Here’s how I saved $700 today.

I’m going to start this story right in the middle of it all…in medias res. Mainly because the first part of the story is confusing and long, but also because I need to run out the door for a fifth grade picnic.

So, we need to buy a new refrigerator asap…but it’s not for us. The only requirement is that it needs to be counter-depth. So we’ve got some flexibility on brand, and where we purchase the fridge, but we need to do it quick.

This is the part where I feel like a squirrel that has stored up a nice stash of nuts for the winter. Over the past few weeks and months, I’ve mentally filed away hundreds of tips and tidbits about how to save money in certain situations – if I ever needed to. Now it’s time to put my knowledge into action. I love this part!

Lowe’s – I’ve been waiting for this moment.

While I’ve never shopped at Lowe’s before, I’ve wanted to for a long time. Mainly because it seems like they are always running lucrative, stackable promotions on appliances. This was my chance to find and use these promos myself! I was really excited.

In fact, I was able to save 57% off off my purchase…which in this case rang in at $695! I guess Lowe’s reputation as a great destination for deals on appliances is well-deserved.

Here’s how I did it.

Even if you don’t need an appliance right now, I encourage you to read this post and file it away for later. It could save you hundreds of dollars. 🙂

1. First, I shopped around on Craigslist. I did this to make sure that there weren’t any awesome deals posted, and also to get a baseline for what a good deal would be if I bought a fridge new (from an appliance store). The lowest price I found on Craigslist was $650, and that was for a used, five-year-old fridge.

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2. Next, I went to the Sears Appliance Outlet. Lowest price here was $1400.

3. Armed with this information, I looked online at Lowe’s. They are currently having an appliance sale, so this was perfect timing. The lowest-priced fridge I found was $1,220.

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 10.17.55 AM4. Now it was time for the fun part. I clicked on the “up to $1,050 in rebates” link and learned that this purchase would earn us a Lowe’s gift card worth $120.

5. I knew that Lowe’s gift cards were included in the awesome Safeway deal I wrote about yesterday. If we bought $1,220 worth of gift cards, that would earn us $240 in cash back to spend at Safeway. The way this works is that for each $50 gift card you buy, you earn $10 in cash back. Since we would need 24 gift cards, we would earn 24 x $10 = $240.

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6. Another part of the Safeway deal is that you currently earn 4x gas rewards on gift card purchases. Each of these $50 transactions will earn 200 gas points, for a total of 4,800 points. Since 1,000 gas points = $1 off per gallon, these rewards are worth almost $50 to me (almost 5 fill-ups at $1 off per fill-up).

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7. A third part of the Safeway deal is that you can use it in combination with the Amex sync “Supermarket Offer.” If you were targeted for this offer (check your Amex account to confirm!), you can get $10 back when you spend $50 at a supermarket. Since Josh and I each got this offer on one of our Amex cards, this will give us a total of $60 cash back for purchasing 6 Lowe’s cards.

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 10.09.23 PM8. I used my Amex Blue card (which gives me 5% back at grocery stores) to purchase the remaining 18 cards. This totals out to $45.

9. I stacked a Lowe’s coupon good for 10% off onto the purchase. You can find these at the Post Office in the “moving” packets they hand out when you change your address, or you can sign up for one online here. This coupon saved us $120!

10. I went through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to get 5x points on the purchase, for a total of 6,000 Ultimate Rewards points. These are worth at least $60 to me (probably more, but let’s go with that).

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Add it up.

Here’s how all of these savings pencil out:

  • $120 – Lowe’s Gift card
  • $240 – Safeway cash
  • $50 – gas rewards
  • $60 – Amex sync offer
  • $45 –  Amex 5% cash back
  • $120 – Lowe’s 10% off coupon
  • $60 – Chase Ultimate Rewards points

This is a total of $695 in cash and rewards! Since we can (and will) use all of the above, the savings on this refrigerator is HUGE for us.

I love finding deals like this! Have you found any great ones recently? Or can you also use this awesome deal at Lowe’s?

Comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    Great tips, thanks!

    I swear you must have been a math major in a prior life!

  2. DAAANNNNGGGGGG!!!! I’m #smh and smiling at the same time! You just owned this deal!!!!

    Great work!

  3. Patrick says:

    Nicely done!!

    I do have a couple of questions related to the Chase Portal and Rewards points.

    In my experience, I have found it very hit or miss getting my points from Chase if I don’t use my Chase card. Please let us know if those 6,000 points show up.

