As many of you already know, I am a consumer advocate and a frugal shopper. My award-winning article “Secret Price Codes Will Save You Money At Costco, has gone viral and has over three million reads to date and I have been asked to write a book about some of my shopping secrets.
As a consumer advocate I have stood up for consumer rights and was the first person to sue Ford Motor company in court for defective peeling paint on their vehicles. You can see our group “Ford/Mercury Peeling Paint Complaints” Group on Facebook, now with almost 800 members and see their successes in suing Ford and Winning in over 13 states.
Not only have I discovered ways to save money at Costco, but I have a few tips on how you can save money at Home Depot, Lowe’s and many other retailers and businesses. Here are some ways to save big bucks for those that have served our country and for all of our readers too.
Being a retired Army National Guard officer, I never thought that my active military service would one day offer me benefits when I shop. It wasn’t until a few years ago while shopping at a Home Depot store in Florida with my son who lives there that I discovered this perk.
I was in the parking lot going to our car when an elderly woman looked at me and asked “were you ever in the military”. I confirmed I was and she said “did you know that Home Depot offers a 10% discount if you have your military ID card”.
I never even thought to check and see if this benefit was available, as many of my readers have may not as well. I confirmed that the information was correct and that this extra benefit did exist at both Lowes and Home Depot, as well as many other retailers.
Home Depot and Lowes
The benefit program differs between Home Depot and Lowes. Lowes offers a more comprehensive and liberal 10% discount program than Home Depot. The reason might be understood in this excerpt from a Lowes employee website regarding military discounts.
Lowe’s was founded on the heels of World War II by veterans Jim Lowe and Carl Buchan and has always been a supporter of the military. The year-round discount program is one way we are reaffirming our commitment to the thousands of men and women who are serving throughout the world, as well as their family members at home.”
Larry D. Stone, Lowe’s president and chief operating officer, 2010.
Lowe’s established the 10% Military Discount to support the men and women who are currently serving our country in the Armed Services1 and to honor Retired Veterans and VA Recipients.2 This 10% discount is also extended to the immediate family3 of those who are currently serving, Retired Veterans, or VA Recipients.
To qualify for the Everyday 10% Military Discount, you must:
Be serving in, or retired from, a qualifying branch of the Armed Services, or be the immediate family member of someone who is and have a valid military ID Card.
Be a veteran who receives VA benefits and have a valid Veteran Identification Card (VIC).
We honor all Veterans on three specific holidays: Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day. During these three holiday weekends, we extend the discount to all veterans who served honorably and who present a valid Form DD214 or other proof of service. The Lowe’s Military Discount is extended to the Veteran community on these three holidays only.
The Military Discount must be used on personal purchases only and cannot be used for Lowes.com purchases, previous sales, or the purchase of gift cards or services including product installations. It cannot be combined with the Lowe’s Price Guarantee, or promotions such as “Spend and Get,” “New Mover,” “Project Starter,” “Your Choice,” or discounts such as Quote Support Program (QSP) quotes.
- 1 Armed Services — US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Marine Corps, US Coast Guard, or the National Guard and who are in active, reserve, or retired status.
- 2 Retired Veterans and VA Recipients — Veterans who have retired after 20 years of service and/or those who receive VA Benefits
- 3 Immediate Family — Spouses and/or dependent children (up to 18 years old.)
I wanted to verify my information and went to Lowe’s and spoke to one of their department managers, he confirmed their policy and clarified some of my questions regarding mark-downs, sale merchandise, etc.
Apparently Lowe’s has very few restrictions on their 10% Military discount. It would include sale merchandise, mark-downs and from what I can see covers most, if not all items in the store. You can read more about their policy on their website…read more
Home Depot’s everyday commitment to customer service includes honoring requests for a 10% discount for our military customers. With correct identification, THD will offer military discounts upon request. All other Veterans that were honorably discharged will receive a 10% discount on the holiday weekends of Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day with correct identification. Below are the policies for the military discount:
· The military discount is only given upon request by a customer who meets the qualified criteria.
· The everyday discount is available to active-duty, National Guard and reserve, retiree and disabled service members, and their dependents.
· All other military veterans that were honorably discharged will receive the 10% discount on the holiday weekends of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day.
· To receive the discount the customer must present a valid military ID card. ID cards must be checked at the time of purchase and the owner of the ID card must be the purchaser and present at the time of purchase.
· This discount is for personal use only and is not valid for contractors or business use.
· The discount may NOT combined with other promotions or on previous purchases.
· The military discount is a discount of 10% and available on most in-stock and special order purchases of up to $5,000. Select SKU’s are systematically excluded from discount, such as certain commodity products, value priced merchandise, sales at Homedepot.com, services including freight, delivery, tool rental fees, labor or gift cards.
The Home Depot is dedicated to supporting and honoring our men and women in uniform through our business practices, recruitment efforts and corporate contributions. We offer this discount to thank them for their outstanding service to this nation and to help make their homes more comfortable and safe
In short this means any mark-downs, special pricing (Black Friday, etc.), Price Matching, or certain product lines would not qualify for their military discount. The best way to understand their policy is that only regular priced merchandise would qualify for this discount.
