore. I cooked when my girls were growing up and was married and all that. But now that I’m alone, I just nuke a baked potato in the microwave. Have you tried ordering one online? I order pretty much everything online.

    • debralynnpugh says:

      Hi Brenda, the store ordered it ( From their physical location ) and as far as I know it should get delivered today at some point, unless they notify me that it did not get in…then I would assume Saturday at the latest. Cooking here is feast or famine as in I might cook a big dinner for family coming over, and then just have leftovers for awhile or small things for me that I eat a few days in a row ( I could literally live off of spaghetti : ) but I will say that I nuke potatoes in the summer yet I prefer the way they cook up in the oven, and I know I can microwave scrambled eggs but I like the skillet version better…I am too old-school, I think ! :)

  11. I had a beautiful old oven/stove from the 1940’s in a house i lived in at one point. I just loved that thing and so wished i could have brought it with me when we moved…

  12. Ramona says:

    Oh, I’d love to have a vintageish stove like one of those! The green one looks so pretty, like a toy. :)

  13. Joyce says:

    Well, I agree with you on appliances! Seems it has been our washer and dryer they last for a 4 or 5 years and then they break down. I remember my first washer lasted for 18 years and I was raising a family at the time. Oh, the good old days, right? What I really would like is the green vintage stove !
    Have a great weekend~

  14. pat says:

    You’re correct – appliances are not made to last anymore!

  15. Axiesdad says:

    Frugal is good. I’ve even been called a cheap b*****d. But, a word of caution; the “installation kit” is not really an overpriced option. It’s cheap insurance. That flexible metal hose should not be reused because it can become brittle over time and the bending needed to get it off the old stove and onto the new one may cause it to crack and leak.

    • debralynnpugh says:

      Thanks for the tip / warning :) My brother-in-law had to go get a new fitting but the hose is still alright. Most LIKELY all of the animal hair surrounding it kept it in good shape. My goodness I had some cleaning to do back there : )

  16. Rose says:

    Boy, I don’t know where to start…about stoves especially. My favorite stove in all our married life is one that we got used. And electric one…Frigidaire that was at least 20 years old when we bought it…and I probably used it another 8 or ten years…all for $20. And the oven backed perfect.

    Then I inherited a stove from my MIL…it was not that old when I got it, and I would say it last 12 years or so. Then I get a ceramic topped stove…it was okay. I had two big burners and two small ones…one big burner heated up so much faster and cooked so much faster. Always a pain to deal with. I had the hardest time making good fried chicken on it….

    So, the stove is maybe 5 years old at the oldest. I was making a pan of cornbread one evening. It burns…I thought I must just not have realized the time that had passed. So I made another pan…and set a timer this time.

    I smell burned cornbread again…I go check and it is kind of burned again, the time is not up, I look and it is throwing a code. I try to turn it off, and it won’t turn off…I yell for my husband to go throw the breaker in the electrical box…he did. Then he told me he was going to turn it back on, so to watch and see what happened…there was a flash.

    I just got rid of it…that could have so been a horrible accident. I had a headache from it…just thinking how many holidays I have gotten up EARLY, to put on the ham or turkey and went back to bed.

    I now have a general electric and don’t care for it much. The top of the stove gets hot enough to almost burn you, even out to the edge. It is not the ceramic top. I don’t know if I am just not remembering, but I sure don’t think I have ever had the area round the burners get this hot.

  17. Nancy says:

    We bought a new fridge and stove when we moved to the farm over 10 years ago and fortunately both are still working (knock on wood.) I’ve gone thru a few fridges and stoves and washers in my time though…

  18. Melanie says:

    So true about appliances not lasting these days. My dishwasher broke last week (costs too much to repair) and it was only about 7 years old.

  19. Sharon says:

    What a saga of stoves! I love the vintage-looking stoves, especially the green one.

  20. Thanks so much for stopping by!! I have to admit that I bought my 3 rd stove last summer after the old one caught fire!! This one is our 3rd in 35 years so i think we got our money’s worth out of the other 2 ….

