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How to Save Money at Lowe’s Home Improvement

10 legitimate ways to save money at Lowe's Home Improvement

As avid DIYers we love to save money on all our projects.  Over time we have worked out strategies to save money at Lowe’s.  Personally, I am not comfortable scamming anyone, even large companies, so every suggestion on how to save money is on the up and up!  Also, we are not currently a Lowe’s affiliate so all of these links and suggestions are simply from our own personal experience.  We love all hardware stores, but Lowe’s is so close by that we often use them as a matter of course.

10 Ways to Save Money at Lowe’s

10 legitimate ways to save money at Lowe's Home Improvement

  1.  Email Sign Up $10 off $50 Purchase
    This offer sometimes goes away so you may need to google around to find the current link.  All you have to do is enter your email address and information in Lowe’s website and they should send you a coupon good for 7 days after receipt.  Here is a recent link.
  2. In Store Pickup/Online Sales
    I can not say enough about Lowe’s in-store pickup! There is nothing better than to just walk in, get your order, sign a piece of paper, and walk out.  Especially on busy days like Saturday and Sunday. However, you might wonder how this saves you money at Lowe’s…  Not all Lowe’s stores have the same price.  Oh YES, believe it or not this is sooooo true.  If you have two or more Lowe’s in reasonable driving distance CHECK THEIR PRICES.  I can not stress this enough.  When we were trying to outfit our whole house with roman shades we discovered this little fact simply because no single store had enough inventory to cover the whole house.  We then maximized our orders so that we got the cheapest inventory at each store.  Spent one afternoon picking up all our orders, but it was totally worth the $50+ savings even when looking at gas and time.  Sometimes the online price is cheaper than in-store shelf tag.  Check, check, check!  You can order it online, but they will match that price if it is their store you are viewing online.
  3. Sales
    Can you wait?  Because Lowe’s has weekly sales and they are GOOD.  We tend to stock up on seasonal items especially during their sales.  For example, we just scored tons of suet cakes for the wild birds and chickens for .88 when they usually go for $1.50-$2.50.  Whatever we do not use this winter we will store for next year.  Besides just seasonal items Lowe’s tends to routinely put large appliances, paint, and gardening items on regular sales.  If you are near a holiday, even something as small as President’s day, WAIT.  They will always have a special sale for holidays.
  4. Clearance Racks
    ZOMG, I can not explain how important these clearance racks are.  You will have to learn the locations in your particular store but usually there is a rack near the paint section, back of gardening, and somewhere near flooring.  Why are these so important?  Because when Lowe’s does clearance they are ready to move it on out.  I calculated that I got close to over $1000 in annuals, perennials, and trees for over 80% off last year.  Simply because they were no longer flowering, frost nipped, or at the end of the season.  Can you shout FIVE DOLLAR FRUIT TREES?!  In my blasted landscape it was a blessing to be able to fill it with some decent vegetation.  Ditto for paint, brushes, light fixtures, etc.  These all make their way to the clearance sections.

    Saving money at Lowe's Home Improvement with clearance plants
    None of the plants cost more that $1.  Like my coffee break?  Gotta have coffee when digging through the Lowe’s clearance racks.