    And secondly, after going through the portal to Lowes, you were able to use ALL 24 cards on the Lowes WEB site to make the purchase? The WEB site allows that many?

    • I’d like to know the answer to using that many GCs on one transaction too! And two points to make: be sure to watch for any competitors offering a lower price – Lowe’s will match it (as long as it’s the same model! Also, can you use the Safeway cash to buy more GCs? Thanks!

    • Points Pixie says:

      Patrick and Ben – I will let you know about the Chase points.

      Yes, I was able to use all 24 cards. I also called to confirm before I embarked on this deal – according to the rep I spoke to, there is no limit for the number of gift cards you can use per transaction. Not sure this is true, but I was able to use 24, and he mentioned that he had once taken a phone order for 30.

      Yes – Lowe’s will price match!

      No – you cannot use the Safeway cash to buy more gift cards.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Patrick – 6140 Chase points posted in my account today! That was fast!

  4. Are you able to use 24 giftcards on the lowes website for a purchase?

  5. Don’t forget to check for energy rebates. Last time I bought a washer I ended up with two rebates (totaling ~$130 IIRC) b/c it met some energy-efficiency standard. One was from my utility provider, the other from the state. (Sorry I don’t have specific details; it was a while ago.)

  6. a. you done good
    b. no need to always fluff up stuff with bs. the CL bit was unnecessary and inaccurate. you don’t need to accentuate by comparing to CL. best deal… $650 for 5 year old fridge? no reader with a brain buys this, so it detracts. i bought a barely used stainless like your lowes purchase for a rental property for $325 delivered a few months ago. there were many others in the ballpark.
    c. the $240 at safeway should have an asterick. safeway prices and 240 to spend in 2 weeks. acv of $240 at safeway ~190
    d. with 2 cars, you BETTER do better than $10 per reward. go together. it says 1 car- not enforced, obviously.
    e. you’re lucky on the sync. 11 amex cards here- ZERO supermarket sync. 🙁

    • Points Pixie says:

      abby – Thanks for the comment.

      a. Thank you!
      b. The “CL bit” was my process. It’s what I do every time I am about to make a big purchase. I included it because this is my blog and I like to write about what I do. 🙂 Not sure why you think it’s inaccurate. Those were the results for a counter-depth fridge in my area. As I mentioned in the post, we didn’t have time to wait for a killer deal to show up on CL. We had to buy this yesterday. Also – I’d love to know what area you live in that you can find a brand new counter-depth fridge for $325! Might be worth a road trip!
      c. I don’t agree. You can actually find some very good deals at Safeway if you know how to shop that store. And I do.
      d. I’m fine with $10 per reward.
      e. Yes! I was glad we got the deal. Here’s hoping for more good ones in the future!

  7. @ Kendra — Are the $10 off $25 Safeway coupons stackable, or you going to need to make 24 x $25 purchases at Safeway by 7/1? Did the cashiers look at you like you had lost your mind?

    • Points Pixie says:

      Gene – Not stackable, unfortunately. The cashiers were too busy telling me I looked like Angela Davis to wonder about my sanity. 😉

  8. DaninSTL says:

    Nice post.

    Lowe’s also will allow you to stack a veterans discount on top of other stuff but I don’t know if this is in store only.

    Maybe I missed something but since you’ve never shopped at Lowe’s before I assume you’ll be able to use the gift card? Maybe this deal will let you shop there more often.

    Last, did you just move? If not you cheated by using the 10% “Moving” discount that Lowe’s so generously gives to people that did.

    • Points Pixie says:

      DaninSTL – Thank you. And thanks for the tip about the Veteran’s discount! We can’t use it, but I’m sure your comment will help others.

      Yes, I will definitely find a way to use the gift card. 😉

      We didn’t move, but there is a big move involved in this scenario, so no cheating happening here.

  9. That is awesome!

  10. “Looking like Angela Davis”. I love it. How old were those clerks?

  11. Just wanted to thank you for this! I wanted to buy a new $300 smoker from Amazon and then I remembered this post from last week! Lowes was selling it for the same price as Amazon. So I went to safeway today before their gift card sale ended! Although just for other readers, I wanted to point out that after my fourth $50 transaction, my Amex was declined and my cell phone started ringing – it was the Amex fraud detection department. It was just a 3 minute call, but I did have to verify those previous four purchases before being able to finish the last two gift cards. Scored $60 in Safeway coupons and 1200 in gas points. Paid for it using my Amex Blue Cash Preferred and earned 6% cash back. Score, score, and SCORE.

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