How We Saved Money (63% off!) On Our Kitchen Appliances

We bought nearly $3,800 worth of kitchen appliances this weekend. But if you know anything about us, you know we love a deal. So here’s how we managed to shave off about $1,400 from that total (we ended up paying 63% of their original cost). Yee haw!

Before I dive into the heavy math, let’s cover some basic questions first. Why new appliances? We’ll make this one multiple choice:

  • A: We prefer stainless steel over the current bisque / black mix we’ve got going on.
  • B: The wall oven has a big burn mark up the front of it and cooks/burns things unevenly.
  • C: Our refrigerator is slowly dying (the ice maker doesn’t work and ever since Hurricane Irene it has been cooling unevenly – icy milk anyone?).
  • D: All of the above.

If you answered D, you’ve either been paying close attention or just know that “All of the above” is usually a solid answer. We knew about these “issues” when we bought the house (except C) so we went into this house purchase knowing we’d need to replace our appliances during a future kitchen makeover. So we’ve been saving our pennies for the last 10 months (many folks wondered why we didn’t just dive into a kitchen makeover as soon as we moved, but we like to really think about how we’ll use a room – and we also gotta save up before big purchases like these). Even before landing on our peninsula plan a few weeks ago, we’ve been researching replacements and waiting for the best deal and the right appliances for us. So for the past few months we’ve been:

  • keeping an eye on craigslist for discounted applainces that might work
  • hitting up secondhand stores & thrift stores (like the ReStore)
  • visiting our local Sears “Scratch & Dent” store

Sadly, none of those “discount” routes were panning out (nothing on craigslist had the right dimensions or matched, secondhand stores weren’t selling much more than a few old black or white microwaves and dishwashers, and even the scratch & dent store was selling things at pretty comparable prices to new appliances from Lowe’s or Home Depot since most things are on sale around this time of the year whether they’re scratched or dented or not). Then we got a sign from the Lowe’s website that this was the weekend to pounce:

Well, actually a few signs. Lowe’s is our favorite spot to buy appliances since their prices tend to be the lowest we’ve found and they’ll price match. It’s actually where we bought all of the appliances for our first house which we used and loved for the entire 4.5 years that we lived there. So seeing their website loaded with discounts was enough to get our butts in gear and make some decisions.

One easy decision was the brand of appliance that we preferred. We lived very happily with a kitchen full of Frigidaires in our last house, so 4.5 satisfied years made us more comfortable with that company than any review could (in almost 5 years of use none of them ever needed to be serviced and still looked mint when we moved). Plus, we wanted to buy all the same brand so the stainless color was consistent from appliance to appliance (some stainless fronts are more brushed than others and can look kind of cobbled together if they’re not consistent). In an icing-on-the-cake scenario, we actually ended up getting Frigidaire Gallery models that have a protective coating atop the stainless steel to prevent fingerprints (something we really wanted since we were always wiping down our last ones). So go ahead Clara, do your worst. But before we learned about the fingerprint-proof stainless covering, first it came down to picking out the most functional, fitting, and affordable models for our kitchen. Here’s what we ended up with:

  • A 22.6 Cu. Ft. Energy Star Counter-Depth Side-by-Side Refrigerator: We learned that our current fridge is actually counter depth, so we definitely couldn’t get a standard depth, which would jut even further into the room. This new one is actually more spacious than our current one and the one at our last house (so we’re psyched to gain more space without giving up the counter-depth dream), but that’s a story for another day. More on that soon.
  • An Electric Convection Stove (with Quick-Boil feature): We currently have a convection wall oven and countertop range… but those are extremely expensive to replace, so we’re going to convert our kitchen to a standard stove situation. Again, that’s a story for another day (soon!). Oh but the added convection and quick-boil features are something we happily would have paid an extra $100-200 for on top of a basic range price, but thanks to sale prices it was just $10 more than a similar model without those features.
  • A Microwave: Nothing interesting to say about this one other than it’s very similar to the last one we had and loved.
  • An Energy Star Dishwasher: Yay. Our first house didn’t have a dishwasher until we added one and it changed our life. And we love that it’s Energy Star like the fridge.

Even after almost a year of saving for this investment, the prices above are more than a little scary to two cheapskates like us. Thankfully each appliance was already marked down in the store (maybe October is a good markdown month?). The greatest markdown was the fridge (down $500!). The salesman said the price flip flops between $1799 and $1299 and we just caught it at the right time. On top of that, we also caught this at the right time:

The fridge and dishwasher were both Energy Star so that knocked those prices down another 15% (sadly cooking appliances like stoves & microwaves typically aren’t Energy Star rated). Happily the stove got the 10% off treatment thanks to the advertised sale that we happened to spot on their website. But the microwave, who was already on sale for $269, didn’t qualify (poor guy – things had to be $397 or more).

