What to do you do when your appliances are old? I bought my house 12 years ago this May and had to purchase appliances that didn't come with the house. I've been fortunate to have none of my home appliances completely fail and need to be replaced. However, I know the day is coming, and sooner rather than later.
When I break it down to what appliances I'm talking about it would include: stove, dishwasher, fridge, washer, and dryer. So, if I give estimates of how much I paid for each it would be:
- Stove – came with the house, but I'd estimate costed $700
- Dishwasher – also came with the house, about $500
- Fridge – $1100
- Washer – $550
- Dryer – $550
Total Costs in 2005: $3,400
Average Cost Per Year: $283
Fast forward 12 years and I know these costs have increased. I'd estimate, at retail, that we'd pay about
- Stove – $1500
- Dishwasher – $800
- Fridge – $2300
- Washer – $900
- Dryer – $900
Total Costs in 2017: $6400
It is amazing how much inflation really increases over what seems to be a few short years! Nonetheless, it is inevitable that these appliances will fail. As our family has grown to a family of five over the last 12 years too, I know these appliances have taken even more abuse. With that said, I know after about 10 years I should expect that failure is soon approaching. So what do I do about it?
- Research – consider using consumerreports.org to start researching which appliances are consistently out ranking the others. This service will usually cost you, but you can save a lot by buying the right appliance the first time as opposed to a lemon! [Your local library may grant you digital access to Consumer Reports for free].
- Buy Before Failure – don't be forced into buying something when it fails. Consider buying your appliance before it fails. This way you can shop around, and get the best deal when you want to. You won't be forced to pay full price, but can get the price that you want.
- Consider Buying Used – have you considered buying your next appliance off Craigslist or eBay? Buying used will save you a lot of money over the retail price. Shop around and see if you can get by with an appliance that is slightly used. You can even find brand new appliances on Craigslist that will give you steep discounts compared to retail. The big question here is whether you can live without any type of warranty!
- Stacking up on Coupons – if you know which store you are going to be buying your appliance(s) from, then start collecting coupons! A lot of stores will even allow you to use competitor coupons at their store and even stack them. I use eBay a lot of times to get my coupons for stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. If you are buying a $2,300 fridge and you can get a 20% off coupon from eBay, then this can save you about $460. Be aware of the fine print on the coupons too, because often times the max you can save is about $500. Also call your retailer ahead of purchasing your coupon to see if they will honor competitors coupons.[Also, you can try discounted gift cards with decent savings upfront.]
- Watching for Deals – be a hawk on your local advertisements for sales on appliances. So say that you are being diligent in watching for deals and you can strike 20% off retail on that same fridge. Combine that 20% discount advertisement pricing with a 20% off coupon that you scored from eBay, then you can get a brand new fridge for $1472 + tax ($2300 * .80 = $1840 * .80 = $1472). Not too bad for a little bit of work.
- Ask about purchasing the floor models – often time retailers will offer 20-40% off the floor model just because it has a few bumps, scraps, and dirt smudges. Ask a clerk if they'd be willing to sell the floor model and what type of discount they'd be willing to give. Don't go with their first offer either.
Well these are just a few tips I prepare to purchase new appliances to replace my aging appliances. I know I've missed a few other ideas. What ideas do you have to save a few dollars on your next appliance purchase?