20% Off at Lowe's and Home Depot

Like most people, we go to Lowe's and Home Depot to buy everything we needed for project around the house.  The past year we have done several projects big projects which cost quite a bit.  Here's some of the projects we've done recently.

Family Room Remodel
family room remodel, home depot, coupon code
Home Depot Carpet
home depot carpet, coupon code, rebate
Dewalt Miter Saw
dewalt miter saw rebate, sale, off
Tile Bathrooms Saved
tile remodel, lowe's sale, coupon

But luckily we learned that there is a way to save more than 20% on your total purchase ... every time.   This is a really easy 2 part process.  The first step is picking up a 10% off coupon and the second is buying gift cards at 7% - 12% off the full price.  So here's how it's done.

Part 1  -  The 10% off Coupon Price Match
The first step is to go to the nearest Post Office and asked for a “change of address packet”.  They have these behind the counter and will hand them to you in a second.  Inside the envelope are a bunch of coupons, one of them being 10% off your total purchase at Lowe’s. They look like this

lowe's 10% off coupon, post office, change of address

The great thing about that is that Home Depot honors Lowe’s coupons.  They said they won't match any computer print outs, but any real coupon that they can scan, they will honor.  So right there, any purchase you make from those 2 stores you are getting 10% off your total purchase.  Although Home Depot will only honor the coupon up to $50 off.

Also sometimes Home Depot and Lowe's will price match the Harbor Freight 20% off coupon.  

harbor freight 20% off coupon, price match

Sometimes they will price match it (usually if you are buying tools) and sometimes they won't accept it.  I did hear that recently a memo went out to some stores saying that they will not accept Harbor Freight's coupon.

Part 2  -  The 10% off Gift Card
This step takes a little more time.  Online there are stores that act as middle-men between people buying and selling gift cards.  For example someone may have a $100 gift card to Lowe's.  That person will sell the cart to one of these websites for $80 cash.  Then that site turns around and sells it to someone else for $95.  There's lots of websites which have this system:
Here a screenshot of CardExchang's website (although they all look the same) and this is just a few of all the store gift cards they sell.  You can see Home Depot is 7% off and Lowe's is 5%.  There are lots more stores and restaurants which have an even better rate, like JCPenney's at 20% and Jo-Ann Fabric at 15%.
how to gift card exchange, how it works

But to get an even better deal than the 7% off we went to SlickDeals.com.  Every month or so SlickDeals posts a Promo Code for one of these gift card stores.  Using that code at check-out we were able to get a total of 11% off the total price.

For example, when we needed to buy tile and the materials needed to redo our bathrooms, we bought 2 - $200 gift cards.  The total value of the cards was $400, but we only spent $365.  The total price at the check-out line at Home Depot was right at $500.  We handed them the Lowe's 10% off coupon, they price matched it and the total became $450.   Then we swiped our two gift cards, saving us another 11%, then paid the difference with the credit card.  The total savings of our $500 purchase was $105.

When we purchased new carpet from Home Depot for our living room and dining room we did the same thing, except we needed a lot more gift cards.  We were a little nervous, but we bought $1100 in Home Depot gift cards, which cost us $979.  Normally at check out they limit the Lowe's 10% off card to a maximum of $50 off.  But after talking to the manager, we somehow got lucky and they changed it to 10% off the total purchase.  The total we would have spent was around $1,400 but we only spent $1,000.  A savings of $400.  Not bad.

Now this isn't something we do all the time.  In fact we've only bought the gift cards 3 times.  But if you are planning to purchase anything over $100 i would say that it's definitely worth it to stop into the Post Office and pick up the change of address packet.  As long as you don't have to stand in line for too long, it's definitely worth it.

10% Online  -  The Lowe's Promo Code Generator
One final note is that if you are purchasing something from Lowe's, there is also something called a  Promo Code Generator.  It's a script that someone wrote which generates possible promo codes for Lowe's.  It turns out that the promo codes that Lowe's creates are very similar.  They are usually a 15-digit number series usually something like 4700xx072xxxx34. 

Here is the direct link to the Coupon Code Generator itself.  Just click on the link and the code is generated for you.

Here's a SlickDeals Lowe's Coupon Code Thread which has a lot more discussion about the generator and more promo codes are posted as they become available.
slickdeals lowe's, promo code generator

So good luck with your future purchases.  Hopefully this will save you some money next time you need to visit Lowe's or Home Depot.