Holiday Food Drive Begins!

Steve and Anthony, sales associates from our East Evans Ave. location, show off the loot they've collected for the 2012 Christmas in July Food Drive before shipping it off to Metro CareRing in Denver.

Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses is kicking of its annual Holiday Food Drive. From now until Christmas, shoppers will receive a $10 discount on the spot when they bring in four or more nonperishable food items to any of our 12 locations. Donations benefit Metro CareRing, a hunger relief nonprofit in Denver.

In addition to providing nutritious food and other items for stabilizing individuals and families in need, Metro CareRing also promotes self-sufficiency by providing utilities assistance and transportation, and identification documentation. Utilizing over 160 ongoing volunteers and a small paid staff, Metro CareRing provides 152,473 services each year. For more information, give Metro CareRing a “Like” on Facebook.

Local Retail Businesses Forced to Open Thanksgiving Day to Compete With Big-Box Stores

DENVER— Big-box stores pushing Black Friday hours to Thanksgiving are forcing local businesses to sacrifice tradition to keep pace for the holiday shopping season.

Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses will for the first time open Thanksgiving Day at 8:30 p.m. – midnight. The stores will reopen the morning of Black Friday at 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Closing on Thanksgiving Day the previous year hurt sales tremendously, said CEO Chuck Ewing.

“Our tradition was to stay closed on Thanksgiving so our employees could enjoy time with their families, but market trends led by giant national chains have changed that,”Ewingsaid. “We’re reluctant to open on a holiday, but it’s what we have to do to stay competitive.”

Appliance Factory Outlet’s Black Friday deals include:

  • Maytag Centennial High Efficiency Washer and Dryer, $389 each
  • Serta Complete Plush Bed Set (mattress, sheets, box spring and bed frame) only $299
  • LG Stainless Steel French door refrigerator $1199 plus FREE Android tablet
  • LG Stainless Steel Front Load Laundry Pair $1299 plus FREE Android tablet
  • LG side-by-side refrigerators in assorted colors $699
  • Stainless Steel dishwasher only $249

How to Prepare Your Kitchen for the Perfect Thanksgiving Meal

You too can have a deliriously happy Thanksgiving with by preparing your kitchen appliances.

It’s the last thing on everyone’s mind, but the worst thing that could happen on Thanksgiving: your appliances malfunctioning. If your home is the stage for your holiday meal, your appliances are your stage crew. Keep them happy, and the show will go on.

While your recipe selection is crucial to the perfect Thanksgiving meal, those dishes can’t happen without a reliable, functioning kitchen. Avoid “pizza night” by taking a few cues from our appliance experts: Continue reading

7 Ideas to Create the Perfect Guest Bedroom

Photo by Architecturist

Preparing for holiday visitors doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your home. No matter how small or large your guest room, a few personal touches can take a spare bedroom from makeshift-closet to marvelous. Here are a few ideas for creating the perfect guest bedroom without calling the red alert: Continue reading

Our Annual “Christmas in July” Food Drive is On!

Metro CareRing is a Denver nonprofit that serves thousands of individuals and families each year.

Last week, we kicked off our annual “Christmas in July” Food Drive, which benefits Metro CareRing, a Denver nonprofit that focuses on hunger relief in Colorado. From now until July 28, drop off your food items at any of our 12 locations. If you decide to purchase something the day you bring four or more items, give our sales team a heads-up and you’ll receive an extra $10 off on the spot.

Metro CareRing distributes your nonperishable food items directly to the people who need them. Those people include:

  • Kids. About 50 percent of Metro CareRing’s beneficiaries are under 18.
  • Working families. About one third of the households receiving services at Metro CareRing are considered “working poor.” These are people who have jobs, but do not make enough to meet basic needs.
  • Seniors. Another third of Metro CareRing’s clients are seniors on a fixed income that doesn’t increase with the cost of living in Denver.

As a local business that strives to make quality home appliances more affordable, easy access to food in our communities is a cause we care about deeply. If you’re cleaning out your cupboards this weekend, consider dropping off your unwanted items in the food barrels at one of our stores–no questions asked.

In our next post, we’ll cover Metro CareRing’s most-wanted pantry items.

Animal Rights Awareness Week 2011

In Defense of Animals' Logo.

June 20th through 26th is Animal Rights Awareness Week! 

