I started this series with a post about saving money at Home Depot, here. As I said before, I am a home improvement junkie. Sadly, I have champagne taste on a Diet Coke budget, so over the years, I have learned how to do upgrades and improvements to our house in a very frugal way. Sears is another great store that we've used in the past, more to buy appliances than to buy home repair items. Here are a few ways to save money at Sears:
- 10% coupons in change-of-address kits. You know those change-of-address kits that you can get at the post office? The ones that hold those great 10% Lowe's coupons (which can also be used at Home Depot) that I mentioned back here? Those kits also contain Sears coupons for 10% off anything (including clearance items). Each of these coupons contains a unique 16 digit code. You can enter these codes online to get 10% off or you can present them in-store. I always keep a stash of them in my purse so that I never pay full price on anything at Sears.
- ShopYourWayRewards This is a rewards program that works in all Sears-owned stores, like Kmart, Lands End, The Great Indoors. etc. Basically, you get 1% of your purchase at any of these stores back for future purchases. So if I buy a $600 washer, tomorrow I will have $6 to spend on towels at Kmart. Membership in ShopYourWayRewards is free.
- There is ALWAYS a discount code available at Sears.com. Always. It might not be a match for the item you want, but there are always promo codes floating around, and you can usually find them just by searching. If you want to make purchase at Sears.com and you can't find a code, contact me for one. Also sign up here to receive emails and/or texts about Sears promotions and deals.
- Shop at Home. Shop at Home periodically runs "extra cash back events" and Sears is almost always included on their roster. If you have enough time to plan in advance, wait and watch for one of their events (usually two-three times monthly) and get a ton of extra money back on your purchase in cash back.
- AAA I've belonged to both AAA New York and AAA Colorado, and both programs offer a 5% discount at Sears.com, so I'm going to assume it's available at AAAs nationally. If you have a AAA membership, create an online log-in and then click on "Discounts." The discount requires a clickthrough to Sears.com which will plunk an automatic 5% discount in your Sears shopping cart. I've used this AAA perk, and this discount is stackable with other promo codes and discounts.
- In-store negotiating. This one is not for everyone, but if you are comfortable negotiating (not squabbling or haggling, but negotiating), you can do very well in-store at Sears. Sears salespeople are commissioned and highly motivated to make a sale. Back in 2006, two friends of mine were moving to Long Island and needed to buy a washer, dryer and dishwasher quickly. Having the power of purchasing multiple items, I walked into the Sears in Denver, negotiated $700 off from the purchase prices of the three appliances, had them waive all but one delivery charge, and then they threw in a $100 gift card to boot (which my friend gleefully gifted to me...I got a great rotisserie with the card). I actually love negotiating, which is weird because I'm not such a people person. It can start with a gentle question like "That seems a little expensive. Do you think you can do a little better on the price?" and go from there. People tend to think that because Sears is a huge department store, the prices are fixed. This is true of almost anything in the store, but not the major appliances. There's wiggle room there.
- Coupons on the receipt. Sears has their own version of the Catalina coupon...meaning the coupon that prints out when you make a purchase. When you purchase something at Sears in-store, especially using their loyalty ShopYourWayRewards card, more often than not, you'll get a little coupon at the end of your receipt for (for example) $15 off your next purchase of $50. I bought the valances for our living room/dining room window treatments at Sears, and knowing that I would get this little perk at the end of my purchase, I bought all seven valances one or two at a time and kept rolling the discounts in to each purchase. I don't recall the exact details, but I ended up paying less than $15 per valance after I stacked all my discounts (they started out at $75 each).