Time the Sales
Most retailers rotate which brands or models get discounted at any given time. If this isn't an emergency purchase, watch the sales for a while to see when a particular model is marked down. A refrigerator that isn't on sale now might cost less in a few weeks or a few months -- ask when the next sale is scheduled for that brand or model. Major appliance sales are often held around national holiday weekends like President's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day.
Consider a Floor Model
Most retailers discount floor models or other units that are out of the box but still functional and often still under warranty. There can also be significant savings on slightly damaged units which might be dented in places that won't show in a specific kitchen set-up.
Check Local Appliance Stores
While large retail chains and online sellers are a good place to compare prices, it can also pay to walk through local appliance stores, which may have free local delivery and other services, have a section of discounted or dented floor models, or offer a different selection than larger operations.
Don't Pay for Unwanted Extras
If a particular refrigerator model has a 12-pack can dispenser and no one in the household drinks canned beverages, check to see whether the manufacturer has a similar but less expensive unit without the unneeded options. Most manufacturers have a wide range of models with only minor differences between them.
Estimate Operating Costs
Every new refrigerator should have an
energy guide label that lists its estimated yearly operating cost compared to similar models. Side-by-side refrigerators typically use more electricity than other types and generally offer less usable space, while an ice maker and through-the-door water/ice dispenser can add 10%-15% to the total operating costs.