11 genius ways to save money at Home Depot and Lowe’s

Home Depot and Lowe's storefronts side-by-side

It’s spring, which means you’re pretty much guaranteed to start making regular trips to Home Depot and Lowe’s for flowers, mulch and other materials to make the exterior (and interior!) of your home look its best.

Of course, if you can save some money on the projects, it makes all the work you’ll be doing even better. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of ways you can save money at both home improvement stores just in time for spring.

1. Price Matching

Like many retailers, Home Depot and Lowe’s will price match competitors’ coupons. Home Depot has a “Low Price Guarantee,” which means if you find a current lower price at a competing retailer on an item they have in stock, they’ll match the price.

To take advantage of price matching, simply take the ad, printout or photo of the item with the lower price to the register for proof and you’ll be refunded the difference. For online purchases, the guarantee even includes shipping costs.

Lowe’s has a similar policy that states they will also match a competitor’s price, though certain restrictions apply (closeout pricing, special order, discontinued merchandise, clearance, liquidation, etc.)

2. Oops Paint

Brush on open can of turquoise paint on blue pastel background.

If you haven’t experienced the magic of “Oops Paint” yet, you are seriously missing out. Here’s how it works: Sometimes people buy a gallon of paint that they think will be perfect for their home renovation project. But later, they realize it’s too dark, too glossy, too something, so they bring it back to Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Their bad decision is your gain. Home Depot sells this returned paint for a fraction of the price of regular paint. Sure, you may not find the exact color you’re looking for right away, but if you’re willing to be flexible, you can see some serious savings.

That, of course, also means that you can return paint if it’s not exactly what you’re looking for. Home Depot’s Paint Satisfaction Guarantee Policy states that you can return both interior or exterior liquid paint within 30 days of purchase. The policy has some exclusions, including “Oops Paint,” so if you take a chance on someone else’s return, you can’t return it yourself.

While Lowe’s does not specifically mention selling Oops Paint, they do have a paint return policy, which likely means they also offer the return paint at a discount, as chances are they aren’t just throwing it away.

MORE: 4 colors that decrease the value of your home

3. Plant Guarantee

If you buy perennials, trees, roses or shrubs at Home Depot, the store guarantees them for one year, meaning that if the plant dies before a year is up, you can get a replacement. Their policy does not apply to cut flowers or floral arrangements, but some other plants are also returnable within 90 days for store credit.

Lowe’s has a similar policy that states trees, shrubs and perennials can be returned or replaced within a year, while all other plants have a 90-day return window. Be sure to keep your receipt to process the replacement or refund.

4. Purchase Scrap Wood for DIY projects

Customer buying lumber at Home Depot

Both Home Depot and Lowe’s have a scrap wood pile where you can find discounted wood that’s perfect for your next DIY craft project.

Both stores cut wood for free, which often leaves scraps behind. Not only can you purchase those scraps for cheaper than a full piece of wood, but you can also ask them to cut the scraps even smaller and therefore save more cash.

5. $5 Off $50 Purchase Coupon

By signing up for the Home Depot email list, you automatically get a coupon for $5 off your next purchase of $50 or more. You can also save 10% on select furniture, home accents, bedding and bath when you sign up for Home Depot’s Style & Decor emails.

While it doesn’t appear that Lowe’s will offer a discount on your first purchase after signing up for their emails, their rewards program is free to join and has a variety of perks like free standard shipping after spending $500 in one year, member gifts and exclusive offers.

MORE: Easy ways to update your home on a budget

6. Military Discount

US flag patch backwards on military uniforms

Both Home Depot and Lowe’s offer military discounts of 10% on select purchases.

Both discounts are for in-store and online purchases, though they do vary slightly. While Home Depot only offers a discount, Lowe’s also upgrades verified veterans, military members and their spouses to the Silver Key Status in their rewards program, which includes free shipping with no minimum purchase and earning extra points while shopping.

7. Buy Discounted Gift Cards

While this is not specific to Home Depot and Lowe’s, did you know you can buy discounted gift cards from sites like Raise and GiftDeals?

When people get gift cards they don’t want or can’t use, they sell them at a discount. Typically you can save around 10% on gift cards, which may not sound like much, but every little bit adds up.

The gift cards will vary based on what people are selling at the time, so there’s no saying what you can get on any given day. Just head to either website and search for “Home Depot” or “Lowe’s” and you’ll likely find at least a few gift cards for sale.

8. Free Workshops

Home Depot free kid's workshop

Want to save money by installing that bathroom tile yourself? If you’re a wannabe home improvement expert, take advantage of the free workshops at Home Depot. The classes vary depending on the season, but some previous lessons have included staining a deck, installing flooring, building a vertical succulent garden and preparing a yard for spring.

Home Depot and Lowe’s also both offer free workshops for kids. Lowe’s hosts some workshops for adults as well, but they are not available at every location.

9. Rebates, Rebates, Rebates

If you have the means to spend more money upfront and receive a rebate later — instead of saving money right away with a coupon  — Home Depot offers a variety of rebates for multiple products.

The rebates change frequently, so you’ll have to check back often. You can choose to scroll through the rebates and purchase products based on how much you’ll receive back, or you can search for a product you’ve already purchased to see if there’s a rebate available.

Lowe’s has a similar rebate finder where you can search for available rebates, submit a rebate or check the status of one you’ve already submitted.

Both websites can be a great tool for finding random rebates you’ve never heard of, particularly those offered by your local government or utility provider. Sometimes, they’ll actually give you money back for making your home more efficient.

10. Rent, Don’t Buy

Home Depot rental carpet cleaner

Did you know you can rent a variety of tools and trucks from Home Depot? You can save tons of money by renting instead of buying things like a carpet cleaner, excavator or even a truck so you can pick up materials at your local Home Depot and drive them home.

While a carpet cleaner can come in handy multiple times, chances are you won’t need something like an excavator or post hole digger more than once, so buying one doesn’t make much sense.

Lowe’s also rents out a variety of equipment including trucks, moving and storage rentals and carpet cleaners.

Of course, prices vary by region and by store, so be sure to check your local Home Depot or Lowe’s for their rental prices.

11. Damaged Goods And Packaging

Having damaged boxes on the shelves is unsightly for retailers, so many offer discounts to get the items out of their stores.

If you spot damaged packaging on a product you want to buy, ask the manager if they would consider giving you a discount. While we can’t confirm if it will work at all Home Depot or Lowe’s locations, some managers may choose to offer a deal if they want the product off the shelves or have an overstock and need to make some room. Never hurts to ask, right?

About the Author
Kaitlin Gates

Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a degree in journalism and psychology. Along with Don't Waste Your Money, she also writes for Simplemost, where she covers new product and food launches and overall general news. You can email her at kaitlingateswrites@gmail.com or find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/KaitlinGatesWrites. More.


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