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Saving Money When Buying a Washer and Dryer

Written by Laura Martinez - 12 Comments

Saving Money When Buying a Washer and Dryer

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.

Extended warranties?

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?

Published on February 8th, 2011
Modified on December 13th, 2011 - 12 Comments
Filed under: House & Home

About the author: helps families achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt and building freelance income over at Couple Money.

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12 Responses to “Saving Money When Buying a Washer and Dryer”

  1. 1
    Nickel Says:

    So… What brand/model did you wind up getting? How much did you spend? Etc. Also, you mentioned haggling. Any luck there?

    We bought a set of LG front loaders when we remodeled our house a few years ago, and we love them. In fact, we noticed that some of the stains on our kids clothes that had been in there for years (hand me downs) came out their first time through the new washer. Amazing.

  2. 2
    BG Says:

    We recently replaced our 13-year old Kenmore washer with a brand new equivalent version (old-fashioned top loading) after reading reviews and considering all factors. I read way too many horror stories about the HE washers: front-loading HE washers have mold issues and the door seals failing way too fast. And the top-loading HE washers not cleaning at all, can’t do big loads, etc.

    For us, water is too cheap to even consider the massive price tags (and the maintenance headaches) on the HE garbage that places are selling.

    Our 13-year old Kenmore gas dryer is still running strong.

    BTW: my parents had an LG front-loading electric HE dryer burst into flames in their laundry room — dad literally carried it and threw it off the porch while the thing was on fire (internally) the entire time. So, advice to others: don’t run ANY APPLIANCES without you being present in the house (and not asleep). That goes for all old and new style washer/dryers, as well as dish-washers or any other appliance that creates heat or runs water — from any manufacturer.

  3. 3
    Elle Says:

    We got Samsungs. The washer is a 6-Cycle High-Efficiency front loader and the dryer is 7.3 Cu. Ft. 7-Cycle electric model.

    Funniest thing is the music it plays when it starts and stops. They are very quiet, so it’s been helpful for us.

    That sounds like a great deal – getting clothes cleaned so well with your LG set.

  4. 4
    krantcents Says:

    A repairman told us when he couldn’t fix the Maytag Neptune we should keep it simple. Al the bells and whistles are more things that can go wrong. The cleanliness of the clothes does not increase with price of the washer. It is a good way of keeping the price down. Also, he said liquid soap is better, less to clog the lines.

  5. 5
    got a deal Says:

    My wife had been interested in a front load washer for quite some time. So on Black Friday I waited in line but was unable to get the “deal” that was advertised as there were only three available in the store, and I wasn’t one of the first three in line.
    So I got a bit creative..I purchased he next best “deal” and found that with a washer/dryer combo purchase one of the items was marked at a significant discount with the other at regular price. So I opted to only pick up the significantly reduced portion of the combo, which was the washer!
    I was able to do this same deal at another store as well and found the dryer to be the one with the deep discount in the combo deal on that one.
    So a regularly priced front load washer and a front load dryer, I was able to pick up at about 33% of the actual retail price each, by doing two transactions rather than one combo purchase only.
    Sometimes you have to be creative…

  6. 6
    BG Says:

    got a deal) ha! very creative.

    So, you guys with the front-load HE washers: are you not having the black mold (smelly clothes) and the front-door gasket problems that are all over the reviews for these style washers? I know my parents have that issue with theirs (the permanent mold smell on the towels are horrible).

    Or are you performing a bunch of maintenance steps to prevent those issues (that is not needed with the old-fashioned top loaders)? Or are these problems just limited to a minority of people (or just to specific brands)?

    We recently replaced our washer, so we won’t be in the market again for a long, long time — but I’m curious why someone would actively choose this style of washer, especially if they had heard about these problems before hand.

    For the LG Dryers — the reviews I’ve read seem to all center around the dryer drum welds breaking and having to have the drum replaced after about 2 years of use (you pay all the parts/labor costs). For appliances that cost as much as these HE machines do, it seems that the manufacturers just aren’t standing behind their products.

  7. 7
    Nickel Says:

    BG: No problems after 3+ years here. We always pull our clothes out of the washer immediately, and leave both the front door and soap drawer open when not in use. On the rare occasions when we’ve forgotten and left laundry in overnight, it’s gotten a bit musty so we just re-washed it. My wife also runs an empty load with bleach every once in awhile (once in a great while, like maybe once or twice a year) as a preventative measure,

    If you keep it closed up, leave your laundry in it for too long after the wash cycle completes, or use too much (or the wrong) soap, I’m sure you’ll have problems. But if you take care of it, then our experience has been that you won’t have any problems.

    On the subject of soap/detergent… I’ve actually measured out the proper amount (the lines on the liquid soap cap are wildly misleading) and marked it in the soap tray so we don’t overload it. I think a lot of the “stinky washer” problems can be traced back to using way to much laundry detergent. If you do, there is inevitably a ton of residue that gets left behind in various nooks and crannies, and you’ll start having problems.

    As for why we chose it, the unit we bought can effectively wash a ton of laundry per load (important for a family of six), and it cleans way better than any top loader that we’ve owned. It also uses very little water relative to a big top loader which is a consideration if you have a septic tank (like we do) and you do as much laundry as we do.

  8. 8
    Jenn Says:

    We’re in the market for a new washer/dryer set and a fridge (moving into a new house from an apartment). Maybe you guys can answer some of my questions.

    Do you have to use high efficiency detergent? What to do with all my leftover detergent? Can I just use less regular detergent?

    Where is the lint tray in the dryers? Are there any other differences between a gas or electric dryer other than initial cost and energy usage?

    Thanks!

  9. 9
    Eric Says:

    Yeah I’m with Nickel on the firset post… I’m curious about what Laura ended up buying too! Why not give all the details? :)

  10. 10
    John Says:

    When I bought a set of HE front loader washer/dryer three years ago they were expensive, but Consumer Reports had even the worst front loaders rated better than the best top loader in washing. Also the water and energy savings were significant.

    We never had a problem with mold, although I guess it’s a big problem: http://blogs.consumerreports.o.....shers.html

    We left the door to the washer open after every load though. Maybe that had something to do with it. They were used a lot (4-5 male roommates in a house) and never had any problems in the three years since they were operating.

    I’m in the market for a new set now, and I see they have some HE top loaders. Might be worth checking out, but they seemed very pricey.

  11. 11
    John Says:

    @Jenn

    Apparently you can use the regular detergent in a HE washer. It’s a heavily debated topic on the web. A while back I read somewhere that due to how regular detergent makes more suds than HE detergent, it will eat the water pump in the HE washer faster. I can’t find any info on that now though.

  12. 12
    CA Says:

    I replaced my washer and dryer last August. They do a great job. They are Maytag. Top load washer. The only thing I don’t like is the washer lid locks and you can’t add any thing without stopping it, waiting for it to unlock and then restart it.

    They clean wonderfully and the dryer is so much more efficient in time it takes to dry.

    Be a little more observant with your choice than I was.

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