Spring is upon us, and we all know what that means—getting the heck out of hibernation! Time for grilling season!
Right Place, Right Time
Are holiday sales all they are cracked up to be for bigger-ticket items like grills? Memorial Day in particular brings the promise of discounted outdoor merchandise, especially grills, since the holiday marks the kick-off of summer. While these sales can be fruitful, it has been shown that consumers can receive the biggest and best discounts at the end of the season. Late July and August exposes deeper discounts than do holiday sales alone. Late August and September is the prime time to get additional discounts on an already clearance-priced grill.
When you see a list of ads like below, you think all is lost, right? Not quite, Weber is the exception. There’s that 99% probability of never seeing their grills go on sale any time of the year.
Price Compare & Track: When to Buy a Grill
If you are able to wait to buy your grill and want to get the best deal possible, check out price-tracking websites that will alert you when your items of interest decrease in price across retailers.
Do most of your shopping on Amazon? The top tracker, CamelCamelCamel (that’s not a typo), focuses solely on the retail giant’s website. It offers an add-on that you can install in your web browser to make it more convenient to view price history graphs without navigating away from your product screen. Using this tracker, you can see the highest and lowest price points of any product listed on Amazon. For instance, on June 17, 2016, the Char-Broil Classic 4-Burner, currently this much, sold for 159.99. It’s highest point was June 10, 2015 at $365.72.
There is a clear trend in price history on various grills, and the lowest prices present themselves between July and November, while the highest prices peak around March. Keep that in mind if you want to save some dough.
Slickdeals hits a much wider range of stores. With over 50 retailers to compare, Slickdeals price tracker will also provide data from stores like Target and Wal-Mart.
If you didn’t get in on the goods at the end of last season and you need a grill now, then it is time to check out what kind of steals and deals that retailers have in store for consumers (no pun intended, I am sure many of you will be buying online!). Usually a sale alone won’t get you the price you want to pay, but there are many ways to lower your costs at specific locations.
First of all, figure out what it is that you will be doing with your grill. Maybe you don’t necessarily need the gas/charcoal combo with off-set smoker (although at the end of last season, Smoke Hollow 3-in-1s could be had for under $200)! Otherwise, these grills are pretty to look at, but unless you entertain often, you probably don’t need such a large cooking surface.
Perhaps you can live with charcoal instead of that gas one you had your eye on, as the former tends to run cheaper. Don’t waste money by buying something you don’t need and won’t use. If you only grill once or twice a month or less, then cheaper grills are the way to go. Invest in a $10-$20 cover to protect it from the elements and cheaper grills can last a few seasons.
Cheaper Options for Grills
If you’re not 100% set on a Weber, there’s always a large selection of models at Wal-Mart, and they tend to be offered at prices lower than other retailers. If you aren’t looking for anything extravagant, you may find what you need in the standard-sized charcoal and gas grills. They can be scooped up for less than $100. While Memorial Day provides a few rollbacks, the best deals currently can be found on Expert brand Grills. You can have your choice of a 24” Charcoal grill with a 372 square-inch cooking surface (that’s 20 burgers!), a warming rack and heavy-duty cast iron grates OR a 3-burner gas grill with 677 square-inch cooking surface, push and turn ignition and cast-iron grids for $86! For just $2 more, you can get yourself a similar charcoal Kingsford with tool hooks attached to a folding side shelf.
A little more reputable, Char-Griller often goes on sale and is priced extremely reasonably for the value. Wal-Mart and Lowe’s offer several reduced prices for various models. You can grab a highly-rated, best-selling barrel charcoal grill at Lowe’s for under $130. Wal-Mart also is currently offering deep discounts on Char-Broil models, two of which are marked down a whopping $165 and $180. Going more pricey? No sale?
7 Tips and Tricks to Keep Money in Your Pocket
See Also: Secrets to Great BBQ Deals
1.) Local Ads
Pay attention to that “junk” mail you get in your mailbox. Great deals and clippable coupons are often hiding in there, especially for the smaller or more regional retail chains. Skim through all the ads around holidays to check for extra savings and short hour or day sales.
2.) Free Shipping
When you save gas, you save money…not to mention the aggravation of loading, hauling and then unloading a heavy grill. Check popular retailers’ websites for free shipping promotions. Plus, you will also get to see a wider range of selections online. Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon offer free shipping for minimum purchases (your grill will surely meet this minimum, ranging from $35 to $49).
Lowe’s currently offers free delivery, set-up, and haul-away of your old grill as long as you are within 75 miles of the store. Not too shabby! For other locations that do not offer free shipping, you can generally shop online and have it shipped to the store for free to pick-up.
3.) Rewards Points
These days, if you are paying with a credit or debit card, you are quite possibly accumulating points that you can exchange for cash or gift cards to the retailer of your choice. Instead of redeeming them for a statement credit (in the case of charge cards), cash these in!
4.) Military Discounts
Many retailers, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, offer a 10% military discount on every purchase, including on sale and clearance items. With valid ID, all active-duty personnel, reservists, retired/disabled veterans, as well as their dependents can take advantage of this deal.
5.) Retailer Credit Cards
You can save a big chunk of change if you sign up with a retailer credit card and make your grill your first purchase. Wal-Mart, Amazon, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Sears, and Target all offer credit programs. Amazon offers 5% cash back or free financing for a period of time with a minimum purchase on their Prime card all the time, plus an additional amount off your first purchase. Check with each retailer for their current credit promotions and offers.
6.) Display Models
Many retailers will sell you the display model if they are out of stock elsewhere in the store, making you eligible for a 10% discount. This policy varies store to store, so make sure you check with an employee!
Places like Bed Bath and Beyond have always given 20% off coupons for single items. You only need to subscribe to their mailing list to receive an in-store coupon, or sign-up with your mobile device to get a code that can be used online or in-store. Even better, they offer free shipping over $29. If you don’t recall seeing grills in their brick and mortar locations, they have plenty on their website. They currently are advertising a Charbroil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Roll-Away grill for $279. With your coupon, you would pay only $223. You can also scoop up a Cuisinart Stainless Steel gas grill for about $160 after the coupon.
To get the best deal, figure out what you need and what you don’t; consider how often you will use your grill; if you can, buy at the end of the season between late July and November; utilize the promotions, rewards, discounts, coupons, holiday sales and price trackers; and don’t forget, take care of your purchase to get the most use out of it!