I contacted our friend Allison Martin the store manager of the Hazlet Home Depot who provided me with their policy.
Which Store Offers More?
There really isn’t a winner since both stores offer a 10% discount with proper military ID. What seems to stand out on both HD and Lowes is price matching or their Price Guarantee Programs. So if you get a lower price from the internet or a brick and mortar retailer, don’t expect to get a military discount too.
As you can see however, Lowe’s does take the lead on what they will offer the discount, wheras Home Depot has many limitations. So if you are a member of the active or inactive military and have your ID or proof of service be sure to check which store will save you the most. I found out the hard way when I purchased appliance’s recently that I could have saved an additional $140 if I would have bought the same items at Lowe’s.
For more information about benefits for Active or Retired Military click here...
Home Depot’s Garden Club
Home Depot also has a nice Garden Club and if you sign up, you will receive coupons for 10% off on your garden purchases. No remember, the military discount will not apply to these purchases, but for those that are not qualified for the military discounts this is your chance to score that extra 10% discount. Click here to complete your Garden Club application.
Everyone Can Save 10% or more on Home Depot and Lowes and even more at hundreds of other stores too.
Did you know that you can buy gift cards at substantial discounts too? If you shop at Costco or other big box retailers you will see a rack of Gift cards sold as 20% or more. I buy my Bertucci’s gift cards at Costco for $80 and I get four $25 cards. I use them when I get a promotion from Bertucci’s in my email box and end up saving as much as 50% off regular prices. Many restaurants and businesses like Bed Bath and Beyond offer coupons, BBB offers a 20% discount and I can buy a gift card or credit on the internet and save another 10-20%.
So be sure to check Costco Hazlet and other retailers for these special offers.
Cardpool & Raise, helps you save even more…
There are two websites that offer discounts on Gift Cards or Store Credits for literally hundreds of retailers. Did you ever get a gift card to a store you never shop at? Did you ever get a credit because you made a return without a receipt? If the answer is yes, than you should know that there are two websites I use to buy those unwanted cards. You can also sell yours there too.
Because we know that the internet is a great place to buy and sell just about everything, it comes as no surprise that you can buy someone’s unused credit or gift card at a discounted cost.
Here is how it works. Similar to an eBay, people can sell their cards to the two sites I like to buy from.
The first is Cardpool.com which has a large selection of cards in many categories from restaurants to all sorts of retailers including Home Depot and Lowes. The discounts can range from a mere 1% on popular cards to 20% or more on others. The discount will also vary depending on their inventory of cards.
Now some of the cards you buy will be the actual plastic gift cards that they will send to you. Actually Cardpool takes ownership of those unwanted cards, verifies the amounts and then ships them to the new customer.
Raise I like this site a bit more than Cardpool because they have telephone support, Cardpool does not. This is important if you have an issue with your order, which I have had in the past. For me the support is important, but I still will go to both sites when I am seeking a gift card for a purchase to make sure I get the best deal.
Now Raise works in a similar fashion to Cardpool with a difference. Sellers list their cards or credits on their site. When their card is sold, Raise contacts the seller and provides them with a prepaid mailing label and invoice they will attach the card to which they mail to you. You receive the card from the sender, not from Raise. Security measures are in place at both companies and they guarantee the cards you buy from them. On physical cards they even offer a money back guarantee, so if you decide you don’t need a card, you can return it.
There is one other way you can buy a card or credit from both companies. Both Lowes and Home Depot cards as well as many others are now available as eCards. No physical card is mailed and usually within hours you will receive an email with a link to print your eCard from their sites. This comes in handy if you decided you want to purchase merchandise the same or next day. This is a great convenience and you only have to present the printed voucher when you check out. It is bar coded and has a pin number, easy to use.
You can see from this screen shot from both sites the range of cards being offered.
Both sites offer a similar program…see how they work
We ship all of our physical gift cards through USPS First Class Mail which usually takes 3-7 business days to arrive at most locations. If you order electronic gift cards, we’ll typically email them to you within 1 business day. In some cases we may ask for additional verification and your order will remain pending until we receive all the necessary documentation requested.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and assure you if you follow my tips you WILL SAVE MONEY and today who doesn’t like to save money. By saving more you can spend more and I am certain our very own Home Depot, Lowes, Costco and others will help you save even more. Please share this article with all of your friends both real and those of us that may not be real on Facebook 🙂
Special Offer Now From Raise – $5 Off On Your First Order
Raise is offering my readers and followers a special offer. If you sign up at Raise.com you will receive $5 off on your first order. Please use this link to sign up now!
Note: At Home Depot and Lowes, if you qualify for their Military Discount, be sure to use your credits from Cardpool or Raise and save even more.
By all means if you shop at Costco read my extensive article before it is removed and when my book is published.