  5.  Price Match Policy
    I haven’t used this often as Lowe’s and competitors are often so similarly priced that it doesn’t seem worth the effort for just a few pennies.  However, when we were shopping for a new washer and dryer it paid to shop around!  Make sure to have good documentation to bring with you as they will want to make sure it is the exact same model for price matching.  Also if the price is a percentage off they will only match to the net price.  So a 20% off deal somewhere else might not mean 20% off Lowe’s price, but the final price will be the same.  You can read all the details here.
  6.  Haggle 
    This one is one of the hardest for me.  Or at least it was, a recent trip to India taught me a ton about haggling!  Anyway, haggling is accepted at Lowe’s and managers/certain salespeople are able to price adjust purchases.  Lowe’s doesn’t have a published competitor’s coupon agreement but that is a great way to start the conversation.  Additionally, never buy a large appliance without haggling a bit, especially, if you are willing to take a slightly used floor model.  If you are like me and not a huge fan of haggling then you can always ask “Is this the best price I can get?”  Be polite and nice and often they will take a little off the price of large purchases.
  7. Lowe’s Credit Card
    I hesitate to mention this one because the savings here is really all rolled into how disciplined you are with credit cards.  Unless you can stick to paying them off in a specified time (for special financing) or in full each month (5% off) then you are really costing yourself money.  That being said, I purchased my first new stove by taking advantage of free financing.  Got a small discount by haggling and then had 12 months to pay it off.  By paying it off in the specified time I got to keep my savings in my savings account earning interest the entire time I paid for the stove.  Just remember these discounts are an either/or scenario.  The 5% does not get stacked with the special financing, and sometimes the special financing will not be zero percent.  Just be really careful when using this tactic.
  8. Military/Veteran’s Discount
    Found this one while researching other ways to save money at Lowe’s.  You can read all about it here, but in general active duty and those on VA benefits always get 10%.  All veterans can get 10% on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Veterans Day. They extend these discounts to immediate family at times too.
  9. Rebates
    I honestly feel if you buy a can of paint without a sale or rebate you are paying too much.  They often run $10-$15 rebates on paint and larger ones on appliances and tools.  They have a searchable list of Lowe’s and manufacturer rebates, online submission, and tracking of rebates at Lowe’s Rebate Center.  Sure it may take a bit to get the money back but it is certainly worth it and Lowe’s makes it much easier than many companies.
  10. Garden Club Signup 
    If you are in the market for garden supplies Lowe’s offers a separate email signup for garden offers.  They will often notify you of sales and occasionally have exclusive offers such as buy a certain number of plants and get one free.

Add-ons to Saving Money at Lowe’s

While they may not save you cash up front these additional services give you value all for free.  You can read the entire list of Lowe’s Store Services here.

  1. Build and Grow: I can not rave about this enough. We have 4 boys, three at the age to do crafts.  They let you do an entire craft for free.  FREE.  And it is a nice wooden object.  Besides the fact you get to take home things like monster trucks and birdhouses, they also give you a kid sized Lowe’s work apron and a nice fabric, iron-on badge for each project complete.  Adorable and (can I say it again?) Free.  Just remember to sign up in advance because they actually fill up.
  2. Cutting Services:  Sometimes there is a nominal (.05) a cut or threading charge BUT this is so much less expensive than buying things like pipe threading machines. They do all types of cutting services, pipe, wood, blinds, chain.  We have saved a fortune by buying chain, rope, etc in the exact lengths we need.  Additionally carefully placed cuts have allowed us to buy larger and less expensive boards that we can fit in the car.
  3. Design Services:  This is the only item on the list I can not say I have personally used.  Many people rave about Lowe’s in store design services.  If I ever have to remodel I would love to see what a designer comes up with.  If nothing else I could use the computer generated models as a starting ground for my own designs.


I love a good deal and Lowe’s makes it easy to save money and get great appliances, tools, gardening items, and DIY products.  Just remember the big items; always check their sales, website, and clearance sections.  Taking that short time can save you hundreds of dollars if you DIY or garden often.

Ten ways to save money at Lowe's Home Improvement Store

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Industrial Pipe and Wood Bookshelves

Using pipe to make industrial brackets for shelves.

Remember our posts on Achieving an Industrial Décor with Black Iron Pipe – Part I, Part II, and Part III?  In this post, Brianna and I are back for more tips on adding functional industrial décor with a quick tutorial for building some pretty awesome industrial pipe bookshelves with – you guessed it – black iron pipe and spare lumber.

Using pipe to make industrial brackets for shelves.

Throughout our travels, Brianna and I have collected knick knacks from across the globe to remind us of where we’ve been, what we’re capable of, and where we can go if we put in the effort.  Unfortunately, these precious mementos rarely have a place in our home at the time of purchase.  This can lead to what might as well be a four-letter word: CLUTTER. (gasp)

Trying to get a handle on cleaning and clutter management in the new year, I can’t tell you the number of clickbait posts we’ve admittedly clicked on this January claiming hold the secrets to the latest storage and organization techniques that will completely transform your home.  Let me save you the trouble of clicking through the masses and boil everything down into one simple point for you:  Everything has a place.   If your clutter isn’t in it’s place, put it there.

