Monday, July 14, 2008

Household Shopping Secrets

With just over 2 months to go until our wedding, my fiancé and I have discovered that there is an art to purchasing household items. Here's a bit of what we learned:

Appliances are always negotiable- even if you're shopping from big box stores. We also noticed that sales people are so keen on selling protection or warranty plans (probably because they get commission), that they're willing to discount the purchase price.
Also, do your research beforehand and come armed with flyers (especially from competing stores). If you or a family member works for a corporation, check for corporate discounts.

Energy Star Appliances
Even though some items are labelled Energy Star, it's the KWH reading inside the appliance that counts (that's how many kilowatts a year the appliance uses). Refrigerators are usually never Energy Star.

Not sure what to take from your old house into the new? Don't fall into the trap of buying all new furniture at once if you can help it. My philosophy is- bring the hand-me-downs with you first, and hold off until you find something you love. Look for ways you can refinish or reupholster old furniture. It definitely saves a bundle!

We also look for damaged or floor models of furniture we loved, and negotiated the price with the stores. For example, we found a great chair at Homesense with scuffs in the wood. We got them to knock off $50, and refinished it with a rag and some shoe polish (works great on dark wood by the way!). We also got a great coffee table (only chipped on the underside) that was a floor model for $200 less.

Mattress Deals
While shopping for a mattress I discovered a great secret that some people may not know about. To get a really good deal, ask for mismatched mattress and box springs. My fiancé and I purchased a $3200 mattress set for less than half the price at our local mattress chain store, with a slight colour variation (which will be covered by linens anyway). Again, go to stores armed with flyers and deals from competitors.

Pantry & Household Items
Manufacturers coupons are always available and make a huge difference! You can find them online or in your local papers. The biggest cost booster is brand loyalty- my philosophy is buy what's on sale.

TV's and Electronics
We found a great deal on TV's at the local Samsung outlet (though i'm sure other outlets for other brand name exists). Most of the tv's there have deep discounts (hundreds of $ off) because their boxes have been damaged. They do have warranties, but I admit this hint is a little risky.

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