Time to Buy A New Refrigerator?

Department of Energy photo of refrigeratorBuying a refrigerator rarely hits at a good time! Whether the house you are buying needs one (old OR new house – I’ve dealt with both needs before), or your new rental has no fridge, or your own fridge just up and decides to die, it’s always a challenge.

At first, you think, “Oh COOL! Now I can get one with tons of goodies.” But once you start researching, you often hit the wall of reality and long lists of requirements that may leave a lot of your wish list in the dumpster!

For example, the length, width and depth of the space available can make a huge difference in what options you may have. Not to mention the size of the door you will bring it through as well as any other space you may have to navigate through. (I hear the French Door refrigerators are awesome but also can be the toughest to get into some houses due to size!)

Buying a new home and need a fridge-heres a french door refrigerator

Also, you need to see what kind of plumbing you have available if you want an ice maker, water dispenser, etc. I read a sad story of a fellow baby boomer who brought a fridge with an ice maker only to have it delivered and find out her rental didn’t have the plumbing she needed to make it work. So now she has no icemaker AND less useable space in her freezer due to the ice maker equipment.

Don’t forget to check out the energy cost for each unit. The difference can sometimes be dramatic. The Department of Energy has some useful info to help with that.

For many of us boomers and seniors, ease of use, aging in place needs, and universal design can also be an issue. If we have elderly parents living with us, we need to think through whether that awesome new goodie on a fridge – like a bottom freezer, for example – will be too confusing for an elderly senior with memory issues. If so, you might wind up with many frustrating days of frozen sodas and thawed out steaks as they rearrange in the wrong ways.

And that doesn’t even include the costs for these lovely necessities! Did you know that color can impact the cost? Being very practical and pragmatic, I tend to go with the cheapest even if I might prefer another color.

A tiny but PINK refrigerator-fun for boomers and seniors perhaps

But I also try to go for the one that will yield fewer fingerprints – whether the prints are from kids, grandkids, or even an occasional granddog paw. :)

Hopefully, your fridge shopping will hit during a holiday weekend when there are massive sales (and massive crowds) to help keep the cost down. Or if your purchase is due to moving, make sure you change your addresses first AND READ ALL YOUR MAIL from the post office BEFORE you go shopping. Otherwise, you will follow my terrible example and buy a fridge, then FINALLY have time to catch up on the mail a week later and realize you could have saved another $50 with the coupon Uncle Sam sends you!

So many things to take into consideration before you head out to the various appliance sections of all the stores in your area, that’s for sure. I always let my fingers and keyboard due the preliminary searching and highly recommend starting with Sears as they have teamed up with Consumer Reports to provide some very useful information to help. Other good resources I like to check include the Dollar Stretcher, Simple Dollar, and the various stores themselves as many of them offer reviews – like Best Buy. Very handy helps.

Then head for the store to actually look at what’s available. Be sure to put yourself in the brain of all the people using it – especially those elderly parents OR those young kids and grandkids. Thanks to ALL of them, I’ve always gotten locks for the in the door dispensers when I’ve treated myself to them. That can save a ton of headaches from water ponds on the floor.

When buying a refrigerator for a new or old home-i like ice dispensers with locks

Buying a new refrigerator can be fun, expensive, time-consuming, and definitely a necessity. These are just some of my favorite tips to help you wend your way through the appliance aisles. How about you? Got any more tips for us? We’d love to hear!

Fun for grandparents whether at home or out and about at the Grand Social

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Forest Fire Update Resources For Washington, Idaho and Beyond!

A lovely photo of Snoqualmie falls in the state of Washington-have to show my California friendsTravel Memories

Last week, I was visiting loved ones in Eastern Washington, which included some sweet sight-seeing adventures in Western Idaho. Our drive out was lovely with delightful green trees through and past the Snoqualmie pass (isn’t that a gorgeous photo – this is a photo that is in the public domain and I just had to share the loveliness hiding up in those beautiful Cascade Mountains!).

The next day, though, things had changed and as a result, most of our trip’s memories are scented with the smell of fires burning in the distance. Each day, we looked at smoky vistas that reminded me of Southern California on its smoggiest of smog days!

It was obvious that fires were burning, but where? Heading to good old Google, I found some great sites to keep us updated:

Forest Fire Resources for The West Coast and Beyond

Washington State fires
Idaho state fires
United States Info
  • Active Fire Maps - This was my favorite. It has current large incidents in color and covers the whole country
  • Wildfire Today News and Info – also covers the whole country

How handy! AND educational as we gasped at the number of fires burning in various rural areas.

Current Large Incidents-Active Fire Mapping Services

Washington Rain – Hooray!

Today, I woke to the welcome sound of rain that had started the night before and decorated my tree branches with delicate raindrops! I’m hoping this will end many of the fires and more rain will spread to other areas in need – including California, home of so many dear ones of mine.

I would love to share some of this lovely washington rain with my California friends

Stay Safe!

And don’t forget to follow that beloved forest icon’s advice. Per Smokey the Bear, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!” And that’s just so vital right now with conditions so hot and dry all along the west coast from Washington on down to California and beyond. So to quote one other fave TV character – “Let’s all be careful out there!” (Any takers on who said that and where?)  :)

P.S. Did you notice that hint of fall foliage in the photo above? AUTUMN is coming! My most favorite season no matter what state I’m in – from California to Kentucky to the evergreen state of Washington, which also has plenty of lovely browns and golds and reds in Autumn – Fall Foliage is GRAND! What’s your favorite season? :)

 

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