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How to Save Money at Home Depot

For those of us who like to do a lot of DIY projects, or have homes that need some remodeling, we spend an awful lot of time at Home Depot and Lowe’s buying tools and supplies. So it can pay to know how to save money at Home Depot.

I’m currently mid-remodel on our master bathroom – and we’ve already done a total remodel of our kitchen, a powder room, and the entranceway. Plus lots of painting, some carpet and decorating many other rooms. That adds up to pretty big money all told. I’m always on the look out for ways to trim my home remodel expenses. Hopefully this guide will help you as well.

Home Depot tends to be a little harder to score bigger discounts on regularly than it’s competitor Lowe’s (at least in my experience). In particular, Lowe’s offer s 5% discount using their credit card, while Home Depot only typically offers a one-time discount the day you sign up for their card – after that point the card offers no discounts, but instead typically a promotional interest rate period (i.e. 0% for 6 to 12 months). But there are still ways to score some good deals at Home Depot.

Buy Gift Cards Online for a Discount

I’ve already detailed before that there are websites where you can buy gift cards for a discount. Home Depot cards tend to run between a 5% and 8.5% discount at these sites. Gift Card Granny has a listing for Home Depot cards that includes eBay auctions plus listings from the other gift card exchanges, so it’s a good first stop to look. Keep in mind that the discount rate on eBay auctions tends to be in flux as bids raise the sale price and sellers may ask you to pay for shipping.

Check the Gift Card Exchanges

The gift card exchanges typically offer a flat discount rate and offer free shipping. Another bonus is that you can usually pay for these with your credit card – which I’m sure many of you have cards with cash back percentages built in. For example, I use a Fidelity Rewards American Express that gives me a 2% reward.

Gift Card Rescue has an 8.5% discount. Cardpool has an 8% discount on Home Depot gift cards. Raise.com cards run around 5%.

 

Check for Sales and Promo Codes

Home Depot tends to run very specific sale promotions. In other words, you typically won’t find a blanket 5% or 10% off coupon very often, but you will typically find coupons for specific items or categories – like small appliances, flooring, or lighting. Always be sure to check in on sites like RetailMeNot, where they keep track of all the sales and codes you can use.

 

Buy a Coupon Off eBay

A number of people sell off coupons for large retailers on eBay to score some money if they have no plans to use their own. You can always check if you can find a coupon for Home Depot in their listings. The best they typically will offer are 10% off coupons with a max savings of $200. Be sure to keep the expiration date in mind, as you’ll need to get the coupon shipped over to you in time for you to be able to use it!

 

Try Competitor’s Coupons

This seems to be something that varies from store to store, but some Home Depot locations will accept competitor’s coupons. This also may vary by the competitor and discount rate. For example, in the past people have taken advantage of using Harbor Freight 20% off coupons with a match. Home Depot may be less likely to honor a coupon like that than a standard 10% Lowe’s coupon. Again, check with sites like RetailMeNot for competitor’s coupons (like Harbor Freight and Lowe’s) and try those if there’s a good one for something you want. You can also score some good Lowe’s coupons by pretending to move, but these may not be honored as they may consider them “special” coupons.

 

Take Advantage of Their 10% Off Price-Match Guarantee

Home Depot has a national policy of matching competitor’s prices plus an additional 10% off. Be sure to check in at a place like Lowe’s for the same item. If they offer a lower price, snap a picture with your phone’s camera and drive over to Home Depot. They’ll take that price plus an additional 10% off.

 

Check for Scratch/Dent or Opened/Returned Items

Home Depot typically has scratch/dent and opened/returned items set aside in the various sections of the store with a marked down price. The most common to have some returned stock is the appliance section – where they tend to just pile them together behind the new appliances (maybe tucked around the aisle). They’ll be labelled why they were returned – and it typically involves minor superficial concerns.

These items are effectively losses just sitting around int he store that they’re trying to get rid of. Not only can you get a marked down price on these that they already have listed, these items will be easier to haggle on. Ask to speak to the manager or employee in charge of the area and haggle for price on these. These are “special items” so employees may refuse applying coupons or  sale prices on top for these items. The important thing to remember here is that these items are taking up space in their store and would otherwise need to be written off as a loss already – so don’t be shy about trying to get the price down further or insisting that sales/coupons get applied to them.

