10 Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Trip to Home Depot

It seems like everyone decides to start a home improvement project at the exact same time. And when the crowds descend on The Home Depot, a supply run can easily feel overwhelming. The next time you head out to the hardware store, plan ahead and use some of these helpful hints so you can beat the crush, snag the best deals, and get in and out in record time.

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Check the Price Tag

The next time you check the price on an item at The Home Depot, look closer. According to MyDomaine, if the price tag is yellow that means an item is on clearance. A price ending in .06 indicates that the price will drop three more cents within six weeks. When the price ends in .03, the item must be sold within three weeks—otherwise, it’s off the shelf for good. If you’re considering an item with a price that ends in these digits, consider scooping it up before it’s too late.

Related: 15 Frugal Ways to Furnish Your Home at Home Depot

Know Where to Look

Good steals are hiding in plain sight all over The Home Depot, you just need to know where to look. Always check end caps on the aisles for seasonal sale and clearance items. Look for discounted scrap wood in the lumber section—usually marked with purple spray paint. And if you need paint but you’re not picky about the color, ask a store clerk where you can find the “oops” section, where mistakenly mixed cans are sold at a discount.

Related: 15 Handy Things to Get at Home Depot for Under $15

Get Free In-Store Pickup

Wandering the aisles in search of supplies is a waste of time, and because it can lead to impulse buying, it wastes money, too. To save your time and cash (and feet), order the items you need online and pick them up in the store. If an item is already in stock at your local store, it will be ready for you within two hours. If the item isn’t in stock, you can request that it be delivered to your store—shipping is free and fast. 

Related: Skip the Store: 9 Things Always to Buy Online

Compare Prices

Have you seen that power drill advertised for less at a different store? Bring it to the attention of a manager to reap big savings. While there are many stores that offer price matching, The Home Depot goes one step further by offering a Low Price Guarantee. If you can bring evidence (like an ad or printout) that a competitor offers a better price, The Home Depot will beat that price by 10 percent.

Related: The 50 Hottest Gifts from Home Depot

Rent or Buy Used Tools

Rather than shelling out major money for a power tool that you don’t expect to use often, rent it from Home Depot. The store has a vast selection of rentable tools and equipment and lets you rent tools for as long as you’ll need them, whether that’s a few hours or a month. If you decide you do want to own that power tool after all, consider buying one of the store’s gently used tools as an affordable alternative to buying new.

Related: 10 Good Things Your Town May Give You for Free

Sign Up for Deals

Learn about the latest sales and coupons by signing up for store emails and text alerts. At sign-up you’ll receive $5 off your purchase of $50 or more, and receive messages with more discounts and notices about store deals.

Related: 12 Ways Your Home Can Save You Money This Year

Return Perennials

If this isn’t your year for developing your green thumb, take heart. If you bought your struggling greenery from The Home Depot, you may be able to recoup the cost of some plants. A sickly perennial that was purchased at The Home Depot up to 365 days ago can be returned to the store for a full refund. As perennials are supposed to come back every year, the return policy gives you plenty of time to see if your purchase has survived. 

Related: The Best Places to Buy Plants Online

Browse the Web

Before you head to the brick-and-mortar store, check The Home Depot website for special deals. There you’ll find the Special Buy of the Day, where an item (or several items) is sold at a deep discount. You never know what you’ll find—it could be exactly what you needed or something you never knew you wanted until that moment.

Also on the website is the Home Depot Rebates Center. You can browse by product, brands, or offers to see what rebates are available before you head to the store to shop for big-ticket items.

Related: 9 Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Appliances

Buy a Discounted Gift Card

If you’re planning a big trip to The Home Depot, purchase a discounted gift card before you shop. Some websites or warehouse stores sell gift cards at a lower price than the redeemable value. Picking up a discounted gift card can be a sneaky way to save on your purchase.

Related: 10 Best Ways to Spend $10 at Target

Be Aware of Sale Seasons

You can’t always wait for the big sale, but when you can it’s definitely worth it. The Home Depot typically holds a kitchen and bath sale event every winter and a Spring Black Friday sale in early spring. Also, long holiday weekends like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day are generally great times to pick up discounted paint.

Related: 9 Things That Always Go On Sale in January