Replaced Our Refrigerator
A few weeks ago we noticed that some of the frozen foods in our freezer were thawing out. A cursory investigation on my part turned up little opportunity to fix it myself. Rather than call a fridge repair person it seemed like it was probably time to buy a replacement since the fridge came with the house, was 13+ years old, my wife didn't like it, and I was thinking we should be able to get some energy savings from a newer model.
My wife had established some key features she was looking for: stainless steel, in-door water/ice dispenser, french door, and not low-end interior shelving. I was most concerned about the price since the key features my wife was looking for meant we were looking for a higher-end model at places like Lowes, Home Depot, HHGregg, Sears, etc and the price point appeared to be somewhere near $1,650-$2,000 + tax. I was pushing for us to find a fridge at <= $1,300.
We had a potential lead to purchase a gently used year-old fridge that match my wife's features list for around $1,300 or probably a bit less depending on negotiations, but we would have to deliver and dispose of our existing fridge ourselves which would easily be worth $100+ to me since I don't have a vehicle to do so. We were interested but only if we could get the fridge for closer to $1,000 and it apparently sold to someone else while we waffled on it during negotiations.
On Saturday we expanded our search to additional further away locations looking for scratch and dent or display models. We ended up finding a Whirlpool Latitude SS French Door GI7FVCXXY display model, MSRP $2599, Lowes price $2499, on sale for $2199, but this unit on clearance with a few small scratches for $1249. We brought in a 10% off Lowes coupon and said we'd take it if we could use the coupon. After some hemming and hauling by the Lowes sales guy they agreed to take an extra 10% off the fridge but claimed they couldn't use the coupon and we went ahead and bought it.
On the way out of the store the Lowes Tax Refund with 10% bonus promotion sign hit me like a brick wall (I forgot all about it). The Lowes staff was nice enough to allow us to return our purchase, then purchase a tax refund card, and repurchase the fridge using the card. After tax, the 10% discount and the 10% taxrefund bonus we paid $1,101 for the refrigerator with delivery and haul away. Still a lot for a fridge, but we are both happy with the value we got for the purchase.
In our search I did find this Energy Star Refridgerator calculator which suggested the annual energy cost of our existing refrigerator model was ~$99/yr compared to $59/yr for our new fridge. If I assume we use the fridge for 10 years, then we might reclaim approx. $400 of the cost of the new fridge in energy savings. Won't pay for it, but it does help.
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