Animal Rights Awareness Week was started by the radical animal rights group In Defense of Animals, with a goal to spread awareness about the injustices of animal experimentation as well as pet stores and puppy mills.

It has grown into a national sensation that is recognized by pet-loving community organizations, meat-free groups and even pet shops and local animal shelters. 

Here are a few ways to spread the word about Animal Rights Awareness Week, and even participate in some feel-good activities regarding animals: 

  1. In Defense of Animals has been leveraging social media to get the word out about their cause. Like them on Facebook and share their cause with your friends and family! 
  2. Provide volunteer time or resources to the new Denver Pet Shelter or other shelters in your home town.
  3. If you’re looking for a pet, adopt a pet from the Denver Pet Shelter, or the Denver Dumb Friends League. For the month of June they’ve lowered their adoption fee to just $50. 
  4. You can also foster a pet if you’re not looking for a serious commitment, but still want to show an animal some love and caring.
  5. If you can’t adopt or foster, tell your friends about it.
  6. Learn more about industrial farming and its harms—and tell your friends.
  7. If you already have a pet, enter them into our Facebook Contest—they could be famous for a whole year! Share with your friends, and tell us why you love animals.

 These are just a few ways you can help raise awareness about animal rights. In the early 90s, In Defense of Animals actually campaigned to change the concept of “animal owner” to “animal guardian” to alter the relationship between animals and humans—in the sense that, pets aren’t property, they are merely animals that we watch over. What do you think? Do you think changing the name from pet “owner” to pet “guardian” changes that relationship?

 Share in the comments below!

Father’s Day 2011: Why Do We Give Gifts on Father’s Day?

The most important gift of all this Father's Day? LOVE! Image from GettyImages.com

The first Fathers’ Day ever celebrated started in 1908 due to a tragic mining catastrophe that occurred in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907, by a woman named Grace Golden Clayton, who chose the Sunday nearest to her recently deceased Father’s birthday. 

The day was overshadowed by other events in West Virginia, and as others tried to implement other versions of Fathers’ Day, it wasn’t until 1972 when the day was signed into law. Ironically enough, Woodrow Wilson wanted to make the day official in 1916 but Congress said no because they feared the holiday would become commercialized. If only they were alive today, when every holiday is celebrated with a sale, a Hallmark card and gift wrap. 

It might very well be that the commercialization of the holiday actually saved it, though. In the 1930s, a group of men’s clothing retailers came together and formed the National Council for the Promotion of Father’s Day. Their goal was to legitimize the holiday to, of course, sell more things, and although consumers at the time saw through the obvious façade of aligning the holiday with a reason to consume, they purchased gifts anyway. In 1937, the council figured that one of every six fathers received presents on the holiday. By the 1980s, the Council regaled: the one-day holiday had turned into a three-week commercial event, being known and economically celebrated by many families across the United States. Their justification? In 1949, the executive director of the Council said that without their efforts in making the event celebrated, the holiday would not have gained the same popularity nor would it have gotten national recognition. 

Just like the Father’s Day Council, Appliance Factory Outlet is celebrating the holiday by offering LED TVs at cost to our customers, but only through our exclusive email offer. You’ll have to sign up for our newsletter by 5pm tonight in order to get this offer. 

Regarding this, what’s your opinion? Would the holiday have survived without the commercialization of it, or would Father’s Day still have become as nationally celebrated and revered as it is today? Answer in the comments below!

Mother’s Day Special: The History of Modern Dishwashers

Image from Mental-Floss.com

Making Women Happy since 1886.

The first modern dishwasher was designed and invented by a woman who had never washed a dish in her life. 

Josephine Cochrane, grand-daughter of the man who invented the steam boat, hand-built the dishwasher by making the racks out of wire and placing them into a copper boiler. To make it automated and save her servants the trouble (and saving her fine china), she attached a motor to a wheel that sprayed the water down on the dishes. In 1886, the first modern-day dishwasher was born. When her friends heard of the new contraption, they started ordering them from her, and in 1893, when Cochrane showcased the invention at the Chicago World’s Fair, it became a hit. 

In the 1920s, models became available with permanent plumbing installed, and soon after a man named William Howard Livens invented one small enough for use in regular households. Although his invention was not successful, in the 1940s electric drying elements were added to aid in heating the water and drying. 

