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Appliances and demand: Why buy expensive when modest will do

Take a long, hard look at your appliances and ask yourself an important question before you decide to do a complete overhaul on your laundry room and kitchen.
"Are expensive, energy saving appliances really worth the extra cost?"
Today's appliances are marketed toward the energy saving crowd, those of you want to save money on your monthly water and electric bills. But in the midst of that mentality, you also need to factor in the cost of the actual appliances themselves and question the logic of spending double or triple the cost of a traditional washing machine, dryer or fridge.
What manufacturers are selling is the energy saving side of their business, and telling consumers that the $1,000 they spend on their washing machine will pale in comparison to the amount of money and water they save.
The average cost of a standard washing machine is around $400. This price tag includes pretty much the bare minimums and basics you'd expect from this appliance. There's not electronic keypad, front loading design or eye catching colors.

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It's white, top loader and the detergent goes right on top of the clothes; there's no special compartment anywhere to be found.
This $400 model comes in more than just slightly less than the latest ones, typically priced between $900-$1200 or two to three times as expensive. Those who opt to buy the latter rely on the utility bill savings to justify their purchase.
And while they'll indeed save money on their bills, it really isn't in the form of boatloads of cash but rather a modest amount you'll be putting back into your pocket. If you save $50-75 per year on your expenses, that really isn't enough to justify spending more than a thousand bucks on a washer and another thousand on a dryer. That $2000 investment is going to take quite a long time to pay off if you opt for the lower electric and water bills versus the higher end appliances.
But knowing that doesn't deter those with that kind of discretionary income to spend a small fortune on new appliances. They'll tell you they like the idea of the machines themselves being efficient but some would argue that the sleekness and look trump the idea of saving money. How ironic is it that money saving appliances are more expensive than anything else on the market, suggesting that those who can afford these machines really don't need to worry about an extra $100 per year in their pocket?
That sounds more like clever marketing en route to selling a whole bunch of expensive appliances, rather than practicality on prudent spending winning out.

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