Maintaining your home can get pretty expensive pretty fast, which is why it pays to shop around for your home improvement needs. Fortunately, Home Depot makes it easy to save money on remodeling projects, appliances and general home necessities thanks to its store coupons, a convenient tool-rental program and a variety of everyday discounts.
If you're a regular at the depot, the following tips might seem like common knowledge, but for those new to the home improvement game, these strategies will help you shop smarter and avoid wasting hard-earned money.
1. Know your price tags.
Like most stores, Home Depot has its very own price code that provides customers with additional information on certain items. You'll want to look at two main things: the color of the price tag and the final number of cents.
A yellow tag means that the product is on clearance, so keep an eye out as you browse the store's aisles.
You'll also want to look for price tags that end in .03 or .06, and here's why: The .03 means that the item is basically at its lowest price (give or take a few cents) and will be removed from store shelves within a few weeks. On the other hand, a .06 indicates that the item will be marked down further sometime within the next six weeks. Both of these ending prices are usually found on clearance items with those aforementioned yellow price tags, which makes finding them a little easier.
2. Rent, don't buy.
Unless you're a professional carpenter, you're probably not using power tools on a regular basis. Rather than shell out hundreds of dollars for a piece of equipment you'll use once, why not rent the item instead? Home Depot's Power Tool Rental program allows you to do just that. Even better, you can rent most items by the hour, day, week or month to accommodate your general timeframe and project needs.
For example, renting the Honda tine tiller pictured below costs $46 for four hours, while buying the same piece of equipment will run you $1,000 or more. For the occasional gardener, renting is much more economical.
3. Negotiate for a better deal.
At Home Depot, store employees are able to negotiate prices on damaged merchandise, so feel free to ask for a price break on an item that looks a little rough at first glance.
You'll usually be able to score 10% off the current price (with a maximum discount of around $50 per item based on the clerk's discounting authority).
4. Sign up for store alerts.
One of the easiest ways to save at Home Depot is by subscribing to the store's email and text alerts. Usually, doing so will earn you a coupon for $5 off your next purchase of $50 or more.
Subscribers also receive around 10 texts per month with details on current promos and offers, so if you shop here often, this is a helpful way to stay in the know about storewide sales.
5. Take advantage of coupons and everyday discounts.
Home Depot offers an everyday 10% discount (with a $500 cap) to active-duty military personnel and reservists (as well as retired or disabled service members) and their immediate families, while all veterans receive a 10% discount on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. If you prefer to shop online, just opt for free store pick-up to claim your discount with a valid military ID.
6. Price match — and then some.
We're all familiar with the price-matching game, but Home Depot's policy is better than most. Not only will the store make good on a local competitor's price on an exact item, it will also beat the matched price by 10%.
The exception to this rule is online purchases, which are subject to the price match, but not the extra savings.
7. Shop holiday sales.
If paint is on your shopping list, your best bet is to wait for a holiday sale to stock up on your favorite shades. Home Depot consistently reduces its paint prices during most three-day holiday weekends between the months of April and October (the Fourth of July and Labor Day, for example). During these sales, one-gallon and five-gallon buckets are usually reduced by $5 to $25 each, respectively.
You can also check the store's "oops" rack for potential savings on rejected gallons.
8. Ask for a price adjustment.
You probably pay plenty of attention to an item's price tag before you swipe your credit card, but you'll want to pay attention to its price after the transaction, as well. Home Depot offers customers price protection on purchased merchandise, so if an item you just bought goes on sale after the fact, you can get a refund for the difference when you present your original receipt.
Most stores only honor price adjustments within a week or two of your purchase date, but Home Depot oftentimes honors them for a 30-day period. Each store's price-adjustment timeframe differs, so check with your local Home Depot for the specifics.
9. Check for rebates.
Finally, if you have your sights on a certain item in particular, be sure to search the store's online Rebate Center for any available money-back incentives. You can search for rebate offers in your zip code, or base your search on the type of product you're interested in buying, a favorite brand or an item's model number.
When it comes to rebates, however, note that some of our forum users have cautioned that Home Depot sometimes excludes items from rebates if you use a coupon in your initial purchase. According to Slickdealer MrLateNite, "People report that the use of $5 off, 10% off coupons, military discounts and package deals (e.g. 'Buy two Ryobi items, get xyz for free') can invalidate the rebate. Some have even reported that NLP (new lower price) and clearance prices invalidate (the rebate) -- anything that indicates a discount from full price on the receipt basically."
How often do you shop at Home Depot, and which tricks do you use to stretch your dollars? Let us know in the comments!
Browse our current Home Depot coupons here!
Images courtesy of Home Depot.
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