Buy a Refrigerator – Help the Economy

Jan 27, 2009 @ 04:08 pm by EMS

That was my motto last week.

My wife has wanted a new refrigerator ever since we moved in 2006.  I really don’t see what is wrong with the one we have other than you have to chip some ice out of the bottom once every couple of weeks.  But, being that my wife is usually very frugal and has held out so long about it, I decided to finally give in.

However, if we were going to buy one, I had 3 requests:

  1. I wanted to have the ice/water thing on the front.  I’m tired of actually having to open the door to get ice and/or water. 🙂
  2. Energy Star certification is a must – 2009 is the year we cut our home’s energy costs by at least 15%.  This is a good start.
  3. As with any big purchase in our household, we were going to save up and buy it with cash (or cash equivalent in this case).

So we’ve been saving for a couple of months and this weekend went out shopping.  A local place was having a clearance sell because supposedly they had a pipe break which caused a flood on the show room floor, so of course they had to clear out all stock, yadda, yadda, yadda, everything must go.

We hit up the store on Saturday and found a unit that both of us could agree on for $1,500 (marked down from $1,900).  We even splurged $85 for the 5-year “super warranty”.

The good news is that we apparently did find a good deal.  I haven’t been able to find a similar unit to the one that we purchased for less than $1,800.  I purchased it using my HSBC credit card, so I’ll get 5% back on the purchase price and pay it off immediately.

Delivery is set for this Thursday.  I’ve got the Kill-A-Watt ready to go just to see how much less electricity it will be using compared to the old refrigerator.

Is Amazon Prime Worth it’s Cost?

Jul 31, 2008 @ 08:39 am by EMS

I received an email last week notifying me that my Prime Account would expire at the end of August.  For those of you who don’t know, Amazon Prime is a yearly subscription service that costs about $80 and entitles you to free 2-Day shipping on many (I hesitate to say most) of their items.

Before renewing for 2008-09, I did a little research on my own Amazon spending over the past 11 months.

  • Past 11 month spending at Amazon: $2,489
  • Previous 11 month spending at Amazon (before signing up with Amazon Prime): $959

These numbers had me a bit worried at first, because I had more than doubled the amount that I had spent at Amazon.  Was Amazon Prime making me a frivolous shopper?

I went back to look at the numbers and realized that close to 50% of my Amazon spending was due to a much needed computer upgrade.  Costs reflected in that one purchase amounted to over $1,000, which made the total Amazon spending over the past 11 months a bit more palatable.

I looked at how much I saved using Amazon.  Since Amazon isn’t charging state sales tax, I saved 6% off of the purchases right off the top ($149).  Purchasing the items online without paying for shipping also saved me a bit of gas money, but this number is a bit more difficult to quantify.  Also, being able to purchase items online without worrying about shipping time saves a ton of personal time for me.  If I realize I need to get something, I’ll check Amazon first.  If I can get free shipping and the price is comparable to what I would pay locally, I’ll generally go with the purchase from Amazon as long as it’s not an immediate-need item.  This was a big plus during the holiday season, and I suspect we purchased close to 50% of our holiday gifts from Amazon this year.

So am I going to renew?  Yes.  Am I going to spend as much at Amazon this year as I did last?  I hope not.

Basement Corner Upgraded!

Aug 27, 2007 @ 03:21 pm by EMS

Our basement corner is home to our “home fitness” area, which had previously included a 9 or 10 year old treadmill.  Between my wife and I, the treadmill had been used on a daily basis for at least the past 1.5 years.  Over the past month, it began to show its age though, and several of the buttons on the touchpad stopped working.  This weekend, we noticed that only 2 buttons worked, which meant that we could run at either 4 MPH or 7 MPH and that’s about it.

We bit the bullet and decided it was time for a new one.  The wife headed to Sears, while I did a bit of research and took the kids to Dicks Sports to see what they offered.  After trying several units out, we decided on a NordicTrack A2250 from Sears for $699.  On the treadmill was a sign saying “Buy this treadmill and get a free exercise bike and exercise mat”.  Well, during checkout, we told the sales clerk about the sign (he apparently didn’t know about the special) and he tried checking us out with both the treadmill and bike.  The sales terminal machine wouldn’t allow him to enter the bike in for free, so he ended up calling the store manager.  The manager also experienced problems, and it  soon became obvious that someone had made a mistake when they printed out the sign.  The free bike was only for purchases over $799, and therefore our treadmill shouldn’t have qualified.  However, Sears honored the deal, so we ended up with both the bike and treadmill for about $750 after taxes.

Additionally, we purchased a small chest freezer to put back in the same area.

While I’m sure that these purchases are going to have a fairly negative affect on my end of month net-worth report, I think they were still wise purchases.  Owning the treadmill is much cheaper than a gym membership and the chest freezer should help us save money on food in the long run.

Woot Off Today

Apr 26, 2007 @ 11:26 am by EMS

Woot is having a Woot Off today!  I buy an occasional item from Woot and I love watching the Woot Offs, where they sell 1 item until it sells out before moving to the next item.  The last few Woot Offs have been a bit of a disappointment, but last summer I managed to get enough components to build a pretty nice HD entertainment system in my basement for less than 1/2 of what I was planning on paying.

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