February 23, 2012

New Replacements

Last year, we have had to replace some electrical appliances at home. I am very thankful for God's provision of great affordable prices and a very resourceful hubby :)
Our previous oven's thermostat has been faulty for a year or so. I have been using an oven thermometer to monitor the temperature when I bake/cook. This however, still resulted in a number of burnt cakes and food. Hubby decided it was time for replacement and boy, do I love this new Westinghouse oven! This oven was so affordable in price (mid-year financial year sale) and great functions and quality for its price tag. We manage to sell our old oven for $20, bringing us additional savings.
The next thing that had to go was our Panasonic vacuum cleaner. We were given a second hand unit from a family who were moving out of Brisbane. After 4 years of serving us (and having replaced its broken hose once), the vacuum cleaner's suction suddenly wear out and could not suck as well as before. It was a little inefficient to clean our place without one that works well since most of our floors are laden with carpet.

I almost spend $300 buying an Electrolux unit but hubby found this Vax Zen which fitted my requirements and $100 cheaper. It was going on sale for half its usual price at Godfrey's and many have given good reviews about this vaccum cleaner. I love cleaning the house now because I know this 'cleaner' is doing its job well.

The largest appliance was our fridge. When we moved into our own place 4 years ago, we inherited my sister-in-law's old 303L Westinghouse fridge which was sitting around and not used. The fridge was just almost sufficient for our needs (however, the freezer was not big enough and we bought a second small freezer about 3 years ago) but sometimes I run out of space, especially since we sometimes have friends and family over for a meal. When we had a boarder staying with us for 2 years, I had to restrict the amount of fridge space he is able to use because my fridge hardly has space.

I know that I don't quite have a reason to buy a new and larger fridge so long as this fridge was still in working condition. I just have to make do with what I have. However, because I like shopping, I have been looking out and comparing prices of my "ideal" fridge whenever I walk into an electrical store, just in case our fridge collapse one day and by that time, I need not look too much longer to be able to get a replacement. That research has finally paid off just after Christmas, when our fridge could not cool down below 8C (ideal fridge temperature is 4C) no matter what we tried to do. From my research, I decided I would like to get a Westinghouse fridge. Hubby was able to find the best price on the market (after some research and comparison) and arranged for the new unit to be delivered very quickly. 

This Westinghouse fridge was not the best around but I am happy for what it offers with the price we paid. I didn't think I could justify another $600 for an Electrolux fridge (Electrolux and Westinghouse appliances are made in the same place and has the same customer support centre). This new fridge is 200L more than my old fridge, providing me more space to store more food when we entertain :) Best of all, after we switch to the new fridge, our average daily energy consumption has dropped. Our old fridge was sold for $50 - bonus! 

This latest purchase is not quite a replacement. I bake quite a lot and I have been using a handheld mixer to do all the beating, mixing, creaming tasks. I used to think that I don't need a benchtop mixer because it is just a bigger, more expensive version of a handheld unit. Recently I learnt about the functions and uses of benchtop mixer and realise that it would be more useful to me than I think. After looking around a little (I didn't consider too many different brands), I decided I like this Breville unit. When I saw the actual appliance at Harvey Norman, my choice was affirmed. I did not want to spend close to $300 more on a Kitchenaid mixer. I figured so long as I care for this well, I might be able to pass it onto the next generation. This Breville mixer has a 2 year warranty + 5 year motor warranty.

With this benchtop mixer, I now am able cut some time in my baking prep. It takes just 1 min 20 sec to whip 4 egg whites to stiff peak. With the highest setting on my handheld mixer, it took longer.. long enough for my arms to feel tired ;) I am now able to do something else while it mixes the ingredients. I am looking forward and am planning to use the mixer at least once a week.

I know I have a tendency to go crazy over kitchen/homemaking appliances. But I am glad hubby keeps me grounded (more or less). I could have bought all these appliances new, 4 years ago when we got married and move into our own place but I guess waiting until they outlive their working capacity was not a bad idea.   Hopefully nothing big in our house will break down this year!

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