Homebuying 9 Insider Secrets to Saving Money at Home Improvement Stores

Shopping pro Trae Bodge helps you score deals at Lowe’s, Home Depot and more.

By Trae Bodge
PUBLISHED 09/25/2023 | 4 MINUTES

I’ve owned my own home for over two decades. Professional penny-pincher that I am, I’ve learned the art of DIY—doing small touch-ups and repairs myself or with my husband. Our labor is free, which already saves us a bundle, but I also like to find ways to save even more at home improvement stores. Use these nine tips, and you will save, too.

Time Your Purchases

Essentials like paint and hand-held power tools tend to go on sale in May, explains Nathan Burrow, the deals editor at Wirecutter, while power tools are well-priced around Amazon Prime Day. And in November, around Black Friday, you’ll often find strong sales in nearly every home improvement category.

Use Online Saving Tools

When browsing online, take advantage of a shopping tool like CouponCabin Sidekick* or the Smarty browser extension, which highlights discounts, coupon codes and cashback offers at home improvement stores and other retailers. 

Sign Up for Promotional Offers

When you’re planning a project that will require specific materials or tools, sign up for email or text-promo alerts from home improvement stores so that you’ll be tipped off about sales. And “when you’re done with your home improvement project, unsubscribing from these promotional alerts is easy using sites like Unroll.me,” money-saving expert Andrea Woroch says.

Do the Work to Get the Rebate

Applying for a rebate takes a bit of effort, but it can be well worth it, especially for a bigger purchase. “Rebates can save you an average of $26-$100 off your purchase,” says Vipin Porwal, a consumer expert and CEO at Smarty

Leverage Price-Matching Policies

Both Lowe’s and The Home Depot will match competitor’s prices on identical items. You can typically find a store’s price matching policy on its website.

Set Deal Alerts
If you’re planning to purchase something pricey, like a power washer, a storage system for your tools or a Shop-Vac, set a deal alert for the item using a site like Slickdeals.net* or Offers.com.

Take Advantage of Sign-Up Bonuses

Using a rewards credit card to earn cash back or travel points on your home improvement purchases is often a smart strategy. Woroch suggests taking it a step further: consider opening a card that offers a sign-up cash bonus. “I actually used this strategy on a purchase recently and earned $200 back that I applied as statement credit,” she says. Woroch also suggests comparing card offers and reading the fine print at sites like CardRates.com before signing up.

Consider a Store Credit Card

Store credit cards offer a wide range of perks to keep you coming back—and many of them are well worth it. Many start with a big discount, such as 20% off, on your purchases on the day you apply. After that, all purchases will likely be discounted by a smaller amount (5%, say) with additional advantages such as 0% financing and if you subscribe, emailed alerts on sales and promotions. 

Don’t Forget the Sale Section

If you’re shopping online, go straight to the sale section and use the search bar. I’ve found discounts as deep as 75% off at sites like Lowes.com, Homedepot.com and AceHardware.com.

Millie content is licensed from Dotdash Meredith, publisher of Millie, Real Simple, InStyle, Investopedia, The Balance and more.

Trae Bodge is a lifestyle journalist and shopping expert with a passion for helping people save money.

 *The author of this article is a freelance paid partner of Slickdeals and CouponCabin.


Sign up for our free, weekly newsletter


great financial
advice delivered
right to your