But all four of them earned this next discount:

We’ve had a Lowe’s card for a while (back from an appliance purchase in our last house, actually) so we scored our usual 5% off on our total purchase price. Down came those already discounted prices (we love that they allowed them to “stack”).

Then on top of that…

…Virginia was having a tax-free weekend on Energy Star appliances, effectively taking another 5% off the fridge and dishwasher (since tax here is 5%)! So that’s how our grand total ended up being about 63% of what it would’ve cost originally. A total savings of $1,392. Which essentially means we got the stove and the microwave for free (their original prices add up to $1,248 before all the discounts). The best part is that many of the counter depth fridges that we looked at were more than $2,500 on their own, so we’re stunned that we got all of our appliances for less. Take that baby to the market!

They still have to be delivered (for free, as always at Lowe’s) which is why this post has no pictures of the new items in place- but we’ll definitely share pics when they come. Oh and for anyone wondering, we’ll be donating our old appliances to the ReStore since they do free pick-ups (although we might craigslist the cooktop and microwave since they’re in newer condition). We’ve had a productive weekend in the kitchen, so there are a few other ideas/decisions/changes to share. So hopefully we’ll be back with lots of kitchen happenings over the next few days! We’re still only about 2% there, but the ball is officially rolling!

Okay, so who else saved some moolah this weekend? Er, well, spent some moolah but not as much moolah as they might’ve originally spent? Ack, you know what I mean. Oh and to any fellow Virginians, all of the sale prices that we took advantage of should be valid through the end of today (the tax free thing along with the 15 & 10% off sales and 5% off any Lowe’s card purchase). Just throwing that out there in case it helps!

Psst- Anyone replacing old appliances with Energy Star ones might also be eligible for government refunds (of over $100 if you’re replacing your dishwasher & fridge) so you can go here and click the button with the map on it to see what they’re giving back in your state.


  1. Rebecca says

    We got most of our brand new kitchen appliances from Sears. 30% off all Kenmore appliances at the time. We actually got our dishwasher from Lowes though because it was a better deal. Sear’s also has a rewards program so from our appliance purchases we got $115 dollars which we put toward a new TV. Always love saving!

  2. Rachei says

    Our washer finally took a turn for the worse on friday. Every wash I was having to push it up on its back legs and then let it fall down so that it would start to spin (only thing that worked-lol). Repair guy said it needed a new motor. Off to Sargent’s Appliance (in MI) we went. We scored a energy saving washer that only cost $13 in energy a year. Plus it uses less water and gas! Once we turn in some rebate CE and DTE send us $25 dollar gift cards! Overall we saved $100+ and free delivery. Im hoping for a nice tax return on this baby too!

  3. Stephanie Phillips says

    I’m so happy to be able to share this with you!!! (Nobody else has been quite as over the moon as I am)

    Our new Duet washer and dryer (which we got for $425 each, then $350 off as part of our NC Hurricane relief rebate) were scheduled to be delivered by Lowes this Saturday. I got a call that morning that my washer had been damaged beyond salvage and that I could either 1)take a free upgrade to the better Duet series washer for no additional charge or 2)wait for them to find my washer somewhere else to be delivered at a later time. I went with option 1 but then began worrying about the potential resale of this mismatched set. I called Lowes back and asked it they would upgrade both the washer and the dryer free of charge AND THEY DID! An additional $400 saved PER UNIT!!
    WOOO!!!! (Imagine me running around with my arms in the air) Wooo!!!!

    :) So happy.

    • Jill says

      That is awesome, Stephanie! Lowe’s has the BEST customer service! I doubt Home Depot would have done that.

      We stopped going to Home Depot such a long time ago b/c their customer service stinks! Oh about 10 years ago, I wanted to paint my bedroom red. My parents tried to talk me into a simpler color but I had this whole scheme going on in my head and it just had to be red (they agreed with me in the end that it didn’t look great that way). But anyways, little did we know about how many coats it would take and all that jazz, so we had to keep going back to Home Depot for more paint. We took the paint lid with us from the first can and asked them to make up two more gallons. We got home and poured some into the tray and started rolling… It looked a little different but we chalked it up to be a different time of day and the wet vs dry effect. No way, the next day it was 2 different shades of red. We looked at the lid (duh) and saw that the mixture was completely different of the original one. My Dad took them in and told them what happened (this is Mr Non-Confrontation-Man), and they said “sorry”. He had receipts and everything and said “why would I buy 2 cans of red w/ different formulas?” I mean really! Anyway, they got ugly with him and so he decided to call the manager and the manager didn’t help him, so he called corporate and they told him it was up to the manager of the store to offer a refund/replacement. The manager said if we had noticed after leaving and turned right around that would be a different story! Ain’t that a crock? Anyhoo, we don’t go there anymore. LOL!

