The Best Deals We Can Find
Because we think we can make a small difference by being picky, here are some great deals on solid pieces of gear.
We’ll always put the newest deals at the top of the page. We’ve also redesigned the deals page to be a more permanent addition to the site so you can now bookmark this page because the address won’t change like it used to. Follow us on Twitter at @homesweethome to see any updates we make throughout the day.
A note from the editor: The holiday season is approaching once again, and that screaming you hear is the sound of Internet users everywhere becoming inundated with holiday “deals.” Thousands of deals. Tens of thousands of deals. And, as you may know from experience, most of those deals don’t actually result in any kind of savings. In fact, they are often a waste of money due to marketing trickery or just plain bad products.
In fact, according to our research so far only 0.6% of about 10,000 deals we’ve studied since early November are actually a good deal on a good piece of gear. Our attitude is dictated by a general idea: if we wouldn’t buy it ourselves or tell our friends and family to do so, we won’t list it. If the price or the item itself is not good, we won’t list it. Read more here about our philosophy on holiday deals and why we strive to be the pickiest on the Internet. -Jacqui Cheng, Editor-in-Chief
If you’re looking for deals on gadgets and technology, see our list over at The Wirecutter
Street Price: $250 MSRP: $250 Deal Price: $199
I’ve seen this thermostat drop to $225 quite a few times over the last year, but I think this might officially be the lowest price ever. If it has dropped this low before, it didn’t last long. This price matches a couple other Black Friday deals I’ve seen, but it’s easier to get it from Amazon instead of fighting your way through the crowds.
The Nest 2.0 is compatible with 95 percent of low-voltage heating and cooling systems. But you should check to make sure yours will work with it before you buy. We picked it because the user interface is very intuitive and set-up is easy. The “smart” part of the Nest is how it learns the specific temperatures you like, at which times, and how often it typically takes your home to heat or cool to your desired temp. It’s also equipped with a motion sensor so it knows when you’re not home and uses the opportunity to save energy. You can also dig into your Nest’s data and see how much it’s saving.
CNET gave the Nest 2.0 5 stars (exceptionally rare by CNET standards) in her review, writing, “Within a week of installing the first-generation Nest Learning Thermostat in my house last spring, I decided to buy my review unit rather than return it to the company. When a tech journalist pays $249 for a thermostat, you know it’s a special kind of thermostat.” permalink
Street Price: $250 MSRP: $300 Deal Price: $125
For the last six months or so there hasn’t been a whole lot of variation in the price of this blender. Before today the lowest it had ever gone was $180 back in June. This is the lowest price and you can get it with Prime shipping. Also, if the Amazon deal dies out, get it straight from Oster at the same price with free shipping.
If you feel sucker punched by the cost of a Vitamix 5200 (our favorite blender), consider this awesome deal on our runner up choice. Like the Vitamix, the Oster Versa has a powerful motor and a tamper to help push down ingredients, it blends silky smoothies and purees, and will easily crush margarita-worthy ice.
To be clear, the Vitamix 5200 is still better. It will make mayonnaise (we couldn’t get the Oster Versa to do this), the controls feel nicer, and many experts told us that it will last for years. But for the money (especially at this deal price) we think the Oster is a great machine. Like the Vitamix, it comes with a 7-year warranty, which tells us Oster is standing behind it. We’ve been testing this model for 9 months now and, though it runs a bit loud at times, we really have no complaints. We like the presets for smoothies and soup and the variable speeds have worked well.
Street Price: $70 MSRP: $85 Deal Price: $50
Update: This just dropped to $50 from $59.
This deal from Amazon is back on. It’s a great price because this kit has only sold around $70 for the last six months or so. This deal does come with a free 60-liter carbonator if you want to do a mail-in rebate, but you could also get it for $5 more from Best Buy where the carbonator comes with the package.
