Coupons

12 Secrets to Shopping at Home Depot

Here is a nice article provided by Bob Niedt of Kiplinger: 

 

By Bob Niedt, Online Editor | March 2017

 

Home Depot is probably the first retailer to come to mind when you’re thinking “ubiquitous big-box hardware store.” The rise of these orange-hued home-improvement centers was a revelation to those who grew up with small, neighborhood hardware stores in the 20th century and who became adult homeowners and DIYers in the 21st.

 

Imagine. Every tool under the sun, building materials, flooring, roofing, lighting, appliances, lawn and garden supplies—all in one cavernous warehouse. Amazing! Home Depot has been a boon to consumers but a bane to the mom-and-pop hardware stores of our youth, driving many out of business and leaving only Lowe’s Home Improvement as its head-to-head competitor.

 

What’s left to discover? Plenty. Here are 12 ways to get more value out of your next visit to Home Depot. Have a look:

 

Go Online Before You Head for the Store

Case in point: Recently, I was in the market for a few plants, some seed and mulch for the yard. Who knew I could land a 16-channel, Q-See 1080p 2TB video surveillance system to oversee my fine landscaping work, with eight bullet, two dome and two auto-focus cameras for only $700--a $500 discount from the full price? This happened to be the online deal of the day.

“These limited [daily] discounts are almost always the best individual deals that Home Depot offers,” says Brent Shelton of FatWallet.com, a deals website. “Shoppers will often get 50% off.”

Once you get to the store, check out the in-store overstock section, which can boast top-brand tools and more at discounts of up to 50%.

Says Benjamin Glaser of the deals website DealNews, “If you’re really lucky, you’ll find a coupon code that will stack on top of existing discounts.”

Hint: Lighting is a big selling area at Home Depot, so bounce over to that aisle. Promotions are often rampant.

 

Look to Price-Match

“Home Depot will price-match any major competitor that has the same item in stock,” consumer-finance expert Andrea Woroch notes. “What’s more, as long as the lower price isn’t a special or sale, Home Depot will beat the competitor by an additional 10%. So it pays to shop with them when you find a better deal elsewhere.”

Just bring in the print ad or pull it up on your smartphone at the register. This may entail Home Depot customer service checking out the competing price. And note: Online purchases are not eligible for Home Depot’s in-store low-price guarantee.

 

Check for Rebates

Before heading out to Home Depot to make your purchase, check the online rebate center to see if you can get an additional discount.

When I clicked on the rebate center, it was loaded with deals on home furnaces and Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostats.

Often, says Shelton of FatWallet, the rebate center features offers on remodeling and building materials, home appliances and Energy Star products.

“Some of the bigger rebates will get called out on the FatWallet Hot Deals forum, especially during seasonal sales, when Home Depot offers 30% to 40% off major appliance purchases,” says Shelton.

 

Lumber for Up to 75% Off

Handy Dans know a good deal on wood when they see one, especially for small projects.

Toward the back of the cavernous lumber section, Home Depot stores typically have a place for the castoffs: pieces of lumber custom-cut in-store from larger pieces that customers have bought.

You can often buy these castoffs for a song—up to 75% off full price, says Saeed Darabi of the money-saving website MoneyPantry. Check for cracks or warping, but you can often find a bargain.

“The good thing is that even the ‘bad’ pieces are usable because they are either not that crooked or cracked, or they are long and have a few feet of totally fine wood for smaller projects,” says Darabi, who salvaged enough good wood from one trip to the discount lumber section last year to build a flip-top tool stand.

 

Know the Secrets Hidden in the Price Tags

As with Kohl’s, there are secrets in the price tags at Home Depot, too. It pays to know the code.

Any item with a price ending with .06 means it is on clearance, says Darabi of MoneyPantry. A price ending in .03 means that’s the lowest final price for that item. If it doesn’t sell within three weeks, it will be removed from the shelves.

 

Yes, You Can Haggle for a Lower Price

Not every employee has the power to lower prices, but it’s worth a try. Consumer-finance expert Woroch said she scored an additional $50 off a washer and dryer that were already on sale at Home Depot. All she had to do was ask.

