When it comes to purchasing appliances, planning ahead can go a long way. Listed here are easy tips to take the headaches out of home shopping

While my fiance, Scott, and I have decided to pump the brakes on our house hunt, I can’t help but live vicariously through our friends Sarah and Dave, who purchased their first home a few months ago. While their new place was in decent shape, they’ve put their own touches and elbow grease into the space to bring it up-to-date and to make it their own.

They installed granite countertops and laminate floors, and applied a fresh coat of paint. Recently, they also upgraded their kitchen appliances with a new stove, dishwasher and refrigerator. They managed to get some great deals by preparing for their shopping trips before they went. If you are in the market for some new appliances, check these things off your list before you go:


• Talk to your friends. Find out where they got deals and, equally as important, what features they like and dislike about their new appliances. They may even let you test drive their induction cooktop, so you can see if that technology is right for you.

• Measure four times. I have a friend who recently bought a refrigerator. She measured the base of the space it would go twice, bought the fridge, and then found out that the space at the bottom was wider than the space at the top. Make several measurements to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to you. Also measure the areas the new appliance will have to travel through on its way to its destination. If it doesn’t fit through the front door, it won’t matter if it fits in the space on the other side.

• Consider your lifestyle. My brother, Raymond, is known for his love of bake-at-home pizza. When it came time for him to get a toaster oven, only one that would fit a pizza pan inside would do. Think of similar things when making your purchases.

• Ask for deals. Do your searching before you get to the store, and ask if the dealer can match prices found elsewhere. If not, perhaps they can make a special bundle price if you buy more than one item. You can also take advantage of scratch-and-dent sales. Often, the damage appears on the sides or back of the appliance for sale, and would be out of sight when installed, anyway.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.