Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Washer and Dryer

When Matt and I moved to Austin, we purchased a washer and dryer off Craigslist for $125. Having just sold our house without a realtor, we had too much going on to worry about researching and ordering a new set (I've heard that delivery times can take a while). 

But, we're going to need a stackable washer and dryer for our new house, so I want to be on the lookout now for a good deal. I'm definitely going to look at the local scratch and dent store to see if they have anything good. But what else should I do to save as much money as possible? 

And do you have any recommendations? Here are our criteria:
  • Front-loading washer
  • Energy and water efficient
  • As large as possible (for getting laundry done faster)
  • Fast wash time
  • Stackable
  • Cheap delivery
Here are some of the brands I'm considering:
  • LG Electronics 5.1 (huge! fits a king-sized comforter+!, steam, stackable, $1,399)
  • Samsung 4.3 (steam)
  • Whirlpool 4.3 (clothes come out almost dry; cheaper; steam; $1,299 but available for $899; can delay wash up to 16 hours)
Here are some of the sites I used to search around a bit:
  • Washer Dryer Reviews
  • Reviews on individual store sites, such as Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, and Best Buy
I can easily become overwhelmed when I'm shopping for something like this and need to compare multiple options. Each one has its benefits and drawbacks, so I need to stay focused on my original list of what matters to me in a washer/dryer. Then I can create a matrix with my criteria down the left side and my options across the top...

Now that I have it narrowed down to three choices, I can start price shopping. There are other things to consider, too, such as 18 months of free financing from Best Buy.




Share |

17 comments:

cicile said...

O__O you have a dryer ??? Is the weather so cold / humid in your area ?

Annalisa said...

I have yet to shop for a grown up washer/dryer -- we bought ours years ago before laundry was more than throwing it in 1x a week! However, I have some thoughts. First, Young House Love bought some great appliances and had some excellent feedback -- maybe search their site? Second, I ALWAYS break down the ROI of energy efficiency stuff because sometimes it's a terrible purchase (like a brand new Prius for example unless you drive 250 mi. a day). If a washer needs service 5-7 yrs down the road and that's $200, what did you save? Forget buying the extended warranty - those are notoriously scams. Third, I'm a huge fan of buying gift cards off EBAY. They are not fraudulent and you can get some pretty great deals. Don't forget buying online gets you cash back from ebates, bigcrumbs, etc. I bought a deep freezer last Christmas from home depot and between gift cards, cash back sites, and my own credit card money (amex blue cash is amazing!) I think we saved $70. I think there's great appeal to the more efficient washers but sometimes I just don't see the savings financially over a few years. Oh -- and I'm sure you have -- but keep your eyes open on Craigslist! There's always a ton of great deals!

Rachel said...

Sounds like your Craigslist score should serve you well. You should be able to function without a dryer if you just can't afford one. It's more environmentally friendly, and you'll get to use that dream deck.

I couldn't afford a new washer/dryer until my third home.

Anonymous said...

Yes, why do you even need a dryer? Sometimes for someone who portrays herself as so fiscally and environmentally responsible you seem to make some very odd choices. Expensive swim lessons, a dryer...must be nice.

Katie G. said...

@ Mr. Brave Anonymous Poster--- ease up on the Hateraid you've been drinking. Go away with your negativity and let people make the life choices that work for them.

Mariarealnamehere! said...

I don't have a blog, so I don't know how else to post. But Sara is pretty good about addressing criticism on her blog. so I don't know if she needs you to stand up for her. I would like to hear what she has to say.

Malvo said...

My fiance and I are in a similar mindset right now with respect to budgeting and saving money. We're looking for good deals for a washer too, so your post is very helpful. As far as dryers go though, we're going to invest in one of these smaller drying racks. http://www.bestdryingrack.com/

Shawn said...

Just wanted to weigh in on the debate as pro dryer. Two busy careers plus blogs and side jobs, a toddler and a potential second kid, plus buying a home on the smaller side that requires everything stay in its place all sound like great reasons to go with a dryer. Everyone does what works for them, but I don't see the decision as being at odds with trying to be environmentally responsible. Very few of us can make every decision based exclusively on having no environmental impact - time constraints, efficiency and ease of every day use must factor in, too. Good luck finding just the right one. Sounds like your new home is going to be beautiful.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Yikes! It's getting a little uncomfortable in here.

Maria: I don't mean to "portray" myself as anything other than exactly who I am. I do care a lot about my impact on the environment, but it doesn't mean every choice I make prioritizes the Earth over my own contentment. We are also working hard to save money, but we still spend in areas that matter to us (organic food, high-quality Montessori school, swimming lessons, etc.). Each post is just me thinking out loud about the choices we're making for ourselves. No, electric dryers are not good for the environment or the budget, but I honestly don't think we would get any laundry done around here if we had to hang everything to dry. Matt and I exert our patience for domesticity by making dinner, keeping our house picked up, cleaning up after the tornado that is living with a toddler, washing our own cars, and doing yard work. Our goal is to save enough money to buy solar panels that generate enough electricity to power our house so we can give energy back to the grid. That's how we plan to balance our concern for our environmental impact with our need to get laundry done.

It's fine if you want to point out that drying clothes in an electric dryer is not environmentally or fiscally responsible. There will be lots of opportunities to point out the ways in which my choices are not environmentally or fiscally responsible. Matt and I are always making tradeoffs. We try to make our choices intentionally, fully acknowledging the drawbacks. That's the best we can do!

Emily said...

Don't know what it's like in Texas, but in Tennessee where I live, we would never get anything dry reliably by hanging outdoors because of the rain/drizzle/cloudiness. I do laundry once a week (diapers two or three times), and if it's sunny, I hang for sure. But if it's raining, as it often is, a dryer is a necessity in my book. Otherwise I'd have wet clothes hanging all over the house! I guess that's how they did it in pioneer days, but they also had smelly clothes and didn't wash that often, and frequently had a roaring fire for cooking and hanging things in front of to dry.

Emily said...

Don't know what it's like in Texas, but in Tennessee where I live, we would never get anything dry reliably by hanging outdoors because of the rain/drizzle/cloudiness. I do laundry once a week (diapers two or three times), and if it's sunny, I hang for sure. But if it's raining, as it often is, a dryer is a necessity in my book. Otherwise I'd have wet clothes hanging all over the house! I guess that's how they did it in pioneer days, but they also had smelly clothes and didn't wash that often, and frequently had a roaring fire for cooking and hanging things in front of to dry.

Kelsey said...

We're still using the washer/dryer that Chris's parents bought him from Sears 10 years ago! So far they're going strong but I dream of getting the front loading high-efficiency. You might want to look into an online subscription to Consumer Reports, that's always a good source of info.

cicile said...

Dear Sara,

Maybe it was also a cultural shock on my part. In France, it's very rare to have an electric dryer.

My sister is law has 2 young kids, lives in a small appartment in northern france (where it is often cloudy and cold and humid...). However, buying an electric dryer NEVER crossed her mind ! We just don't do that.

To me, it really is a total waste. Drying stuff only requires to WAIT for things to dry. I live in small appartement, and sometimes, I have do hang clothing inside otherwise, it never dries (I live in the middle of the alps). But that's ok. I would rather live with drying cloth all over my place rather than spending electricity and other ressources to have it dry by a machine. It does require a lit bit of organisation : I make sure I have enough underwear so that I have time to let it dry.

In case of emergency (like if I have to wash pillows or blankets when the weather is bad), I would go to the public laundry (It happended to me once in the last 3 years).

I hope that you'll consider that if french people do it, then it's feasible...

Autumn Witt Boyd said...

I did a ton of research before we bought a new stackable washer/ dryer last summer. Consumer reports: LG was consistently the highest rated. I'd also had an LG machine in our last house (stacked) that I was very happy with. So I bought one of the lower end LG washers (which was still expensive and had plenty of bells and whistles!) and the cheapest LG dryer. Mine aren't stacked now so it didn't matter that I didn't have a "matching pair" but you might ask the sales guy if you can mix and match and still stack. They work great! We also did the free 18 month financing at Best Buy, which was a lifesaver considering we were renovating a house and using up a lot of our cash at the same time we needed all new appliances. They have great sales from time to time so watch the paper if you go that route.

One consideration for your cloth diapers if you plan to continue using them -- front loaders are notorious for not doing a great job because they don't use much water. I have to use the "extra water" option on my front loader to get mine clean, and run a cold water-only full cycle before adding detergent and hot water for a second full cycle. Might be a feature to look for as you're shopping. Good luck!

Nicole said...

I noticed last year on Black Friday how great the sales for appliances were. You didn't even need to get in line at midnight to score a washer/dryer set that was 50-60% off. It may be worth waiting that long!

And in regards to the dryer issue - in many many many urban and suburban communities drying your laundry outside is against the zoning code (or against HOA regulations) and therefore illegal. Luckily, municipalities are starting to realize the environmental benefit of allowing clothes to be dried outside, so people at least have the choice.

Nora said...

In South Korea (where I am now doing dissertation research) LG is known as for investing a lot into R&D, whereas Samsung is known for investing more into marketing and sales. If you have a choice between LG and Samsung (in the case that you're buying brand new and the prices are comparable), I'd personally go with LG.

debbie downer said...

I'm sorry to be a downer, but in my opinion if you have to finance this, you can't afford it. If you already have a used, working, paid-for washer, this is not a necessity. Heck, for that kind of money you could go to the laundromat for 20 years, like I did as a kid. Heck, you could pay your neighbor to use their new front-loader and start some of that community you seek.

With a new mortgage, a small child, looming pregnancy expenses, and a mostly one-income family you need savings, not debt and luxuries. For such a meticulous planner, you seem oblivious to risk in the larger picture.

Related Posts with Thumbnails