This article contains a process that is what I call a “special brew” created by myself using multiple techniques that I’ve personally used many, many times. All told I’ve saved in the $10,000-$15,000 range and plan to perfect this over time to give me more than 50% savings on purchases – that is my goal.
Below are specific steps to saving enormous amounts of money on building supplies at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
– Buy discounted gift cards from sites (i.e. www.plasticjungle.com). When you purchase a pre-paid gift card to Lowe’s or Home Depot at a discount you are simply buying cheaper cash – gift cards = cash. An example would be buying a $500 gift card at 15% off. That’s $75 of free money that you can use in your purchase.
– Fill out (and send!) manufactures rebates – a huge savings for free. Usually manufactures will have rebates on merchandise they are trying to move – an example is “energy star” items. If you buy an “energy star” washer or dryer typically they will give you anywhere from $50-$250 (or higher!) rebate of cash. We’ll call this 15% roughly off the purchase of an item. Note: They count on most people not remembering to send it in the rebate or missing the deadline for submission. Don’t forget and you’ll be adding to your savings a large amount of cash.
– Use bar coded coupons that allow up to 10-20% off merchandise at Lowe’s and Home Depot. If you are buying a $1000 washer/dryer set anyway – why not buy a coupon on eBay for $2.99 ($1.00 shipping) and save $96.00 on your purchase? Also, don’t forget the the rebates!
– Time your building supply purchases to when the weekly sales flyers promote a large sale in a department. An example would be painting and supplies. If they are having a sale that week from 10-30% off – buy those supplies that week! Get that discount regardless of whether you won’t be painting for a few weeks.
– Store discounted items marked down from $10-80%. We’ve all seen those items that are dinged or banged up, but are otherwise in perfect working order. If you buy something that is slightly damaged and can be easily covered up than you just saved a bundle of cash.
– Use a cash back credit card for the remainder of the purchase. If you get from 3-5% back on all purchases – use that card. It’s free money back on cash you’d spend, but plus if you carry a balance on a credit card for a few weeks your personal cash can be earning daily interest through that time. (more money!) But, always pay off the credit card by the due date.
– Finally, simply ask a sales associate or store manager for a discount. It works a lot of the time – you never know what mood someone is in and they’ll simply give you an employee discount on the spot. Who knows? Try it. Seriously, get in the habit.
I’m going to use low numbers to illustrate my point. Buy a $1000 worth of discounted gift cards at 10% off, buy a coupon for a couple bucks and get 10% off any purchase, time your purchase to a store sale of 10% off, buy a slightly broken item (if they have one) at 10% off, use a credit card to get 3% cash back on your purchase. This one purchase would not have large savings.
– 15% rebate for merchandise
– 10% for discounted gift card
– 10% for coupon
– 10% store weekly sale
– 10% for discounted merchandise
– 3% cash back credit card
YOU SAVE – $450.31 dollars off $1000 for free – 49% of your purchases.
If you renovated up to $20,000 of materials – YOU SAVE $10,200 dollars.
POSSIBLE HUGE BONUSES:
Open a business account or store credit card to get about 10% off your first purchase. The latest at Lowe’s is that it can be combined with other coupons etc.
Use other store coupons – use a Home Depot coupon at Lowe’s.
This one is hit or miss – look through Craig list and try to find an item (with a heavy discount!) that someone is selling used, but was definitely purchased at Home Depot or Lowe’s within 90 days and return it. You’ll get a store credit without a recipient, but remember you paid much less and so it’s free cash to you for your purchase.
Lowe’s and Home Depot have a price guarantee of 10% off if you find an item cheaper at a local competitor store. They quite often have to give this discount – keep your eyes peeled and bring your cell phone. Call the competitors right on the spot before purchasing – you may need to take a quick drive and get a printed form to prove the price difference or have a store manager make the call for you.
If you are lucky enough to live in a tax-free state like New Hampshire you’ll save up to 9% in sales tax.
If relatives give you gifts for holidays – ask them for gift cards instead of regular gifts (or plain old cash is even better because you can buy more discounted gift cards and coupons). This is an additional 10-15% off all purchases.
With that I wish you well until next time