I finally did it…. I purchased a freezer. This may not seem like a big deal but for me this was huge.  I had my mind set on buying a used model, I have searched for close to a year now.  I had given up over the weekend and began to look at new models. It is time to begin freezing the foods from the garden so my time was up.   I was shocked by what I was finding.  Any model smaller than 7 cubic feet was not energy star rated, not only that, reviews were very negative. Comparing brand names I had never heard of and those who are supposedly the most trust worthy, all had one thing in common.   People who purchased these freezers reported that within 2 to 2.5 years they suddenly quit working.


I wanted no part of supporting a company that planned for my purchase to be obsolete in only two years.  But finding an older model that would hold up had been futile.  I read the online classified ads from the local newspapers, Craigslist and even Freecycle.  I had people looking at bulletin boards and any yard sales they passed.  But none were to be found.

Then this morning I spotted the exact size I had looked for, (5 cubic feet), small enough to fit in my apartment and not too big to hold food for just one person on Craigslist. I asked when I could see it and was told 15 minutes.  Okay, it takes longer than that to drive to the city from my home and I had to call my daughter-in-law to get the truck which meant she had to get the children ready to go.  We arrived 45 minutes after I spoke to the owner who kindly waited for me.

The price was half what a brand new model would have cost me.  Taking a look at the freezer, I found it had been well cared for. You could see it was an older model, but it was clean, no nicks, dents, or any other damage or imperfections were found.  I knew this had been taken care of by someone who treated their purchases with care when the manual, key for the lock and even the original energy star rating slip was in perfect condition.  Did you catch that last part, the newer models this size are not energy star rated, but the older model was.  Interesting.

It may have taken me a while to find, but patience, which I have only learned later in life, paid off this time with the exact make and model I had wanted all along.


You may remember the earlier pictures of my apartment and notice something different in the above photo. Here is a view from a last Christmas. Looking at this older picture it shocked me how different the apartment looks today. The longer I live her the more the apartment has come to feel like a real home, reflecting my personality to a tee.  So much in the picture below has changed.  The table to the far right and the computer are gone, the table is on its way to my son’s house, the computer was given away for parts, the loveseat on the left has been moved and no longer has those arms, which are being used as supports in the garden, and the bench/coffee table my ex took home after Christmas, it had been intended as a gift to him so I’m happy he wanted, and is enjoying it

my kitchen

When the fridge quit working I had this large opening under the counter, which bugged me to no end.  I had a dowel rod a neighbor found and gave to me, it needed to be cut down 1/4″ to fit this space, then with a leftover piece of a drop cloth I covered the opening.  I wasn’t fond of the ecru color, but lived with it until today.  Today I pulled out the paint  I used on the mirror, yes I really do like the color, and painted the drop cloth curtain.  It added just the right amount of color to an area devoid of all color along the cabinet/counter area.   You can see I still can’t find a way to photograph that huge mirror without that bright reflection.

You may think all I do is paint, not so.  I have other hobbies  I try to spend a bit of time on which I find relaxing.  Today Sue shared her Mandala she recently finished, check it out its gorgeous.  Seeing her mandala I realized she and I had a similar way to relax.  Here’s what I am working on.  Great minds really do think alike. :-)


I am working on the outline of the piece, with a lot more to complete, and then will go back and fill in the details. This will probably take a while as I have plenty of things I have to get done this time of year, starting with preparing the food to fill my freezer, but a few minutes here and a few more there it will come together.  Working a cross stitched mandala is soothing because there is a rhythm to the pattern, a repetition I find myself anticipating and not needing to refer to the pattern as closely as most patterns.


If you were looking to replace an appliance in your home would you want a brand new model or an older used one?   Do you have a favorite hobby or activity that you turn to when you need to relax?

