Sunday, July 6, 2008

Buying Smart

...or at least trying to. The house we're buying doesn't have any appliances. Like many foreclosures on the market the previous owner took everything that wasn't strapped down. This includes stove, fridge, dishwasher, washer, dryer, garage door opener, and shelving in the pantry and a closet. I've decided to look at this as an opportunity to buy appliances that work with our lifestyle.

The most important factor for me is energy efficiency. Everything that is possible* will have an Energy Star rating. To get the cheerful star label products have to be 10-50% more energy efficient than standard models. Though many of these models will cost a little more up front they will help keep our energy bills down. Since we hope to keep each appliance for a long time it's an investment we are happy to make.

When we started looking for appliances we headed to big box stores and talked to sales folks. I'd come home and look up models trying to discern the important differences. Then one day I remembered Consumer Reports. They are a nonprofit that rates everything from appliances to sneakers, to investment funds. It requires a membership, but we decided $6-12 ($6/mth) was worth having unbiased help in making our decisions. We've made decisions on everything but the stove, looking at the factors Consumer Reports rate and user reviews.

The next step will be taking our list of products to the big box stores. We'll see how much each item costs and what types of discounts we can get for buying 5 appliances at once.


*They don't rate stoves and dryers, which I think is kind of crazy since they use so much energy.

2 comments:

Money Maus said...

I absolutely LOVE Consumer Reports! My parents have had a subscription for as long as I can remember. Now that I live/work in a different state, I always call my Dad when I am researching a product. You also get access to their website with the subscription (which he lets me use) and there are SO many great articles & tips there. Great investment that will save you money in the long run :)

Money Maus said...

I absolutely LOVE Consumer Reports! My parents have had a subscription for as long as I can remember. Now that I live/work in a different state, I always call my Dad when I am researching a product. You also get access to their website with the subscription (which he lets me use) and there are SO many great articles & tips there. Great investment that will save you money in the long run :)