Getting The Best Deal on Large Purchases

getting best deal large purchaseBuying our first house has other costs associated with it aside from the loan itself. One of the few things we need to purchase, is a refrigerator.

Ever since I first saw the French door refrigerators (not side by side) with the freezer drawer on the bottom, I knew that I had to get one. It makes so much sense, especially if you rarely use your freezer—that way, everything you do use is within reach and right in your line of sight.

The drawback of the French door refrigerators is that they are very expensive, usually between $1,500 to $3,700. So I’ve been looking around, comparing prices, looking into different models and trying to come up with the best plan.

We’re still waiting to purchase our refrigerator until we have a set closing date and get measurements.

Without a set closing date, we could end up with a refrigerator and no house to put it in. What if the loan isn’t approved? What would we do with a fridge?

Without the measurements of the available fridge space, we could buy the wrong size and have to return it…which usually comes with a hefty restocking fee.

My Tactics 4 Getting the Best Deal

Compare, Compare, Compare– It’s amazing how much the price can vary on the same exact item at a different store. So far, in my great fridge search, I’ve seen the same fridge vary by over $200. Wouldn’t it suck to not compare and then realize that you overpaid?

See it in-person– Some things look amazing online, but can really fall short when you actually see them in-person. Shopping online is awesome, but you might want to stop by a store and check out the model first-hand.

Look for sales– Most stores change their sales and sometimes even prices every week. The best way to know if you’re really getting a great deal, is to know the regular non-sale price of the items you’re looking for. That way, you’ll know if you’re getting a great deal or the store is just trying to make you think you are.

Be Open-minded– Between clearance prices, floor models, returned, reconditioned and damaged items, you can save a ton of money. For example, the bottom right side of whatever fridge we buy will be hidden by the cabinets right next to it, if I can find a fridge with a dent or scratch in that area, it could save us hundreds of dollar.

getting best deal large purchase 2

Cash back shopping– If I end up buying our new fridge online, I can go through Ebates, Shop at Home or Big Crumbs to earn a percentage of the purchase price back. I might even check our MyPoints because they offer points for online shopping, that you can trade in for gift cards.

Online coupons– Depending on where we buy the fridge, there might be some coupon codes available online. Most of the cash-back shopping sites also offer coupons that can be used in conjunction with cash back.

Best Buy MasterCard– This one is a little tricky because I have such a ridiculously low balance on it and I don’t want them to pull my credit again to see if I’m eligible for an increase.

Still, maybe I can pay for it in chunks or something like that to earn tons of points. I’m not sure, but it would be nice if they could work with me or something without messing with my credit score.

Competitor Coupons– I still need to check into this, but I just haven’t had time. Some stores accept competitor’s coupons, so I’m hoping that applies to places like Home Depot, Lowes, Sears and Best Buy. As an example, right now I have a 10% off coupon for Lowes. If I find a fridge that is cheaper at Home Depot, it would be awesome to take off an additional 10%…especially with a large purchase like this.

•••••••Finding the right one•••••••

I’ve been spending way too much time looking at the different models and features out there, but at least I pretty much know what I want in our first fridge.

Stainless Steel

Since all of the other appliances in our new kitchen are stainless steel, it only makes sense for our refrigerator to match. Depending on the brand (and sometimes model), this can end up costing you an extra $100+ to get it in stainless steel. I know a lot of people complain about fingerprints and it being difficult to clean, but I’ll try my luck.

Energy Star Certified

getting best deal large purchase energy guideI’m assuming this means that they use less energy than other fridges. I’m not really concerned about being “green” or anything (don’t hate me, at least I’m honest), but I’m all for saving money on our energy bill each month. Since this is such a big purchase for us, we might as well get one that will save us money in other areas.

I’m trying to keep the estimated yearly electricity use under 650 KWH, any more than that, and I’m pretty sure it would be like any other fridge out there. You can find out the estimated yearly electricity use, by looking at the Energy Guide on the appliance itself or on the item page when looking online (sometimes it’s included in the photos).

Size Does Matter

I’m hoping to be able to afford a refrigerator that has 24.7 cubic feet or more. When I was looking in the stores, all the ones that we’re smaller than this just seemed like they wouldn’t work out too well for our family.

This would be a bit larger than the fridge space we’ve had in apartments and almost twice as much space in the freezer. Having more space in the freezer will help us save money over time. Now, when I find a great (or amazing) deal on something we use often, I can purchase a few extras to hold us over until the next sale comes along. Buying stuff at a cheaper price helps you save money because that way when you need it, you don’t get stuck paying full price.

Deeper, Deeper!

I am 150% positive that I do not, under any circumstance want a counter-depth French door refrigerator. At first it sounded like a great idea, everything would be even and tidy looking and there would be a nice flow to the kitchen.

No way! I saw the counter-depth fridges and it is just freaking weird. I’m sure it works out for some people, but I don’t want my fridge to resemble a little food cubby with short shelves.

LED Lighting

Okay, now this is just awesome. If you haven’t seen the fridges with the LED lighting inside, you must go see them. It’s like every inch of the fridge is perfectly lit up and ready to make your groceries beautiful.

This isn’t a necessity, I would purchase a fridge without it, but I don’t really want to. Still, if the price is right, I’ll cave in—it’s not like I’m going to be hanging out in the fridge all day.

In-the-door Water & Ice Dispenser

Originally, this was going to be a must-have for me. I could ditch the bottled water and drink filtered ice-cold water from my pretty fridge. Now, I’m not so sure.