This is our favorite soda maker. The Sodastream Jet replaced the Mastrad Purefizz as our pick back in August based on customer service issues with the latter company. In her piece, Jamie Wiebe said “if you’re looking for an at-home solution to your seltzer addiction and aren’t willing or able to go the DIY route, the Jet is the best option. It’s simple to use, makes decent-tasting seltzer water, has a CO2 tank that lasts for about 40-60 liters, and is one of the most eco-friendly options.”
This starter kit comes with a few flavoring samples, and a small CO2 carbonator. You can bring that empty to a participating store to get a full size tank, and then send in for a $15 rebate.
Street Price: $109 MSRP: $140 Deal Price: $50
In the time this knife has been selling on Amazon it has never dropped below $100, and this deal cuts that in half (get it?). It’s sold by a third party, Swiss Knife Shop, so there is no Prime shipping but it’s still free.
Amazon and a few other sites are currently running a deep discount on the 6-inch version of our favorite German forged chef’s knife. Although we prefer the 8-inch model, because it can handle everything from breaking down a chicken to dicing garlic, it’s also a big knife. The smaller version may fit smaller hands better, and it’s probably a nicer size overall for things like chopping nuts and herbs.
We chose Wusthof’s Classic line of knives for our favorite knife block set, as well. All of the knives we tried in the Classic line have been well balanced, really sharp, and keep edges well. They feel substantial in your palm, and with a full tang and solid construction, we feel these knives will last many years. We’ve used the Classic set for over a year-and-a-half and have not complaints. All the Wusthof Classic knives come with a lifetime warranty.
Street Price: $13 MSRP: $16 Deal Price: $10 for 100
This actually matches a similar deal I’ve seen from Staples before. Of course, the street price has lowered quite a bit, but this is still a decent price. Order them shipped to store or find them in a local store to avoid any shipping charges.
This is the best deal we’ve found for our favorite kitchen trash bags, which, in our testing, held over 60 pounds of trash. A 90 pack usually retails for around $16, so getting 100 for $10 from Staples comes out at more than a 35 percent discount.
In our trash bag guide, Josh Centers found that Glad’s Tall Kitchen Drawstring bags were the only ones that didn’t tear when filled with pointy objects, and that even after repeated lifting, the drawstring handles didn’t rip. We love these bags, and think they’re the best you’ll find for keeping holiday gatherings tidy.
Street Price: $170 MSRP: $170 Deal Price: $129
Looks like Lowe’s is running some clearance sales on the less popular versions of our favorite microwave. The white version is really cheap at $129. That’s the lowest price I’ve ever seen, and it definitely beats out other retailers like Home Depot where it’s $170 and Sears where it’s $240. The shipping is free but you’ll probably pay some tax.
Like I said, the stainless steel version of this microwave is our best recommendation. Ganda Suthivarakom said she likes it because it has “a roomy interior with a 16-inch turntable that’s big enough to handle a 13×9 baking dish with handles with room to spare or two side plates. If all you want is to press Add 30 Seconds until your food is done, this is a great model with quick, even cooking.”
Street Price: $80 MSRP: $80 Deal Price: $60
Update: That brief deal from 6pm is done. Can still get 8 glasses for $60 (which is the same price as a set of 6) from Amazon.
These wine glasses are normally sold in a set of 4 or 6. The set of 4 goes for $40-45 right now on Amazon and the set of 6 sells for $60. Well, if you need a couple extra glasses Riedel is offering a set of 6 that includes 2 bonus glasses for free.
These are our pick for the best wine glasses. Eve O’Neill said “While it doesn’t excel at presenting any particular wine, it does a very good job of presenting just about everything, even Champagne and liquor. What’s more, its shorter stem makes it much more stable than the competition, which is always a good thing when you’re talking about objects that spend the majority of their time in the vicinity of tipsy people.”
