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Best Bets for Buying Appliances - Dollar Stretcher Guest Blogger
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Best Bets for Buying Appliances

by Rheney Williams

intro

I waited for years to have a kitchen to remodel, so last spring when we purchased our first home, I couldn't wait to get started on the kitchen redesign. At the same time, just because I finally had a kitchen to update didn't mean I had unlimited funds to do so.

I spent months researching and painstakingly selecting each and every appliance we purchased, picking up some great money-saving tips along the way. For example:

  • Wait for the sales: Holiday weekends are great, as are the times right before appliance manufacturers introduce their newest models like the spring and fall.

  • Create your own discounts: Yes, you can ask for price reductions on cosmetically imperfect appliances! Little dents and dings in indiscernible locations are an excellent bargaining chip to present to managers and receive percentages off.

  • Explore existing sources of savings: Floor models are worth looking into because not only are you helping the retailer clear an appliance off their sales floor (see the above sales note about shopping in the spring and fall!), but you can often receive even greater discounts on price because the appliance has been 'previously enjoyed' to an extent!

But finding the best price isn't the only way to save on your appliance buying bill. For a bit more on how to pick your perfect appliances and tips on how to stretch your household dollars even further, consider the following.

Functional Features

Functional Features

Bells and whistles can be appealing but they may also be unnecessary for your purposes. Make sure that if you are upgrading or purchasing a model with certain features, that you'll actually use them.

For example, you might find a good deal on a refrigerator with a through-the-door water dispenser, but if you prefer your water from the tap or a filtered pitcher, you won't benefit from this feature, which also uses 14-20% more energy than its non-dispenser counterparts.

Cycles

However, a 'cycle running' appliance like a dishwasher or washing machine that comes equipped with certain efficiency features could be extremely valuable and worth the extra upfront cost to get it. I love the fact that my dishwasher has soil sensing technology and as a result, I can simply run a 'quick wash' and the machine will stop washing when it senses the dishes are sufficiently clean.

Size Matters

Size Matters

This fact applies to appliances in at least two distinct ways.

First, you need to make sure you properly measure your space and purchase an appliance that will fit. Don't forget to include entry doors and pass-through points like hallways and stairs – make sure you can move the appliance around corners, if necessary. There's nothing worse than finding the absolute perfect anything only to find that it won't fit!

Second, even if you can get the appliance in the door and situated in its new home, it might still be too big or small for your purposes.

For example, you might find an amazing top-of-the-line refrigerator on sale and decide it's too good a deal to pass up. But the internal capacity could support a professional football team's refrigeration needs and your family of four barely uses two shelves! You're paying to run a refrigerator that you are not using which equals wasted money and energy all the way around.

On the other hand, there are all sorts of very reasonably priced compact dishwashers that could be a source of savings. Unfortunately, you must run four cycles a day to wash all of your dishes, so your tiny dishwasher has quickly turned into a source of very large headaches!

Stay right within the 'Goldilocks sweet spot' by only buying an appliance that will be 'just right.'

Keep the Big Picture in Mind

Combo

Avoid purchasing the appliance with the lowest price. But wait – isn't that the goal here? Not exactly: You want to get the best deal overall on an appliance and the initial price tag alone does not a deal make.

If you were buying an appliance and the only associated cost was the purchase price, going with the lowest tag would make more sense. However, you also have to factor in operating costs of appliances, and the cheaper models are often the biggest hogs of energy and water around. So, even though you'll save on the front end, you'll end up paying in the long run every time you turn the machine on.

What are some of the ways you've been able to stretch your dollars while buying appliances?

Rheney Williams writes about her DIY kitchen projects for Home Depot. Rheney recently remodeled the kitchen in her Charleston, S.C., home, and designed it to accommodate new appliances that included a range, refrigerator and dishwasher. To view Home Depot's appliance page showcasing a wide selection of dishwashers, including the model like Rheney's, click here

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