I’ve been seeing a lot of nice refrigerators at great prices that don’t have ice and water on the outside. I think they all have ice somewhere, whether outside or in the freezer. A couple of models have a tiny little water dispenser inside the fridge. Having the water dispenser inside the fridge seems like it would be more expensive with time. You know, since you would actually have to open the doors each time you wanted a glass of water, then times that by all the glasses of water drunk at home all day and it’s gotta increase the electric bill.

Free Delivery or No Sales Tax?

A lot of retailers are offering free delivery, which is really great…especially for big stuff like a refrigerator. The only problem is…if we don’t get it delivered, we can avoid paying sales tax.

One of the benefits of living so close to Oregon, is it’s really easy to just pop across the bridge and not pay any sales tax. Right now, sales tax in Washington is 8-something percent, which really adds up on large purchases.

Still, it all depends on where we end up finding our perfect (and hopefully not-as-expensive) fridge. If the timing is right and it’s not too far into Oregon, we could just stick it in our moving truck with the rest of our stuff.

If that doesn’t appear to be the best option, they better be offering free delivery. It’s more than likely going to be a last minute purchase since most sale prices are only good for 1 week and returned and damaged items seem to sell rather quickly.


Its all going to depend on timing for us though. I’ve been doing crazy awesome with my plan to save a lot of money and it’s a good thing. We’ve decided that our budget for the new fridge, which our first new fridge ever, is going to be $2,200 or less. Of course we would love to spend way less, but we also want to make sure that we get the one we really want without compromising too much.

Sorry about the wicked long post, I really thought it would end up being around 500 words…I just got so worked up. :-)

On a funny note, apparently I can’t spell refrigerator. LOL Seriously, every single one in this post had to be changed. This is how I kept spelling it: refridgerator. Isn’t that silly of me. I think it’s because I usually just call it a fridge all the time. I don’t know.


How do you get the best deal on your large purchases?

About Jen Perkins

Likes: saving money, being debt free (aside from our house), zombies, travel, getting money, blogging and dogs. Dislikes: debt, being broke, bunnies, wasting money, not having enough money to travel the world and paying interest. Facebook  ♥  Twitter  ♥  Google+  ♥  RSS


Getting The Best Deal on Large Purchases — 26 Comments

  1. Our fridge is almost the EXACT same, it might even be the same. I love it a lot. If you do decide to get a french door fridge, they are huge, so make sure when it is delivered (if you decide to get it delivered) that you check to make sure they didn’t ding it. The delivery people brought it in and completely dented the side of it and had to try again and bring a whole brand new one in.

    For us, this fridge was given to us, so that was a great deal for us :)

  2. When you get your new fridge, you just might want to hang out in it all day. New applicances are really cool! I think the hard part is deciding what you want, but it seems like you have done your research. We just saved $150 on a stove purchase in our rental from shopping around. Delivering from 50 miles away cost $24 from Home Depot (free for first 30 miles then you pay by the mile) and from less than a mile it was $70 from the local store! They were also having an online sale the week I ordered, so that saved 10%.If I’d only had a coupon….
    Kim recently posted..Rental Property Series: Renovating Our Rental PropertyMy Profile

  3. I am so in love with that fridge too. It has been shown on numerous TV commercials lately and every time we go to Best Buy or another appliance store, there it is. Always with a huge price tag. The price of appliances just keeps going up every year.

    In our current rental property we have older white appliances, but in the house we owned a few years ago we bought all stainless steel appliances for the kitchen. I love it when things look clean and polished and I did have the hardest time keeping the fridge doors looking nice. I bought several different cleaning products and they didn’t help. My preferred appliance color now is white or black and when we buy another house that is what we will look for. As well, white or black is a lot less expensive.
    Tackling Our Debt recently posted..9 Ways to Deal with Financial StressMy Profile

    • I love having everything match, it just makes the kitchen. I’ve heard so much about people not being able to keep stainless steel clean, that it kinda made me nervous.

      Thankfully, the first cleaner I bought (following the instructions) has worked amazing for me. I must have gotten really lucky.
      Jen recently posted..Getting The Most “Bang” For Your Halloween BucksMy Profile

  4. We haven’t really had to buy one yet, but I’d totally buy a floor model. Sometimes they’re not even dinged up at all…why not take a major price cut when it’s literally staring you right in the face?
    femmefrugality recently posted..Frugal Cooking 207My Profile

  5. That’s my fridge! We got it at Home Depot about 2 years ago for $2500. I agree about the counter-depth crap. Seriously…you’re really going to try to sell me that something with LESS room…should cost MORE? Totally ridiculous. Ours is “built into” the kitchen. Well, kind of. I might have to take a picture of it, but there’s wood all around and cabinets above, so it looks like it is anyway. Great tips…and may I add another? Don’t buy the extended warranty unless you enjoy pulling your hair out. :)
    Michelle recently posted..Gadget EnvyMy Profile

  6. Holy cow, you’ve really covered the bases on this one. MyPoints, eBates, … you’ve really got a lot of savings options. As lame as it sounds, buying a new fridge can be pretty cool.

    I usually use the 0% financing card at the store to stretch out my payments as long as possible with no real consequences. As long as you set the auto pay and don’t miss a payment, you’re just extending your money at cash value and freeing it up for other good stuff!
    My Money Design recently posted..Social Security Spousal Benefits – Hook Me Up Elderly Sugar Momma!My Profile