Street Price: $43 MSRP: $50 Deal Price: $30 with code EMCP11410163164
Just use the code EMCP11410163164 in your shopping cart to knock the price down to $30 with free shipping. BuyDig had a similar deal on this lock recently that knocked it down to $31. These are the best deals I’ve seen on this lock since 2013 and it includes free shipping.
This is our favorite bike lock. Eric Hansen put in hours of research into these locks, including interviews with journalists, bikers and even bike thieves. He eventually picked the KryptoLok as the best lock and said he likes it because it’s “strong, light, easily transportable and comes with insurance you might actually use. Deployed correctly, it’ll keep you rolling for years to come and prevent any unnecessary debates with thick, tattooed ex-cons.”
Street Price: $500 MSRP: $550 Deal Price: $450
Update: We’ve linked to the online version of this blender that Costco is selling, but if you’re not looking to spend that much you should know Costco has a regular in-store sale on the Vitamix 5200. In that sale they lower the price of the regular blender, with no attachments or extra jar or anything, from $450 to $375.
This is really only a deal if you’re in the market for a Vitamix and you want to mill your own grains. The price of this package includes our favorite blender, the Vitamix 5200, along with the standard 64-ounce wet blending jar and the 32-ounce dry blade container (a value of $50). Basically, for the same price that a Vitamix 5200 usually sells for (roughly $450) you’re also getting the dry blending jar. This deal is from Costco, so if you don’t have a membership they’ll tag on an extra $22.50 at checkout.
For our blender guide, we found that the Vitamix 5200 was by far the most efficient and versatile blender around. It makes silky smoothies and purees, it can tackle difficult jobs like blending peanut butter, as well as more nuanced tasks like mayonnaise. Vitamix makes many models, but we found that the classic 5200 was the favorite of nearly every expert we asked. It comes with a stellar 7-year warranty, and several of the experts we spoke with said they’d been using their 5200’s for a decade or longer.
Christine Cyr Clisset said the dry blade container is one of the things that sets the 5200 apart and is “a handy feature if you’re gluten-free or want to start using fresh, whole grains in baked goods.”
Street Price: $34 MSRP: $74 Deal Price: $20
Think of this as a “Buy One, Get One Free” sort of deal. The price of this 2-pack is now the price of a single tape measure. The biggest caveat here is that the deal is in-store only, but you can order it online and have it shipped to any local Home Depot for free. If you find yourself asking “Why would I need two of these?” then this deal probably isn’t for you (and that’s okay!). However, the way I see it this would be a great fit on a job site where you might need more than one or the spare one could be a holiday gift for the tool-lover in your life.
In our article on the best tape measure, this one was considered a step-up pick for its durability. It is tough as nails tape that can survive multiple drops off an 8-foot ladder, and it really will only die if you accidentally cut its tape in half on a miter saw (don’t ask how we know this). In the original review, tool expert Doug Mahoney confirms that the tape is basically indestructible: “I’ve personally had a lot of experience using this tape and can attest to its brute durability. I’ve seen it go off scaffolding, down stairs and off roofs.” Beyond that, the tape has a wide 1-1/4-inch tape that can extend over 11 feet without buckling. That’s really helpful when you need to reach it up to measure something tall—but, of course, it can check the square footage of a bedroom, too.
One Possible Combo: Street Price: $76 MSRP: $76 Deal Price: $68
If you need to gear up for a big Thanksgiving dinner, some of our picks are 10% off if you buy three from Amazon. Buy our step up scale, the OXO Stainless Steel Food Scale ($50), our favorite peeler, the OXO Good Grips Pro Swivel Peeler ($13), and our favorite potato masher, the OXO Good Grips Smooth Potato Masher ($13) together and you get them for $68 instead of $76. Not a huge savings, but if you’re already stocking up on stuff for the holidays (or are looking for some good presents), these are solid tools that rarely go on sale. In fact, the potato masher and peeler have been selling at $13 for several years with little change. Make sure you choose items sold by Amazon.com, not other sellers, to take advantage of the sale.
The OXO scale is a longtime favorite of ours and the step up option in our guide to kitchen scales. The 11 lb. scale comes with a tare function, a bright blue backlight, can switch between ounces and grams, and has a pull out display, handy when you’re weighing things in big bowls or platters. Cook’s Illustrated gives it their top nod, and it got raves from Saveur and the New York Times. The OXO scale gets 4.5 stars from over 500 reviews.
In our tests, the OXO Good Grips Pro Swivel Peeler tackled even thick-skinned butternut squash and tangled celery fibers with ease. Writer Christine Cyr Clisset said, “Where the OXO Pro really excels beyond the other models is in comfort and durability. The die-cast zinc bridge gives the peeler a wonderful weight, and the smooth silicone handle feels nicer in the hand than any of the others. After a while, I found I didn’t want to set this peeler down.” It gets an impressive 4.7 stars from over 200 reviews on Amazon.
We’re still working on our potato masher guide, but our new pick is the OXO Good Grips Smooth Masher. It made the smoothest mashed potatoes in the least amount of time, thanks to a unique grid shape and a short, horizontal handle that allows you to mash in a punching motion rather than a churning motion. It was lauded by the New York Times and recommended by Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required). It gets 4.4 stars out of over 100 reviews.
If you’ve already got one of the aforementioned items, a few more of our picks are on the sale list: the Metrokane Vertical Rabbit (the “also great” corkscrew), the True Fabrications Truetap (our favorite corkscrew), the OXO Good Grips Locking Can Opener with Lid Catch (our favorite can opener), the OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder (our step down pepper grinder), the OXO Steel Pie Server (our favorite pie server), and the Emile Henry 9-inch pie dish (our favorite pie plate). permalink
Street Price: $30-36 MSRP: $46 Deal Price: $24
This is a good deal for most sizes of wiper blades. For example, the 24-inch blades (the best-selling size) usually cost about $35 for a pair, $30 at the cheapest, so you’re saving a few bucks. But if you need 20-inch blades, this isn’t a deal at all—those only cost about $22.66 per pair. It all depends on your car, but you’ll probably save a few bucks with this offer. Amazon lets you put in the details of your car to see what sizes work for you. It’s also worth noting that shipping will only be free if you’re a Prime member, and if you aren’t then this deal really won’t save you anything.
It’s important with this deal that the wiper blades you’re buying are coming from Amazon and not a third-party on Amazon’s marketplace. You’ll know if it worked because when you add 2 of them, the discount will automatically be applied at the checkout screen.
These are our favorite windshield wiper blades. We like the Rain-X Latitudes because “they’ll do the job of keeping your windshield clear of rain and snow, and they’ll perform well throughout their life cycle (which can vary from nine to 18 months, depending on driving conditions).” They’re beam-style wiper blades, which are more durable than bracket-style blades and tend to work better in winter weather because ice can’t build up and cause streaking or skipping. In Consumer Reports’ testing, they were the only blades to retain “Very Good” performance after 6 months of regular use. Plenty of users from wintery climates write that they work well in the cold, dark months. permalink
Street Price: $900 (each) MSRP: $1,300 (each) Deal Price: $700 (each)
Sears is having a Clearance sale on our favorite washer and dryer. As far as I can tell these two have never dropped this low in price, and they were even priced up to $1,100 pretty recently. This drop to $700 is a big change from that and about as good as you’re going to see. The deal includes free shipping, too.
These two machines are our favorite washer and dryer. We like the washer because when it first came out it won Best of the Year and Editor’s Choice from Reviewed.com, a “recommended” rating from Consumer Reports, its “Accel-Wash” feature can finish a load quickly, and it’s generally more affordable than the competition.
We also like the dryer because it offers a number of interesting features while still being affordable “like a very accurate moisture detection system that doesn’t over dry your clothes, and a steam option. This feature can be useful in a dryer, leading to fewer creases, easier ironing and less odor.” permalink