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25 Home Depot Shopping Tips & Tricks to Save Money

Since purchasing my first fixer-upper home a few years back, I’ve set foot inside The Home Depot at least 100 times, and I couldn’t begin to tell you how many visits I’ve made to the home improvement giant’s website. I’ve spent more money than I’d like to admit. Thankfully, with help from these Home Depot hacks, I’ve saved many thousands of dollars too.

If you’re planning a home improvement project to reduce homeownership costs, improve your home’s energy efficiency, or increase your home’s value — or if you’re just taking care of a few DIY projects — be sure to check out these tips and tricks.

How to Save Money Shopping at Home Depot

1. Find Coupons at HomeDepot.com

Home Depot’s Coupons page is a goldmine for discounts and deals in-store and online. If you’re planning a store visit, scroll to the bottom to search for your local ad, which contains time-limited sales not advertised elsewhere on Home Depot’s website.

2. Sign Up for Text Alerts

Sign up for Home Depot’s text alerts if your mobile provider doesn’t charge for inbound SMS messages. Otherwise, don’t bother, as you’ll receive several messages per week (at the least).

In my experience, Home Depot’s text alerts aren’t particularly well targeted — I’ve received countless offers from departments I’ve never purchased anything in. But enough alerts are relevant to justify signing up, especially if you’re in the early stages of a big project that will require multiple trips to Home Depot. You can always unsubscribe when the project is done.

3. Join the Email List for a One-Time Discount

Sign up for Home Depot’s free email list to earn $5 off your next purchase online or in-store. The discount comes as an emailed coupon.

After signing up, you’ll receive Home Depot’s occasional promotion emails, which offer:

  • In-store and online discounts and savings opportunities
  • How-to guides for DIYers
  • Home improvement project ideas and tips

If your email suite filters promotions out of your main inbox, you’ll barely notice the additional message volume.

4. Search HomeDepot.com for Product-Specific Rebates

Home Depot’s Rebate Center advertises thousands of rebates on specific products. The volume is so great, in part, because rebates apply at the SKU (unique stock number) level. That means a product with more than one variant — such as differing capacities or output volumes — is likely to have multiple rebates associated with it.

Many SKUs are eligible for more than one rebate. For instance, an energy-efficient appliance might qualify for a federal tax credit, a utility company rebate, and a manufacturer rebate. You’ll need to apply for each rebate separately online or by mail, but it’s worth the trouble when you stand to save hundreds on a major purchase.

5. Check for Overstock Deals

Home Depot’s Special Values page advertises hundreds of overstock items available in your local store, either in stock or eligible for ship-to-store. Many bear deep discounts on the list price — over 50%, in some cases. You might not find the exact color or specification set you’d like here, but if you’re not picky, it’s a great place to find deals on items you need.

If you’re already in your Home Depot store or planning to venture in anyway, check the back for heavily discounted overstock and damaged items. In the rear of the lumber department, old boards sell for up to 70% off, and store staff will cut up to two lengths for free. Nearby, there’s often a cart or two of miscellaneous discounted small items with cosmetic dings or dents that don’t impact function.

6. Look for Daily Deals

Home Depot runs enticing daily deals every day. The category-specific Special Buy of the Day rotates through fairly broad categories, such as garage door openers.

Home Depot Website Computer Laptop Search Browse Purchase

7. Use a Cash-Back Credit Card With Rotating Categories

This trick isn’t unique to Home Depot, of course. It’s a must every time you patronize a home improvement retailer, credit permitting.

Your best bet is the Chase Freedom® Credit Card (read our Chase Freedom review) and its quarterly rotating 5% categories. “Home improvement stores” or some variant thereof enters the rotation every year or two, though Chase makes no guarantees about what’s in store for the future (and typically doesn’t reveal 5% categories until a few weeks before the start of a new quarter).

8. Take Advantage of Temporary Credit Card Offers

Chase Freedom isn’t the only credit card that promises above-average rewards on Home Depot purchases.

Other Chase credit cards, including the Chase Freedom® Unlimited Credit Card (read our Chase Freedom Unlimited review) and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (read our Sapphire Preferred review), have been known to extend time-limited bonus opportunities to cardholders. Amex Offers, a members-only discount database for American Express cardholders usually includes home improvement stores as well.

9. Wait for Promotions to Make Major Purchases

Whether you’re planning a major DIY or professionally assisted home improvement project, it always pays to wait for the right time to purchase your supplies. Once you’ve finalized your shopping list, visit or call the relevant department (or departments) and ask for a peek at forthcoming promotions.

