Upgrading our kitchen appliances was something we knew we’d do…but one day in the future. Little did we know our refrigerator would bite the bullet way earlier than expected. About two weeks ago, the fridge essentially turned into a freezer. Glass bottles were freezing and breaking. Milk, orange juice, water…frozen solid. Brita container frozen and cracked. We tried everything. Lowering the setting all the way down. Clearing the vents. Vacuuming the coils. Nothing worked.
We knew we couldn’t wait any longer so over the weekend we went to P.C. Richard where we ended up upgrading all four kitchen appliances. Through the experience we picked up several money saving tips that we hope will help readers should they ever be in the market to upgrade.
Tip #1: Buy a package deal.
We were not in the market to buy all four appliances. All we really needed was a refrigerator. However, as mentioned earlier, upgrading our appliances was something we wanted to do in the future. Buying appliances in a set of 4 (dishwasher, microwave, range, and refrigerator) will save you money because many stores offer discounted packages.
I look at it the way we look at our car insurance. It’s definitely easier on the wallet to pay month by month, but paying all up front gives you a discount. If you have the capital at the time, you’ll save money in the long run by doing the package.
Plus it makes sense if you’re planning to upgrade in the future anyway. Say we only bought the fridge. A few years later, we wouldn’t be guaranteed to find the same brand/style. Then, our stainless, handles, and brands may not match. Just another factor to consider.
Top #2: Be upfront with your budget.
We were not forthright with our budget…at first. When we got to the store and mentioned we were interested in a package deal, our sales associate immediately started showing us some really nice refrigerators. One of the first we saw was this beautiful french door fridge made by Whirlpool.
When he ran the prices on the package that came with this fridge, it was wayyy out of our budget. This made me wish we had been upfront with our budget from the second we walked in.
I look at it like wedding dress shopping. If you go into a boutique and fall in love with a $10,000 dress, you’re going to be really disappointed if you budget was only $3,000.
Tip #3: Shop at a store where you have negotiating capabilities.
There are many big name stores out there that sell appliances. Sears, Lowes, Home Depot. etc. The negative is that you cannot negotiate on price. We went to two stores during our search, both that were negotiable.
The first was called Uneeda Appliance. The sales associate we worked with was very friendly and understood our needs and budget. They were very willing to work with us on price. The one thing that held us from buying was that they used an outside contractor to install all of the appliances. He would need to be paid $400 separately. This made we want to keep looking for a place where we could possibly negotiate things like delivery, installation, and removal into our price.
PC Richard and Son was the answer. We were able to negotiate to work within our budget. We were very upfront with letting our sales associate know that our “top price” needed to include tax, delivery, installation, and removal of old appliances. Plus, because their servicemen work for the company, there was no outside contractor to pay for installation.
Tip #4: Ask if there are any current promotions/rebates.
Store like PC Richard always have promotions going on. These could include free delivery, discounts on certain brands, installation rebate, etc. In our case, Whirlpool brand was offering several rebates, which saved us a total of $415.
The first was a $85 rebate for free installation on any Whirlpool dishwasher $399 or more.
The second was a $180 rebate for buying a stainless steel package of 4.
And the third was a $150 rebate for buying both a range and microwave.
Even though they are mail in rebates, once we get the money we can put it directly towards the bill.
Tip #5: Upgrade certain pieces based on features, not look.
As I mentioned earlier, I really liked the first Whirlpool fridge that were shown. Yet in the end, as part of our package, we ended up going with this stainless steel side by side Whirlpool instead.
At first, I was a little disappointed. But then I started asking myself why. The only reason I could come up with was the look. They both had ice makers. So really there was no difference other than the drawer on the french style, which is just fridge space.
Instead, if you are going to upgrade a piece of the package, do so because it has extra features. In our case, it was the range. The range that came with the package was a standard range. Four burners, self cleaning, and individual cast iron grates.
For $310 more, we were able to upgrade to a range that had convection and a fifth burner.
To us, that was worth it. We actually got two additional great features for our money, in addition to the improved look.
We love how there is less black and also really like the big cast iron grates as opposed to the individual ones. So for us, it was a no brainer to spend the extra money here as opposed to simply the look of the french door fridge.
Tip #6: A bit of black trim can save you money on stainless steel.
Just a little sliver of black can save money as opposed to having 100% stainless steel. This was the case mainly in our dishwasher.
Notice how the controls are located in black trim. Going full stainless on a comparable dishwasher can cost anywhere from an additional $100-250! No thanks!
All in all we are very pleased with our shopping experience and are looking forward to receiving our new appliances, which will be delivered tomorrow. We will post before and after pictures in the first (and unexpected) step of a kitchen upgrade!
Have you ever upgraded your kitchen appliances? Tell us your experience!
Any money saving tips to add to the list?