10 Silly Mistakes To Stop Making When You Shop at Lowe’s

Lowe's employer helping out customer

Home-improvement giant Lowe’s is a wonderland for do-it-yourselfers, with every aisle filled with products – light bulbs and hammers and doorknobs and new vanities – more tantalizing than the next. It’s easy to walk in for a box of nails and walk out with a cart full of materials for future dream projects.

Still, in filling that cart, we’ve all probably made some silly purchases that we later regretted in the moment at Lowe’s, or other big-box stores. But what are some of the silliest mistakes you can make while shopping at Lowe’s? Read on for a few of them. 

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Not Buying in Bulk

Lowe’s says it offers between 5% and 50% off “thousands of items” if you buy in bulk. If you have an upcoming project or items you use for regular maintenance, you can save some money when you buy several at once. With some sizes of Filtrete air filters, for example, you’ll save 20% if you buy four at once. With a recommendation from the company to change its filter every three months, that quantity should last you a year, and the $19.97 price per filter will be knocked down to $15.98 if you grab four – a savings of almost $16.

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A yellow tag on the shelf will indicate that the item qualifies for a bulk discount.

Not Checking Out the Clearance Items

Lowe’s has clearance items throughout the store, marked by a yellow tag similar to the bulk-pricing indicators, and the store offers some great deals. Look for tables of clearance items or shelves at the end of aisles, as well as for displays at the front of the store.

A recent wandering through the local Lowe’s turned up a number of great bargains. A Nest Cam IQ indoor security camera, originally listed for $299, was marked down to less than $80. A 24-pack of candle-style light bulbs was selling for $6.24, down for $24.98 – a savings of 75 percent.

And don’t forget the fire pits. The clearance aisle had three different models marked at 50% off, with the lowest-priced selling for $36.99 instead of $73.98.

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Not Watching for In-Season Sales

Planting a garden this spring? Laying a new lawn? Beautifying the yard? Watch for the sales on potting soil, topsoil and mulch, as well as things such as tomato plants. In April 2021, the Lowe’s sales circular showed terrific bargains on lawn and garden necessities: $20 off a 20-pound jug of Scotts ez seed; Miracle-Gro all-purpose garden soil, buy three bags, get three free; bags of mulch, priced at five for $10; and 5,000-square-foot bags of Scotts Green Max lawn fertilizer at buy one, get one free.

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In early May 2021, Lowe’s marked down its potted vegetable plants and herbs, selling them at three for $10 instead of $4.48 each.

Not Buying Sample-Size Paints

Have a small paint project or some touch-up jobs? Lowe’s sells sample-size jars of paint, mixed to the color of your choice, starting at $3.98. Nearly a half-pint in size, the paint will cover up to 25 square feet, and you don’t need to invest in, or store, a big can of paint when just a dab will do.

Not Taking Advantage of the Lowe’s Advantage Card

Budgeting for a big home improvement project, and paying cash for it, is ideal. But Lowe’s can help you save a considerable amount of money on it. Apply for the Lowe’s Advantage Card to save 20% off your first purchase and pay it off immediately if you don’t want to carry a balance. The current offer expires on Jan. 31, and the discount is capped at $100. But who wouldn’t want $100 off a $500 purchase?

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After the initial purchase, the savings is 5% on most items.

Forgetting to Use the Military Discount

The retailer offers a 10% discount on most regular-priced items to past and current members of the armed forces, and there’s no limit to the amount. If you’re planning a kitchen remodel or buying new flooring, ask if your purchase qualifies. You could save a bundle. You’ll need to register ahead of time through ID.me, and the savings extend to your spouse.

Read More: 15 Times You Should Splurge, Settle or Skip When Shopping

Buying Cleaning Supplies

While Lowe’s has great prices on many items, cleaning supplies traditionally aren’t among them. A 15-ounce can of Microban sanitizing spray at Target costs $5.99, but it’s $6.78 at Lowe’s – 13% more. Buy multiple cleaning items at Lowe’s and the difference will add up.

Armed with this list, you’ll stop doing silly things at Lowe’s and recognize serious financial benefits.

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About the Author

Jami Farkas holds a communications degree from California State University, Fullerton, and has worked as a reporter or editor at daily newspapers in all four corners of the United States. She brings to GOBankingRates experience as a sports editor, business editor, religion editor, digital editor — and more. With a passion for real estate, she passed the real estate licensing exam in her state and is still weighing whether to take the plunge into selling homes — or just writing about selling homes.
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