Our problem?  We’d run out of space.  The solution?  Build more space! (In the form of bookshelves in our master bedroom)


You can take a lot of liberties on how you attack this project.  Styles and wall sizes vary, and the supplies listed below are those used for this particular adaptation.

Industrial pipe bookshelves from pipe tutorial with step by step how to

In this project, we built 4 industrial pipe bookshelves in three different styles:

Short Shelves (times 2):

Long Shelf (Standard)

Long Shelf (Over Desk):

Craft Thyme

For each shelf, the basic steps are the same:

  1. Select your lumber,
  2. Cut your lumber to size,
  3. Sand, rough, and buff,
  4. Cut your mounting holes,
  5. Test fit,
  6. Stain and poly,
  7. Assemble, Mark, Disassemble, Install, and Reassemble

Select Your Lumber

Selecting your lumber is strictly a matter of personal preference.  You’ll do best to find a piece of wood that speaks to you.  Spend time digging through the lumber stocks searching for that perfect knot, grain, or imperfection.  For this order, I decided to leave the lumber we used up to the random choosing of a Lowe’s employee by ordering online for in-store pickup.

Cut your Lumber to Size

Each wall we were looking to fill was 62″ wide.  Not wanting to fill the space from edge-to-edge, we chose 46″ for the widest (bottom) shelf and a smaller 20″ shelf to be placed as a higher accent piece.  Cut your lumber to size using whatever mechanism you have at your disposal.  We used our smaller miter saw to make the cuts.

Sand, Rough, and Buff

Once your cuts have been made, you’re going to want to distress your wood a bit.  Why?  1) It looks cool, and 2) SAFETY!  The way we’re going to mount the shelves will leave them sticking out 8″ from the wall.  Sharp, fresh cut lumber corners jutting out from a wall are just an accident waiting to happen.

Industrial shelves from pipe tutorial with step by step how to

Take some time to sand down your newly cut corners and edges.  Feel free to be overly drastic in how you do this – it will surely make your end result that much better!  And leave those imperfections there for everyone to see.

Cut your Mounting Holes

Symmetry comes naturally to me; it’s just the way my mind thinks.  (Brianna loves and hates this about me all at the same time.)  For this project, I chose to drill out the mounting holes in the same position on either side of the shelves-to-be.  Symmetry could be optional for you, just ensure that your shelf is properly supported in the design you chose to go with.

Industrial shelves from pipe tutorial with step by step how to

Use a 1-1/8″ hole saw or drill bit to cut the holes for your 3/4″ wide pipe.  I’ve tried this many different ways (including rocking a 1″ bit when drilling) in an attempt to find the perfect hole size.  Trust me, 1-1/8″ is the way to go.  There’s no need to sand these cuts (unless you’re more of a perfectionist than I am), because the actual opening will be hidden in the final product.

Test Fit

It goes without saying that you should test fit your pipe into your newly drilled holes.  Use the 2″ nipples to make sure that they fit well.

Industrial shelves from pipe tutorial with step by step how to

If they fall right through, don’t worry and remember that you’ll have a pipe cap and an elbow or tee on the other end for support.  If the opposite happens and you find that your pipe doesn’t fit into your hole, you can either try the rocking method mentioned earlier (not recommended – you can hurt yourself if you aren’t careful), or use a rubber mallet to tap the nipple into place.

Stain and Poly

Once your lumber has been properly cut, sanded, and drilled, break out your favorite stain and polyurethane finish.  For this application, we used Minwax Early American as the stain, and Minwax Semi-Gloss Polyurethane as a finish.  Apply the stain, let it dry overnight if possible, and apply the poly the next day.  Waiting for everything to dry is the hardest part, but the end result is well worth the wait.

