Home improvement projects are expensive enough as is. When it comes to securing the materials and tools you need for the repairs or upgrades you want, Lowe’s can act as a one-stop shop where you can generally expect to get the most for your dollar — but not if you’re making some basic money mistakes.
By sticking to a clear plan, you can reduce your costs even further and get better prices, helping you complete projects on time and under budget. If you’re a savvy Lowe’s shopper, you can improve the value of your home without spending too much in the process.
Here’s a look at 10 silly, easy-to-make shopping mistakes to steer clear of at Lowe’s.
It’s easy to say that you know what you need and brush off the various marketing efforts trying to persuade you to stray from your shopping list, but outright ignoring sales is leaving money on the table. With solid forward planning, you can build a laundry list of items you’ll need over the next year or two, watch for deals at Lowe’s and then pounce when you can get the best price possible.
Paying Too Much Attention to Sales
Of course, great sale prices can be a double-edged sword. At the end of the day, no price is good for an item you don’t need. Letting a great sale push you to buy something you wouldn’t have otherwise is a quick way to waste money you should be saving for your next project.
Not Getting a Lowe’s Credit Card
By getting a Lowe’s Advantage Card, you’ll receive a 5 percent discount on purchases made at Lowe’s, as well as other perks like special financing. If you’re doing a lot of home projects, this is a deal you can’t afford to skip out on.
Lowe’s occasionally offers special promotions for new accounts that can net you even more savings, so make sure to check their website if you’re thinking about applying.
Getting a Lowe’s Credit Card and Not Paying On Time
Of course, that 5 percent discount will actually wind up costing you much, much more than that if you don’t pay every monthly bill in full. The 24.99% APR is relatively steep, so carrying a balance will ultimately be very expensive. If you’re not sure you can pay the full amount on every bill, it might be better just to avoid the card entirely.
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Not Getting a MyLowe’s Card
Juggling long-term plans for multiple different home improvement projects can be pretty daunting. Fortunately for you, Lowe’s has its MyLowe’s card that allows you to maintain an account where you can see all of your purchases, add prospective projects to an itinerary and maintain lists of what tools or materials you’ll need for each. You can be sure you never buy things you don’t need and that you’ll be able to quickly access your long-term shopping list when you spot a good sale.
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Failing to Do Your Research
No matter how convenient it is to stick with Lowe’s and their MyLowe’s program and Lowe’s Advantage Card, if there’s a much better price elsewhere, you should take it. Don’t get locked into just one resource for your home improvement projects, especially if there are specialty stores offering items Lowe’s might not. Lowe’s can be great, but make them work for your business.
Not Taking Advantage of Price Match
Lowe’s will match the price on any item sold at another store provided it’s the same item and not on sale. Simply print out the list price from the other store’s website and bring it in and show it to a Lowe’s sales associate. So, if you hate shopping outside of Lowe’s but don’t want to pay more than you have to, this is one way to have your gardening shears and eat them too.
Not Sticking to a Budget
There’s a whole lot of different stuff you can get at Lowe’s, and if you’re not careful, a quick trip can turn into an impulse spree that puts you out hundreds of dollars. Be sure to set budgets for each trip and project, and track both carefully so you don’t end up with costly overages that can ultimately make you regret your home improvement project altogether.
Not Checking Your Shed or Workshop Before Shopping
It’s easy to lose track of the supplies and tools you already have on hand, and failing to take a quick inventory before adding new items can easily result in pricey redundancies that take up space and waste money. What’s more, check in with neighbors to see where you can combine your tools to help everyone avoid a costly purchase or rental where possible.
Always Getting the Cheapest Option
Just because you can save money at the point of sale doesn’t mean you’re actually saving money. Opting for the cheapest items every time can mean having to redo projects when the original materials start to wear down too fast or having to return to the store mid-project to replace a tool that broke. Spend time looking at reviews to see which inexpensive options are really worth it in the end, and you can potentially get the best of both worlds.
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