On the same day that our water-softening system blew a pressure valve and filled the pipes in our home with resin (followed quickly by a $1,300 repair bill), my washing machine started making those sounds that signal impending death.
It, and its twin Whirlpool dryer, are going on 16 years old. Seems like only yesterday we bought them at a local warehouse club for the bargain price of $1,100 for the set. Nothing fancy, just a couple of workhorses.
I've repaired the washing machine myself twice with the help of our friends at RepairClinic.com. But now the motor is shot, and that's a repair that just does not make economic sense.
My first clue that we had a serious problem was when I noticed rust stains on my whites. I wrung a few more months out of the machine with a can of Rustoleum, created specifically for dealing with rusting washers. The rust became so nasty and persistent it burned right through.
My research assured me that I do not want to go with a front-loading washing machine, as I prefer to learn from others' mistakes rather than learning from my own.
After some serious research, reviews and shopping trips, we settled on the LG Waveforce Ultra Large Capacity High Efficiency Top Loading washer and companion steam dryer.
The washer doesn't have a center agitator, which eliminates the problems that are inherent with a front loader without compromising the water-saving feature.
This washer is getting rave
I set out to beat those prices without giving up the quality of this washer. It's a beaut, with a "sanitary" option, which I really want.
The old washer is still operational with a great deal of oversight, which gave me time to work some magic on that price.
I am happy to report my brand new, factory sealed with full factory warranty washer is sitting in my garage. I paid $650 for it.
It's considered "refurbished" because it was removed from its box to sit on the red carpet at a trade show. It has a tiny ding on one side, way down at the bottom. I call this a Badge of Thrifty Honor.
I still need the dryer. But I'm not paying full price for it. In fact, I'm picking it up next week for (you guessed it) $650.
Imagine that: The matching set for $1,300 plus tax - nearly half of retail.
Yes, I am a cheapskate. And proud of it.
Write to mary@everydayâ cheapâ skate.com or write Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.