Assemble, Mark, Disassemble, Install, and Reassemble

Yes, it sounds like a lot of steps in one, but at least they’re simple:

  1. Go ahead and assemble each shelf as you intend.  HAND TIGHTEN ONLY.   (Interested in what we did? See the final orientation of parts in the photos below.)
  2. With a partner, hold and level the shelf where you’d like it to hang.
  3. Mark the holes in the flanges with a pencil.  (Pro tip: Have two pencils – one for each of you.  You’ll avoid yelling about loosing level status this way)
  4. Pull the shelf down, and disassemble.
  5. Install your drywall anchors where your marked your flange holes.  (I go over the top here and use anchors capable of supporting 143 lbs each)
  6. Install your flanges (only) using your freshly installed anchors and provided screws.
  7. Into the flanges, install all of the hardware you plan to install besides the shelf itself and the black pipe caps.
  8. Install your shelf over the nipples that you test fitted earlier.
  9. Secure your shelf by adding the black pipe caps to the nipple peering out of your shelf.  A strong hand-tightening should be sufficient to ensure stability.

The Final  Industrial Pipe Bookshelves

DIY pipe shelf tutorial with directions

DIY pipe shelf tutorial with directions

Industrial shelf made from pipe.

DIY industrial shelves. Tutorial and instructions.

DIY pipe shelf tutorial with directions

DIY industrial shelves and pipe desk. Tutorial and instructions.

How to make diy industrial shelves from black iron pipe.

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10 Ideas For Cheap Organization and Storage Solutions

10 Cheap ideas for organization and storage

Below are 10 ideas to cheaply organize your home. Since the object of organization is not to buy stuff but to organize I have been trying to find ways to repurpose objects I already have hanging around. Plus I threw in a few cheap and/or creative ideas that might require getting a few things, but damn they look good and organized.

10 Cheap ideas for organization and storage

In no particular order:

1. Single Socks

10 Cheap ideas for organization and storage

Get rid of single socks (you know the ones left behind after the sock monster eats one) and make a holder to keep your wrapping/craft paper from unrolling.


As we discussed Wed. organization goes beyond your stuff. Get a clear picture of your finances with this free website. It takes a bit to load everything but will calculate everything from net-worth to projected budgets.

3. Baby Food Jars

10 Cheap ideas for organization and storage

Yesterday we made a mounted spice rack with baby food jars. Today we find they are the perfect height for loose bobby pins.

4. Old School Trapper Keeper

I have a magazine problem. Do you? So instead of buying scads of these:

10 Cheap ideas for organization and storage
These are Martha Stewart magazine organizers. You can google them and find a variety of sources. Pretty, but bulky and expensive.

I buy an old school trapper keeper, then yank out the articles/inspiration/recipes I want to keep from each magazine as I read it. Throw them in a labeled folder , such as recipes (like I’m actually going to do any of those), or three hole punch and move on. Sure the racks of magazine containers can be pretty but the single folder takes .1% of the space and is a lot faster since I don’t have to flip through for the article I am looking for.

5. Garden Gear Inside

10 Cheap ideas for organization and storage

Got some unused hanging baskets in the garage? Pour out the dirt, remove the coconut liner, and hang from the ceilings or walls for instant storage. Image courtesy of Centsational Girl via BHG.

6. Google Calendar

Got family members everywhere? Sure a large blackboard calendar or dryerase board is great at home but what about when you’re on the go? Check this calendar from work or your smart-phone.

7. Dollar Store Cutlery Organizers

10 Cheap ideas for organization and storage

Those random plastic draw dividers made for utensils… Yeah perfect for nail polish, lotion bottles, brushes. The list goes on and on. Just think you could pay $10.00 on Amazon to store your nail-polish or .50 cents using kitchen gadgets.

8. Old Packaging

10 Cheap ideas for organization and storage
I didn’t actually turn that into that, but I’m hoping to. See the tutorial link below.

Sure the discarded cereal box is not the storage solution for everyone… BUT what if you could make it fabulous? Here is a tutorial at Positively Splendid that takes these ugly diaper boxes and makes them faboo! What other free packaging can I turn into chic holders?

