My husband and I bought a washer and dryer a little over a week ago. We knew that we’d eventually have to make the purchase, as we’ve been making do with a set that we bought awhile ago on Craigslist for $150. This time around, we followed our own advice on making big purchases and managed to save some money.
Washer and dryer options
If you haven’t shopped for appliances recently, you might not realize the huge variety of washers and dryers that are available – and the differences can add up. We saw washers that cost anywhere from $300 to $1,800. With such a broad range, we really had to be careful to get the features we wanted for a decent price.
With washers we had to make a few decisions:
- Regular top-loaders: Our old washer was a standard top loading machine. While having a top loader is fine by us, we saw that there was better alternatives.
- High-efficiency top-loaders: These washing machines use less water than standard top loading washers. This definitely caught our attention and we decided to add this to our shopping list.
- Front-loaders: Front loaders are popular today because they are typically more energy efficient than top loaders. After noticing that there wasn’t much price difference between top and front loaders, front loaders became a front runner in our search.
- Space-saver washing machines: These are compact models that work well for small spaces. Since we have a room for laundry, we don’t need to get a compact model.
Dryers can be very simple or sophisticated. Dryers are similar to washing machines with a price ranges of $450-$1,800. The priciest models not only dry your clothes efficiently, but can also handle steam cleaning and big linens.
With that in mind, we decided to dig further and look into customer reviews.
Examining customer reviews
Customer reviews played a big part in narrowing down our list. We wanted to get a washer and dryer set that other people have used and loved. As we were checking different models online, we took notes of which ones got 4/5 or higher. We also wanted to make sure there were at least two dozen reviews so we could be sure we were looking at a representative sample of owners.
It quickly became apparent that the cheapest models weren’t that great, as a number of low end models got mixed or bad reviews. However, the opposite was also true… Not all of the high end models got high reviews from customers. We finally found a few models that were reasonably priced and had great reviews.
Finding a deal online and in stores
As with all big purchases, we looked both online and in stores to see what would be the best option for us. After checking out the retail sites, we searched for offers that might sweeten the deal at sites like RetailMeNot and Keycode.
We ultimately narrowed it down to a couple of stores, and decided to look at the models in person. Sometime you’re able to haggle for deals in person that you can’t get online. We checked out Best Buy and found out that their in store price for the models that we liked was even lower than their own website’s sale price, and turned out to be be $250 cheaper than the next nearest competitor.
Taking into consideration free delivery and haul away, we felt like this was the best deal for us, so we jumped on it.
Dipping into our savings
Once we made our decision, we paid and scheduled the delivery. While waiting for the manager to get the paperwork ready, we went ahead and transferred the money from our high yield savings account into our checking account, and we were good to go.
I should also mention that you can get some nice perks with a credit card, such as price protection or an extended warranty and also free credit report. However, we only have a single credit card account between the two of us, and the credit limit isn’t very high. Thus, we opted to pay cash.
We rarely buy extended warranties when making a purchase. Instead we’ve created our own warranty fund with our savings. We keep the money that we would’ve paid for the warranty and, if the items hold up well, our fund grows to the point where we can easily afford to repair or replace things ourself.
Your thoughts on buying new appliances
Have you replaced any major appliances? If so, I’d love to hear your tips and stories. Did you opt for new or used units? How did you find the best deal? Did you buy an extended warranty? If so, have you actually used it? If not, do you wish you had?