Buying new appliances can cost hundreds or if you are remodeling a kitchen, thousands of dollars. And even FI-minded people sometimes need to buy new things. If you are remodeling or one of your appliances breaks beyond repair, there are ways to save on and optimize your big purchase.One of the ways to optimize your purchase is to find the best time to buy appliances. When you combine that with some other money-saving options, your new appliance will feel like a steal!
Time Your Purchase With A Major Shopping Holiday
The best time to buy appliances is usually around a major shopping holiday. If you can wait or don’t need a new appliance right away, coordinating your purchase with a President’s Day or Labor Day sale will save you major bucks. All appliance stores, online and brick and mortar, have significant discounts during the sales.
You can save hundreds of dollars by just waiting a few weeks.
Use A Shopping Portal
A shopping portal, or a website you click through before making a purchase, will track what you buy and reward you with cash back, extra credit card points or airline miles. For cashback, I like using TopCashback portals.
Before I buy anything online, I always check Cashback Monitor, a shopping portals aggregator, and comparison site, to see who offers the best reward. Some cashback portals have minimum payouts, so don’t create too many accounts or you’ll be stuck with small amounts in each that you can’t withdraw.
Airline portals are a great way to earn extra miles for your account or to keep your miles and points from expiring. If you belong to more than one airline loyalty program, check Cashback Monitor to see who offers the best rates. I usually shop through the United Airlines and American Airlines shopping portals, depending on who has the best offer. I’ve earned thousands of miles by buying things I was going to purchase anyway by clicking through airline shopping portals.
Some credit cards also have shopping portals, such as the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal. As always, check Cashback Monitor to see if they offer good rates.
Check the Best Rates History feature on Cashback Monitor to see historic rates. It might help you to determine which portal to use and if you should wait for a better rate on a non-urgent purchase. To check the history, select the retailer you want to research and click on View Best Rate History.
Here’s an example.
On the next screen, you’ll see the lowest and the highest payouts and the dates when they were offered.
Shopping portals are almost guaranteed to have higher payout rates during major shopping holidays. Airline portals will often offer extra miles on larger purchases as well. For example, if you spend $500, you receive a 2,000 miles bonus.
When you use this tool, pay careful attention to cycles or patterns, which will give you insight into the best time to buy appliances.
Shop With Gift Cards
Another way to save on your purchase is through discounted gift cards, which you can buy on sites like Raise.
Like all other major retailers, these sites have regular sales which provide another one of the best times to buy appliances. For example, Raise sometimes offers 5-8 % off gift cards. There’s usually a cap on how much you can buy during a particular sale. However, you can take advantage of these sales over the months leading up to a major purchase, as they come around often enough.
You can combine your money-saving efforts by using a shopping portal to buy the discounted gift cards. I’ve seen rates as high as 5% back on all Raise purchases made via the Topcashback shopping portal.
If you’d rather earn a good amount of airline miles and you prefer using United, you can easily earn miles by buying gift cards on United Mileage Plus eGift Cards (change payment type to credit card) or MPX–United Mileage Plus X shopping app.
Most large grocery stores sell Lowe’s, Best Buy, or Home Depot gift cards. In my area, I earn fuel or grocery discount with every purchase, even on gift cards. If you have a grocery store in your area with a similar rewards program, you can easily earn a free tank of gas or some deeply discounted groceries.
Additionally, grocery stores also run sales on gift cards, so you can buy a gift card with a discount AND earn gas or grocery discount. These sales provide some of the best times to buy appliances.
How To Supercharge Your Appliance Purchase
If the previous section has your head spinning, here’s a step by step guide. If you follow these steps, you’ll get the max value out of your appliance purchase.
Buy discounted gift cards online. Don’t forget to use a shopping portal to get cash back, airline miles, or credit card points.
Buy full price gift cards on UnitedMileage Plus eGiftcards or the United MPX app on your phone to earn airline miles. Alternatively, purchase gift cards at the grocery store to earn free gas or discounted groceries.
Shop around for the best prices and research price match policies. For example, Best Buy will refund the difference if you find the same item somewhere else for less. I’ve taken advantage of this a few times.
Policies and the actual price matching process varies by retailer, so check them out before making a purchase.
Shop online, pick up in store. Sometimes retailers will have different prices online and in store. Make sure the online price is the same or less than store price and place your order.
You can usually arrange store pick up or delivery online as well. Remember to use a shopping portal to earn cash back or airline miles. Yes, it’s double dipping by using the shopping portal first to save on the gift card and then on the appliance, but it’s also clever.
Outlet Stores Or Open-Box Items
Another great way to save is to purchase slightly imperfect appliances. A small ding on the side of the fridge or a tiny scratch on the dishwasher typically aren’t noticeable, but the discount could be significant.
You might have to head to the store to purchase an imperfect item but sometimes you can buy them online. Retailer gift cards can be used to buy imperfect items, too.
Pursing FI, unfortunately, doesn’t exempt you from needing a new appliance. But because you’re pursuing FI, you know how important it is to save money on that purchase. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do so. From shopping portals to outlet stores to discounted gift cards, there are several ways to get your new appliances at a discount.
However, if you do plan to use gift cards as part of your strategy, be aware that you won’t receive the same purchase protection, extended warranty, or extended return period a credit card offers. Contact your credit card issuer or read the benefits guide online to find out if this feature is available.
And finally, do your research. Optimize your savings strategy by combining offers and finding the best place to buy your appliances.
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