You’re not likely to wait long. Before a major kitchen renovation, my wife and I purchased cabinets and countertops in two separate orders. We bagged the countertops as soon as we decided on the material and pattern to avoid missing out on a 20% off sale, but we waited two weeks after settling on cabinets to actually pull the trigger — just long enough to snag 30% off that part of the order. Our design tech told us we probably wouldn’t have to wait longer than two more months for the next cabinets promotion.

10. Be the Squeaky Wheel

Don’t hesitate to escalate. This trick is near-universal in the retail world, but I’ve had especially good luck with it at Home Depot. Department and store managers have tremendous leeway on pricing. Even rank-and-file department employees are authorized to knock up to $50 off merchandise if the customer isn’t satisfied.

I thought I’d gotten a good deal on new interior French doors during a 15% off sale, but when it took longer than promised to receive them, I (politely) complained and got another $50 off on the spot.

11. Take Advantage of Special Financing on Major Purchases

Home Depot offers interest-free financing on large purchases for credit-qualified customers.

Chain-wide, the standard deal is 0% APR for six months on purchases of $299 or more. Individual stores may offer longer interest-free deals on larger purchases. I’ve personally taken advantage of a 24-month 0% APR financing period on a four-figure purchase (the threshold was $1,999 in that instance). Twenty-four months is the longest interest-free financing period I’ve seen at Home Depot.

A word of caution: Taking advantage of Home Depot’s 0% APR financing offers means submitting to a hard credit pull that will temporarily lower your credit score by a few points. If approved, you’ll receive a credit card with a credit limit determined by factors such as your credit score and income. The larger the purchase amount, the higher your initial credit utilization ratio will be, and on very large purchases, your credit limit could be just a squeak higher than the purchase price. This will also negatively affect your credit score, with the effects lingering until your balance is mostly paid off.

Make up for the hit by keeping your credit card account open and unused after paying off the initial balance. My Home Depot credit card lives in the bottom of a secure filing cabinet, untouched since it arrived in the mail.

There’s another perk to using a Home Depot credit card or credit line: an extended return window. You can return most items purchased with qualifying Home Depot credit products for up to one year (365 days) from the date of purchase, save those covered by Home Depot’s return policy exceptions.

12. Capitalize on Home Depot’s Expansive Price Match Policy

Home Depot’s Low Price Guarantee includes a generous price match policy that covers in-store and online purchases. If you find a lower advertised price on an identical item to one you purchased from Home Depot, Home Depot will match that price (plus shipping, if it’s an online item) and reimburse the excess you paid.

13. Rent a Truck at Your Local Home Depot

Moving across town? Planning to haul the results of your DIY demolition project to the dump?

Before paying way too much for a U-Haul van or calling in a favor from that one friend with a pickup truck, check your local Home Depot. Though selection varies by store, many have flatbeds (essentially heavy-duty pickups) and box trucks (large moving vans) available for rent by the hour or day.

Home Depot’s Truck and Tool Rental page has more details. For flatbeds, the ideal rental window is two hours or less, after which hourly pricing rises steeply.

14. Rent Tools Before You Buy

Home Depot rents a slew of tools that are too expensive, bulky, or specialized to bother buying on your own, especially if you’re only using them occasionally or for one project. After confirming that the tool you need isn’t in stock at your neighborhood tool lending library or hardware store, both of which will probably be cheaper to rent on an hourly basis, stop by your local Home Depot warehouse. Not all locations offer tools for rent, so many sure you check online beforehand.

Tools Home Improvement Drill Cutter Saw Electric

15. Look for Prices Ending in “6” and “3”

It’s easy to spot in-store discounts at Home Depot. Just find the yellow price tags and look at the last numeral. If it’s a “6,” it’s a good deal. If it’s a “3,” it’s a great deal — the lowest the department is willing to go on that particular item.

Discounted prices ending in “6” typically last for six weeks. Then, the price drops to one ending in “3,” where it remains until the item sells out or Home Depot removes unsold inventory to make room for higher-margin stock.

16. Return Dead or Unproductive Plants Within One Year for a Full Refund

The Home Depot Garden Center’s return policy is better than any other department’s. Perennials, trees, and shrubs all carry a one-year (365-day) guarantee. If they die or fail to bear flowers or fruit (when applicable) during that period, you can return them for a full refund.