 

Don’t Forget to Check for Rebates or Tax Credits

A great deal of what people buy at Home Depot are new appliances or items to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Be sure to look into any rebates or credits that you may be eligible for. This is most applicable to appliance purchases where you may get federal, state or even local utility rebates for buying new energy-efficient appliances. But be sure to check for other items as well – such as weatherstripping, caulk, insulation, etc. For example, there is currently a tax credit that’s set to expire on December 16th, 2013 that includes insulation, roofing, furnaces, water heaters and more.

 

10 thoughts on “How to Save Money at Home Depot

    • Unfortunately there’s not a ton of competition these days. For most of us it’s Home Depot or Lowe’s. There are occasional smaller stores/chains: Ace Hardware, local hardware stores or specialty electrical/plumbing supply stores. I try to go to the local plumbing specialty store now because they know plumbing so well and have pretty much any item you might need. Lowe’s and Home Depot tend to carry the most common items, but won’t have something like a Fernco copper to PVC adapter for large drain pipes.

      Personally, I tend to find Lowe’s had better appliance prices on higher-end appliances, and you can always use your Lowe’s credit card for 5% off. Home Depot tends to have the best low-end appliance prices (for say a base model dishwasher or washer/dryer I’d put in a rental unit). Unfortunately their credit card doesn’t offer a discount (just a one-time discount the day you sign up), typically just some special financing terms. I haven’t needed enough lumber to know who tends to have the best prices there: Lowe’s, Home Depot or 84 Lumber.

      • Gonna disagree about Home Depot…they have a vast array of Ferncos…the standard rubber sleeve works fine when transitioning from copper to PVC. But important to point out the integrity of the copper is VERY important. Aaaand for the record …the inventor of the Fernco…should get the Congressional metal of honor…IMHO…

        • Good points! I was speaking more from my experience of only a couple smaller diameter options at Lowe’s, which is a much quicker drive from my home. The plumbing supply shop is actually closer for me than Home Depot.

          In any case, yeah you need to be sure you have a nice clean cut. Another thing to note for Ferncos that I found out was that the rubber with clamps is OK for connections where you’ll have access to it again (like an access panel) – but if you’re “burying” the connection (behind tile, or under a floor) the rule is to use the rubber with the metal shielding around it. I don’t recall seeing too many of those in Lowe’s either. I think I saw one for something like a 1.5″ diameter.

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  2. You missed a big one. You can subscribe to Home Depot’s daily sales email. I’ve saved thousands remodeling my house that way. Each day they send out an email with the deal of the day. Most days it’s one particular item on sale, usually 50% off or more. Some times it’s a category of stuff–say, kitchen lighting. The sales last one day, so long as they have stock on hand. There have been a couple of times that I’ve missed something because it sold out before I opened my email. 99% of the time I delete the emails…but that 1% of the time it’s something I actually need, I’ve saved a LOT of money. Since I bought a 50-year old house that has never been updated and has needed a fair amount of work, I keep a running list of projects and products. When HD has bathtub safety bars marked down to $7 from $40, I can order them on the spot. At the end of last winter I got a full case of top-of-the-line furnace filters for 80% off. I’m stocked for this winter at pennies on the dollar. If you have the luxury to wait for the best price, subscribing to the daily deals can be a great way to save money on home repair, maintenance, and remodeling (and no, I don’t work for HD).

    • That’s a good catch Dee! I’m not even sure how I ended up on their email list (probably creating an online account or signing up for their credit card?) – but I get regular emails about deals they run. These deals are often the same you’ll find listed on RetailMeNot, but some are single day or weekend deals. It’s a great way to slowly acquire necessary things if you don’t have a time crunch to get materials (and might have a wider TODO list).

      Speaking of their credit card,that is another strategic way to save 10%. Lowe’s offers a 5% discount whenever you use their card. Home Depot offers a one-time 10% discount the day you sign up. If you make a large purchase all at once you can maximize the discount.

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  5. Shopping around, buying bulk, searching offers etc can reduce the overall cost. When searching for discounts, online may have more to offer and it is easy than visiting store to store in high streets.

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