I Hate To Be One Of Those Lame People — A Guest Post

by Katy on April 24, 2009 · 8 comments


Liebherr 24 inch refrigerator


The following is a guest post from missmoneybags. She is a fellow member of The Compact, (buy nothing new) a friend, and frankly — one funny lady.
Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

I hate to be one of those lame people who blog about their appliances. But I admit it:   

I’m an appliance whore. 

The only major disagreement that I have ever had with Mr. Foxypants is over my refrigerator. That’s the one thing that I had to leave behind for my renters when I moved in with him last year. My old fridge was custom-built for me by Marvel, the refrigerator division of Viking. It was such a pain in the ass to manufacture, that I own the prototype. Marvel will never make another one like it. Basically, it is a glass-fronted undercounter unit designed for restaurants stacked on top of a stainless steel freezer unit. It’s gorgeous, works like a champ and uses about as much energy as a single light bulb every month. Mr. Foxypants hates this refrigerator because it is so small and doesn’t have door storage for his enormous collection of moldy preserves and out-of-date condiments.

It was a true testament of my love that I left that piece of appliance perfection behind for my renters, and moved in with the 20 cubic foot, black, pebble-finished, monstrosity that my boyfriend brought into the relationship. I’ve tried to get over having to store my food in a crappy refrigerator that takes up nine square feet of my precious kitchen floor real estate. I’ve told myself that owning a beautiful fridge does not make me a better person. I’ve actually prayed for the ugly fridge to break down so I could have an excuse to replace it. I know. This is pathetic. 

So, even though Mr. Foxypants sent me the following email last friday–

“I know you really love your marvel. And in case it’s not apparently obvious, I’m trying to go out of my way to get you something special to fill that refrigerated void in your life…”

–still it came as a total shock to me when Mr. Foxypants announced on Saturday that we were going to go shopping for a new refrigerator. I think part of his change of heart came from the fact that his refrigerator is loud, leaks water, and doesn’t close entirely unless you bump the door with your hip really hard. But I suspect the real reason for this decision is that compared to my darling vintage stove which I moved into his house last month, there can be no doubt: his fridge is ass ugly. 

Oh, how I love my shallow boyfriend who cares about filling that refrigerated void in my life. 

Now, here’s my question: When did refrigerators get so huge? We went to four different home stores on Saturday night on a reconnaisance mission and every single one of them was filled with gigantic french door fridges. It’s no wonder Americans are so fat. It would take a family of 12 to eat through 25 cubic feet of food before it goes bad. Even though we only looked at the Energy Star rated models, all of them use more energy than my 11-year-old Marvel which, by the way, isn’t Energy Star rated, just smaller and more efficient. The only small refrigerators that anyone carries are those rinkydink ones you could rent for your dorm room for $20 a month. None of the stores carry any of the top 10 most efficient models that have received excellent reviews online. Which, to me, seems slightly outrageous. 

Mr. Foxypants and I return home in a state of righteous annoyance. Even though he agrees that it’s important to be as green as possible with this purchase, he feels like I’m being unreasonable about my expectations. There is no way to get a bottom freezer, 100% stainless steel, freestanding, restaurant grade refrigeration unit that also meets our energy efficiency standards, and has a small footprint for under $4000. And since I am allegedly on a savings rampage, I don’t really have a leg to stand on, because he’s the one who will be paying for the refrigerator, not me.

I refuse to be thwarted. I spend three hours the next day calling every other new and used appliance store in a 25 mile radius of my house searching for the most elusive of cute appliances. (All right, the most elusive of cute appliances would be a washing machine, but I already have one of those and this is my story). As you might guess, cute industrial refrigerators are basically impossible to find used because who wants to get rid of pure cooling awesomeness? That’s right. No one. The manager of the local fancy appliance store does take pity on me and offers to give me a $700 discount on their Liebherr 30 inch floor model, so it will only cost me $4000 without tax, a price that I cannot afford and cannot even use to prove my boyfriend wrong about my intractable nature. 

So, how dumb am I? Really dumb. Because, had I looked on ebay I would have found a slightly used, but still under warranty Liebherr refrigerator for HALF its normal sticker price that measures a slinky 24 inches by 24 inches by 81 inches, offered by an ebay dealer located THIRTY miles from my house, and been able to buy it from the comfort of my home instead of spending two frustrating hours walking through home stores and three hours on the phone calling every other store in a 25 mile radius. 

And in the world of refrigeration, the 24 inch Liebherr is the only unit that can hold a candle to my Marvel. 

Yes, anything worth having can be found used. I bought the Liebherr 24 inch off ebay this morning and it’s being delivered on Thursday. 

Color me smug.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheapchick April 24, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I agree. Work out exactly what you want – even go shopping and look at new models, then find the same product used. Even if not available at this exact moment in time keep eyes peeled and sure enough, it will come up for sale used. I also use Kijiji and Craigslist on a regular basis.


pat April 25, 2009 at 5:53 am

I too have wondered why American refrigerators are so large. We have a smallish one (it cowers in the frig space in my kitchen) but still manage to waste food since it holds so much. I would be much happier with one slightly larger than a ‘dorm’ model. I could keep better track of my leftovers (and use them up!)


Kate April 25, 2009 at 9:33 am

I think that larger refrigerators make it *super easy* to waste food. I have a rather large fridge and it’s so easy for things to get lost in the back. I need to implement the “Eat Me” section of the fridge like Angela recommends at (http://myyearwithoutspending.blogspot.com/2009/03/refrigerator-games.html).

I think a small fridge would require me to be more disciplined – but I have to work with what I got (a bigger fridge) and just be disciplined about creating food waste.


Sarah April 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm

I have a black pebble-finish ‘monstrosity’ and I always liked it – now we’re keeping up with the Joneses, fridge-style too? It may be big-ish, but it cools my food (most times, unless it breaks down, which it has), and that seems to be good enough for me. Why does a homeowner need a ‘restaurant grade’ fridge, out of curiosity? What makes a fridge restaurant grade?


liz April 26, 2009 at 1:41 pm

There’s a Korean supermarket near us, H Mart. They have a kimchee refrigerator that I have developed an unreasonable affection for. It’s the size of a washing machine, with incomprehensible non-translated instructions so I don’t really know if it would suit my needs as a general-use appliance. Once my current refrigerator shows any sign of weakness, I intend to research the kimchee fridge. Hopefully by then there will be translated info available. It would be nice if small size high quality appliances were made generally available.


Clean Simple April 26, 2009 at 8:10 pm

I love my Vestfrost. It’s about 7 cubic feet, bottom freezer, narrow and tall. It’s what spurred my kitchen remodel last year.



bluedahlia February 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Nearly 3 years later and I’m on the same hunt for my galley kitchen. Quite simply, I want the Liebherr 24 inch bottom freezer with icemaker. That last bit appears to be the hitch in all things cold and narrow and amply bottomed, because, let’s face it, the best of these appliances tend to be Euro-made and thus lacking in the all-American addiction for frozen beverages. This particular model is “only” just shy of $3000. Sigh.


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