Dos and Don’ts of Shopping at Home Depot: 10 Money-Saving Tips

Sundry Photography / Getty Images

Sundry Photography / Getty Images

Whether you’re in the market for Christmas decorations and lights, home improvement items, tools or even household goods, Home Depot is the first stop on the list for many shoppers. You never know what kind of deals you’ll find lurking in the massive aisles of this one-stop big box store for do-it-yourselfers, homeowners, and general contractors or home improvement professionals.

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When you’re shopping for the best prices, it helps to know a few insider secrets that are exclusive to The Home Depot. These Dos and Don’ts can keep you from paying more than you have to on your next home renovation project or gardening supplies.


Look for Yellow Price Tags

Yellow price tags at Home Depot indicate sales, as revealed by Family Handyman. But how do you know you’re getting the absolute lowest price? If the price tag ends in .06, per the blog, the store will reduce the price even further in three weeks. If the tag ends in .03, you can snag it now or take your chances on waiting. It could be moved to clearance and reduced further — or it could be donated to charity and gone forever.

Watch Lowe’s and Menards Sales

Home Depot has a generous price match policy that applies to both in-store and online sales. If you find an item in-stock at a competitor for a lower price, Home Depot will match it. For online sales, the store will also factor in shipping costs when it comes to price matching.

It pays to keep an eye on Lowe’s and Menards circulars or visit their websites when you’re in Home Depot, as you might save yourself a trip as well as money.

Also: Money Expert Rachel Cruze Shares 8 Tips To Save Money Every Month

Shop the Cull Lumber Rack for Random Projects

Most home improvement or outdoor projects require specific sizes of wood for a consistent look. But a creative do-it-yourselfer might be able to make unusual cuts of lumber work for some projects. It pays to check the “cull lumber” rack, where Home Depot sells scrap wood, along with damaged or flawed lumber, for up to 70% off, Family Handyman reported.

Be Open to Mis-Tint Paints for Smaller Areas

Similarly, not every project requires a carefully selected, custom-tinted paint color. If you’re just painting a small area, such as inside a closet, a pantry, doors, or trim, you might be able to save money by purchasing a gallon of “mis-tinted” paint.

Look for a cart or display of mis-tinted paints near the front of the paint department. If you are lucky, and not too picky, you may even be able to find multiple gallons of the same color to paint an entire room. There’s nothing wrong with mis-tinted paint — it just wasn’t the color the original customer wanted. Home Depot gives you 30 days to return paint, which can work to your advantage.

Look for Sales on Items You Recently Purchased at Home Depot

Did you know that Home Depot not only price-matches competitors’ deals, but will give you a refund if a product you purchased from them goes on sale within 30 days from your purchase? It pays to save receipts and watch the deals or set alerts on your favorite shopping app. Just stop by the customer service desk to claim your refund.

Be Ready To Negotiate

Home Depot is one of the few stores today that still offers discounts on floor models or merchandise with minor damage. This can add up to big savings, especially if you are shopping for big-ticket items like kitchen appliances or toolboxes for your garage.

If you’re buying in massive quantities — namely $1,500 or more on products like drywall, insulation, plywood or roofing shingles — you can also get a discount, according to the Bob Vila blog. You’ll need to visit the Pro Desk with a shopping list to request volume pricing.


Wait To Return Certain Items

Home Depot has a fairly lenient return policy. Most merchandise can be returned up to 90 days with proof of purchase, according to the website, and a full year if you used your Home Depot credit card. Perennials, trees, shrubs and roses from the garden center come with a one-year guarantee. Even if your plant or tree dies, you can return it for a store credit within 365 days.

But furniture, gas-powered equipment (such as lawnmowers) and tractors, portable generators, and consumer electronics must be returned within 30 days, while major appliances can only be returned within the first 48 hours.

Skip the Rebate Center

While you’re comparison shopping for the best deals, make sure to browse The Home Depot Rebate Center. You can find thousands of dollars in cash back on items from GE Appliances, Rheem water heaters and more. Rebates change frequently, so check the website before you make a major purchase. Some of the discounts on energy efficient appliances are in the form of federal tax credits, while other discounts are manufacturer rebates that deliver instant savings.

Buy Warped Wood

You can find good deals on the culled wood rack. But make sure to inspect your lumber carefully before purchase. Even though you can return the wood, it’s a waste of time and gas to haul a stack of two-by-fours home only to realize you need to bring them back to the store because they’re warped or damaged.

Rent a U-Haul

Speaking of trucks, don’t waste money renting a truck from a third-party company. Home Depot offers options ranging from an 8-foot flatbed to cargo vans starting at $19.99. You can even rent full-size, Penske 12-foot to 36-foot moving trucks from Home Depot, which might be more convenient than visiting a Penske rental center.

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This article originally appeared on Dos and Don’ts of Shopping at Home Depot: 10 Money-Saving Tips

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