“The sales associates usually don’t have the power to give you a better deal, but if you ask to speak to a manager, he or she may be more willing to negotiate with you to seal the deal,” says Woroch. “Use tactics like reviewing [with the manager] recent sales that you missed or upcoming ones that you may qualify for.” Same with Lowe’s, by the way.

 

Already Bought Something at Home Depot? Track the Price

Home Depot stands by its prices – for two solid weeks. If you buy an item from Home Depot, especially something costly, and it goes on sale elsewhere, Home Depot will give you a price adjustment if the transaction is within 14 days of your purchase.

 

Coupons? Really?

Twice a year, customers who have signed up for e-mail notifications or text alerts will get coupon offers good for $5 off store purchases of $50 or more, or for $10 off a $100 buy.

Join the Garden Club, opt in for text messages with exclusive deals, and just by signing up, you’ll score a $5 Home Depot voucher, plus exclusive coupon offers all year round.

Says Darabi, “What I really like about it is that you actually get worthwhile deals. In the past few years that I have been a Garden Club member, I have received dozens of exclusive coupons that saved me anywhere from 10% to 50% on many items. I have also gotten a few free plants and flowers.”

 

Peruse the Paint Desk for Bargains

Just like the Island of Misfit Toys, Home Depot’s (and Lowe’s) paint department relegates mixing mishaps to an “oops” section. There, you’ll find paints that didn’t match expectations or were abandoned by customers who ordered but never picked them up.

So why would you want such rejected paint? Because you can get it for 25% to 75% off, says Darabi. The paints are perfectly fine.

It may not be exactly the color you want, but if it’s for, say, a spare bedroom, closets or other space that’s rarely used, the option just might work at a lower cost.

 

Take Advantage of the DIY Workshops

At every entrance to every Home Depot, there’s a chalkboard with a menu of upcoming workshop sessions in the store (and if you aren't old-school-chalkboard, find the workshops online). These 90-minute sessions provide how-to classes from remodeling pros on home repairs, installation, paint tips and more.

These can save you money or time by letting you know what to buy in advance and how to properly budget a home repair project. After all, it will be much more expensive to bring in a contractor after botching a home improvement project you informed your significant other you could do perfectly fine on your own. (Yes, I’m speaking from firsthand experience here.)

 

Get Free Online Shipping – to Your Home Depot Store

If you see something on Home Depot’s website, you can get it shipped to your neighborhood store at no cost to you. This includes finding something online when it’s out of stock in the store.

Also: “Home Depot sells some online exclusives, but you can dodge the shipping cost by selecting to have the items shipped to your local store for free pickup instead,” says Woroch.

 

Buy Expensive Power Tools at Low Prices

From time to time, Home Depot will offer display tools, or ones that are slightly damaged, at discounted prices. Perhaps there is a scratch or a dent, or perhaps a tool is missing a minor assembly piece. You can save 50% or more compared with fresh-in-the-box prices, says Darabi.

“A few months ago, I picked up a DeWalt DWE7480 contractor’s saw that sells for $399 for around $195,” Darabi says. “The only thing wrong with it was that it was a display item, so it was missing the screws that hold the included wrenches.”

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles. Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

8 Things You Must Know About Grocery Shopping at Publix

Here is a nice article provided by Rebecca Dolan of Kiplinger:

 

By Rebecca Dolan, Online Community Editor | February 2017

 

If you’re going grocery shopping in Florida, you’re probably headed to Publix. With more than 750 locations, the regional chain isn’t just ubiquitous across the Sunshine State, it is popular, too. The grocer ranks #2 (and has done so for four straight years) in research firm Market Force Information’s annual “loyalty index” that measures shopper satisfaction; in 2016, only Wegmans, which doesn’t operate any stores in Florida, ranked higher.

 

Based in Lakeland, Fla., Publix is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the U.S.-- it has more than 350 locations outside Florida, for a total of 1,100 -- and it is one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. If you’re not from the Southeast and have ever wondered what all the Publix fuss is about, you may soon get a chance to see for yourself. The chain is slowly migrating up the East Coast, with 12 new Virginia locations planned for late 2017 and beyond.

