Refrigerators are one of the most important appliances in a home because they keep your food cool and perishable items frozen. However, these items will eventually get old and need replacement. Knowing when it's time to replace your fridge, and how to shop for an inexpensive one, is important for those who are on a too-tight budget.
Age Is Often The Deciding Factor In Getting A New Fridge
Refrigerators are designed to last 10-20 years before they need to be replaced. Those that are about seven to eight years old often need repairs, not a replacement. If you find yours is making funny noises or struggling to keep your food clean, call a repairman first to get an assessment of what is wrong. If they quote a price that is over $500 for repairs, it is time to seriously consider replacement. Thankfully, most repair problems will be much less than that, meaning you can get more years out of your fridge before the inevitable replacement.
Choosing A New Fridge
New refrigerators can cost anywhere from $700 to $2,000 to install in your home. That wide variance in prices is due to the various types of amenities you can get in a fridge. Most people probably don't need a three-door fridge with multiple freezers, water dispensers, and ice machines. These extras are definitely nice but may be outside of the reach of people on a limited budget. Factors to consider include:
- Number of Drawers – Go for the middle ground here to avoid paying too much for drawers you don't need while getting enough for your fridge.
- Size – Find the largest fridge that you can get for your kitchen without paying too much for an excessively large model.
- Number of Freezers – Most people are only going to need one freezer on the fridge.
Each of these upgrades can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of a fridge. As most will last for a few decades, you want to make sure you buy one you won't get sick of using after a few years. And if you are on a payment plan, you need to find one that you can afford to pay back in five years, as that is the typical payment cycle for appliances.
Stocking Your New Fridge
After buying a new fridge, it is also a good idea to stock up by adding entirely new food. It is typical to expect at least $200 for the new food in your fridge or even more. When restocking, it is important to break up your purchase into items like condiments, fruits, vegetables, milk, and baking products.
That said, you don't need to fully restock your fridge all at once. In fact, it is probably a good idea to buy only items that you plan on eating during the installation week. That's because you're likely to be a bit short that week and shouldn't spend too much after installing your fridge. Buy foods that you know will last a long time, such as rice and various grains.
You may also want to buy canned fruits and vegetables in order to avoid going too heavy on carbs. Canned fruits and vegetables won't go bad as quickly as fresh varieties and will taste just as good. They can also be used in a variety of dishes and then stored in your brand-new fridge to keep you healthy and happy while you save up for a new fridge of food.
For more information, contact your local Frigidaire appliances service.