Maximizing your major purchases

Labor Day Shows Holiday American and Patriotism
AJ: If ever there was a year of saving, this has been the year of spending on larger purchases and home improvements for us. Despite my best efforts we’ve spent a lot of money on major purchases for our house, so needless to say, I’ve been putting off replacing our washer and dryer despite their major flaws. A few weeks ago I finally declared my hatred for these builder-grade monsters and started researching our options. I’ve been so busy at work that I completely missed Labor Day’s approach, so last week when someone mentioned the Monday holiday I knew my washer and dryer problems were about to be solved!

As we look at major purchases I always say that I don’t want to purchase the same item within the next 10 years. Spending $400 now and $400 in 5 years on middle of the road appliances is not better than spending $800 on appliances that come with a 10 year warranty. Earlier this year we ponied up big bucks for a Miele vacuum and it hurt at the time but that thing has made my cleaning life so much easier, and I know it’s built to last so for me it’s worth every penny to purchase for quality and lifetime value than price.

Last year we purchased an entirely new kitchen of appliances on Labor Day and saved big with sales and rebates. This year’s options were almost as good, but keep in mind that buying in bulk costs more but often results in bigger rebates and better negotiation leverage. Appliances might as well be cars at local places, they’re all commission-based sales people and you hold all the cards, so negotiate hard and don’t be afraid to ask for the price you want.

So this year after I realized Labor Day was coming I spent more than a week researching and shopping, so I knew what I wanted and I knew what everyone’s regular prices were. All I needed to know was what they’d offer once the holiday weekend hit. Honestly, this took more effort than I expected. One local retailer had a $50 rebate that I couldn’t hunt down from Home Depot, Lowe’s or Best Buy even after calling each company’s customer service team and LG’s but when you add Cardpool.com to the mix, our local guy just couldn’t beat the total price and I had to forego the $50 rebate and go with our friends in orange.

If we had purchased the washer and dryer two weeks before Labor Day, each would have been $899. The week before Labor Day, both went to a special price of $678.60 for a total of $440.80 off, almost 25% savings. THEN we saved another 10% by purchasing electronic gift cards through Cardpool.com (still, our favorite site for most every major (and many non-major) purchase! Since you can use gift cards on the entire purchase, you’re technically saving 10% off your grand total which means you’re paying less in tax, too. On top of all of that, I signed up for Home Depot mobile alerts and got a $5 off $50 so it breaks down like so:

Had I walked into Home Depot at the beginning of August my purchase would have looked like this:

    – washer and dryer: $1,798
    – sales tax: $148.34
    – grand total: $1,946.34

Doing it my way (the ONLY way, unless you hate saving money) on Labor Day:

    – washer and dryer: $1,357.20
    – sales tax: $111.97
    – grand total: $1,469.17
    – purchased $1470 worth of Home Depot gift cards from Cardpool for $1,323

Total savings by doing it my way: $623.34 – wabam! Irrefutable proof that doing your research pays off in a big way.

    Will you be making any large purchases this Labor Day?
    What are your cost savings secrets?

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4 thoughts on “Maximizing your major purchases

    • Indeed it is a very big amount! Great for you though on focusing on your health right now – that’s definitely very important.

  1. The internet has really brought on a new age for me when it comes to researching new purchases and I tend to do it exhaustively. I read reviews, compare competitors, and search endlessly for the best possible deal. Viva la internet.

    • That’s definitely true! It makes for a great tool to price compare across different retailers and online companies once you begin to narrow down what you’re interested in. Sometimes it can be a daunting task with all the reviews and choices out there, but it can help you get the best possible price if you’re willing to put in a little extra time for the research!

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