12 Genius Hacks Every Home Depot Shopper Should Know

Home Depot can help you with home improvements, and you might get more out of your next project with these hacks.
Last updated Aug. 25, 2022 | By Jenny Cohen | Edited By Chris Kissell
 hardware store with empty shopping cart

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Americans everywhere are starting to pick up those summer home improvement projects. Lists for homeowners include everything from annual gardening and lawn maintenance to one-time indoor and outdoor projects.

One good place to start is a home improvement store like Home Depot, which might have everything you need for your projects in one place. It also may have a few surprises that could help you save big bucks on your next project.

Before you head out to pick up supplies for your next home improvement, here are a few Home Depot secrets that could help you save some cash and eliminate your money stress.

Pick up paint mistakes

JackF/Adobe  male customer selecting paint can in housewares department

If you’re not super picky about a paint color, check the “oops” paint shelf at Home Depot for a mistinted color that may work for your next project.

This type of paint is a can that may have been mixed wrong or was never picked up by a customer. In order to get rid of it, Home Depot may dramatically mark down the cost of the paint. That may make it a great opportunity to pick up a gallon for small jobs or projects around the house at a fraction of what it would cost normally.

Get deals on damaged goods

auremar/Adobe hardware department representative

If you prefer a ding to your fridge to a ding to your wallet, ask about getting a discount for damaged stock. This may be a small dent or scratch. Or, perhaps the box is busted but the product inside is still good.

Sometimes, there is just enough damage that Home Depot can’t sell it as new at full price, but you can still pick it up for a discount.

Pro tip: If you’re buying a big item, consider using one of the best rewards credit cards and earn cash back or rewards on your purchase.

Rent tools instead of buying

Grandbrothers/Adobe  hand held drill and a set of drill bits

Some tools may cost a lot, which can be frustrating if you only need them for a few projects. Perhaps you want to power-wash your porch once or take down a single tree with a chainsaw.

Renting the tool is the answer here. Check with your local Home Depot about renting machines so you don’t have to purchase them.

Pro tip: If you’re trying to save money, check with your local library. Some have home equipment that you can borrow for free with a library card.

Return dead plants

Kabardins photo/Adobe dried plant in a pot in hand

Some plants may be eligible for returns to Home Depot even though they’re no longer alive. If you have a plant that has died, you may be able to return it to the store within a year, depending on the type of plant.

Shrubs and trees, for example, have a one-year guarantee, according to Home Depot.

Get discounts on floor models

Vastram/Adobe Table and chairs in garden of country house

You can save when shopping at Home Depot if you see something you like, but only the floor model is left. Ask about getting a discount on the last grill or patio set for the summer that the store may have on display.

Also, check in after holidays like Halloween and Christmas to see if they have any decorations they may want to part with at a discount.

Take advantage of military discounts

WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Mixed race military trainer giving training to military soldier

Have you served or are you currently serving in the military? Home Depot likes to help out active-duty military and veterans with discounts throughout the year.

You can get up to 10% off select purchases for a maximum of $400 per calendar year when you shop at the store.

Join the Garden Club

Maksim Kostenko/Adobe gardener planting flowers in the garden

If Home Depot is your go-to spot for gardening, you may want to consider joining the Garden Club. You can get tips on the best times to plant certain flowers or take free online gardening classes, for example. And signing up for the retailer’s newsletter could get you a coupon for the next time you’re at the store.

Pro tip: Subscribe to Home Depot email and text alerts for secret discounts and an extra coupon for your next visit.

Check for after-season sales

New Africa/Adobe Modern grill with meat and vegetables outdoors

Like other retailers that carry seasonal items, Home Depot may have great discounts if you go at the end of a season before they switch out inventory.

Check for summer pieces like grills and patio furniture in the fall. Christmas and other holiday decorations may be cheaper at the end of December instead of the beginning.

Seek out the Special Buy of the Day

JackF/Adobe man picking horticultural sundry

Each day, Home Depot has a Special Buy of the Day that may include discounts on power tools, appliances, kitchen items, and more.

The trick is to check the retailer’s Special Buy of the Day page each day to see if they’re discounting what you need. Some of the items might also qualify for free shipping.

Save money with subscriptions

monticellllo/Adobe Laptop computer displaying logo of Home Depot

You can sign up for a subscription delivery of items you frequently order online, which will net you a discount. For example, Home Depot can send you air filters, batteries, water filters, and more on a regular basis to replace any of those items in your home.

Signing up for a subscription gets you 5% off your purchase each time you have that item sent to you.

Take DIY classes

dusanpetkovic1/Adobe  hardworking short hair female working with an electric drill

Feel more confident taking on those DIY projects around your primary or secondary home by signing up for one of Home Depot’s online workshops.

Take classes on simple things, such as how to use power tools or basic gardening. Or, you can sign up for more advanced learning, such as how to take on a project like staining a deck, painting a room, or installing a faucet.

Get kids started early

pikselstock/Adobe Girl building birdhouse in garage

Want to get your kids into building things now? Home Depot has projects for that.

Check out the Home Depot kids workshops that allow you to order a project for your kids to put together. For example, you may get pre-cut wooden pieces that kids can assemble themselves or with the help of a responsible adult.

Bottom line

Kirk Fisher/Adobe Home Depot in Liberty Lake Washington

When you buy a home, you must always be prepared for the next project. Fortunately, using the right hacks can cut the cost of buying supplies and other goods at Home Depot.

Check out some of the options that Home Depot may have to help you get your next great project done while you save some money. And saving that money might be useful so you can use that cash to crush your debt in other ways.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.