smart spending

5 times when you can rake in rebates

Appliances
Appliances © Milkos/Shutterstock.com

These big-ticket items sometimes come with big-ticket rebates from the manufacturer or the government. Rebates range from $25 to $1,000, depending on the appliance and your state, says Courtnay Greenberg, digital Web manager of GEAppliances.com. Your best bet is to do your rebate research before heading to the store.

Manufacturer websites usually carry rebate and promotion sections, and you'll find the options when plugging in the appliance type and your ZIP code. Some sites also offer rebate information from federal and state governments, as well as local utility companies.

Greenberg recommends checking with your local utility provider's website or customer service phone line to see if they list rebates for energy-efficient products. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy's Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency has a search tool. Click on your state, and then scroll to the Utility Rebate Program list.

Another way to find an energy-efficient appliance rebate is through EnergyStar.gov, says consumer expert Andrea Woroch.

Even if you don't research before shopping, stores usually post rebate program information in the showroom, and salespeople should be knowledgeable about what's available, says Greenberg.


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