A Money Coach in Canada

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My kitchen is in the midst of renovations. SQUEEEEE – it’s going to be sexy when it’s done! Natural wood and cork and lots of stainless steel and a polished concrete table and and and!

Apart from the fun of it, it’s also a challenge for an eco-friendly, budget-loving money coach. So far I’m doing well. Don’t freak out at this: I gave my contractor full permission to, errrrr, freegan stuff from the Yellowknife dump. WITHIN REASON! And you have to know, Yellowknife truly has an illustrious history about its dump as this Cdn Living article will attest and the political implications of tampering with it made The Walrus back in ’03. I digress.

I am not going to get my dishwasher nor my stove from the dump (and what I do get, I’ll never say).

I need an 18″ dishwasher and a full size electric (alas, no natural gas avail to me) stove. Stainless steel.

This is the first time in my life I’ve bought these items. I don’t want high end, but I do want durable and good value for money. Oh, and at least some style to them too! Any tips for me? For example, a co-worker declared it’s worth every extra penny for a quieter dishwasher. What else should I look for?

photo credit: Jonas Design & Photography

About the Author


Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com

13 Comments

  1. A quiet dishwasher is a must and makes a huge difference, so are energy efficient appliances. We’re also looking for some new appliances but are limited by needing to retrofit them into our existing layout and cabinetry. Look for sales when you buy two or more at the same time. Likewise, you don’t need to be brand loyal if you like the features of one appliance by brand X and the features of another by brand Y. I’m going to keep an eye here for more tips.
    Eden Spodek´s last [type] ..PodCamp Toronto 2011- Feb 26-27- 2011

    [Reply]

    Mar 26, 2011
  2. Energy efficient – yes.

    Quiet – less important if you only run it at night or while you’re at work.

    [Reply]

    Eden Spodek Reply:

    Megan, I think the sound depends on the size of your home. We have a compact home in Toronto and when the dishwasher is on, you can hear it throughout the house, even our newer quieter model. It depends on the layout of your living space and your lifestyle. (I work from home most of the time.)
    Eden Spodek´s last [type] ..PodCamp Toronto 2011- Feb 26-27- 2011

    [Reply]

    Mar 26, 2011
  3. Nancy, we recently bought a dishwasher, but full-size. It’s a Frigidaire & we’re pretty happy with it. We went for one that was quiet–check the decibles listed for it. It’s really quiet & we love that. It’s stainless which we like; it doesn’t show smudges or fingerprints. It gets the dishes clean, but we still have to pre-wash by hand anything with stuck-on eggs/cheese. We had trouble with the soap dispenser opening every wash. We tried various types of dishwasher detergent & settled on the kind that came as a sample with the dishwasher. It’s Cascade pre-measured detergent in gel capsules. Didn’t want to have to do that, but it seems necessary. Also we learned to not put a dish right where the soap dispenser comes in contact when the door is closed. At least that what we thought might be a problem. We had to learn to stack the dishes in the lower rack a different way than we thought would be logical. We do like the removable silverware holders & that they have little places for the spoons to go so they won’t get stuck together. We like that it has a separate wash arm for the top rack with a separate water feed to that arm. DH insisted the interior be enamel and not steel as he thinks they last longer.

    And we chose an EnergyStar dishwasher for energy efficiency, but I don’t know if you have that designation in Canada. It seems to use a lot less water than our old one too.

    Good luck in finding a good one! Just don’t expect any dishwasher to be 100% perfect.

    [Reply]

    Mar 26, 2011
  4. Absolutely, I’d prioritize energy-efficient features – which, in the case of the dishwasher, would probably end up giving you (more insnulation?) a quieter machine, too. Look for brand names that have been around for a good long time, and dealers with a good service rep. I’ve actually had really good luck with Sears appliances over the years, but your mileage may vary. And personally, I most definitely wouldn’t bother with any extended warranties: odds are that you’re better off being “self-insured” against an appliance breakdown.

