If there’s one place we spend an exorbitant amount of money, it’s Menards. That’s Henry above, saving big money on a Clapper at Menards. (The boy is obsessed with the store. Sometimes, we just go there and let him run around. Who needs a bounce house?)
Through the years, we’ve renovated two houses, three rental properties and re-constructed a barn. So, we have literally made thousands of trips to the store. Some months, we may as well just sign over our paychecks to Menards.
The reason we stick with Menards – It’s the cheapest. By far. Trust us. We’ve shopped around. And sometimes, we go elsewhere for items. But mostly, Menards is the least expensive for the building materials we need. (This is not sponsored post at all. Regardless of the ungodly amount of money we spend there, Menards doesn’t have any idea who we are. Although, seriously Menards? Sponsor us.)
Over the years, we’ve learned that there are some easy ways to save (even more) big money at Menards. I understand that not everyone has this hardware store, but if you do, here are a few tips that have worked for us.
Sales and 14-day price adjustments
Like all stores, items do go on sale. Watching the ads can be an easy way to spot good deals – especially on big purchases. (We saved about 33 percent on our shingles for the barn.) And if you are renovating a whole property, it’s worth buying some things ahead of schedule to save some money.
But another way to save money is to watch the ads for things you’ve already purchased. Because Menards will adjust the price (and return the difference) within 14 days. Last week, we requested a price adjustment for insulation that went on sale 10 days after we bought it. That saved us about $60. (Definitely worth our time.)
I think we’ve all had bad experiences with returns at stores. Ryan and I find Menards to be one of the easiest stores to deal with for returns. This is a unsung way to save money, because you don’t have to keep those extra sheets of plywood or rolls of insulation after your project. (There is also an in-store kiosk to look up receipts.)
Menards is also really good about returning defective and broken items (I’m sure every store is different, but we’ve had good luck). And if a staple gun breaks the day it was purchased (which happened to us this week), it’s nice that you can you exchange it for another one instead of buying another. These small savings add up.
Menards has an insane number of items with rebates. It’s not cash back, but you’ll receive a store credit to use in the future. The rebates never expire and can really add up. It’s a simple process of sending the rebate receipt with a form. We are constantly getting rebates in the mail from Menards. To keep track of them, we keep them in a rebates wall pocket by the door. This means they don’t get lost or forgotten.
There are also lots of things you can get for free (with rebate) if you watch the weekly ads. When we renovated our current house, we bought dozens and dozens of tubes of caulk free with rebate. If you are a renovater, you know how much paintable caulk you need. We STILL have a few tubes left, after numerous projects.
It’s worth skimming the ad on a weekly basis to see if anything useful is on rebate. But the time to really buy is what I like to call the real Mac Daddy of Menards rebates.
11 percent rebates
Several times a year, Menards runs and 11 percent rebate on EVERYTHING IN THE STORE. If you aren’t getting excited, you are dead. Because 11 percent on anything means 11 PERCENT ON EVERYTHING.
Typically this happens for about a week, four times a year. It’s almost always quarterly. (Don’t ask me how I know that.) But this year, because Menards loves us, they’ve already extended the rebates for four weeks. (And it’s going on right now.) And because Menads really loves us, you can now get a 11 percent rebate on gift cards.
This is new, and it’s worth understanding. You can buy gift cards now and get 11 percent back in merchandise credit now. Then, you use the gift cards later (when items are on sale or there is another 11 percent rebate going on). This means you can really “double rebate.”
Let me give you an example. We purchased several thousand dollars in gift cards during an 11 percent rebate period. We sent in our rebates to receive several hundred dollars back in merchandise credit. We have actually been using the gift cards now, which means we get another 11 percent rebate for what we buy with the gift card (essentially doubling the rebate). We’ll also use the gift cards in the future with other sales and promotions for items we need.
(Edited to add: Just found out the current 11 percent rebate doesn’t include gift cards. Wah, wah. But if it’s happened once, it could happen again. Keep your eyes peeled.)
Does this make sense? This is so awesome, I’m sharing a numerical example (numbers are rounded for the example):
During 11 percent rebate period:
- Buy $1000 in gift cards (send in $110 rebate)
- Spend $500 in insulation (buy with gift card, send in another $55 rebate)
Next week, 14 percent off bag sale:
- Spend $200 in plumbing pipes (buy with gift card, save $34 from regular price with bag sale)
- $165 to spend from rebates and $300 in gift cards remaining to use for future purchases – which will (hopefully) be used when the items are on sale or rebates.
So, these are a few ways that we’ve had experience saving (extra) big money at Menards. And when you are renovating, those dollars quickly add up. Each could take a little effort and time, but over the past six years, we’ve saved thousands of dollars by being mindful.