Home improvement projects can range widely in terms of cost and scope, from applying a fresh coat of paint to adding a new addition to your house. But no matter what project you have in mind, you’ll likely need home improvement supplies to get it done. Fortunately, major home improvement and furnishing retailers like Lowe’s, Ikea and Home Depot offer lots of ways for customers to save — but you might not know about them.
To find out the best, secret ways to save on your next home project, GOBankingRates went to the source. Here are the tips employees at Lowe’s, Ikea and Home Depot shared to help you score the biggest discounts for your next home renovation project.
How to Save Money at Lowe's
If you’re planning a home improvement project, chances are you’ll be making a stop at Lowe’s. The Fortune 500 company owns and operates more than 2,370 home improvement and hardware stores in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, and sells over 400,000 products in-store and online that can help you achieve your home makeover goals.
GOBankingRates spoke to a Lowe’s insider to find out how to save on home improvement projects when shopping at the store.
Shop Using the Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card
“The Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card gives users 5 percent off eligible purchases and orders,” said the insider.
The card also comes with rotating promotional offers that can help you save big. For example, a current promotion allows new cardholders to take $100 off their first in-store purchase.
Save Time by Shopping on Lowes.com
“By using Lowes.com, customers can save time by ordering online and picking up in-store or having products delivered to their home,” said the insider.
MyLowe’s members also get free parcel shipping on their online orders.
Active Military, Veterans and Their Families Get 10% Off All Purchases
“Lowe’s offers 10 percent off eligible purchases every day to active military personnel and veterans,” said the insider.
To take advantage of the discount, sign up for the program on Lowes.com. Once signed up, the discount will automatically be linked to your MyLowe’s card, and it can also be used by immediate family members.
Check Lowes.com for the Deal of the Day
An item you need might just be discounted as Lowes.com’s “Deal of the Day,” so be sure to check out this rotating deal, which you can find linked on the store’s homepage. A recent deal gave online shoppers 25 percent off select lighting.
How to Save Money at Ikea
Ikea is known for its affordable prices on home furnishings and home improvement products, but you can get discounts on the store’s already low prices if you know how to shop and where to look. GOBankingRates spoke with Christine Soner, a product placement specialist at Ikea, to get the inside scoop on ways to save on your next home improvement project.
Visit the Store's "As-Is" Section
Soner said to look out for your local Ikea store’s “As-Is” section to find discounted products. The items in this section include closeouts, display items and items with small scratches or dents.
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Join the Ikea Family
“Ikea Family is a special loyalty program for people who love their home, and love to shop at Ikea,” said Soner. “Members have access to discounted member prices on selected Ikea products every month, as well as food offers, special in-store events and more. And best of all, it’s free to join. You can join by signing up online, or just visit any of our Ikea Family enrollment kiosks in your local Ikea store, where you can pick up a card and view the current offers.”
Shop With the Ikea Store App
“The Ikea Store app is a quick and easy way to explore our home furnishing range on your iPhone, iPad or Android device,” said Soner. “Get up-to-date product details — including prices, availability and in-store location. You can also see local store info, including opening hours, contact details, directions, floor plans and more.”
The app can also be linked to your Ikea Family account, and you can use it to view all available offers, including offers that are unique to your store location.
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Save Time by Using the "Click & Collect" Function on Ikea.com
“The ‘Click & Collect’ functionality allows our customers to shop for and purchase products online with ease, and pick up in-store at their own convenience, avoiding the checkout line,” said Soner. “The fee for ‘Click & Collect’ is $5, and when picking up the order, Ikea gives you a $5 Ikea gift card to use on a future purchase.”
How to Save Money at Home Depot
Home Depot has grown to become the world’s largest home improvement retailer since its founding in 1978, with more than 2,200 stores in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Before you pay full price at in-store or on HomeDepot.com, be sure to read these tips on how to save, straight from Home Depot employees.
Save Time With Free In-Store Pick-Up
“Home Depot offers [customers the option to] buy online, pick-up in store,” said , a tool rental associate at The Home Depot, on Quora. “This expands their inventory way beyond what the biggest store can carry, and also saves the customer time. More and more customers are opting for this service.”
Over 1 million online items are eligible for this service, with some items ready for pick-up in just two hours.
Sign Up for the Home Depot Credit Card
When you open a new Home Depot credit card, you’ll get $100 off your first purchase of $1,000 or more. Cardholders also get special financing.
“The nice thing at Home Depot is their credit card always offers a promotion [when you] spend a certain fixed amount, [which then grants you] six months [of interest-free financing] on that purchase,” said former Home Depot employee Melissa Wykes on Quora. “There are also period promotions for the credit card at varying amounts for varying time frames of no interest.”
Currently, cardholders get special financing on purchases of $299 or more.
Shop During Black Friday and Labor Day Sales
When you’re looking to really save on home improvement purchases at Home Depot, “sales are where it’s at — Black Friday especially,” said Wykes on Quora. You can also get major discounts on top brands during Home Depot’s Labor Day sales event.
If you’re looking to save on paint specifically, wait for a holiday weekend.
“[The Home Depot] usually has paint on sale around every three-day holiday weekend,” said , a sales and home improvement consultant at The Home Depot, on Quora.
Join The Home Depot Garden Club
If you’re planning on updating your outdoor space, sign up for the free-to-join Home Depot Garden Club. Members can score up to $300 in annual savings.
“This is a less-advertised coupon program, but it [provides] huge savings in the long run if you make a lot of purchases in the garden department,” said Wykes on Quora. “Just ask someone who works there [to sign up], or fill out one of the cards [that are] usually hanging conspicuously around the registers or somewhere in the greenhouse area. You’ll get coupons through your email, as well as notifications for upcoming sales and promotions on garden-related items.”
You can also sign up for the discount program online.
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Look for Your Local Store's Clearance Area
You might not have noticed it, but your local Home Depot likely has an area — or multiple areas — devoted to clearance items.
“These areas are usually not very large and tend to move around the store,” said Wykes on Quora. “[Sometimes] each department has [its] own clearance area. Some of these items are not very discounted, but you can get lucky sometimes.”
Look out for yellow clearance stickers when browsing the aisles, and if you can’t find the clearance section, just ask an associate, said Jones on Quora.
Buy Cull Lumber
Cull lumber is lumber that has been removed from the regular lumber inventory because it is damaged in some way, or is a piece left over from trimming, according to a The Home Depot Community post. The Home Depot usually sells cull lumber at a steep discount — but you might not be able to find it unless you specifically seek it out.
“Ask one of the people working near the lumber department, or poke around the lumber aisles,” said Wykes on Quora. “If you find lumber with spray paint on it, it’s 70 percent off the original price, which usually makes it dirt cheap. Keep in mind, these items are discounted for a reason. Either they’re really short, split lengthwise, damaged, warped or possibly not structurally sound for building materials. However, if you’re looking for more artsy pieces or you know what to do with rejects like these, this is an excellent spot to look in.”
Purchase Slightly Damaged Items
Lumber isn’t the only item that gets heavily discounted when it’s damaged. Damaged items might not be out on the sales floor, but you can inquire about a specific item that you want to buy to see if there is a damaged one that might be available for less.
“If you’re looking in a specific department or for a certain project, find an associate and let them know what you’re trying to do. Go ahead and ask if there’s any damaged merchandise that the store has already marked as trash that you can have,” said Wykes on Quora. “You may get a no, but asking isn’t a crime.”
Click through to see 25 ways to save at money at Target.
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