    [Reply]

    Mar 26, 2011
  5. Thanks a lot everybody! Well, I bit the bullet and made the purchases today.
    Energy Efficient – yes to the dishwasher. @Maggie, yep we have that designation here too, I found out. Apparently stoves don’t have that label? Does that sound right?
    Noise – thanks so much for raising that issue; it’s not one I would have thought of. I got the 2nd quietest kind available. That was just happy fluke: I needed an 18″ , stainless steel and there was only one option.

    @Eden – your comment caused me to investigate sales and the good news is HomeDepot was having a 50% off deal for buying 2 appliances. The news that *sucked* is that when I called, they said they don’t deliver to the NWT! And buy the time I sussed out alternative shippers and costs, it ended up not being worth it. Major let down! But good to know for when I upgrade my Vancouver condo.

    @Rebecca yeah, I bought through Sears. I bought my bed there which ended up being disastrous, but the local dealer who sells Sears Appliances only is fabulous. Very knowledgeable, straight-up, and helpful. So he got the business 🙂 (well, plus he made really good, common-sense recommendations).

    @Megan I might forever be too nervous to run a dishwasher while at work. When I ran mine in Vancouver once I came home to a flood! But running it while going for a walk… 🙂

    [Reply]

    Eden Spodek Reply:

    Nancy, that’s awesome you found a dishwasher today and our comments were helpful. Thanks for returning the favour. We’re looking for a new fridge and stove. I didn’t know Home Depot was having a sale until I read your comment. 🙂
    Eden Spodek´s last [type] ..PodCamp Toronto 2011- Feb 26-27- 2011

    [Reply]

    Rebecca Reply:

    Funny, your Sears experience is much the same as mine. The actual big Sears store here is appalling – overpriced merch with sales clerks who actively run away when they see a customer – but the independent/franchise outlet where they just sell Sears Appliances and (some bits of furniture) is owned/run by a couple of reliable and knowledgeable guys. Hey, maybe bigger isn’t always better?!

    [Reply]

    Mar 26, 2011
  6. brad

    Right, there is no ENERGY STAR label for stoves, as you can’t really make a stove more energy-efficient (although ovens can be made more efficient with more insulation, I suppose.

    Apart from choosing an ENERGY STAR model, the things to remember about dishwashers are: 1) they use much less water and energy than hand-washing, as long as you generally run the machine with a full load of dishes. 2) most dishwashers have an energy-saving air-dry option, which you can use for even more savings.

    [Reply]

    Nancy (aka Moneycoach) Reply:

    Heh. Yeah, a couple years ago I was trying to feel good about the fact that I didn’t have a dishwasher, so went online to find out how much energy I was saving by doing dishes by hand only to discover I wasn’t particularly saving energy at all! So I’m very happy to be including one in my renos. I’m pretty good at doing full loads and will check for the air-dry option. Given how dry the air is here, that makes sense on a bunch of levels.

    [Reply]

    Mar 28, 2011
  7. Your dishwasher might have a button to select “air dry” or “energy saveer”–mine has both. Or you can just open the door when it gets to the drying portion of the cycle. That will add some nice humidity to your dry air & make it seem warmer at a lower temperature on your thermostat. All good things during dry times of the year. During humid times of the year you could just open the door right before you go to bed. By morning the humidity would be faily well dispersed. Enjoy your new dishwasher!!!

    [Reply]

    Maggie Reply:

    Humidity is good for any wood furniture too, not to mention your skin! So even if you could use an air dry function on your dishwasher you might want to leave the door open to air dry during the drier months.

    http://www.SquarePennies.blogspot.com

    [Reply]

    Nancy (aka Moneycoach) Reply:

    @Maggie – yeah, that’s *totally* what I was thinking. Since I moved up here, I even leave the bathroom door open and fan *off* when I shower esp. in winter.

    [Reply]

    Mar 28, 2011

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