For the past few months, I’ve been eyeing up smokers. I love to grill using charcoal, and I wanted to experiment with smoking some meats, but I just couldn’t justify the $299 price tag for the Weber smoker that I wanted.
This upcoming weekend, we’re having a belated Father’s day get together with my in-laws. Ken asked his dad what he wanted to have me cook, and his dad said, “BBQ ribs.” I was like, “SCORE! I have an excuse to buy that smoker now, and I didn’t even have to put my father-in-law up to it!”
But unfortunately, it had already been a pretty expensive month for me. My 3+ year old MacBook Pro is running so slowly it’s been driving me crazy. So earlier this month, Ken and I ordered parts to build a new computer for me. Although it’s a lot cheaper to build a computer than to buy one with the same specifications, it was still nearly $850. It looked like I’d have to forgo the $299 smoker and just cook the ribs on the grill or in the oven.
But I couldn’t quite let it go of the smoker idea. I shopped around. Prices for the smoker were the same at Lowes and Home Depot too. Sears didn’t sell it. The price was $299 everywhere I looked.
But then I remembered this post from last week and realized that I could save more than 40% of the smoker by leveraging some extreme savings at Lowes!
The week of 6-11 through 6-17, Safeway was having a “Dads and Grads” gift card special. For each $50 gift card you purchased, you got a $10 off Safeway coupon. Gift cards for about 10 different stores were eligible for the promotion, one of which was Lowes!
Steps to Savings
So that brings me to step 1:
1) Purchase $300 in Lowes gift cards from Safeway. I purchased six separate $50 gift cards so that I would get six separate $10 Safeway coupons. Total savings by buying the gift cards at Safeway: $60.
2) Safeway was also running a promotion for 4x gas rewards points on gift card purchases. So my $300 purchase netted 1200 gas rewards points. This will ultimately save me $1.20 per gallon on my gas guzzling 1999 SUV. Total savings on future gas purchases: ~$20
3) I used my Amex Blue Cash Preferred card to purchase the Lowes gift cards from Safeway. The Amex Blue Cash Preferred provides 6% cash back at supermarkets. Total savings by purchasing $300 in gift cards at Safeway: $18
4) Next, I searched high and low for a coupon code for Lowes that would be accepted on Weber grills. Nearly every coupon code I tried was not eligible on Weber items. But, I finally found one on RetailMeNot for $25 off a $250 purchase. Total savings for a few minutes of searching for a working coupon code: $25
5) Then, I placed the Lowes order using a cash back portal. Ebates was offering 2% cash back, which is decent, but not great. But they had the highest cash back rate, so I went with it.* Total savings using a cash back portal: $5.98
Total savings: $128.98
So, there you have it. I saved myself more than 43% on the cost of a smoker I almost would’ve paid full price for!** To be honest, if I hadn’t already spent money on the computer parts earlier this month, I probably would’ve just paid the $299 and ordered it from Amazon without a second thought. But this was so much more fun! I hope to chase more deals like this in the future!
I can’t wait to use the smoker this weekend!
** There is an additional supermarket savings option this month for some folks. Amex Sync Offers was targeting select customers with $10 off grocery purchases up to three transactions. Unfortunately I wasn’t targeted for that promotion, otherwise I could’ve saved an additional $30 on my Safeway transactions! You can read more about maximizing Amex Sync offers here.
* There was a slightly better cash back bonus if you used the Chase Ultimate Reward portal. However, I have found that my luck getting bonuses to post if you’re not actually using a Chase Ultimate Rewards card has diminished over the past year to zip, nil, nada. Since I was going to be paying for the entire transaction using gift cards, I assumed that I wouldn’t get any cash back bonus if I shopped through the Chase UR portal. Therefore I just went with the sure bet of Ebates.