33 thoughts on “Patience

  1. I know I am late responding… but as you know I am off grid in the summer so it is not possible for me to keep up with my favourite blogs.
    YEAH! A freezer. This is a great time and money saver; particularly with fall coming on, you can rescue some wild apples, make big pots of soup and put away individual portions in margarine tubs, and put away a load of cheap pumpkin after Halloween. I know there are a million other examples for a frugal person like you. Congratulations!
    xo L


    • Thank you, Laura. Yes, I am buying up foods at the farmer’s market and freezing it along with food from my own garden. I can’t wait to make pumpkin soup and freeze that for those cold winter nights. If I find enough, except for some fruit that is already over, I hope to have enough put up to not need a grocery store all winter. I am growing greens in the front window for fresh salads as well, so I should be pretty well set.


  2. I am Happy you have purchased a Freezer Lois, it will come in so handy for the excess of food you manage to grow that will help eak out your food bills through out the winter months when veggies get more expensive… We have a similar little chest-freezer that sits in the hall cupboard and then one with 3 drawers in the kitchen Plus a larger one in the garage too.. I know it would have been a BIG Deal for you, But you will not regret it.. And can now see how that apple sauce will be stored :-)

    loving your embroidery also, What a wonderful way to relax by sewing a Mandala, and thank you so much for the mention, I have still to moderate ALL comments on that post as yet, As I wanted to catch up with some blogs first..
    To say I have had a couple of days off, boy have they flown, and work again tomorrow comes around all too fast..
    I hope you keep us updated on its progress as you relax and enjoy sewing of an evening…


    • Sue, I am so relieved to have the freezer, it will be used well. I am getting tired of trying to make just enough for a meal, especially when I make soup and look forward to making my larger pots and freezing the leftovers. I have brought in a couple spaghetti squash I need to cook up later today along with packaging the foods I bought yesterday from the farmer’s market.

      I have always enjoyed Mandalas and what they represent. The only one on my walls currently is one my son bought for me. It was made by a mother-daughter Native American artisan team. He bought it for me on his birthday a couple of years ago because he realized after becoming a father that his birthday was a day I needed to be celebrated.

      I will keep you updated on the mandala, but it will be some time before it is finished. Have a great day, Sue.


  3. I picked up a half-freezer at Lowe’s several years ago and it’s worked like a charm. It’s not E-Star but honestly, my utilities haven’t gone up whatsoever and I LOVE how it holds all my berries and salmon share. I don’t know about you, but wouldn’t it be cool if they made refrigerators where the small part was the fridge and the big part was the freezer, instead of the other way around? :) I think I saw you post that you don’t have a fridge, but still….


    • EcoGrrl, I would love it if they made the refrigerators with the larger compartment the freezer, even when raising a family it was the freezer that I needed more. I wonder why no one has figured out that families need freezers more. You would think with all the research they do one company would capitalize on the large number of families who would purchase that instead of the standard sized fridge. I am quickly filling up my fridge with fresh foods. At the farmer’s market today I cleaned out one vendor of carrots and another of green peppers, then brought home enough tomatoes to make a large pot of sauce. I’ll probably check out the Saturday market once this is all put up and see what I can get to work on over the weekend.


  4. love this! we had no dryer for few years, but found a working one for free on the side of the road about 5 years ago. Then beginning of this year it stopped working, I don’t use it much,I prefer to hang them to dry, but with cloth diapers and 3 small children, sometime I just need to use it. We finally found one on craigslist for $30, some model but a slightly younger sister. A Kenmore almost identical. I figured that if they worked for 20+ years, chances are they will be working a little longer. I can’t believe that the new smaller size freezer don’t have an energy star rating. I wonder why.


    • Daniela, getting 5 years of use out of a free dryer is amazing, although $30 isn’t bad either. I like hanging my clothes, but then I think that’s because it’s an activity that is done outdoors and like I’ve said before I don’t much care what the job is I’ll do it if I can do it outside. I was horrible when I had my boys. As a child I was the one rinsing cloth diapers in a toilet for my youngest brother, I found it so disgusting I never considered cloth with my boys. I had blinders on at the time and didn’t want to think much about what happened once I tossed them out. I think it’s fantastic that so many are embracing cloth again after so many years of disposable being the “right” way to go.

      My freezer is a Kenmore as well. While the parts are from so many different manufacturers they seem to hold up well. But in looking at the Sears website, no the newer models of the same size are not energy star rated, but I found that with every brand I researched. I wish I knew why.


