This is a guest post from my friend Stacey of Layered Soul.
How to Survive Without Your Major Appliances. Really.
I have experienced the summer of not making a list of how to get out of debt but of making a list of things that I need to replace.
This post is written to provide ideas on how to live without major appliances, yes some people may choose to live without them, but if you find yourself one morning with a broken appliance and no funds to replace it, this list may help you form a game plan.
In the beginning of June of our house was robbed, mainly all of our electronics were stolen from our living room. We knew the TV wasn’t a true need but we did want to replace it. We do enjoy family move nights. I started a category in the budget.
Then about 12 days later our refrigerator went on the brink. It was pouring water on the floor every day and only cooling the inside to 65 degrees. We waited 3 weeks to replace it. On the morning that our new refrigerator was to arrive the dryer broke. It wasn’t a belt, but a circuit inside the unit. On our way to pick-up the refrigerator the AC in my car went out. Did I mention that the day before our well pump sprung a leak and we went with out water for the weekend?
Adding to the list of needed funds was car repairs for our oldest son’s car and his first semester college bill.
First I prioritized my list:
2. School Bill
3. Car Repair for Son
4. AC for my car
6. TV and electronics
Now we learn to live without a few things while we work our way through the replacement list.
How to live without a Refrigerator:
• First thing we stopped buying all dairy products. At 65 degrees the milk went bad in about one day. We did on occasion substitute with canned coconut milk or homemade almond milk.
• I bought a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, bananas and apples can handle warmer temperatures.
• I stopped at the grocery every other day to buy meat or other perishable ingredients. I only bought what I knew we could eat in one day.
• We ate simple meals like BLT sandwiches and tacos.
Penniless Parenting gives some ideas on safe food storage and alternatives to only shop once a week.
Living Simple Free has provided a list of foods that don’t need to be refrigerated.
Modern Homesteading has a list of 5 ways to preserve food.
Mother Earth News has a great chart on how to store produce without refrigeration.
I did considering buying a small dorm refrigerator to handle meat and dairy but decided we could handle the short term of going without.
The next 2 items on my list are a huge priority to us, but no way to live without. My son will be commuting to college in the fall so he needs his vehicle and he needs a college education to achieve his dream of becoming a meteorologist.
Now we could debate the need for AC in my car, but in July here with temps at 100 degrees, I really want the AC. We have to drive 20 to 35 minutes one way and that is a long time to sweat in the car.
How to live without a dryer:
• Outside clothes line
• Inside drying racks
• Bartering: offer to watch a friend’s kids if you can dry your clothes in their dryer
Apartment Therapy gives a list of 5 Tips for living without a washer/dryer.
Money Saving Mom shares how to go without a dryer and reminds you to wash the night before to take full amount of day light hours.
Living on a Dime compares hanging clothes on a drying rack to completing a puzzle.
My biggest complaint with air drying clothes, the towels are so stiff. I found some great suggestions to achieve soft towels.
While you are saving for a dryer don’t forget to calculate the money being saved.
How to live without a washer:
(This list is similar to living without a dryer)
• Bartering: offer to watch a friend’s kids and for payment use the washing machine.
• Buy a manual washer
• Wash clothes by hand
I have personally never washed clothes by hand but Frugally Sustainable gives directions on how to do it.
It is possible to buy a manual washer for a fraction of the cost.
It might be a good time to research how to save at the laundromat.
How to live without a stove:
• Campfire or Fire Pit
• Cook Stove
• Electric Burner
• Toaster oven
• Solar Cooker
Happy Herbivore highlights some great small appliances to use in place of a stove.
Simply Modern Mom gives some great ideas for simple meals over a fire.
Have the kids join the fun and help construct a solar cooker.
Use the opportunity to teach the kids how to cook with a toaster oven.
How to live without a dishwasher:
I don’t need a list for living without a dishwasher, but maybe a list on how to have fun washing the dishes.
Thrifty fun offers some suggestions for hand washing.
My Home Tableau offers 5 tips for living without a dishwasher.
Since my stove is 14 years old and the dishwashing has been acting up, I am fully prepared to live without them both. I will just add them to my replacement list.
Need more encouragement? Check out additional frugal homeschool living helps in Affording the Homeschool Life!
Stacey Lane is a wife, mother, teacher, jill-of-all-trades, and a member of the Bright Ideas Press team. Her many gifts include visual thinking, bringing order out of chaos, thinking outside the box, and taking charge (when needed). When she’s not developing curriculum or contributing to her blog at Layered Soulshe homeschools her own four children. She is notoriously, amazingly frugal and has shouted, “I’m Debt Free” on the Dave Ramsey show!