Author Topic: Appliances  (Read 6116 times)

Silverwood

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Appliances
« on: April 03, 2014, 09:17:52 PM »
So I'm just curious. ..

I was watching house hunters international and the guy was in some European country. The Realtors spoke little English and looked like models/hookers lol. I love this show. Anyway he ended up picking the apartment with no oven ( there was a counter top stove built in). He bought a large toaster oven to make up for it. I can see this working for me.  I live alone. Really if I wanted to cook a turkey I'd drive to my parents. Costco has those cooked chickens for sale too.

Would you be ok with this?

I also hate my giant fridge and it's inefficient layout. I have a much smaller fridge that I'd rather use but I'm afraid people( my family) will think I'm crazy.  My kitchen might also look funny if I took these out.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 06:58:22 AM by Silverwood »

horsepoor

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 09:40:51 PM »
My dad has a smaller fridge and it works fine for him.  He was actually able to fit it in a weird little cubby which made the kitchen much more open without a big fridge dominating the room.  It's nice to be able to do some stove-top cooking, though you could get an electric wok or a hot-plate, I suppose.   If you already have a stove, I don't really see the benefit of removing it.  However, with the two of us, I frequently cook dishes in the toaster oven instead of the big oven because it preheats faster and wastes less energy.

MayDay

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 06:38:05 AM »
Even before we had kids we cooked all food from scratch and often in larger batches to save some as leftovers. I also enjoy baking and hosting guests. I could live with a small fridge, but not no stove. I think the small fridge would necessitate more frequent grocery shopping, though, which would cost more in gas and impulse purchases. So maybe not worth it.

Certainly it makes a lot more sense for a single person though!

Russ

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 06:48:03 AM »
<3 my toaster oven but it replaces the oven, not the stove. This'll limit you pretty severely in terms of what you can cook: basically no grains, eggs are more difficult, no sauces, etc.... If you're cool with that, then cool. If not, you could also get a little single-burner hotplate or something. I would definitely go no oven before I went no stove.

Silverwood

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 06:55:45 AM »
Oops sorry. No oven. I knew I should of been sleeping instead of on the mmm forum. I'll fix that.

I wouldn't replace anything  or change things unless it died. My appliances here are pretty old though and my kitchen is small and all on one wall.  I go to the store about every 3 days. I'm eating mostly fresh fruit and veggies. I agree, I don't think it'd work if you lived far from the grocery store.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 07:01:51 AM by Silverwood »

dcheesi

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2014, 07:16:47 AM »
I kind of went the other way, and ditched my toaster oven. I rarely toast anything. And when I do bake, it's usually larger items (pizza, etc.). Although the flatbread pizzas I make nowadays might fit in a large toaster oven, hmm...

As for fridges, I've been living with just a small dorm fridge (no freezer) for a few weeks since my big fridge died. Space gets a little tight, but it's doable for one person. It helps that I vastly simplified my meal plan at about the same time, so there are fewer ingredients to store at one time.  The only thing I really miss is the freezer, since I can't buy any frozen food unless I plan to cook it immediately.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 07:19:03 AM by dcheesi »

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 07:21:33 AM »
I could probably live with a smaller refrigerator, but I need a decent sized freezer. I actually wish we had room for a chest freezer. definitely COULD NOT live without an oven, at least not with a lifestyle I would enjoy... I do way too much cooking/baking/entertaining with food. but more power to ya if you can!

horsepoor

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 07:42:52 AM »
Oops sorry. No oven. I knew I should of been sleeping instead of on the mmm forum. I'll fix that.

I wouldn't replace anything  or change things unless it died. My appliances here are pretty old though and my kitchen is small and all on one wall.  I go to the store about every 3 days. I'm eating mostly fresh fruit and veggies. I agree, I don't think it'd work if you lived far from the grocery store.

I think the smaller fridge makes sense, since it's drawing power all the time to keep food cold (assuming smaller = less power usage).  Used stoves are cheap, and your kitchen is probably made to accommodate a certain size free-standing, so it seems like it would make sense to just get another stove if your current one dies.  If you have electric, the smooth tops can be nice in small kitchens because they basically double as extra work space when they're not in use, vs. a coil burner stove's uneven surface.

I have fantasized about having a tiny house style cabin in the woods though.  In this scenario, I would have a larger toaster oven (I think there are even ones that microwave too), 2 burners and an under-cabinet fridge.  If living there full-time, I'd probably add a small chest freezer out on the porch or garage.

dcheesi

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2014, 08:56:17 AM »
I think the smaller fridge makes sense, since it's drawing power all the time to keep food cold (assuming smaller = less power usage). 
It really depends on the model. Full-size fridge/freezer combos run in a range of about $40-60 year estimated. *Some* small fridges and chest freezers come in around the $25 range each, which is competitive; however, I've also seen some that were near the $40 level just by themselves.

Obviously part of that maybe due to needing two compressors vs. sharing one in a combo unit. But it seems like the small combo units are among the *least* efficient models available. I suspect there are scale factors at work, as well as differences in quality and attention to efficiency in the cheaper units.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2014, 01:58:23 PM »
Homemade pizza and bread are dietary staples around here. No way in hell could I go without an oven.