Mostly restaurants and hotels picked up the automatic dishwasher at first, but by the 1970s, dishwashers were a commonplace domestic item in the United States. Over 60% of American homes have automatic dishwashers, and they’ve come a long way since their 1940s counterparts. Though the basics have stayed the same, dishwashers are now available with stainless steel interiors, hard-food disposals and better cleaning technology (like the Maytag MDB6769AW). 

The first dishwasher contraption by Josephine Cochrane.

The first modern dishwasher: I don't think this baby will fit underneath your countertops.

With the immense success of Ms. Cochrane’s invention, she went on to start the Garis-Cochran Manufacturing Company, which eventually got acquired by KitchenAid and Whirlpool. Whirlpool is now one of the largest appliance manufacturers in the world, owning not just KitchenAid, but Jenn-Air, Amana and Maytag, as well. 

As an ode to the mother of dishwashers, we’re celebrating Mother’s Day with special discounts on dishwashers. Stop by your local Appliance Factory Outlet this week to check out what deals we’ve got going on, or sign up for our newsletter to get exclusive discounts.

I Love Pie! Easy Pie Recipes

I love pie so much. It’s a classic. Pumpkin pie, mince meat pie, anything can go in a pie. That’s what makes this amazing dish so versatile.. and delicious. 

To celebrate our second-to-last recipe post for the holiday season, I whipped up a batch of great pie recipe cards just for you. (See what I did there?) I know I love them. 

Hopefully you love these pie recipes as much as I do! They all involve as little work as possible so you can serve and eat that delicious pie sooner than later. 

Did I mention that I love pie? 

Click to enlarge, then print.

 

Click to enlarge, then print.

 

Click to enlarge, then print.

 

Recipes adapted from Cooks.com. Recipe card design by L

Giving Cookies and Scrumdiddlyumptious Desserts as Gifts

Stumped on a gift idea for that friend of yours?

Try baking them up a batch of these easy recipes (one recipe doesn’t even require cooking ;) ) and wrap them up in holiday coloured cellophane! It’s the thought that counts, and these make me think: “Delicious.”

Click to enlarge & print them out for your recipe card box!

GingerBread Waffles with Hot Chocolate Sauce-- yum, breakfast!

Cranberry Hootycreeks-- I don't know what a Hootycreek is, but I know that this gift idea is definitely scrumdiddlyumptious.

Sour Cream Cutouts– these adorable looking cuties stay soft and creamy, great for after dinner desserts!

Recipes adapted from allrecipes.com. Recipe card design by L. 

Induction Cooktop Technology: Hotness for the Holidays

Cooking Goes High Tech for the Holidays
Induction cooking. It sounds like a hot new technology, but the idea of induction heating has been around since the early 1950s. Up until recently induction cooktops were expensive and generally only available for commercial use. Appliance Factory Outlet CEO Chuck Ewing said that it’s one of the hottest home kitchen appliances for this holiday season – economical for the every-day consumer and more convenient for holiday cooking. 

Better Cooking Technology
Appliance Manufacturer Samsung introduced an induction range that offers high-quality technology for an affordable price, giving consumers the opportunity to experience induction cooking.

 The induction cooktop boasts rapid cooking time because the cooking energy comes from a magnetic field. The cookware gets hot, not the cooktop surface. Over 93 percent of the energy used goes towards cooking the food, which is far more efficient than both gas and electric.

 This makes the induction cooktop a fitting appliance for households with children, those who are concerned with their energy usage, or those that value convenience and fast cooking times.

 Magnetic Cookware Needed
The only drawback is that the cookware used has to be made of the right metals. If the pan is aluminum or copper-based, they won’t heat up. “The best way to test for this is to see if a magnet sticks to the bottom of your pan”, said Ewing. If it does, it works for induction cooking.

 Portable Induction Cooktop
For consumers that can’t quite afford the price of a full induction cooktop range but still want to delight the chef in their family, Appliance Factory Outlet offers a portable induction cooktop by Frigidaire for less than $100, which comes with cookware.

A Low Budget Christmas

From one empty wallet to another, here are some ideas for Christmas:

• The dollar store has lots of goodies for those on tight budgets. Be sure to pick up the following: glitter glue, stockings, Christmas cards, candy canes, pipe cleaners if they have them, googly eyes, ribbon, garland, posters, and colored cotton balls.

• Make Christmas crafts to decorate your home. Get out that poster from the dollar store and draw some shapes then add glitter glue. Then cut out and place around the home.

• Decorate your stockings with glitter glue. Be sure to write your name at the top of the stockings!

