Saving money on major appliances

Our family had to buy not one, not two, but three large appliances in a 12 month period.

First our upright freezer stopped working. Then after nursing a lousy dryer for two years we finally broke down and purchased a new one. A few months after that our fridge stopped working. We woke up on Easter morning to a warm fridge and spoiled milk. 

Like many families we live on a budget and we can’t just drop thousands of dollars on new appliances. This could have been a large and somewhat disastrous expense for our family, but armed with savings knowledge and a cash only policy we were able to swing this to our advantage.

Here is how we did it:

We created a line item budget

We knew our freezer and dryer were on their last leg. So we began to work a few dollars every week into an “appliance replacement” line item in our budget.

You would be amazed how quickly just $5 to $10 a week can add up.


We shopped during the sales season.

Did you know there are times during the year when it is best to shop for appliances?

The lowest prices I have found were between Christmas and New Years Day.

Manufacturers are rolling out New Year models so stores are looking to purge older models by placing them on sale.

I was able to get my dryer for nearly 45 percent off the retail price.

We used coupons.

 Yes, there are large appliance coupons. I bought our dryer and new fridge from Lowe’s. I signed up for their sales emails and got a 10 percent off coupon.

They also sent me some coupons in the mail that were pretty high value like $50 off a $250 purchase.

We used Ebates. 

I know a lot of you are already familiar with Ebates. But if you're not, Ebates is a website that you "shop through" in exchange for a rebate. For example when I was looking for a new fridge I simply went to the Ebates website, found a link to Lowe's and ordered the fridge I wanted online. 

I ended up getting a little rebate check in the mail and the fridge was delivered the next day. 

If you join Ebates now you will get a $10 cash bonus. 

We asked for a cash discount.

 Most large chain retailers won’t give you a cash discount. But there is a certain amount of discounts they can give to move models off the floor and into the homes of paying customers.

In one instance I asked if a cash discount was available and was told no, but I was handed a coupon for an additional percentage off which saved me about $20 off my total.

Buying large appliances can be an unavoidable expense, but with a little homework and research you can save a lot of cash. 

What about you? What are your tips for saving on appliances?

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