9. Goodwill Containers

10 Cheap ideas for organization and storage

Maybe you aren’t into thrifting your footwear, but take a second look at second hand. Glass apothecary jar $1.75 and juice glass .75 cents at Goodwill. Keep in mind I knew I needed containers for Q-tips and cotton balls before I went so I didn’t buy a bunch of glass items that wouldn’t fit.

10. Old Furniture

Sure we have all seen the TV cabinet turned into a craft station or an old dresser made-over into a buffet. But how about these puppies:

10 Cheap ideas for organization and storage
Old tables give a totally new life as bookcases.

Yep, that takes the idea of using old furniture for storage to a new level. Image courtesy of Art Eko.

I hope this gets your creative juices flowing to find cheap or free storage solutions already on hand or right nearby.


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How To Make A Mounted Spice Rack From Jars

How to make a spice rack from baby food jars

During my organization frenzy of 2012 I am pretty excited to tackle the spice mess in my pantry. I created a mounted spice rack using old baby food jars. Want to learn how? See the following tutorial on creating your own spice rack. Bonus organization: I not only cleaned up the spices but I used these random jars I refused to throw away.

Necessary Materials

Jars with lids (Labels removed… If you want it to be aesthetically pleasing)

Wooden board or Shelf

Wood Screws


Step 1 Painting the Lids (Not shown because spray paint comes with directions)

Depending on the look you are going for you may or may not want to spray paint the outside rim of your lids. Personally I wasn’t in love with the bright red “baby food” lid so I hit the edges with a little white glossy spray paint. It blended with the current shelf color and should be easy to repaint if when I finally repaint the pantry.

Step 2 Work Out the Spacing

How to make a spice rack from baby food jars
The shelf is stained, but clean. I swear!

This is really going to depend on the size of jars you are using. Mine ended up being about 2 inches apart. Hold up a jar with the lid and make sure you can comfortably turn the jar without getting your hand caught between the wall or another jar. Remember to keep in mind if others will be using the spice rack to leave ample space for different sized hands, i.e. you have danity hands while your husband has meat hooks.

Use a pencil and draw around the lid. Dislike the spacing and draw again. Hold a couple of jars up and try not to drop one on your foot… Decide the spacing is pretty good and move on.

Step 3 Drill, Baby, Drill

How to make a spice rack from baby food jars
Why yes, I did think it was necessary to protect my beauuuutiful 70’s faux-wood counter-tops when drilling. Also note the thin spray paint on top, you won’t be seeing that area so don’t waste your time.

While the metal lids aren’t exactly Kevlar you will thank yourself if you drill a pilot hole for the screw through the middle of each jar. Imagine holding a jar lid, screw, and drill upside down and trying to apply enough pressure to pierce the metal. So, take the extra second to drill a quick hole. The metal is thin enough on most jars you won’t need a special drill bit.

Step 4 We’re All Screwed Now

How to make a spice rack from baby food jars
At some point I really will go back and paint these stained shelves we inherited from the previous owner. Really.

Take a wood screw and tightly hook the lid to the underneath of the shelf or to a board you can mount later. Make sure the wood screw is shorter than the board thickness since you will want to get it as flush as possible with the lid. I didn’t really worry about the make (metal content) of the screw since the spices will not be in contact with it and I want to keep them as dry as possible.

Finally fill the jars and attach to the lids!

How to make a spice rack from baby food jars
Completed Spice Rack! Now I just need to make some pretty labels.

Here’s a detail shot:

How to make a spice rack from baby food jars


-This idea isn’t novel and works with canning jars too. My great-grandfather hung all his nails, bolts, and screws from the rafters in the basement using old canning jars. Just make sure to mount the rim over the lid before securing with the screw.

-This makes a great space saver if you have odd height shelves ( me!) or you can always mount these to a board to hang elsewhere.

-Other than waiting for the paint to dry and being picky about the spacing this is a very fast project. I completed it while entertaining a two year old so it must not have required a huge amount of effort on my part :).