  5. Awesome find Lois!! As they say, the best comes to those who wait :)

    I remember back in 1980, looking around for a particular Jazz Guitar model that I wanted and while there were a few around, it took me a few years to finally find the one that felt right in my hands. It was used as well and I still have it and play every day :)

    “If you were looking to replace an appliance in your home would you want a brand new model or an older used one? ” – I would always go with a used model first. When I moved into my new apartment three years ago, all the appliances were brand new and still in the box. So I think I’m good for a few more years!

    “Do you have a favorite hobby or activity that you turn to when you need to relax?” – My hobby – guitar playing – is also my livelihood. As I’m always relaxed, I don’t use it in that way, but maybe it’s because I am always playing that I am so relaxed :)

    Congrats again and I really like the before and after pics of your home! Take care and all the best.



    • Hi Lyle, I always wanted to play an instrument but wasn’t allowed to when I was a child. I was told that only boys played instruments and that a girl could play a piano but my hands were too small. I wanted to play guitar and drums. This year I was given 2 guitars to make over as art pieces, one still had the strings on it. I know nothing about chords but I picked that one up a few times and began to just play to see what I could create, it was a fantastic feeling.

      Waiting a few years for your preferred guitar to show up used it what I call patience, but how good it must have felt to finally hold the right one. I do believe even though your guitar is how you earn a living, doing what you love must relax you as well. You are very fortunate to be able to earn a living from what you love.

      Thanks for the comments on the photos of my apartment, it has transformed in the past year and I feel very comfortable here.


  6. Congrats. That was a great find. I too look for things used first with a few exceptions. I would rather spend more up front for energy saving appliances than pay in utilities in the long run, as you have done. I will get a freezer when I get my own place and be rid of this energy sucking fridge. They won’t let us replace them with our own so I’ll deal with it one more year. Even the stove takes too much energy so I rarely use it.


    • Marlene, I know what you mean about landlords. I have had a few landlords who refused to let me upgrade really old energy sucking appliances, I’m talking older than me, with my own. I guess having an apartment with no appliances this time was a plus as I got to make my own decisions. You are moving next year? I am cheap first, I don’t like spending a lot of money on new things if I don’t have to. But like you I want energy efficient and I want to know it’s built to last. If you don’t use your stove how do you cook?


  7. That’s wonderful you finally have a freezer, I couldn’t imagine not having one, and great you managed to pick one up within your budget. Like you we will wait….and wait until something comes up cheap. We usually buy older, still tidy appliances, we feel they last longer, are made better.
    I paint and draw in my spare time, often I do quotes I like with designs around them….just doodling really but good relaxation.


    • Wendy, in the winter months anything you want to keep frozen works fine to just put it outside. :-) I had moments of real frustration waiting. Once the farmers market opened in June I almost broke down and bought a new model, but then realized everyone’s gardens were late producing and the pickings were slim. But the market now has a wonderful variety and I needed the freezer if I wasn’t going to rely on the grocery store this winter for food. I was so fortunate to get this freezer now!

      Your doodles sound beautiful. I have all these quotes I like and save, I type them into a file on the computer. But then I do nothing with them, I need to incorporate them into art like you do.


  8. Congrats on being so patient! I don’t know if I’d be able to hold out myself, although second hand appliances aren’t as common here due to most people only replacing broken ones, thankfully!

    I have always wanted a bigger freezer in my own home instead of a big fridge. I just think freezers are so much more versatile! I can even freeze cheese, although milk would be a problem for me. Maybe when I have my own house, I’ll only have a freezer :)


    • Eimear, knowing second hand appliances aren’t common around you is a good thing, I wish I could say the same. It shows your country isn’t as wrapped up in wanting all the latest and supposedly better products.

      I too always wanted a fridge that had a bigger freezer section over the bigger fridge section. Even with a couple of teen boys my freezer was always packed so tightly nothing more could fit while the fridge was half empty. Not sure how well it works, but my one neighbor wanted a freezer, instead he turned his fridge section all the way up so it would freeze his food, now the entire unit is a freezer. If you couldn’t find a freezer you might be able to try that when you have your own place.


