You go shopping for a new refrigerator, and you're on a budget. The best buy is the 'fridge with the lowest sales price, right? Not necessarily. If you buy the lowest-priced refrigerator, you may end up spending more than if you buy a more expensive one. The reason? The cost of owning a home appliance has three components: the initial purchase price, the cost of repairs and maintenance, and the cost to operate it.