 

Find out what Floridians have known for ages. Here are eight things you need to know about shopping at Publix.

 

1. You Can Save Big With Coupons

If you’re a coupon clipper, you’ll get more mileage at your local Publix. “Publix has a very generous coupon policy compared with so many other grocery retailers across the country,” says Josh Elledge, chief executive of SavingsAngel.com, a money-savings website.

Manufacturer’s coupons, internet coupons and coupons from nearby competitors are good at Publix. (Look for a list of acceptable competitors at your local store.) Publix also allows you to “stack” your coupons, using more than one coupon per item, including a competitor’s coupon.

“The best deals almost always involve stacking multiple discounts,” says Elledge. “If you can stack a BOGO [buy one, get one] sale, a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon, you just might walk out of Publix with your groceries at 80% off or better.”

Filling a prescription? The Publix pharmacy also accepts prescription coupons from all local retail pharmacies.

2. It May Not Be the Cheapest Grocery Store In Town

Hold on to all of those coupons -- you might need them.

We compared prices for a basket of store-brand grocery items -- including a jar of peanut butter, a jar of pasta sauce, a box of spaghetti, a can of tuna, a half-gallon of milk, a cup of plain yogurt, one dozen grade A eggs and a bag of frozen corn -- at a Publix, Trader Joe’s and Walmart in the Jacksonville, Fla., area. Total cost: $12.30 at Publix, $11.62 at Trader Joe’s and $9.24 at Walmart.

A similar exercise conducted by Charlotte Observer reporters as Publix expanded in North Carolina in 2014 revealed Publix to be about 2% cheaper than Harris Teeter but 20% more expensive than Walmart.

3. Publix Makes It Easy to Locate Items

There’s no need to wander the aisles at every location in town if you’re looking for, say, a specific type of cake mix for Junior’s birthday party. Publix, as do some other grocers such as Wegmans, makes it easy to see if your preferred location stocks a specific item before you leave the house. Check the Publix online product catalog, which lists products that are carried by each store.

Already at your local Publix? Use the store’s app to identify the aisle in which any item you seek is located.

4. You Can Return Anything

Yes, even if it has already been brought home and opened. Food, too. That’s the Publix guarantee: “If for any reason a customer is not satisfied with their purchase, he/she can return the item and we will cheerfully refund them the entire purchase price,” says Maria Brous, director of media and community relations for Publix.

5. The Shelf Tags Are Written In Code

At Publix, those little tags under each item are meant to do much more than simply relay the price of each item. Using a variety of icons – look for the colored circles – the labels will tell you such things as if the item is organic or made with organic ingredients; if the product is made without artificial preservatives, flavors or colors; if the item is eligible for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) funds; and if the item is eligible for flexible spending account (FSA) funds.

6. The Deli Will Make You A Sandwich Your Way

If there’s one thing that makes Publix so beloved among its devotees, it’s the made-to-order deli sandwiches. The menu of “Pub subs” includes typical cold-cut options, as well as subs featuring the store’s popular chicken tenders.

But the staff will make a sandwich out of anything in the deli area, including the vast array of prepared salads or cold cuts not listed on the menu. This sandwich-lover’s secret isn’t advertised in stores or online, but Publix’s Brous says: “Publix is all about customer service. And, yes, our deli associates are known to go that extra mile to make our customers happy.” So go forth and design the sub of your dreams.

7. New Parents and Pet Owners Can Enjoy Extra Savings

Whether you’re a new parent or a pet parent, there’s a savings club for you. Join the free Publix Baby Club to score coupons on baby products (until a child turns two), as well as a free copy of the book Caring for Your Baby and Young Child for first timers.

If your child is of the furry variety, there’s also the Publix Paws club. Members receive monthly coupons for pet food, toys, treats and more. You’ll also get a heads-up on sales of pet products.

8. There's No Savings Club

Unlike other grocers, Publix does not offer a loyalty card that triggers extra savings at checkout on select items. “We do not have a loyalty program, as we believe every customer should be entitled to the same shopping experience,” says Brous. “[Publix is] all about saving our customers money with our programs, including our weekly BOGOs… and competitive pricing.”

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles. Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.