Even with 3 kids I could get away with a slightly smaller fridge, but we already have one and it's Energy Star rated.

Nords

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2014, 11:11:54 PM »
I think the smaller fridge makes sense, since it's drawing power all the time to keep food cold (assuming smaller = less power usage).
That's an interesting question.  I'm still skeptical of the urban legend that a full fridge uses less power to keep the contents cool, and I guess a smaller fridge would imply more trips to the grocery store.  If the shopping was done via bicycle instead of motor vehicle then that would cut out the commuting expense parameter-- as long as the bicycling calories were a minor fraction of the total grocery budget.

Seven years ago we scored a Craigslist deal on "Fridgezilla":  a 25.5 cu ft stainless steel GE Arctica Profile.  This monster is a monument to all that's overblown about American appliances, and it retailed as a $3200 custom order.  However we got it for $750 delivered, its EnergyStar rating is 618 KWHr/year, and it only consumes an average of 81 watts/hr.  I used to fret about filling its cavernous interior, but we've since learned that it'll hold over 40 frozen dinners with plenty of room left over for one of Costco's massive bags of chocolate chips.  It also holds a similar quantity of refrigerated items, and as a result we can go for 16-20 days between grocery trips.

However when this behemoth finally dies, we'll probably replace it with an even more energy-efficient fridge of around 20 cu ft.  Our decision will largely depend on the power consumption and the price.

Zikoris

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2014, 11:24:30 PM »
My boyfriend would get pretty touchy if we couldn't have homemade pizza anymore. Also, I've tried baking bread in my toaster oven and it hasn't worked out very well - the top burns to a crisp while the rest is still dough (maybe there's a way around that though).

But I've often recommended to friends who don't cook to look into a place with a kinda-sorta kitchen, since they're a lot cheaper generally.

deborah

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2014, 11:56:53 PM »
Fridges have really changed in efficiency over the past few years. I have been looking into our energy consumption, and I can get a fridge exactly the same size and setup as my current fridge that uses less than half the energy!!

So, if you go for a small fridge, check it out - a "free" fridge may cost a lot more than a brand new fridge due to energy bills.

Also - have you thought about a microwave rather than a toaster oven?

bikebum

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2014, 01:28:15 AM »
I'd be fine with a setup like that if I lived alone. I live with my girlfriend and our normal size fridge is pretty full. I don't use the oven, but she makes some pretty tasty stuff with it.

dcheesi

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2014, 06:20:43 AM »
Regarding the full vs empty fridge efficiency, the most convincing argument I've heard is that when you open the door on a conventional fridge/freezer, a lot of the air that the compressor worked so hard to cool just spills out. Whereas the food stays put. So if you are opening the fridge very often, having the space filled with solid items means less wasted cooling effort.


MayDay

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2014, 10:00:42 AM »
Regarding the full vs empty fridge efficiency, the most convincing argument I've heard is that when you open the door on a conventional fridge/freezer, a lot of the air that the compressor worked so hard to cool just spills out. Whereas the food stays put. So if you are opening the fridge very often, having the space filled with solid items means less wasted cooling effort.

That's my understanding as well. For a deep freeze that you get into once a week, it probably doesn't matter how full it is. For our main fridge that the kids are in and out of all the time, it would probably help to have it full. Seems like a lot of work to move jugs of water in and out as we buy and eat food, though.

dcheesi

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2014, 03:08:07 AM »
I think the smaller fridge makes sense, since it's drawing power all the time to keep food cold (assuming smaller = less power usage). 
It really depends on the model. Full-size fridge/freezer combos run in a range of about $40-60 year estimated. *Some* small fridges and chest freezers come in around the $25 range each, which is competitive; however, I've also seen some that were near the $40 level just by themselves.

Obviously part of that maybe due to needing two compressors vs. sharing one in a combo unit. But it seems like the small combo units are among the *least* efficient models available. I suspect there are scale factors at work, as well as differences in quality and attention to efficiency in the cheaper units.
FWIW, I did find a small fridge at Sam's club that is only 245w ($26/yr est.), and has a full width "freezer" in the mainmain compartment. Whirlpool branded if that means anything. I'm pretty happy with it so far.

yogagirl95

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2014, 08:55:44 AM »
I am not sure if I have the same Whirlpool. Got it for $350, and it is small but efficient layout. I have a small kitchen and it works great.

Silverwood

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Re: Appliances
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2014, 10:16:28 AM »
I find it interesting reading how you couldn't give up your oven because of pizza/bread. I think I'd feel the same if I could eat bread. All my gluten free stuff I buy as I can't seem to bake gf.  For the most part I just don't eat bread.

My kitchen has metallic 1970's wallpaper and since I want to change the layout I think I'll be gutting it. From what you guys have said I'll be ok doing what works for me. I'll be here for 10+ years so I don't care about resale. 

I think a lot about tiny houses and a cabin in the woods too but that isn't happening any time soon. I try to incorporate those ideas now when it's feasible.   

In the last house I replaced the fridge with my tiny fridge. I got the one with a small freezer in it. It was actually a lot less money to run than the fridge I had.  The fridge in the new house isn't as old so it's not as worth it to replace. Energy wise. I hate it's layout.