Paycheck Chronicles

Need a Washer and Dryer?


Washer One of the ups and downs of military life is that sometime you need washer and dryer, and sometimes you don't.  I'm guessing that military people probably buy (and sell) more washing machines during a lifetime than your average American.  Plus, you don't always know that your new housing will need a washer and dryer until shortly before you move in.  Using a laundromat is an option, but research shows that the average family will spend $700.00 more per year to wash their clothes at a laundromat that using a washer and dryer at home.  Plus, it is so convenient to have your own machines in your house!  So, how do you make sure that you're getting the best washer and dryer at the best price?

Before you head out to the store, do a little research and think about your usage to figure out a few models that might be a good choice for your situation.  Some questions to consider include:

  1. How many loads of laundry do you wash each week?  How big are they?  (More small loads? a few large loads?  Lots of laundry every day?)
  2. How much space do you have?
  3. Will your dryer use gas or electricity?
  4. Are you likely to use special wash cycles, or do you always use the same basic cycles?
  5. Do you need to buy new, or would used work for you?
An older article at FatMixx, First Big Appliance Purchase, still provides excellent information about how to research your purchase.  Further research information is available directly from ConsumerReports, here's an article called Washers and Dryers:  Performance for Less.

Once you've gotten a general idea what machines might work for your family and your budget, check out this great post, at MyTwoDollars, called Saving Money On An Unexpected Expenses - A Washer & Dryer.  In this article, David talks about the ways that he saved nearly $1,000 an a top-end washer and dryer set.  Ask around, or check on the internet, to see if there is a warehouse or scratch'n'dent center near you.  Often you can find outstanding deals on mismatched or older model machines.  Ask at your local retail stores to see if they have any scratched units that they would like to sell at a discount.  If you live near a military exchange, make sure to check out their offerings.  I don't often buy things at the exchanges, but we purchased our last washer and dryer there because they had the best prices around.

If you'll only be needing the washer and dryer for a few years, consider buying a used set.  They can sometimes be found for less than $100.  They may not be the most beautiful or energy-efficient option, but they will keep your clothes clean and save a lot of money.  Check your local Craigslist, classified ads or local notice boards to locate used washers and dryers.

With a small amount of research, thought, and comparison shopping, you should be able to find a washer and dryer that will meet your needs.  With your own washer and dryer, you'll save both time and money - how great is that?

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