  21. Denise says:

    I whole heartily agree. In the last year I’ve had to replace my dishwasher, dryer and dishwasher.
    I love the photo’s of the old stoves would love to have one.

  22. Elisabeth says:

    My stove is okay… but my big freezer died! This is killing me… we have 8 kids… I HAVE to be able to freezer cook and this is driving up my grocery bill substantially!

    • debralynnpugh says:

      Hopefully you can get a good deal on replacing it. I used to have one when my boys were growing up…old fashioned ( as in had to be manually defrosted ) and even now I could often use one.

  23. WOW!!! The first picture in this post is the very stove I used to own!!!! I LOVED that stove but had to move and leave it. I even took a picture of myself standing next to it….crying…. because I had to leave it!!! I am new to your blog…really just clicking around…..and when this picture came up…I lost my breath!!! I will sign up and check things out.

    • debralynnpugh says:

      That is so interesting! I was trying to find old stoves on the Internet and found a few but wanted to go back and google for more down the line because some of the stories that went along with the pictures were just wonderful, but now some of the comments have wonderful stories too! :)

  24. Fran Carroll says:

    When I was a kid, we had a yellow stove (just like the green one). My father got up every morning to stoke the fire and throw on more coal. When we moved, it had to be smashed because it weighed too much. My mother was proud to have a brand new stove and we had a furnace in this house. lol Funny how some things never leave you. There was a rocker right next to old yeller and it was so comfortingsitting in that chair and enjoying the heat it threw off.

  25. They do not make things to last anymore and it cost too much to fix them when they do break! Sad commentary on our society. Hope you get your stove and it works well for you! Thanks for sharing how to save with us at TTF!

  26. Chrystal M. says:

    That turquoise one is my dream stove. No joke.

    At any rate, I am sorry to hear your stove died. Nothing sucks more. We all need to eat! I hate resorting to the microwave. Lowes is getting terrible these days with their markups.

    I tend to buy a lot of things used, and that goes for my appliances. There are many refurbishing companies out there that refurbish Whirlpool and Kenmore. They sell them for half the price. I’ve always had good luck with those types of stores. I’ve used them for dishwashers, washers, and dryers too. It’s a trick I learned from my mother. I dont think she ever bought a thing brand new.

    Stopping by from “From the Farm” blog hop :)

  27. Barb says:

    I just love the vintage look and feel. Would be a great mashup in a modern looking kitchen. Visiting via ‘FromtheFarm” link up

  28. We could say that about a lot of things. I love the olde stoves you pictured here, they have so much charm. I can’t get over the store lady confirming the short life span of today’s stoves, wow! I’ve been wanting a new one, maybe I’d better keep my old ugly one as long as I can. Thanks for sharing this at the We Call It Olde Link-Up this week. Take care – Dawn @ We Call It

  29. Pat says:

    You’re right about that.
    They don’t make them like they used to in the old days.
    We moved here 18 years ago…THIS MONTH! and after about 2 months of not having a cook stove– I found one just like I’d always wanted; A Chambers Range (like my Grandmother’s) paid a whopping $100 for it (I wasn’t fond of the chocolate brown color) but hey! beggars can’t be choosers.
    The hubby and his brother picked it up on his lunch and he brought it home that evening–bought sight unseen over the phone.
    I got it all cleaned up tip top shape and it’s been working ever since.
    almost 18 years I’ve been cooking on this thing– and it it’s a USED 1956 model stove!
    So sorry to hear about your troubles with your stove– hope this new one lasts for you.

    found your post via, Sunny Simple Life…
    enjoyed reading about your savings and shopping savvy at the big box stores!
    We could all use some pointers there. ;) Pat

  30. Tiffany McLeod says:

    You know, I have never bought a brand new stove in my life! Neither did my parents. Oh, we go look at the new stoves occasionally, and day dream, but we never buy. We always find a used stove, use it until it dies (10+ years, sometimes), and then replace it with another used stove. Of course, we have electric, not gas. And we repair when necessary if it’s worth it.

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