One of the things I like to do at the start of a new year is to think back over the purchases of the previous year. I consider how much use the item has gotten and whether the purchase of said item was good stewardship of our money, and then I announce Our Best Purchase of 200_.
Here, then, is my official announcement: Our Best Purchase of 2006 was........ our new refrigerator!
We weren't really planning to buy a new refrigerator last year, any more than we were planning to sell our house and live at the airport. But things happen, and I blogged late in 2005 about the oven AND refrigerator doors falling clean off the appliances. So a new refrigerator became a necessity, since our children stubbornly refused to dig a root cellar under the house, even though we were willing to buy new shovels for them.
Now, the last time Husband and I bought a refrigerator was back when ice was invented. Choosing one at that time was pretty straightforward - we wanted something that blew some cold air around and kept food from turning into penicillin. We were soon to learn that shopping for a refrigerator was going to be very different this time around.
We decided to head over to Boast Buy, that store that sells televisions that are larger and more expensive than my first car. They have a big appliance department in the back corner, and we thought we'd get some ideas there.
By the time we walked through the sixteen acres of parking lot and store, I was ready to buy the first fridge I saw, just so I could lay down in it. We finally got to the section of the store labeled "EVERYTHING FOR THE KITCHEN!" and boy, I think they did have everything except maybe a set of ginsu knives. There must have been thirty models of refrigerator brands to choose from.
First we had to consider the exterior. A stainless steel finish was out of the question. I knew they were notoriously hard to clean of fingerprints, and I had a whole lot more than fingerprints to worry about, like a dog that likes to lick the fridge door as if it were a Tootsie Pop and he were trying to get to the good part on the inside. We settled on a nice, black textured finish.
Then we had to decide about an ice maker in the door. We'd never had one of those, and it seemed like one of those ridiculously extravagant options, akin to a CD player on a motorcycle. Still, we had four mostly grown kids who didn't have to ask Mom to get them ice for their drinks - they just reached in and grabbed some, and since sanitation wasn't the name of a band they could play on their iPods, they weren't thinking much about it. We opted to get the ice maker in the door.
There were a million other decisions about interior options, but foremost in my mind was size. I wanted the biggest fridge we could afford. In the end, we chose a 28 cubic foot model, large enough to store approximately half the contents of the grocery side of Super StuffMart.
So, yeah, I'm really happy we bought the new refrigerator. Nothing falls out when I open the door - including the door itself - and the ice dispenser has held up well under heavy use, and the dog hasn't managed to lick through the black surface.