For a sweet deal on a new refrigerator, the best time to buy is May.
Why You'll Save the Most in May
New refrigerator models hit stores in the summer, which means last year's models have to go. Start with the clearance price, and then negotiate down from there. Most stores will be willing to haggle.
Need to Replace Your Refrigerator Sooner?
Large appliances also go on sale on holiday weekends. Check newspaper circulars, marketing emails from retailers, and e-commerce websites on the days leading into a holiday weekend for the best deals.
Energy-Efficiency and Cost-Consciousness Go Hand-in-Hand
The cost of your new refrigerator isn't simply the price you pay the day you make the purchase. Consider also the cost of running your refrigerator in the years to come. For the deepest savings on your monthly power bill, consider buying a unit with Energy Star certification. This ensures that your new fridge meets certain energy efficiency targets. The most efficient units combine Energy Star with a CEE Tier certification. CEE is a nonprofit consortium of energy efficiency program administrators, such as your local gas or electric utility, that promotes the manufacture and purchase of energy-efficient products and services. When shopping, take time to compare Energy Guide labels to see which refrigerators on your buying short list cost less to operate.
Limit the Bells and Whistles
Appliance salespeople want to increase the dollar amount of your purchase, encouraging you to jump to the next tier of units and to add additional features that may be nice but unnecessary.
For example, a "quick cool" compartment and a wine rack are nice features but depending on how frequently you plan to use them, they may not be worth the extra money. Likewise, water and ice dispensers are fun and flashy though not all consumers make use of these features. A filter pitcher of water in the fridge and an old-fashioned ice cube tray in the freezer are inexpensive and functional alternatives.
Certain finishes, such as chrome, can also add to the price tag without adding much value. Enhanced air circulation, humidity control, odor control and digital temperature monitoring are other additions you can likely do without.
Keep It Clean
Believe it or not, keeping your refrigerator tidy does more than keep it smelling fresh. Regularly cleaning your fridge improves both air circulation and access, ensuring that you don't keep the door open an unnecessarily long time.
Extended Service Contracts and Warranties
Another way for salespeople to pad their paychecks is to sell you additional service contracts and warranties. But will an extra upfront expense save you money in the long run? There's no blanket answer, unfortunately, as the costs and benefits vary greatly from shop to shop. Additionally, many stores farm out these services to third parties, so you must read through the paperwork and ask questions to determine whether these services could lead to savings down the road.
While it's best to purchase new appliances such as refrigerators in late spring or over holiday weekend savings events, you can lower your costs now and in the future by purchasing energy-efficient units, limiting unnecessary extras, and carefully considering additional service contracts and warranties.