1. Home

10 Ways to Save Money Buying New Appliances

How to be a Frugal Appliance Buyer


Whether you're replacing a large appliance, buying an appliance gift for someone on your list, or buying the essentials and setting up a home for the first time, there are ways to save on appliances.  Learn how to be a frugal shopper and save money buying new appliances.  And every dollar saved can be used for other essentials or to help the family budget.

1. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances

You may need to be forward thinking with regards to keeping operating costs low, but it can make a substantial difference in your budget.  When buying a new appliance, it's crucial if you want to save on operating costs, that you buy an Energy Star appliance or one that is the most energy efficient. 

Not all appliances are included in energy cetification programs like Energy Star, but some appliances are more energy efficient than others.  Take time to compare Energy Guide labels to get the best appliance in terms of efficiency.

For appliances such as washers, refrigerators, dishwashers and air conditioners, those that meet more stringent energy targets, will also be CEE Tier certified for further energy savings.  After the purchase, there's usually a lot more that you can do to reduce operating costs for even further savings of energy dollars. 

Many areas have Energy Star or other energy efficiency appliance rebate programs that are worth taking advantage of.  There's nothing nicer than getting some money back on new appliances.

Compare Prices

2. Go for Function - Cut Appliance Frills

While some frills such as the programmable setting on a coffee maker may be an essential for your lifestyle, or delay start on a washer that is extremely important if you're on time-of-use electricity rates, there are many appliance features that are basically fluff that you may never use and can live without. So avoid the glam and go instead with function.

Appliance prices are generally influenced by all the bells and whistles they feature, so if you want to reduce your purchase cost, go for an appliance that has the features that matter most to you and save a few dollars.  Large appliance colors may be another consideration; you can usually save money buying white appliances, over choosing trendy colors which can date the appliance over time.

3. Avoid Expensive Maintenance Costs

For appliances such as air cleaners, purifiers and humidifiers, operating and maintenance costs can be pretty pricey.  Go for washable or permanent (never need replacing) type of filters, being careful not to sacrifice efficiency which will cost you in the long run.  HEPA filters are expensive to replace but they do offer the best type of allergen filtration.  Make certain you can afford to replace HEPA filters as needed, or look for models with permanent HEPA filtration. 

An efficiency certification for air purifiers is the CADR rating which should be denoted on the packaging.  It confirms that the appliance is more efficient than others. And likewise for air conditioners, look for the Energy Efficiency Ratio.

When it comes to vacuums, your biggest savings is using a bagless system.  Vacuum bags cost around $10 - 15 for a package.  You can save this money and the time required to find the right bags, by buying a bagless vacuum. 

And when buying a new appliance, give some thought to extended service contracts. They're not always a good deal; there are pros and cons to buying one, but given the right conditions, it could save you money in appliance repairs later.

4. Negotiate Free Shipping or Delivery

While this is not offered for all types of appliances, many retailers offer free shipping which can save you a few dollars.  And when it comes to large appliances, some local dealers may offer free delivery to your home.  You should ask or negotiate free delivery when shopping personally for large appliances.

Also negotiate removal of the old appliance when buying a new one locally.  Most landfill sites charge tipping fees and certain appliances must be professionally prepared for disposal.  You can save these fees if you negotiate that the dealer must remove the old appliance when delivering your new appliance.  Remember to ask for set-up as well, which can be time-consuming if you're not familiar with the appliance.  There are other disposal options for appliances which can eliminate landfill fees.

5. Size the Appliance for Your Needs

Avoid overly large capacities or appliances that would be more suited or designed for a larger area.  We tend to buy big freezers that may sit half empty, or large refrigerators that threaten to overtake the kitchen and has more capacity than we'll ever use.  That entire refrigerated or frozen food space is costing you in electricity dollars, when part of it is not required - that's just plain wasted energy.

When it comes to humidifiers, a unit for a 500 sq. ft. room is oversized to humidify a 100 sq. ft. room.  You'll pay more up front for a larger humidifier and the result can be excess moisture problems that will end up costing you in the end.  Oversized air conditioners may also be a waste of energy.

Take time to measure the area to choose an appliance that is designed for that space and avoid wasting energy.  Carefully consider your refrigeration and freezer needs before buying.

6. Scratch & Dent Appliances Can Save You Money

Most major appliance dealers have an assortment of appliances that have sustained some minor dents and scratches, beit on route from the manufacturer or merely while sitting in the showroom. You can negotiate some pretty nice deals on damaged merchandise.  Chances are that a perfect appliance might not stay looking that way for long anyway, it might sustain a scratch or two the first week, when you move it around your home to position it.  With scratch and dent appliances, you should always inspect to make sure the damage is superficial and does not hinder appliance performance in any way.

7. Watch and Wait for Appliance Sales

If there are big sales events (like Black Friday) around the corner, be patient and watchful for great deals on what you need.  You can also reap substantial savings buying at the end or after an appliance's typical season.  In the meantime, be informed as to features and what's available in way of appliances, so you'll know what you really want when it's time to shop.  Avoid compulsive buying and develop a wait and grab strategy, if you want to save money. 

8. Buy Trusted Brands - Avoid Cheap Knock-Offs

Though you can find some great generic buys that save you money and turn out to be dependable, reliable appliances, buying a cheaper low-quality product may cost you more downstream if the appliance life is shorter or you can't get it repaired.  Buy appliance brands that you trust and have been around for awhile.  This will ensure that you'll be able to find parts when needed and you may be more satisfied in the long term.

9. Combine Function - Go for Multifunction Appliances

While this is not the best scenerio for all appliances, you can often find multifunction models that perform each function adequately making one appliance do the tasks of two or three appliances.  This way you can keep down the kitchen clutter and save money on the number of appliances you need to buy.

On the flip side, avoid paying more for multifunction units, if you only need the primary feature and have no intention of making use of the other functions.

10. Outdated Appliances vs Upgrades

Appliances that are considered outdated because there are newer upgrades on the market, usually are marked down to clear inventories.  This is a great opportunity to save a few dollars and in most cases, you may never miss the upgraded design, color or features.

Promotional Feature: View this video series to learn how to take good care of your house.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.