Crazy Savings at Lowes

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.



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