Hello everyone! Today is going to be a fun post. Of any type of store (grocery, clothing, heck even Target), I spend the most time in hardware stores. Specifically in Home Depot, since it happens to be 8 minutes from my house. I’ve learned a thing or two about the in’s and out’s of HD; how to get the best deals; and, some surprising things you can shop for there 😉
This part was added after I originally posted this. It was just too good not to share 😉
When the Christmas trees are set up in the outdoor garden area, you’ll want to hang around the tree cutting tables. They cut off the bottom straggler branches and toss them in a Home Depot shopping cart. Those branches are there for the taking! Oh hell YES! I asked a young highschool student working there one snowy Saturday about the branches, and he said “oh yeah, go ahead and take some…all the ladies take some.” So I snagged two branches and cut them into small swags to decorate around my house.
Rumor has it Christmas decor is going down to 50% on Friday, December 23…hmmm 😉
Every other week, (usually on Wednesdays), the store will go through the lumber bays and clear out any slightly warped and twisted wood. They put it all on a cart near the back of the store (look by the big clear garage loading door). The cart, dubbed as “The Cull Cart”, will have a sign showing the wood marked down as low as 70%. Some stores do it differently, but “my store” marks it all down 70%. Each piece is spray painted on the very end (in a random color) to show cashiers it’s from The Cull Cart. The great thing about this wood is that usually it’s just one part of the wood that is twisted. Cut off the curve, and it’s perfectly usable! I saw one guy purchase the whole cart for $11.
The store is laid out in the order you would build a house. Building supplies, roofing materials, lumber, then windows/doors, hardware, bathroom and kitchen, plumbing, electrical, flooring, lighting, then paint and finally outdoor/garden.
There is SO much more inventory online, versus in the stores. You can order online and have it shipped to the store for FREE (regardless of the price), or to your home for free if over $45. I ordered a $1.49 coat hook today and had it shipped to the store for pick up. I even got a text message when it was ready for pick up. Nice, huh. 😉
SALES & CLEARANCE ITEMS
There are usually 2-3 end cap CLEARANCE bays that face the inside main “racetrack” aisle. Yellow price tags galore! These items will continue to be marked down until they sell.
Look for prices ending in $.06 and $.03.
- If it ends in $.06, then it will be marked down even more in 6 weeks.
- If it ends in $.03, it will be marked down to $0.01. At that point, the products are taken off the shelf.
This sounds great, except you don’t know when it when that 6 week period or 3 week period started. So best to keep checking on an item if you really want it 😉
There are AWESOME deals in the wingstacks throughout the store. Wingstacks are the boxed displays that are in the aisles. Items in wingstacks are not regular items on the shelves. They are limited in quantity. I have bought a ton of tools this way. Drill bit sets, screwdriver sets, wrench sets, etc. If you go now (November through Christmas), there is an entire front section of the store, dubbed The Gift Center that is nothing but these awesome wingstacks of special edition bonus buy tool sets. You can see in the photo below, people are buying them out. Get ’em while they’re hot!
It’s not new news that they match competitor’s prices, and take an additional 10% off. Note, the item must be in both stores.
Every employee has the authority to give a $50 discount if they feel it’s warranted. Now don’t go trying to be BFF’s with the flooring department store employees. On the other hand, I’m sure they would love to get to know you 🙂
Check for manufacturer coupons online before you shop.
When power tools displays are changed out, they displays are marked down BIG TIME and put on a table in the front of the store, usually near the Pro Desk and lumber. These go so fast, usually in hours. I went back for a drill and found out a contractor bought up everything that was left!
Oops Paint. Check around the paint department for a small area (perhaps a free standing small shelving unit or cart) with a variety of paint brands and sizes. These are paints that a customer changed their mind on. They get marked down quite a bit.
MY FAVORITE BAYS
This is the fun part.
Individual drill tip bins. Don’t pretend that you haven’t lost a drill bit. Now you can only buy what you need, er lost…
Picture hanging supplies. This bay has it all.
“Pretty” door/cabinet lock supplies, campaign dresser details, coat hooks, large ring handles for trunks.
Hooks, hooks, and more hooks. I got the hooks for my DIY leather camera strap here.
Chain cut to length. I’ve bought as short as one or two feet of chain for DIY projects.
Decorative Moulding. Oo la la. This bay gets me every time. I bought the moulding for my big door makeover project from this bay.
Lighting Medallions, Lamp Kits and Light Accessories. Those ceiling medallions on the bottom left are what I used in my bedroom makeover and guest bedroom makeover. After seeing a room with one, I don’t think I can ever replace a light without adding one in the future!
HD is like any other store, in the way that not every store carries the same inventory. Most folks don’t realize how much more inventory is online. I cruised around online to see what else they had. I was surprised by how much the style factor got a boost based on their online inventory! Here are some of my favorites:
So this wraps up my shopping secrets of Home Depot. You may have known some of these things, but hopefully you learned a couple new things. So go get a coffee and take a long walk through “your store” and see what they have. You might be surprised and end up doing some really great new DIY projects!