• One cheap yet fun little gift is the reindeer candy cane. Wrap the curve of the candy cane with the pipe cleaner for antlers then add googly eyes and a red cotton ball nose. These make nice additions to Christmas cards for friends and family you can’t afford a present for.

• Try decorating your tree with things you already have- String popcorn, hang cut out paper snowflakes, hang old small toys the kids don’t use anymore like toy cars.

• Buy cheap candles then decorate the glass with the glitter glue or paint pens.

• Have friends and family come over to get in on the fun of making Christmas crafts.

• Make home-made cookies as gifts.

• Everyone in your family on a tight budget? Try drawing each other’s names rather than getting everyone in your family a gift.

Holiday Gift Buying Guide: 11 Tips for Buying Appliances as Christmas Gifts

Before You Buy

1. MEASURE YOUR SPACE
There are no standards for appliance space sizes, counter depth or height, etc. Measure the space for your appliance with a measuring tape—do not measure the appliance you are replacing. Write down the dimensions and bring them with you.

Also—measure the width of your doorways/staircases if you are bringing the appliance in through them. Doors can usually be removed to fit in appliances, but alas, doorjambs and stairways and cannot be widened to fit your large appliances.

2. KNOW YOUR FUEL TYPE
This seems easy if you’re buying a range but you should make sure you know if your hookup is electric or gas if you are buying a dryer or an oven (some are dual fuel!)

Refrigerator

Side by Side & French Door Refrigerators open from both sides, so there's not too much worry about hinges unless you're buying a traditional top mount or other types of appliances. Photo credit: Alex Muse

3. CONSIDER YOUR HINGES
If hinges open on the wrong side for you, you may have to get them switched around. Our delivery/installation team can do this for a small additional fee.

4. DO SOME RESEARCH
Does the person you are buying this gift for know what he or she wants? Can you get an idea of what they are looking for without ruining the surprise? Knowing what you are looking for will cut down on shopping time which means you spend less time out there during the crazy holiday shopping season. There are a lot of features and options to consider when looking for a new appliance, so keep that in mind.

The Day of the Sale

5. DECIDE WHETHER YOU’RE PICKING IT UP OR HAVING IT DELIVERED
If you’re picking up this appliance, you may have to pick it up from our warehouse. You can also have it delivered before or after Christmas. We offer same day delivery on in-stock merchandise purchased before noon, except for on Sundays. Some other exclusions may apply, so be sure to call up your local store for more details. Right now we’re adding some extra sweetness to our delivery deals by offering Red Bow Delivery and Red Bow Deluxe Delivery for those who want to give their gifts with a little extra pizzazz.

Get your appliance delivered, detailed, deluxed, polished up & presented with a deluxe red bow with our Red Bow Deluxe Delivery Service.

6. DECIDE IF YOU ARE INSTALLING IT YOURSELF

Our Red Bow Deluxe Delivery includes hooking up the appliance and installing it in your home for you. If you decide to install it yourself, make sure that you have all the necessary accessories for the appliance (power cords, hoses, etc). Make sure to ask your salesman if you’re not sure whether you have everything you need to install it.

After the Sale

7. RECEIVE DELIVERY/INSTALL TIME ESTIMATE
Our deliveries are done within a 2 hour window. You should get a call the day before your scheduled delivery.

8. APPLY FOR REBATES
If your appliance is an Energy Star appliance, you could apply for more savings through Recharge Colorado. Once you’ve received your appliance, you can fill out the required forms on Recharge Colorado’s Cash for Clunkers rebate program and save even more money. Keep in mind that not all appliances qualify, though, and that the forms DO expire, so it’s best to fill them out & return them as soon as possible.

9. READ YOUR MANUAL
Knowing how your new appliance works will help you utilize all those great features!

Avaiable at your local Appliance Factory Outlet.

10. NEED ACCESSORIES?
Aside from the hoses and cords you might need, you’ll also want to look into items like rinse-aid for your new dishwasher, and stainless steel or ceramic cleaner to keep your cooktops & surfaces looking bright and shiny. Refrigerator water filters also need to be replaced every 6 months to a year depending on your model (remember the manual!).

11. READ OUR BLOG!
Check out our blog for great recipes to test out on your new range or oven! We also cover details of the Recharge Colorado Rebate Program to help you get situated,and give you advice on preventative care & how to’s for your appliance.

Happy Shopping!
-L