Budget Kitchen Remodel: Conserve, Conserve, then Splurge!

Finishing the concrete floor was a daunting task, but the major thing that motivated me to get it done was what was sitting in hallway waiting to be installed the whole time. Rewind… I decided my birthday present this year and also reward for saving bucks in other places in this kitchen- like, ahem, pushing through all that concrete skimming- was a total splurge purchase of a kick-butt, top of the line, make-my-life-easier-every-single-day-of-the-week, shiny new dishwasher. This actually sat in our hallway for weeks after delivery pushing me to dive into the darn floors so we could install it. Great motivator! The existing dishwasher was the only appliance that wasn’t new when we bought the house, but worked fine (except for the fact it was hooked up to reversed plumbing and only used cold water- um, not effective). So originally the saver in me was all about this budget kitchen face-lift getting done using the old dishwasher. But then I listened to an audio book during my commutes about how working moms really can ‘do it all’ and, specifically, the chapter entitled “Make Life Easier” and BAM, new awesome clean-dried-outmeal-off-all-your-dishes-and-out-the-baby’s-hair-at-the-same-time dishwasher was ordered! (maybe not the baby’s hair) Anyway- total splurge. But it was for my birthday, did I mention? And scraping, soaking, and clean rinsing every single dish in our little sink for the past 9 months to go into our tepid dishwasher sent me over the edge on pre-cleaning dishes. No more precious minutes spent on dishes! No. More.

Enter: Glorious new Bosch dishwasher [insert beautiful singing here].

dishwasher open

I went with the Bosch 800 series, with features like hidden flush buttons (O really likes pushing buttons so this was key), a third top rack for misc and sharp things out of toddler reach (O really likes ‘helping’ unload, including sharp knives if he can reach them so this is great), and eco-friendly settings like “half load” and “eco” so I can run it daily without feeling guilty. And it has an integrated handle with no frills/parts (instead of a bar or something) because I think ahead and know my sweet toddler will eventually swing and climb and hang on anything as tempting as that! And it’s practically silent. So now finally Oliver will listen to me because he probably just couldn’t hear me over the dishwasher all this time when I said “no/stop/wait/come”! (= fantasy parent epiphany). I did get this on sale and ordered online a slightly different model than the main one they usually stock which was another $50 less. So with free delivery, it was about $900. Big purchase for me! My big downfall of this semi/un-planned purchase was I ordered it right after Virginia’s tax-free weekend, when I could have saved another $50 on sales tax because it’s an energy efficient appliance. Frustrating. But you don’t get bent out of shape on things like that for splurge/birthday present/reward purchases, so I forgave myself. I was so excited to get this in, we worked until almost midnight and I still painstakingly poured in my sample of rinse aid so I could run the first load!

dishwasher joy

Some tips for installing a dishwasher yourself (besides first learning what you’re doing with electrical/plumbing stuff in general): definitely read the instructions through and inspect things before you plan to actually do it (I actually do this for eeeeeverything we do in advance), realize dishwashers sit flush with cabinet doors- not the cabinet boxes or the countertop, and though the instructions note checking the centered-ness of the dishwasher once it’s back in it’s hole, you really have to get this straight from the get-go and slowly slide it in inch by inch, making small adjustments all the way as you go. Once it’s in, there’s no way you’re going to be able to slide it side to side without pulling it out and starting over.

There are so many things I love in this new kitchen- the bigger sink, the amazing faucet, but this is my best kitchen bud. Since I’m behind on blogging, I’ve actually been using this about a month now. And with the eco setting, I just run it each night after dinner which is so convenient compared to waiting for it to be full and in between having to hand wash our daily smoothie blender pieces. And no more rinsing, just scrape off in trash and load. Which means more time for family. And isn’t that the point of all this home stuff anyway?

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4 thoughts on “Budget Kitchen Remodel: Conserve, Conserve, then Splurge!

  1. I must tell everyone…the floor looks so cool. Well done Lindsey. And I loooove the silverware tray on the top shelf of the dishwasher. Good birthday present.

  2. I’m anxious to see the floor and was wondering how you like the loading the silverware tray? Seems like it would be nice to have knives out of little O’s reach and it looks like it opens up space for more dirty dishes! Who wouldn’t love that!

    • I actually was worried I would find this annoying because you have to be a little more deliberate with placing each flatware item in its little slots, but it actually makes putting them away so much easier, so time-wise it’s a wash! I really use it a lot, I have that third rack pretty filled up with silverware, spatulas, sippy cup tops, knives, etc. I think it’s safer for the knives too. And it leaves more space in the bottom rack because you can just ditch the silverware basket.
      Overall, love it- highly recommend!

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