Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Cutting the Cost of your Next Family Washing Machine

When you’re planning for a new baby, family finances are tight, and the last thing you want is to have to splash out on an expensive electrical item like a washing machine. But this is one household appliance that’s essential to any family home, especially when there’s a baby on the way. If your washing machine needs replacing or upgrading, there are ways that you can cut the cost, while making sure that you get a machine that’s up to the task of frequent family use.

Shopping online is by far the most cost effective way to seek out the best cheap washing machines. It’s the quickest, easiest way to search for and compare various washing machine models. Online retailers also offer cheaper prices than can find on the high street, as they have reduced overheads and can pass these savings on to you. Online retailer Dixons has a useful clearance bargains section, which makes it even easier to find on their site. You can also sign up to online store newsletters, so you’ll be informed as soon as any new washing machine models are discounted.

Modern washing machines now come with all kinds of new high-tech features and functions, from steam washing to direct drive motors. If you’re looking to keep costs down however, then think about the features that you really need and that you are realistically going to use as a family. For example, child locks and extra drum capacity are useful features for families, but LCD touchscreens and washing machine timers are functions that you can easily live without when you’re trying to make savings.

Energy efficiency is another important point to consider. Even cheap washing machines have become more energy efficient in recent years. All electrical goods sold within the EU now have to be labelled on scale of A to G in terms of their energy efficiency, with A being the most energy efficient. Opting for an A rated model or better will save you money in the long term, as your washing machine will use less electricity to run, costing you less in household bills. There’s a useful guide to these new energy efficiency ratings and how much they can help you save at the Which? consumer website.