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. says

    dang…what a deal! We definitely lack in the patience department when it comes to purchases. I guess I saved some money this weekend…I bought a bunch of decorative pieces from Goodwill- lol.

  2. kim says

    have you ever considered going to the post office, where they have a “welcome to your new home” or something like that envelope package? usually you can score a 10% off coupon there.

    • says

      Thanks for the tip Kim! We got our moving coupon back when we moved in and used it on a washer/dryer I think. I’m not sure a 10% off coupon would have worked with this purchase since they already were applying so many other discounts (I believe the 15 or 10% off promotion was only allowed to be combined with the tax free thing and the Lowe’s card thing, so no additional coupons would work).


  3. Shellie says

    Wahoo! I love the way you guys always score (hardy har har)

    This weekend I saved some moolah with sweat equity. Took down our white and discustingly greasy range hood, scrubbed, stripped and painted it black to match the rest of our appliances. For $5 in paint we have a brand new looking range hood that matches. Yay!

    Ohh and I have always wondered- do the people who subscribe via Google reader count towards your pages hits? I usually click over to the website too just to get the full effect and read comments, but I have always wondered!

    • says

      They don’t count when it comes to hits (our stat software just counts how many times our web page fully loads) but no worries about reading in a Reader- we use ours to read over 100 blogs! It’s so handy.


  4. Ashley says

    Hot damn! Great job on snagging all those sales guys! John, awesome job on slipping in $herdog’s famous “Take that baby to the market!” So sly. So funny.
    Also, I’ve wanted to let you guys know that you’ve inspired me to take some creative risks in my new apartment(no matter what anyone else might think) and I’ve actually never received so many compliments. Just wanted to pass them on. Happy Monday!

  5. Christin says

    Wow – that’s incredible! Way to score some great deals! I am also really excited about the whole fingerprint-proof coating on the stainless. I LOVE stainless but dread the idea of having to wipe teh fridge or anything down constantly because of fingerprints (especially little kids ones that get everywhere) or just have to deal with having fingerprints all the time. If there is a brand that prevents that from happening – I am so there!

  6. says

    That is a seriously amazing deal. I haven’t made any major purchases lately, but I have an appliance-related story: I was working guest service at Menards over the weekend and I had an older woman come in screaming that she needed a full refund on a refrigerator and for our delivery man to come pick it up from her house. I called the cabinets & appliances department to authorize the return and I found out that she hadn’t measured the refrigerator to see if it would fit and our delivery man had to take the doors off it to get it through the front door. He put the doors back on once it was inside and when he went to leave, the woman started screaming at him that he wasn’t doing his job. Long story short, she thought he was going to install the refrigerator too. When he said he wouldn’t install it, the woman held him hostage in her home until he had the refrigerator up and running. Then she said it was too loud, accused him of installing it wrong and “breaking” it, and wanted us to take it back….free of charge. Handling her transaction was the worst 40 minutes of my life.

  7. Nicole Hansen says

    My husband and I got our new stainless appliances a few months back. After a horrible experience with HH Gregg delivery (bringing us the wrong dishwasher and a damaged frige), I was able to get us a crazy discount by throwing out the whole “customer service” thing. They ended up giving us a frige model that was the next model up (french doors and everything) for the same price as the one we picked out…Same with the dishwasher. They took off our shipping and delivery for all the hassle and gave us a $100 check back. All in all we got $5000 worth of appliances for $2800:)

  8. says

    Awesome! I actually had that same stove at my first house! We bought it from Lowe’s over Columbus Day weekend last year (and have since sold the house). I loved that stove! Loved the convection feature! You will too!

  9. Andrea Ross says

    Those are the exact same set of appliances we have in our home! We bought it about a year ago and they had just upgraded all the appliances before we bought it and those are it! I hope you enjoy them!

  10. Laura says

    i just realized you guys were in my dream last night…I was supposed to babysit for you guys (and a bunch of your friends) but Sherry and I went shopping and got back late so John was mad and Clara was already asleep. I was so disappointed that I couldn’t play with her! Haha I guess I am on here too much : )

  11. melisa says

    We have the exact same fridge and LOVE it. Counter depth definitly limits your choices but this fridge is a winner in my book!

  12. Meghan says

    WE DID! Made the SAME purchase!! But ours was from our handy little Best Buy down the road. Package deal again, but also stainless steal fridgadaire. Going to LOVE when they are delivered. We ALSO stopped by our handy little Sherwin Williams to score a 30% off sale…woo hoo for new paint!

  13. Lizzy says

    When we moved into our house, we had all lovely 1985 appliances… 4 burner gas stove top, double wall oven, and the dishwasher and refrigerator were missing. We did the craigslist/sears scratch & dent and LUCKED out. We went with black appliances because… well… everyone was doing stainless and I have issues following the pack (and I’d had a stainless oven in a previous home and found it to be the opposite of stainless….) We SCORED big time. We got fridge (french door with freezer drawer), 6 burner stove and dishwasher at Sears S&D for $1800 and then scored an AWESOME double wall oven with this touch/sensor screen thing for $300 on craiglist!!! SOOOO awesome!!!!! Congrats on your good deals!!!

  14. says

    We found a similar (awesome) deal on a dryer at Home Depot this weekend. Regularly $700–we got it for $536 with free delivery and free haul away. And with our Home Depot card, no interest for a whole year. Woo! October is a good time to buy appliances!

  15. Cortney says

    Wow this is so encouraging! We don’t own yet, everytime we have gone to buy something always comes up to steal our down payment money, thanks car! HA anyways I have always been really afraid of the whole replacing the appliances in an outdated kitchen, I had thought it would cost at least a few thousand more than that! Obviously I have not been shopping around yet but seeing that you spent what I usually see priced on just a fridge I am really impressed and feel that this whole buying a home that needs work is doable.( I am also luckily married to a plumber which helps too:).) You guys encourage my hubby and I every day to see the amazing things you pull off on a budget! Congrats on your great purchases! Thanks for sharing with all of us….

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