questionswhat's the best way to save money at home…

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Find someone with an active military ID to go with you when you purchase. They show their ID and you save 10%. It can be for any branch of the military including reserves. The other option is to go to your local post office and pick up a change of address packet. They have 10% off coupons insde.

Also, don't forget about price matching. Lowe's also takes competitor coupons (Ace, Home Depot, and maybe some local places).

I recently did my kitchen and bathroom (and starting the master/bath this weekend) and found some great deals by shopping around. Also, home improvement close-out stores are helpful in finding odds and ends at lower-than-normal prices. They sometimes have stuff that's been damaged on one side for cheap.

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Since I'm in either one of them about every other day, I often compare the prices and then buy the item at the more expensive store. Both of them price match plus 10% off. I've scored some great deals including, prehung unfinished pine doors. I think I saved around $25 per door! When I'm too lazy to travel to the store, I often web shop and I'll even call to get a price. I've also brough in ads from Ace & True Value. Note that the associate may sometime call the other store to verify if the item is in stock and verify the price. BUT more often then not they will simply price adjust.

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Just did some flooring, and found out that either of the two major stores did not have the best prices at all. We ended up finding very good deals and good quality flooring from Lumber Liquidators. http://www.lumberliquidators.com/

Even with their already lower prices, they constantly have online coupons for a little bit more savings. The selection is very good, too.

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As a person who has literally tried everything to purchase items cheaper at the big box stores, the previously mentioned ideas are great.

If you are planning on doing a major remodel or a very large project, talking to anyone other than the manager/asst manager is a waste of time. Almost anyone can get 10% off, and lowes sends out coupons regularly. The point I am making is that the manager of the store, and not the various managers of the departments can swing you big savings. You must buy almost everything for a large project from them to get their help.

If you aren't doing a large project, there are several other ways to go about saving some serious loot. One, as stated previously price compare, and price compare vs. other lowes stores. There can be a difference between online and in store prices. Bring other circulars to price match. Two, Wait til the end of the season, in early august in my area they start discounting outdoor items 50-70%. Same thing in winter.

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Third, bring it back. No, I am not talking about buying a tool, using it, then bringing it back. I am talking about bringing back items you are unsatisfied with. Tell them the items faults, then have them help you find a replacement item at a savings. I bought a handrail that warped, they helped me get a new one cheaper than the original one I had gotten at a discount.

Fourth, look for returned items. Sometimes people bring back perfectly good items. I have some very nice cabinets that I bought for my basement rec room that were discounted about 90%.

Fifth, look for closeout items. When they switch manufacturers, you can save a pile of money.

Sixth, be prepared to walk away. A deal isn't always a deal. The managers know what the markup is on each and every item in the store. If your local lowes won't deal with you, take your business elsewhere.

My first meeting with a manager, I brought all my receipts from the previous year. He wanted my business. I spend a lot there.

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@ecriscit: About how much would you consider a "large project" to cost? $500? $5000? I was just curious. Thanks!

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@sirlouie: I'd consider a "large project" $5k+.

I used to work for a brand name paint store, and if a customer came in and talked to the manager, and explained that they were going to be painting their entire house inside & out, they would usually get at least a 20% discount on paint & tools. We're talking $30+ per gallon retail, top-of-the-line paint here.

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@sirlouie: like mentioned earlier - 5K. Not that 500 is chump change, but when you look at the money spent daily in those types of stores, 5k is a bigger sale and it doesn't happen as often as a $500 sale.

I have gotten managers to swing me deals when I buy multiple items. An example, refrigerator, dishwasher and clothes dryer. This is about 2k, but they only have to make one trip saving them time. If you know something that you are likely to purchase in the short term, roll that into the deal. Lowes/HD normally offer 0% financing terms throughout the year. This will allow you to defer your costs for the item(s) you need now and will soon be purchasing.

Don't forget that if your local grocery store/supermarket has an incentive program for gift cards, to buy those before buying your items at the big box store. My local store gives me .10 off a gallon of gas for every $50 gift card purchase. To top that, use an incentive based credit card to buy the gift cards. frugal is good.

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If you have a plan of several projects that you are likely to do in the next year, talk to the people at the store. I was going to install carpet and padding in a house I remodeled, talked to the big box store, but left it as an estimate (they put your name on their list). they called me about 3 or 4 times to see if I was going to install it or not, and they kept sweetening the deal. It was about 5 months later when the manager called me and gave me a deal I couldn't pass up. Thank goodness I was ready for the carpet at that point. It was a complete gut job on the house.

My point here, other than telling internet tales, is that sometimes they are hurting for business and their margins get lowered. Just like anything else, patience does pay off.

I believe with every grain of my being that paying retail is for suckers, and that haggling IS part of purchasing an item. I also understand that you can only push a deal so far before the seller will walk away.

Good luck to you.