17. Take Advantage of Recurring Annual or Seasonal Sales

Home Depot excels at seasonal sales. At any given time, you’ll find at least one department in holding blockbuster clearance event:

  • Plants. The Garden Center typically offers the most enticing deals in April, or whenever spring comes to your neck of the woods. In colder climates, fall sales on perennials, including trees and shrubs, typically feature massive markdowns.
  • Holiday Decor and Accessories. Holiday decorations such as wreaths, natural and artificial Christmas trees, and servingware start off the season on sale during Black Friday week. They’re marked down even further in January.
  • Grills. The week of July Fourth is the best time to buy grills at Home Depot.
  • Paint. Paint discounts peak on Memorial and Labor Day weekends, with savings up to 40%.
  • Kitchen and Bath. The first quarter of the year is the best time to make major kitchen and bath purchases at Home Depot.

18. Set Up Subscriptions for Recurring Purchases

Home Depot Subscriptions is a recurring home delivery program that promises 5% savings across the board on household staples, such as coffee, cleaning supplies, air filters, and pet food. This being The Home Depot, the program also touts contractor staples, such as jobsite safety equipment, painting supplies, and power tool accessories.

Home Depot Subscriptions is certainly not the only such subscription service, so confirm that it’s cost-competitive with alternatives like Amazon’s Subscribe & Save before enrolling.

19. Leverage Your Military Status

Home Depot treats servicemembers well. Active-duty and retired career personnel get 10% off every order, every day. That same 10% discount applies to all veterans, including honorably discharged enlistees and reservists, during select holiday periods — notably, the days leading up to Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

20. Buy Floor Models

If you’re in the market for a major appliance and don’t care about being the first potential end-user to lay eyes on it, buy the floor model. It isn’t always obvious that floor models are for sale, but you can always ask the department manager if you’re not sure. And while haggling isn’t common elsewhere at Home Depot, managers are authorized to move older display inventory to make room for newer stock. Discounts of up to 30% off aren’t out of the question.

Washing Machine Dryers At Home Depot Floor Samples

21. Buy “Oops” Paint

When finding the perfect hue isn’t as important as simply getting the project done, turn to the Home Depot paint department’s “Oops” bin, where mixing mistakes wait for unpicky customers. The standard “Oops” discount is about 70% per gallon.

22. Buy From the Pro Desk for Deeper Discounts

The Home Depot Pro Desk primarily deals with professional contractors, but it’s willing to make an exception for high-rolling DIYers too. If your purchase list adds up to more than $1,500, you qualify for Home Depot’s Volume Pricing Program, which promises up to 30% off materials and supplies. Technically, you need to join the free Pro Xtras club to get the discount, but it’s often possible to work out a one-time deal with whoever’s on staff at the Pro Desk.

If you’re not planning to spend $1,500 or more on your DIY project, you can still take advantage of bulk pricing on raw materials like tile, lumber, and plumbing. When available, the bulk price appears on the same price tag as the regular price, along with the minimum qualifying quantity.

23. Ask for Recent or Forthcoming Sale Pricing

Home Depot department heads have leeway to extend sale pricing upon request. Demanding the deal that ended last week (or isn’t scheduled to begin until next week) is not guaranteed to pan out every time. Simply waiting for the next sale, if you can, is a better bet. Still, asking for sale pricing outside sale periods is worth a shot.

24. Get Warrantied Tools Repaired In-Store

If the tool or appliance you bought at Home Depot malfunctions before its manufacturer’s warranty period expires, bring it into your local store for repair. As long as the warranty is valid and the problem arose from regular use, Home Depot doesn’t charge for repairs. Better yet, they’ll file the warranty claim on your behalf, saving you time and eliminating the suspense of waiting for approval.

25. Use Third-Party Resources to Save Even More

These resources aren’t directly affiliated with Home Depot, but that doesn’t mean they can’t significantly reduce your net spending with the home improvement giant:

  • Paribus. Sometimes, we don’t realize we’ve overspent until days or weeks after the fact. Capital One’s Paribus trawls the Internet for price declines, automatically notifies the user when it finds a lower price on a purchased item, and helps them recover the difference. Paribus is free for Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (read our Capital One Venture review) and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (read our Capital One Quicksilver review) users, among others.
  • Gift Card Resellers. Buy discounted Home Depot gift cards through resellers like Raise.
  • Cash Back Apps. Find unique coupon codes or cash-back opportunities from popular cash-back apps like Ibotta, Honey, and BeFrugal. For best results, install the app’s browser plug-in and shop online to you get a reminder to activate the apps while shopping.

Final Word

Finding exactly what you’re after in a mammoth Home Depot store isn’t always easy.

Paying less after locating it than you would at another home improvement superstore? Comparatively, that’s a snap.

With so many reliable ways to save money at America’s largest home improvement superstore, it’s a wonder that DIYers shop anywhere else.

How do you save at Home Depot?

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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