  9. Congrats on the great find. I am currently looking for a similar freezer for my apartment and a sewing machine on kijiji, thrift shops and garage sales. The search has only been going for 6 weeks, so I am sure that I will find them. I have thought about just going and buying new ones, but hearing your success, I am going to continue my search.


    • Jodi, do you have any used appliance stores near you? We used to have quite a few but now there are only a couple. I hope you find what you need, it is frustrating to have to search for so long, but in the end it’s worth it to know we stuck to our values and didn’t succumb to buying right away and regretting it later.


  10. It depends on the product as to whether I look at new or used. I consider if there are there new safety features I want (like a car), who the owner has been, energy use, etc. Generally, I end up with a new appliance unless I know the previous owner, can find a newer used one, or the price is cheap enough that I can take a chance. Sounds like your patience paid off and you got a good deal.


    • Live and Learn, you really put a lot of thought into your purchases fridge. I have never bought a new car, for me the features don’t add up when I know the value is gone the minute I drive off the lot, and if the used cars aren’t sold they will be junked. I did purchase my dorm fridge new, wish I hadn’t now, and one other fridge. Other than that I have never bought an appliance new, although I have received a couple as gifts.


    • Yes, Dar, I will share the cross stitch when it’s finished but it may be quite a while. Now that I have the freezer I am stocking up on food, just got back from the farmers market with plenty of vegetables to process and get packed away. Guess what I’ll be doing tonight? :-)

      I find the energy star rating to be down right wrong. I don’t want a large model, large than what I need, just to have an energy efficient model. Why can’t they see that some of us just need a small appliance?


  11. Congratulations on finding something that you wanted – I know that feeling of trawling the listings waiting for that thing you want to finally be offered for sale by someone! It is difficult weighing up new items with great energy efficiency against older items – assuming the newer models are still built to last. With my washing machine I looked at current models and found the most water-efficient, and then looked for that model second hand. I found it too – for less than half the price of a new one. I’m currently wondering whether to replace my fridge. It’s too big, I’m sure it’s pretty power hungry and it doesn’t work that well – but it was free (second-hand), but replacing with another second hand one costs time and energy… so we’ll see. Maybe when we come to move out of here will be a good time to change it.


    • I am glad I waited and was able to find a used model. I would have been very angry to have to replace a new purchase in only a couple of years. Growing up an extra freezer was a staple in our homes. People stocked up from their gardens and the men would bring home a deer that needed plenty of space. Then there was the fish, living along the lake fishing was big and other than the cost of a license it was free food. But then our freezers were reliable, we never worried that one would need replaced, so unlike today and what a sad change that is. Not one brand, in the size I wanted, had energy star rating in the new models. I wonder why that is?

      After my freezer search it would take me a while to want to search down a good energy efficient fridge. Moving might well be the best time, you could leave the old one in your home.


  12. Well done on finding just what you wanted and for being so patient too, I’m not sure I could have looked for so long. It’s interesting that you are doing a cross stitch mandala. I’m thinking of getting my teenage group to do one, I think they too, would find it relaxing.


  13. Wow your perseverence really paid off! That’s amazing – the care of it, mostly! I have a list of ‘want’s – including metal cup measures, and I keep hoping to find them in a thrift shop. I should put it out on freecycle, yet to try that! Little in comparison, but since I snapped the arm of one of the plastic cup measures, it seems worth it.


    • I was shocked to see the manual in such perfect condition, I should have photographed that as well, didn’t think about it. My only problem with it is that the grandchildren found this to be a novelty because it opens from the top not like a door on their fridge, they kept opening it and looking inside, then opening it again. I am glad I have a key to lock it until the novelty wears off. :-) Even the rubber seals are in great condition, still soft and meeting where they should although that would be easy and inexpensive to replace.

      Yes, you should put it out there on Freecycle that you are looking for metal measuring cups. I think even Craigslist has a wanted section if you have Craigslist there.


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