Appliances are a must-have! When you think about how life worked 100 years ago, there’s no question that something like a washing machine or refrigerator makes our lives easier.
But why, oh-why, must they always seem to break? In the span of decade, I believe we replaced our washer and dryer set about 3 times! Lesson learned: You get what you pay for!
So if you’re a new homeowner or low on funds, then what are you supposed to do? Follow these tips and we’ll help you save on your next purchase.
1- Buy higher quality products.
As I mentioned in my introduction: Don’t be fooled into buying cheap. Yes, it stinks to pay $1,000 for a new appliance, and the one right next to it that’s only $400 starts to look pretty darn good. But when you buy cheap, you just end up replacing it in a few years. You were probably much, much better off getting the better quality, higher priced product in the long run – especially when we factor in all the hassle that comes with it!
2- Consider energy efficient models.
Before you purchase your next appliance, check into which products offer a good amount energy efficiency and use less water. Most of the reputable brands will publish this right on their paperwork so that you can easily compare. Plus in some situations you may even qualify for a tax deduction!
3- Check the reviews.
This goes for just about anything: Always check the reviews before you buy. Appliances are no different. Make sure the reviews are legit by going to more than one seller’s site and taking a look. Try to find any specific themes like “hard to install” or “quit working after one year”. You might just avoid a huge lemon.
4- Go for gas over electric.
If at all possible with your hook-up, shoot for gas over electric. Gas is generally cheaper to pay for every month.
5- Skip the extended warranty.
Extended warranties only make money for one person: The seller. I think in the 10 years I had one of these for our refrigerator, I only used it once. Don’t let the companies play into your fear and charge you more than they should for an insurance policy that you’re likely to never use.
6- Get 0% Financing.
If you’ve got great credit and the big-box store is offering a good deal on financing with 0% interest, I say “why not?” I’ve taken advantage of several of these opportunities, and that has in turned allowed me to contribute more towards our other savings goals. Just setup the automatic payments and keep an eye on it. Be sure to pay off the entire balance before the term ends. Otherwise you’ll owe a BOAT load in interest.
7- Don’t pre-wash.
If your washing machine has a “pre-wash” cycle on it, then skip using it. This feature doesn’t make your clothes any cleaner, and just sucks up more energy.
8- Skip the “More” or “Very Dry” setting on your dryer.
Usually the regular drying feature is plenty. Plus, again, using these settings will simply add more cycle time and eat up more energy. And that will come straight out of your budget.
9- Keep your dryer vent clean.
Every time you go to use your dryer, be sure to clean it of lint and hair. This will keep your dryer working at optimal performance, and reduce how much energy you use.
10- Air dry your dishes, clothes, etc.
Why dry your stuff at all? Skip using your appliances and save on all that energy.
11- Set your Refrigerator and Freezer.
Keep your refrigerator and freezer set to the ideal temperatures (40°F and 0°F).
12- Shut the door!
Keep your refrigerator and freezer open for a minimal amount of time.
13- Keep track of the manufacturer’s warranties.
Manufacturer’s warranties can come in handy if an unexpected problem comes up. File away your paperwork safe place and easy to get to in case you ever need them. Don’t forget to staple your receipts to the books.
14- If a part breaks, consider replacing it yourself.
One time when the dryer broke, I was able to fix it myself. It was pretty cool to save us from buying a whole new dryer when a $12 part was I needed.
15- Or pay someone else to do it.
Even if a more expensive repair is needed, if you’ve got a decent appliance, consider calling a repair man or independent contractor. Yes, it will stink to pay $200. But that’s still a whole lot less than getting a whole new system.
16- Boil water in the microwave instead of the stove-top.
They don’t say “a watched pot never boils” for nothing. Boiling water on the stove-top can take forever. Speed up the process using the microwave instead.
17- Cook using the microwave instead of the range.
Again, you’ll use less energy.
Bonus! If there was a storm or power outage, and it caused some costly damage to one of your appliances, check to see if it might be covered by your home-owners insurance coverage. As long as the cost exceeds your deductible, you may be able to make a claim!
Featured image courtesy of Flickr