WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Reader questions: Appliances & organizing stockpile

Posted May 21, 2012


One of our fellow smart shoppers e-mailed two questions to me hoping that some of you could help her. Please share any thoughts you have!

From Heather:

"I recently just purchased a brand new house. I am looking for a new refrigerator and blinds for the entire house. Do you happen to know of any places that offer great deals on these two? These are two huge purchases for me and I want the best but save as much as I can. I know you have so many resources and I didn't know if you would post on the blog for me? Every little advice helps.

Also, if anyone has some great suggestions on organizing my stock pile in my brand new garage or pantry, please let me know. I will be looking around for shelving as well. I am new to the whole couponing thing and my poor one bed room apartment has felt its strain. I want the new house to be nice and organized."

Congratulations on your new house Heather!

I suggest Garner TV and Appliance (and their scratch and dent section).  When it comes time for us to buy a new fridge, we will head there first.

Regarding stockpile: I have actually slimmed down my stockpile in the last year. I have realized that I don't need as much on hand as I used to keep. The sales are cyclical and I am constantly replenishing without having to spend a bunch of time going back to the same stores multiple times during the week to buy overstock items. I have been too busy with work and the kids to juggle multiple trips to the stores these days but I have found that we still have plenty for us and to donate and I don't need a huge overstock. Everything fits in my food pantry and the non-food items all fit in my bathroom and bedroom closet.

My biggest recommendation regarding overstock is to practice FIFO: First In, First Out. The pasta you buy this week goes to the back of the overstock and the pasta you bought 3 weeks ago moves to the front (as long as the expiration dates are sooner, of course). That way you will use up your older stock before it expires.

What other suggestions do you have for Heather?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!


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  • drswayney May 22, 2012

    I second the Sears Outlet on 401 South in Garner. We are building a house and we got an in wall oven there at 80% off and an induction cooktop at over 60% off. These were both JennAir brand, but they carry just about every brand you can think of. They have tons of refridgerators too. You can also purchase a 5 year warranty on any of their appliances.

    You can also watch Lowe's and Home Depot - sometimes they have discontinued models at greatly reduced prices - that's how we got our refridgerator for our new home as well - it was over 50% off!!

  • moo May 22, 2012

    For blinds, there is a place in N. Raleigh called Blind & Shutter Warehouse & they'll measure and install blinds for $79 per set. They also have great customer service.

  • Anna C. May 22, 2012

    I'm like Faye. My pantry is full, but I don't believe we need a huge stockpile. I go to the grocery store about once a week, maybe two if there is triples/superdoubles, and we have plenty.

    I did make a little more room in my pantry by hanging a shoe bag on the back of the door. It is great for holding spices, sprays, icings, etc. Hooks on the backs of doors are also great for storage in general. I have some inside the linen closet where I hang my re-usable grocery bags, some on the bathroom doors for robes, and some on the bedroom doors for belts, purses, etc. (also great for hanging ironed clothes to wear the next day).

    I always wanted a freezer but had no place to put it (no garage or anything like that). We ended up stacking our washer & dryer and putting a small upright freezer beside them in our laundry closet. It is perfect there!

  • straitlover1965 May 22, 2012

    I would check out the Sears Outlet in Garner for a fridge, also. It is on Fayetteville Rd in the KMart bldg. They have scratch and dent, repaired and closeout appliances.

  • heremeaj May 22, 2012

    Keep a box in the car for donations -they never even get into the house. I sort at the car,put them right into the box. When I am near the foodbank I drop it off. No extra trips. The perishable donations do make it in for refridgeration of course. You really must use the stockpile rotation method to make sure you are not wasting food or letting things expire. We buy enough on sale to get us thru till they are on sale again. Anything else is donated immediately. I will never turn down free or almost free food and items but so many of the foods we just do not eat are a lifeline for someone else. There is a point of "too much" and each family needs to determine where that point is for them. Love the fun of couponing, the thrill of the hunt and the strategy of getting what you want for as little as possible. I guess it is like fishing. Catch and keep what you can eat and give away/catch and release the rest. You still have the fun but food is not spoiling on shelves in the garage.

  • heremeaj May 22, 2012

    The change of address kits you pick up at any post office have a 10% off any purchase at Lowe's Home Improvemnt coupon in them. Could be useful for a purchase as big as an appliance.

  • hurricanebat May 22, 2012

    Heather-if you live near a Habitat for Humanity restore, you find some good items there. My stepdad got my mom an upright freezer for $100.

  • stephlw May 22, 2012

    Blinds -- you can ask a real estate agent to send you a loses or home depot coupon :) If you know someone personally they can do that for you usually no problem. Especially since you just moved to somewhere new.

    Stockpile -- I am with Faye on this -- at first I started saving everything I could get for free or cheap. I began toning it down lately because we started writing dates on things of when we opened it (a small bottle of dishwashing detergent -- the tiny ones -- has lasted us a little over 3 months). We now know that we will go through about 4 of the small bottles of detergent in a year -- probably will keep 5 on hand but do I really need 30? :) This told us how long it took us to use that particular item and we now buy enough for about 3-4 months because the sales will be repeated.

    I still buy what I can get for free but I keep a box in an extra closet of stuff to donate. When I get free toothpaste or anything else, I look and see if we need it and if not, it goes in the bin

  • dkg0502 May 22, 2012

    For blinds, I used to outfit my whole house in blinds. If you sign up for emails, they frequently send out 20% off coupons and usually with free shipping. I would buy one or two blinds at a time and would only buy when they sent me coupons, which I think prompted them to send me more coupons. They are great about returns and their customer service was wonderful! Highly recommend.