21 - 2008

How I got a new Dyson vacuum for $92

Around our house, Mr. Cheap does the vacuuming. For about a year, he has bemoaned the poor suction and general overall lack of wonderfulness of our Dirt Devil vacuum, which I purchased three years ago in a split-second decision at KMart on moving day, when the cleaning ladies looked like they weren’t going to show up.

Then, this summer, I added a dog that sheds to our household. Did I mention that technically, Mr. Cheap is allergic to dogs? He can touch the dog with his hands, but if he gets the fur on his forearms, he gets hives. Isn’t he nice to let me adopt this guy?

So when Mr. Cheap said he would like to have a Dyson vacuum for a Christmas gift, even if it was the only thing he received from all members of the family combined, I could see his point.

But I felt a little bad thinking a vacuum cleaner would be his only Christmas present, and even more so thinking that we might not even get it together to manage it.

So I came up with a plan to get a new one for $92 net. Here’s what I did:

  • Researched models and prices and found that $400 is typical. This just might be worth it with the 5-year warranty on parts and labor that Dyson offers.
  • Pricked up my ears when my sister mentioned that the Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon for 20% off does apply to Dyson vacuums. That saved $80, bringing the price down to $320. (And I always thought you could only use one BBB coupon at a time, but the woman in front of me was handing in a stack — one per item, but multiple coupons per visit — so that technique might be worth a try.)
  • Turned in my Visa Rewards points for gift cards to Bed, Bath & Beyond. We do a lot of spending on credit cards (to be paid off each month … but be careful that this strategy doesn’t get out of hand!) just to accumulate rewards points. I had 20,000 points that converted to $200 in gift cards. That brought my total down to $120, or $145 with tax.
  • Paid for the vacuum with my American Express Blue Cash card. This will give me 2% back on my cash reward at the end of the year (another $3, bringing it down to $142), and it will give me another year of warranty coverage.
  • Transferred the amount of the vacuum from my new ING Checking account, which soon will be receiving a $50 bonus that can help pay for the vacuum. ($142 minus the $50 bonus is $92.)

And there you have it. With a few months of planning and scheming — and all those saved-up credit card rewards — and we get a premium vacuum cleaner for the cost of a basic one.

The old one? It is better than nothing (truth be told, in my opinion it works all right, but who am I to complain about my husband doing the vacuuming?) so we will donate it to another family.

Now I just have to hope he doesn’t stumble across the ginormous box during the next month.

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