Saving money on building materials Cedar Rapids, Iowa

4 Replies

With tax time approaching I began looking through last years receipts and am realizing just how much I have spent on building materials.  I wanted to share how I am beginning to try and save money on these things in 2015 as well as see if anyone in the Cedar Rapids, IA area has been doing any of this or has any of there own tips.

I am prior service ARMY National Gaurd so I take advantage of the 10% military discount at Lowes, HD and even Ar Jays.  I know that this is not an option for everyone but as a veteran I do take advantage of this any time I buy from these places.

At the building supply stores I set up an account.  Most of these places give a discount based on volume of items bought there or based on your employer.  I pay less for very good quality paint at SW and Klingers than the mediocre stuff at box stores based on my volume buying discount.  Just by setting up an account you will save over list shelf price.

Another thing that I am just beginning to implement is a little more extreme and you have to think a little bit ahead but with a little planning most people can do it and save good money.  First I got an American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card for my business credit card.  It has a $75 annual fee but you get $150 back after $1000 charged in first 3 months.  This card gives 6% back at grocery stores (6,000 max) and 3% back on gas.  The beauty of this is that you can buy $100 gift cards to HD and Lowes at grocery stores.  The local Hy Vee has a fuel saver program that you get back $.20 per gallon on up to 20 gallons for every $100 gift card.  With the $4.00 in fuel savings, 6% cash back and 10% military discount the savings can really add up.

I know the credit card, fuel saver combo will not always work as I may not always work as you may not be close enough to either HD or Lowes but its good if you know you'll be having a large item purchase at one of these stores.  I nuy all my water heaters from HD and Lowes usually has pretty good appliance sales.

Has anyone else in the area implemented any of these strategies?  I don't usually write such large posts but its a bone chilling cold day out and I'm looking for any reason to not get out from under the covers: )

I use Lowes Commercial AR Card for 5% off, so if you are military, that is an extra 10%,

Which adds up quick on big purchases. Black Friday is the best time to buy appliances and stock up for an upcoming project. Costco is my go to card for gas. 

Also, Amazon has good deals for cabinet and door hardware. I've heard good things about as well and Craigslist is good source for good used tools.

Sounds like you are on the right track though.

I might check into that card as the cap on the 6% gift cards is $6000 and I spend well over that!  I wonder if they'll let you do the 2 in conjunction?  I know at HD they wouldn't give me bulk pricing AND military discount I had to pick.

@Andrew D.  If you are going to use a smaller lumber yard for any of these items you can usually ask for the contractor rate and they will give you a price reduction on things. I don't have a Lowes or HD in my area so they aren't options in my market.

Good advice though !!

Former Iowan here (Clinton & Ames) & new to this forum. I'm not sure how many units you're buying for but I buy about $10 million worth of materials every year in the Chicagoland area. I might be able to set you up with some good discounts and account reps in your area if you were interested. 

A few things I want to point out:

1. Home Depot also offers rebates up to 3% in addition to the 10% off you've been getting through Pro Extra Rewards. 

2. For water heaters, you may want to get a quote from your local Ferguson if you haven't already. 

3. Even if you're doing a couple units per year, you should be saving a minimum 40% off list on SW's paint

4. I'd recommend trying to get a hold of GE Direct for appliances - worst they can say is "no".

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