How To Upgrade All Your Kitchen Appliances for Free

Our snazzy new dishwasher.
Our snazzy new (free) dishwasher.

Since I can remember, I’ve hated our appliances.  We have a nice, new, energy efficient refrigerator in black, but everything else is slightly-yellowing-white, bottom-of-the-line stuff that’s been in here since the house was built.

I’ve wanted to replace them with stainless w/ black trim since I moved in, but since they all worked just fine that seemed like an unnecessary luxury. But a few weeks ago, when the hubby decided to pull out the dishwasher in order to mess with some electric wiring, I decided enough was enought.  So I jumped on Craigslist, maneuvered over to the “For Sale – Appliances – By Owner” section and started looking for deals.

And on that day…I didn’t find any. The old white dishwasher got reinstalled.  Boooo.

But the next day, I looked again.  And whatdya know, a woman had a GE stainless-steel and black gas stove, only three years old, that she was getting rid of for $250 because she wanted the newest “slate” style. Done. So we went and picked up the perfectly – new looking gas range, and it was good.

And then the next weekend, it happened again.  A dishwasher, only a year old, stainless steel and black, and even the same GE brand as the range – someone in the suburbs wanted to replace it with one that had a stainless steel tub.  The cost to me? $50.  Done.

Finally, the next day came my piece de resistance: a stainless vent hood microwave combo that was selling for $150. Completely new, still in box, never been used.  The guy bought it and then decided he wanted just a vent instead. Done.

So if you’re keeping track, at this point, we’d spent $450 on new-to-us appliances, and in the process got ones that all happened to be under three years old, were in good working condition, and matched. Amazing.

But I wasn’t done. We went to work installing our new appliances, and then put our old ones on Craigslist as well: $100 for the dishwasher, $200 for the stove, $50 for the vent hood, and $100 for the microwave.

And we got what we asked for them.  So today, I’m enjoying how lovely my fully upgraded kitchen is looking.  And I got it all to be that way totally, 100% free.

Upgrade from Camping to “Glamping” with These Simple Additions

11018777_10205178149687261_5858927607267058627_oIf you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know that I love travel and frequently write about the trips we’ve taken, and the points and miles tricks that got us there.  But up until recently, there was one form of travel that I’d never tried: outdoor camping. (Cue scary music.)

Over the past few years, though, the hubby has been chipping away at my preference towards luxury hotel stays, and we finally took our first camping trip together a few weeks ago. The key that finally convinced me?  We agreed I could have a $100 budget to buy camping “accessories”, and I also took a stroll through the garage to find a few items to make the trip more comfortable.

These were the top performers:

1.  Two strings of battery-operated LED fairy lights – these were amazing.  Instead of having to go straight to bed as soon as it got dark, we were able to play cards, read books, and enjoy our glamorous tent with some romantic mood lighting.

2.  A rug – This actually came from our garage, as we had an old one lying around.  But being able to step onto a nice plush rug instead of the cold, nylon floor of the tent just makes the whole experience more homey.

3. A battery-operated air mattress pump – this cheap little gadget allowed us to bring our trusty air mattress along, so instead of sleeping on the ground, we had a nice cushy full size mattress, made with real sheets and blankets. Cozy.

4. A fancy coffee press – the hubby doesn’t really perform well without his morning coffee.  He said this Aeropress was far preferable to instant coffee, and even better than our French press, as you don’t get any grounds in your cuppa Joe.

5.  Fancy beer. I think this one’s self explanatory.  Just don’t forget a bottle opener.

What camping accessories do you use to “glamp”?  Tell me in the comments.