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If you’re an avid watcher of HGTV, a trip to the local home improvement store is likely in your future. And if you’re like many in the fixer-upper crowd, that means a visit to one or both of the two titans of this industry — The Home Depot and Lowe’s.
While both these chains offer bargains, with a little ingenuity, you can save even more. Following are six things savvy shoppers can do to cut costs at both home improvement chains.
1. Get discounted gift cards before shopping
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For example, when this article was written, Lowe’s gift cards could be purchased for 10 percent off their face value on Cardpool and for 8.9 percent off their face value at Raise. Meanwhile, we found Home Depot gift cards for 6.5 percent off on Cardpool and 5 percent off on Raise. What do-it-yourselfer could turn a blind eye to such savings?
To learn more about how gift card marketplaces work, check out “How Unwanted Gift Cards Saved Me $300 Last Year.”
2. Sign up for savings
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If you love to plant, or you just love houseplants, the Home Depot Garden Club can add a little “green” to your efforts. It sends members emails with “special promotions, offers, how-to project information, expert advice and more.”
Additionally, The Home Depot and Lowe’s each have a general email newsletter that you can sign up for if you want to receive discounts and tips. Home Depot will give you $5 off just for signing up for its newsletter. Visit each store’s home page to sign up.
3. Shop through a cash-back portal
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Cash-back portals can save you additional money with every online purchase. Examples of cash-back portals include:
One or 3 percent cash back, for example, may not seem like much, but it adds up, particularly if you shop at these stores regularly. In addition, some cash-back portals sometimes offer promotions that will considerably raise the rebate.
Read more about how to use cash-back portals in “4 Websites That Pay You to Go Shopping.”
4. Use the military discount
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If you are a current or retired member of the armed services with a valid government-issued military ID card — or an immediate family member of someone with such a card — you may be eligible for a 10 percent military discount on in-store purchases at Lowe’s.
Additionally, all veterans can get discounts on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July so long as they present a valid Form DD214 or other proof of service.
The Military Discount must be used on personal purchases only and cannot be used for Lowes.com purchases, previous sales, or the purchase of gift cards or services including product installations.
It also cannot be used with certain promotions.
Things are trickier at The Home Depot. In 2015, there was controversy after a veteran posted on Facebook that his local store had refused to honor the military discount. Financial newswas unsuccessful in its attempts to reach The Home Depot to further explain its policy. So, you may want to call your store to find out whether it offers the military price break.
5. Take advantage of price-match policies
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Sometimes it pays to do a little research. If you find that a competing local retailer has a lower everyday price on an item stocked by Lowe’s, bring in the competitor’s ad and Lowe’s will match the price — and then beat it by 10 percent.
The Home Depot offers a similar match-plus-10-percent policy.
Both retailers have exclusions to these price-matching policies, though, so it’s important to read the fine print in the links above.
6. Be on the lookout for damaged packaging
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Product packaging sometimes gets a bit damaged during transit or stocking, and you may be able to use these imperfections to your advantage.
Many stores want to rid their shelves of items with torn or otherwise damaged boxes. So if you see a box that looks a bit worse for the wear, ask the store manager if they are willing to discount the item.
After all, the worst they can say is no.
Got ideas of your own? Comment below or on our Facebook page.
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