I hate coupons for individual products. My brain melts when I have to find the 14.627 ounce size of pomegranate toothpaste with menthol to get half off. The occasions on which I have tried being a coupon-clipper, it seems like I spend 4 times as long in the store, hunting for the thing that will save me $1.50. I HATE IT!
But… I LOVE a nice discount off my OVERALL purchase. That’s easy. I buy what I actually want and get a discount off the top. Done!
I have to spend over $1,000 in home improvement materials. Here’s how I saved about $217.58 in 5 minutes. That is over 21% off, after any discounts in price for things on sale! Pretty sweet.
1. Get a Lowe’s 10% Off Coupon
Lowe’s offers 10% off coupons to people who are moving. Those coupons are usually accepted at other home improvement stores like Home Depot. Check with the store where you’d like to use it, to confirm they’ll accept it.
There are a few ways you can get a Lowe’s 10% off coupon. You can sign up for one here. The card will be emailed to you a few days later. You can do a Change of Address at USPS.com. Or, if you pick up a Moving Packet at the Post Office, it will contain instructions inside as to how you can get a Lowe’s 10% off coupon. You can also go on Craigslist, eBay, or here to buy said 10% off coupons. I had a tenant move out, so I offered to do the change of address to get my coupon. Aren’t I pure of heart?
2. Confirm Your Coupon Will Be Accepted
About half of what I need is at Home Depot. The manager at my store, Veronica (always get the name), confirmed they will accept my printed out Lowe’s coupon. I printed my Lowe’s coupon twice. Why? I will surrender one coupon at Home Depot. When I go to Lowe’s to buy the other stuff I need, I will give them a copy of the same 10% off coupon. Home Depot and Lowe’s are in the same business – not in business together. Lowe’s only knows a coupon has been used when it has been used at their store.
My Home Depot would only give me 10% off of the first $500. That is why it is great to have two or more 10% off coupons. My store didn’t care (or notice) that when I forkedover an expired Lowe’s coupon. Shop accordingly.
3. Pay with Discounted Gift Cards
I’ve talked about this before. Raise & Cardpool are companies that buy and sell gift cards. They buy unused or partially used gift cards for less than face value. They turn around and sell them for more than what they paid, but much less than the face value. If you are making a large purchase, this is a substantial and easy savings.
First stop is to go to GiftCardGranny to see which discount gift card joint is getting you the best discount on gift cards.
Cardpool was selling Home Depot gift cards at 9% discount. That is an instant savings. Instead of using cash, I will use these gift cards. I logged in at Cardpool, clicked on Home Depot, then “Bulk Purchase”, typed in $1,000 in Electronic cards, selected “Add to Cart” and checked out. I chose electronic gift cards because links to those cards are emailed. Print them at home. That will be much faster than having actual cards mailed to me. 9 minutes after I purchased the cards, I received an email with their links and I started printing.
I paid $904.67 for discounted cards worth $994.17. That’s an instant savings of $89.50.
FYI: When I figure out exactly how much I will need at Lowe’s I will get discount gift cards for there as well. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
If you think you may want to buy discount gift cards, you should sign up for these accounts now. Reason being it may take one business day to get your account approved. You don’t want to get delayed if you want to make the purchase asap.
4. Pay for your Discounted Cards with a Rewards Credit Card
I paid the $904.67 using my credit card that pays me 2% cash back. That is another $18.09 savings. What’s this 2% cash back of which I speak? Citi® Double Cash Card pays 1% cash back on purchases, and 1% bonus cash back on what you pay on your balance. Fidelity Amex is 2% cash back on purchases. No annual fee on either card. If you are able to pay off your credit card balances in full every month, I suggest you use one of these cards as your everyday card. Cash back adds up and is tax free because it is a rebate. If interested, click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website for more info. Email me if you have any questions.
5. The Final Purchase
I will have saved $110 + $89.50 + 18.09 = $217.59. I have not actually made the purchase as of this typing. But here is how it will go:
Here are some screenshots of what you would see at Cardpool. I forgot to get screenshots from my actual purchase, so I did another run for your visual enjoyment. That’s why the numbers are slightly different that what I actually bought. The final screenshot is from my actual purchase.