      My Dad loves Lowes so much that he cannot wait to retire and go get a part time job there. How funny is that?

    • says

      That’s so funny! Your dad must really love Lowe’s! We love our appliance guy there (Jimmy). I told him I wanted to be best friends. Of course he just laughed at me. But he’s the best.


    • says

      we love jimmy! but does he ever take a day off? every time we’re in there he’s there. he went to high school with my husband so we usually go back to say hi, and every.time he’s at the desk.

      jimmy needs a vacation!

  4. Merideth says

    Are you going to do the installation/hook up on the dishwasher? We bought a dishwasher a couple months back and had Sears have a plumber come in to hook it up – we were too scared to mess with the plumbing. I’d love to see how to do it, though, if you guys are planning on DIYing it!

  5. says

    Congrats!!!!! We had our own awesome weekend where we did most of our Christmas/birthday shopping for all the kiddies in our life.

    You can get fantastic coupons over at Hasbro Play Saver. My husband did the dance of joy (or his equivalent since he is not too coordinated) because he got Thor’s Hammer for super cheap.

    Actually, now I am wondering if he bought that for himself….

    All in all, we saved over 300 bucks this weekend. Yeah!

  6. Melissa says

    We just bought all new appliances from Lowe’s in April. Love all the discounts. We opted for Samsung in Stainless steel. Check with your energy company, they might also give you rebates.

  7. Carrie says

    For the glass top try a pumice stone. You can get them near the nail polish etc etc. It’s technically glass so it won’t scratch the top and you can use it on all ceramic surfaces too. Hard water in your toilet? Pumice stone and elbow grease! Best of all? It’s CHEAP, maybe $3 for a stone that will last a year.

    • Pamela says

      Yes, a pumice stone worked like a dream on removing hard-water stains from my commode! (thank goodness that old 1980 sucker was finally removed during a recent remodel – it was super hard to keep clean & the pumice stone was the only thing that worked on the hard water stains). Pumice stone is good for the bathtub, too. The stone lasted several years (probably should have used it more often – Ha) & was recommended by a vacuum cleaner supply store salesman (I went in to buy a vacuum cleaner belt & also left with a little, inexpensive pumice stone…what are the odds?…). :)

  8. Stephanie Handy says

    We had a similar experience a couple weeks ago. We’re replacing our front door/frame and storm door as well as our garage entry door/frame (they were just using another interior door that wasn’t even flush to the floor!). Starting price for all three (we’re getting steel doors for increased security/energy efficiency) was around $9k and we talked it down to $5.5k (still cringe-worthy but not a bad deal at all for what we’re getting!).

    • Stephanie Handy says

      Actually it wasn’t all just talking down. Mistyped there – it was also government refunds, company refunds (for doing a flexible install date, etc.) and various things along with talking them down (but the talking was the majority of it)

  9. Debbie says

    when we bought appliances for out lake cabin, we went w/ wolf & sub zero, the same brands (although not the same models) that we have at all our other houses. we had to pay extra to have them delivered from over 200 miles away, but it was worth it to go w/ a brand that we know & trust. i love the wolf dual fuel (gas stopve top, electric oven)dual ovens & sub zero is the best there is (in our opinion) for refrigerators & wine storage units.

  10. Emily says

    The pic of the red barn over the bridge looks EXACTLY like the one on Beetlejuice where they get into the wreck!! Not sure how I even remember/know that but its all I could think of when I saw it!!

  11. Kendra says

    You’ve inspired me to go refrigerator shopping today. I didn’t know about the VA Tax Free holiday-ness going on! I’ll have to see if we can hunt down a great deal.

  12. Kate says

    How do you clean your stainless steel appliances? Our refrigerator is “clean steel” which really does look great and stays SO clean. However, our dishwasher is stainless steel, and we have a difficult time ever making it look streak free. Thanks! :)

    • says

      We just used mild cleaner (like Dr Bronners or Mrs Meyers) and a microfiber cloth to sort of buff it. Sometimes no soap and just a dash of water on the cloth.


    • Beatrice says

      Try WD-40. I know it sounds odd, but I tried everything, and that worked best for me. Just spray it onto a cloth, then polish it. It really helps reduce fingerprints.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *