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 has come and gone and the deals were just as empty as we expected. According to our research, which involved most of the Wirecutter and Sweethome staff scanning listed “deals” every day throughout November and December, only 0.6% of the 66,000 deals we studied were worth posting here as a good piece of gear. The New York Times talked to us about how we find and screen deals before posting them on our sites; 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. And just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean our attitude toward finding the best deals has changed. It’s actually easier to find the deals during the holidays, despite the larger number of scams, because that’s all anyone is talking about. For the rest of the year, when everyone else has moved on, we’re still digging deep to find only the best discounts worth talking about.
If you’re looking for deals on gadgets and technology, see our list over at The Wirecutter.
Street Price: $520 MSRP: $700 Deal Price: $425
This deal matches one from Meh.com I saw last year. The price is as low as the 790 goes, and the next best price I could find was $520 from Newegg. This is a new version and comes with a one year warranty from iRobot. There is a $5 shipping price I included already. Meh.com is the same group that originally started Woot! and they’re a trustworthy, and funny, group.
Most of you should still buy the $350 Roomba 650, our favorite robot vacuum, because the 650 is cheaper and will do its job just fine. But when I asked Liam McCabe about this deal the last time it popped up, he said if each floor of your house is more than 1200 square feet, this Roomba is a solid deal at this price because it comes with “virtual lighthouses” (three of them with the 790). These beacons make sure your bot cleans each room to the best of its ability before moving onto the next room. In big houses, Roombas can wander aimlessly, but the lighthouses mitigate that problem.
McCabe writes that while a robot vacuum “won’t fully replace your regular vacuum, it will prolong the time you can go between manual cleanings with very little effort and oversight on your part. Almost every household can benefit from a robot vacuum—it’s just a matter of whether or not you’re willing to pay for it.”
Street Price: $99 MSRP: $99 Deal Price: $82
It’s important to note the color is “British Racing Green” because “Green” is not on sale. This price drop is match for the lowest ever. The previous deal was on the Brown color, which has since been discontinued. Looks like, much like that one, they’re trying to clear out the inventory on this color to discontinue it as well. There’s a mandatory $3 shipping fee I’ve included in the price.
The Thermapen is our step-up pick for the best instant-read thermometer. Basically the price is what kept this from being our main pick, but other than that it’s really fast (two seconds for a dead accurate reading), really sharp with a finely calibrated tip and in addition to all that the “LED screen features large, easily read numbers, the range of up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit is more than sufficient, and the casing relatively water and splash-proof.” Kevin Purdy said “the Thermapen is nearly universally beloved for its speed, accuracy, and design among those who can justify its nearly $100 price with a professional need or monthly rib roasts.”
Street Price: $21 MSRP: $24 Deal Price: $17 in-store
The shipping is not free and not cheap, so if you want this deal you’ll have to find a The Container Store near you. They have quite a few locations, but they aren’t everywhere. Considering we just published our container article today and this bin didn’t quite make the cut because it wasn’t under $20, this is a pretty nice deal to see.
This is one of our alternatives for step-up pick for best container, and Gregory Han said “In our kiddie pool water test lab, the product lived up to its name—not a single drop of water got inside” and added that it had a lot of other small details working in its favor too: “its small molded feet and recessed channel along the convex top perimeter provide a non-slip connection between stacked units, the foam gasket adds an extra seal between the lid and bin, the comfortably curved ergonomic grips allow easy lifting, and a ridged pattern on the bottom creates traction to prevent the bin from sliding around.”
It’s hard to find a lot of user reviews for containers, but this tote has 3.6 stars based on 26 user reviews on Amazon. And it’s worth noting that all six of the one-star reviews were complaints about the shipping from the third-party selling it, not about the tote itself, which is why (along with an $80 price markup) we don’t recommend you buy yours there. permalink
Originally published: April 21, 2015