Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A New Washer on a Shoestring Budget

So for the longest time we've had a hand-me-down washer from Benny's sister from her college days. It was totally serviceable, but we knew with the baby coming and using cloth diapers, we would want something that had a higher capacity and was more energy efficient. (We had planned to sell our old washer to a friend, but ended up donating it to the ReStore instead, so we'll get a tax credit.) Since we hang dry most of our laundry, the dryer we had was totally worth keeping and we didn't feel the need to upgrade.

Of course, Benny broke out his Mr. Consumer Reports mode and we narrowed down our choices to this lovely model by Samsung. We chose this one for a variety of reasons, but primarily because it was a top loader (something that was necessary for the configuration of our laundry area) and because it had excellent energy and water efficiency. Even with this being the washer we wanted, we knew the original purchase price was out of our budget, so we were hoping to find a sale.

We went to Lowe's to purchase our washer because we had been able to cash in some credit card points for Lowe's gift card money, about $500. We also had some birthday and anniversary gift cards stashed away that we put towards the purchase, as well as a Lowe's coupon we found online. We figured these combined with a sale would allow us to purchase the washer for maybe $100 out of pocket. The day we went to Lowe's to check out the washer and talk with the sales clerk was the week before Labor Day, when we knew some sales would be going on. When we talked with the sales guy and explained what model we were looking at and asked if he'd had any experience with them, he said the same thing we'd read online, "They're great machines. A few people think they don't use enough water, but generally this means they aren't loading the machine according to the manufacturer's instructions." Then, he said, "Hold on a sec..." as he walked over to the scratch and dent section. At that moment, there was a gleam in both of our eyes; we knew we were on to something!

And boy, were we ever! It turned out that they had two of the exact model we wanted in the returns section for the exact reason he had mentioned. The prices were incredibly reduced, even from the Labor Day sale price, and the previous customers had only had the machines a week before returning them. So, when the sales guy said we could have the washer for $700, we took him up on it. This meant that we were able to use our gift cards (but not our coupon, which we saved for another purchase) and credit card rewards to get our washer for free!

Having had our washer for a few months now, we can say with all confidence that we love it! It has a much higher capacity than our old one and allows us to do fewer loads of laundry during the week, and the spin cycle on it is incredible. Our laundry now dries in about half the time it used to when we hang it. The bonus: it has a glass lid so you can watch the whole thing while it runs, and it sings to you at the end of the cycle! We were like little kids watching cartoons the first time we ran a load of clothes through.

So, that's how we got our washer for free. Have you found any major deals in the scratch and dent section, or scored an appliance for free? We'd love to hear about it!

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