Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

How We Saved $300 on a Dishwasher

I loved email from Jen of Dear Mommy Brain:

Craigslist is a fantastic way to buy second-hand merchandise instead of scouring garage sales or newspaper ads. We’ve scored deals on children’s toys, cloth diapers, and even my digital SLR camera.

But our most recent bargain can’t be beat.

For a couple of months, our dishwasher had been showing signs of wear. So I started searching store ads trying to get an idea of what a new dishwasher would cost. The cheapest model was still $300!

That’s when I thought of Craigslist. As I scrolled down the list, I found some pretty vintage dishwashers for $100-$150. Not too bad, but do they actually work?

Then one day I came across a listing for one that was “sitting on the curb waiting for pickup”. The picture showed a modern, clean, white dishwasher. I contacted the owner who said he had just redone their kitchen, purchased a different color, and needed the old machine picked up.

No charge.

The seller assured me that it worked, but my thought was, “Who cares! Even if it doesn’t work, it was free!”

When my husband returned from picking it up, he said he felt like he was stealing… and in a way he was right! We installed the dishwasher and it works great! -Jen from Dear Mommy Brain.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • Challice says:


  • Valorie says:

    How awesome is this story!! <3 Hoping I can find a free one too! 😉 I want a dishwasher in my house so bad! 😉 I HATE doing the dishes! lol

  • Theresa says:

    I am reading Professionalizing Motherhood by Jill Savage and I just read about a “nearly same” situation! She had been praying for one and she took a different route home one day, a man was bringing a dishwasher out to the curb…for the same reason….and only wanted $50! Nice that this one was free! God is good! :~)

  • Jen says:

    I just got a chandelier yesterday for free off craigslist. A bit ‘o spray paint and it’ll be good to go. 🙂

  • Angelia Sanders says:

    Free is great. But be careful. We bought what we thought was a great fridge! It was practically brand new. 6 months later it starts leaking coolant. The company said it was unfix-able, we were out of our great fridge. I did have the man we bought it from sign a paper saying it worked and that he would replace it. But by that time he no longer would answer his cell phone.

  • Michelle says:

    Another good place to score cheap, working appliances is the Re-Store (part of habitat for humanity). People donate appliances, furniture, and building materials and they resell with the profits going to the cause. Well lots of people donate appliances when remodeling. At the store closest to us they also test all the appliances before putting them out on the floor so you know the functionality of the appliance. I guess my main concern about used appliances is the working condition (but I guess that comes from me only getting rid of things when they are fully dead and I realize some people just replace perfectly functional things for a new look). The inventory changes daily but it can worth a trip.

  • Sheila says:

    My sister gave me her washing machine because it has a scratch on it and you can see it from the hallway. It lives in my basement and does about 15 loads a week on average for the last 5 years.

  • Melissa K says:

    Our town has an annual large trash pickup and we drive around town and look for other peoples trash to turn into our treasures. We have gotten strollers, little tykes outdoor equipment and a ton of toys for free this way! You can’t beat free!

  • Cathy says:

    Awesome find. I use when I need something, or “want” something. My current “want” is a ping pong table! It is a Yahoo based group. All you need to join is your e-mail and name. You join the group in your local area, or surrounding area as far as you are willing to travel to pick up something. You can go on to look for an item, or to request an item. Or to give away an item.

    I gave away my daughter’s swingset “You dismantle, you haul” was my post. A lady came with a friend, a pick up truck, and a tool box. I let them into my yard via the gate. They never needed to come in my house. I gave my dog house to a man who rescued a dog. I sat it at the end of the driveway and he came to get it. I stayed inside as I was alone. But he looked friendly so I stepped out on the porch and waved to him. He held up a big bag of oranges he said he brought for me. The items are supposed to be entirely free I reminded him. He joked, “Well, I will just sit this bag here and maybe someone will want them.” And off he went with the dog house.

