I am not advocating buying all new stuff. However, if you do find yourself in a position where you need to replace something - look for features that make life easier.
I was reluctant to buy a washing machine with a timer feature on it ("Why do I need that? I've never had it before and I've survived just fine...")
We got the washing machine with the timer feature that allows me to put the clothes and detergent in the machine and set the timer to start up to 7 hours later. As it turns out, I LOVE IT!
I can put the wash in the machine in the morning and set the timer to wash the clothes later in the day. When I get home, they're ready to throw in the dryer. Or, during the summer we can reduce usage during peak hours by setting the washer to run overnight and the clothes are ready to move when I wake up.
The dishwasher features a similar feature. As other appliances die around the house, this will be a feature I will look for. I've learned it saves me time and money... and to think I thought it was a waste!