9 Tips to Save on Appliance Purchases

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The "Cash for Appliance Clunkers" program is the latest way to save on new, energy efficient appliances, but it's certainly not the only way. Whether you're planning to take advantage of your state's program or it's already over, check out these appliance-shopping tips.

Much as last year’s “Cash for Clunkers” car program helped hundreds of thousands into a new more fuel-efficient ride, the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, also known as “Cash for Appliance Clunkers,” is on target to help Americans save some money on energy-efficient appliances.

We first reported on this program back in November of 2009 while it was still on the drawing board. It consists of state-supplied rebates of $50 to $250 in exchange for replacing old, energy-hogging appliances with new Energy Star ones. The program is being funded by $300-million dollars of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

To find out the details of your state’s program, visit this page of the DOE website. And doing so is a necessity, since unlike the cash for clunkers car program, this one varies widely from state to state on everything from who’s eligible (in most states it’s everyone, but in Alaska, for example, you have to be receiving disability payments) to what appliances are eligible (in most states it’s nearly all Energy Star appliances, but in Minnesota, for example, it’s only washers, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers) to how much the rebate is (a refrigerator gets a $100 in rebate in Nebraska, only $50 in Georgia.)

The programs end when the cash runs out: as of today, it’s already toast in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Texas.

But whether your state’s program is over or not, there are always things you can do to save money when it’s time to go appliance shopping. Check out the following news story for ways to save, then meet me on the other side for more.

Here’s another look at those tips, combined with more that will make you a great appliance shopper.

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