    I have picked up from other people, cameras, garden hoses, free cat food, liter, litter box, etc after someone lost their cat. The whole idea is to keep stuff out of the landfills and to recycle it. Give away those prom dresses in the back of your closet! The old lawn furniture, and left over grout from that tile project. Cool site.

  • Christina says:

    We scored our kids’ bunkbed on craigslist for $25! All it needed was a few new bolts that we picked up at the local hardware store for under $5.

  • chelsea says:

    Love the free section of craigslist! We scored a free sit and stand stroller that I had been drooling over for months that was put out on the curb one morning. Definitely an answer to prayer!

  • Rose says:

    Join for great deals like this.

  • Jessie Lowe says:

    We also got our dishwasher free off Craigslist in almost exactly the same way. It was portable- exactly what we were looking for and “on the curb”. We drove out in the dark to see if it was still there and I was afraid someone would mistake us for thieves. Lo and behold, the owners saw us and helped my husband put it in the car. They, too were remodeling and just wanted it out of the house. It works like a charm. We were so thankful to get it.

  • Jessica says:

    Just always be sure to google the address first if you’re viewing a posting. There are constantly scams on Craigslist and here in Ohio, there were some Craigslist ads and the respondents were murdered! I’ve been a freecycle member for 8 years and it usually works well… there are the no show pitfalls and the people who complain when you don’t select them and the people who ask 10,000 questions about your item, etc. I always place the item on my porch and only allow daytime pickups for safety reasons.

  • Katie says:

    Great find! I love Craigslist! 🙂 there was a recall a few years ago, so you might want to check and see if it was included to get the repair kit.

  • My sister has locally found some great appliances at garage sales. Just be sure to test it right away.

  • Broke Girl says:

    I, too, got a very good deal on a dishwasher via Craigstlist. It amazes me what value one can get–simply *because the seller of a perfectly excellent item wants a new color/look.* I paid $100 for a nearly-new exterior white dishwasher with a stainless interior that was in excellent condition. Had it installed it in my tenant’s apartment. My own kitchen has a white dishwasher, and I just don’t have the need to change the look of the front like so many other people do. I’d rather keep my bucks in the bank, or use for a higher-value return, give to charity, stash in my retirement account, etc.

  • Ac says:

    It isn’t always a vanity thing when people get rid of perfectly fine appliances. We were selling our house in DC in a much more competitive market than we had purchased in. We put in granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to increase the value of our home (which they did). The dishwasher, fridge and oven we got rid of were in great condition. They were only a few years old because the people before us had flipped the house, just hadn’t invested in what became standard (granite/stainless steel) for the area we lived.

  • Pat says:

    We have a 1979 Kitchen Aid by Hobart (Hobart no longer makes them) and it’s a workhorse. Still works like a champ! Just wish it had a rinse dispenser though!

  • Lisa says:

    I want to caution people to check model numbers online before installation. Our last dishwasher was part of a large recall for fire hazard. Free is great, but safety should always come first.

  • Kathie says:

    We found a dryer for my SIL and her family that way – theirs had gone out and with a 13-year-old and a baby, and only her husband working, it wasn’t in the budget for them. They had lines strung up in their basement but things weren’t drying in time for the volume of laundry they had. One night my husband was looking on craigslist and noticed one posted for free not far from our house. We went and picked it up and took it right over there – they were ecstatic!

    We also got bunk beds for our cabin from our old neighbor for free. It’s amazing what you can find if you look and are willing to take something that might not be perfect and tweak it to fit your needs!

  • Tracy says:

    I got a dishwasher the same way! At the time we lived near a rich neighborhood that put a lot of useable stuff on the curb. I got a dishwasher, toys, and my best score was a barrister bookcase from the early 1900’s! Great finds for us as we made a tiny fraction of what our neighbors did in income (gotta love ministry jobs!) and could really use the items we picked up.

  • Amanda says:

    We got our dryer off the side of the road for free almost 3 years ago! It’s been great, but I AM looking forward to eventually buying a new one 🙂

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *