Saving money is a team effort in our home. It is not an official division of labor, but you will regularly find me working on ways to save money on our everyday expenses while my husband works on ways to save money on our not-so-everyday expenses. He is the one who has done the work that saved us money when buying anything from a coffee maker to a new car.
His focus is never in finding the cheapest item available but making sure that we get the best value for our money. He has done such a great job at making sure that we spend our money wisely that I have asked him to share with us his tips.
What advice would you give to people that want to save money when buying big ticket items?
I am often surprised at how many people will shop around for the best price on things like food and clothing, but, when they go to purchase big ticket items like TV’s, computers, home appliances or even cars, they just go to their local (chain) store, where they may have seen a weekly ad or sale, and make impulse purchases. The first thing you should do when planning on any big purchase is to do the RESEARCH! and research doesn’t just mean price, when you do research, first, it should be about the best quality and product performance (in your price range). The best place to start is obviously the Internet. While we personally always start with the Consumer Reports® web site (www.consumerreports.org), there are literally dozens of free web sites dedicated to the review of electronics and just about any type of consumer goods. Once you have made a choice of a specific brand, investigate where you can purchase it for the cheapest price (and in today’s market, this very well could mean an Internet purchase).
What advice would you give to people looking for a bargain?
My main advice is to of course shop around. But that includes shopping around not only your local brick and mortar stores but also online. I would recommend to anyone who is planning on making big ticket item purchases to consider factory refurbished products as a less expensive way to get the same top quality items as store-bought-new. These systems have been fully refurbished and some come with the same warranty that any ‘new’ item offers. Refurbished could mean a customer return, however, it can also mean a factory defect that was repaired at the plant, but this can not be listed as ‘new’. To date, we have never had a problem with any factory refurbished product we have purchased, and with the same warranty as a new item, we have never worried about it.
Often times big ticket item purchases can take a big bite out of your budget. But with some due diligence and research you can make sure that even if you are spending big you are at least spending wisely.