If you try this project or have done a similar spice rack please let me know! I love to see pictures.

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Top 5 Organization Ideas: From the Winter Purge Research of 2012

Top 5 Organization Tips

I find in life that my love of perfection and research lead me to read a lot about topics while actually doing… Well let’s just say the doing leaves much to be desired.

Secure in my knowledge that I was going to actually make a resolution about organization for 2012 I started a week early AND I dove right in. I had some code yellow areas (as described by Rants from Mommyland) that were just begging to be tackled to make room for the ginormous amount of crap necessary for the survival of an American newborn.

I’m used to this cycle of neatness to slob and back around again so it was no surprise when about halfway through toy clean and bookcase purge 2012 my project started to get that out-of-control hoarders look. To keep the momentum going and find a way to keep myself organized this time (I mean it) my evenings have been spent frantically researching every organization blog and library book I could get my hands on. Because I am determined to not go. Through. This. Cycle. Again.

From my personal organization battles and research I found the experts agree there are main areas that must be addressed for organization to occur and be maintained. So I bring you:

Top 5 Organization Tips

Top 5 Organization Ideas

  1. Organization is about getting rid of or finding a permanent home for your stuff. Not about buying “organization” items.
  2. Organization requires a family buy in.
  3. Organization is a daily affair.
  4. There are thousands of creative uses for the things you already own.
  5. Organization should go beyond your stuff and consider your entire life like finances, vacations, etc.

Let’s Look In More Detail

1. Not buying more stuff: This is a biggy for me. Not the buying stuff. I’m kind of over buying stuff plus we are broke. No, I’m discussing the belief I hold that says, ” I need all that beautiful organization stuff in order to get organized.” Surprisingly it isn’t true, plus the professionals say it is counterproductive. Unless you have a specific use for those beautiful stainless steel canisters then they are just another item taking up the kitchen counter

Real life bonus: I have continually bitched about needing more bookcases, but I put on my big girl panties and purged, purged, purged. After getting rid of every book I didn’t truly love, use as a reference, or want save for my children (Hello my original copy of “A Wrinkle in Time”) I had cleaned off my bookcases. Then amazingly I had room on every shelf to add a few new books.

Real life bonus #2: Found out McClain loves art books. Sure he points out the boobs in the Klimt paintings, but I’ll take any toddler sophistication I can get.

2. The family buy in: Ugh! This one is hard, but a lot of it just comes from being realistic. If everyone dumps everything by the front door then it won’t matter that you have the prettiest coat rack two rooms away. The shiznit is never, ever going to make it that far. Luckily, I am married to a man who loves to purge and will happily cart anything to Goodwill but we just disagree on where the remaining stuff should go. Why the class containers are on the top shelf in the kitchen while the plastic tupperware is on the bottom I will never know.

3. Organization Everyday: Double UGH! Honestly, it takes picking up every day. Not every Tuesday but every single frigging day, for the rest of my life. This depresses me and makes me want to get a maid. However, I have found picking up for 10 minutes every evening when McClain goes to bed is starting to be easier than cleaning all day Saturday.

4. Seriously, creative uses: I’m going to do a round up of a few I have come up with (uses for those single socks!) and some other great organization ideas on Friday.

5. Going beyond the crap: I’m taking 15 hours of college courses this Spring, working 25 hours a week outside the home, blogging, and will be having our second baby in a few weeks. Patrick just got elected alderman (think town council), works full-time, and volunteers & works part-time for a variety of town and historical projects. Can you say we don’t know who is coming and going? We both got on board with Google calendar and that has been a saving grace for our event organization. Now to take care of the rest of our lives.

Certainly each book and blog offered specific tips on how to achieve these main themes. However, mostly each item revolved around these five central ideas. Well that and all of them said the biggest step was to JUST GET STARTED. So hopefully my research will pay off and we can tame the chaos for good this time around.

Top 5 Organization Tips
BTW, this is what I meant about looking like hoarders mid-organization…

If you have any other great ideas please, please, please share!