Avoid: Home Decor
Lowe's may not have the worst items on the market, but you’ll sure pay a pretty penny to get them. Lowe's might have some nice curtains, but they can cost around $30. However, IKEA might have the same design (or similar) for as low as $10! Then there are the little pieces that are strictly decor.
Why would you pay $20 for a gold, geometric pear? They don't even come as a set! A little sign that says "collect beautiful moments" costs $25! These prices are ridiculously priced even when they're on sale. When shopping decor, it's best to grab it online or at Target or Walmart.
While much of Lowe's is outed, the mirrors are actually pretty on-point. There are some fantastic minimalist mirrors that can either go in a hallway or in your bathroom. The better part is that during sales like Black Friday, you can often catch these mirrors on a decent clearance.
Occasionally, the mirrors will just go on clearance to make room for new stock. At the end of the day, a mirror is a mirror, and if you find one that you like, there’s no better or worse quality to concern yourself about. The best part is that Lowe's typically has a lot of styles, including medicine cabinets.
Avoid: Basic Hardware Items
Do you need a new gasket or washer for your faucet? Lowe's might seem like a great place…if you know what you need. There are over 100 replacement options, and if you’re like us, you went to Lowe's, stared at the wall, and went home with the wrong one after several minutes of deliberation.
For this one, you’ll save a lot of money and time – which is often more important – by swinging by your local hardware store. These local stores are often staffed by very competent employees that are a jack of many trades. Lowe's? It seems like they’ll hire anyone at this point.
Buy: Mistint Paint
Need to paint something for a project or even a room? You could pick a custom color, but an even better option is to check out the “mistint” paint. These are paint colors that were mixed for other customers that they weren’t so satisfied with. Typically, the shade is just a little off, or they didn’t like the color after it dried.
You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Some of the colors are really great, and if you aren’t too picky on the color, you might find a great gallon of paint for as much as half the price. Considering the price of paint nowadays is sky-high, any savings is good savings.
We’re all reminded to grab batteries at the checkout lane, but don’t be tempted to grab any at Lowe's. There’s a steep convenience “tax” thrown in there. Home improvement stores regularly jack up the price for batteries as much as $1 each, while you can get them at bulk stores for $0.40 cents per battery.
Heck, even Walmart and Target often have better options than home improvement stores like Lowe's. For common, everyday items, it’s always best to shop around and check out Walmart or Target. The prices will be much more competitive, and that can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Buy: Tool Combo Kits
Lowe's has fantastic deals on tool combo kits, but you have to keep an eye out for the sales. Don’t just walk up and buy a kit. All year ‘round, Lowe's will send out various deals for drills, brand-name lithium batteries, and yard equipment. It’s even the bigger brands like DeWalt.
Some of the best times to grab these deals is the Spring Black Friday around April, Father’s Day, Back to School, or Black Friday. The only thing to note here is that if you want to keep your tools for 40 years, maybe stay away from Kobalt. Lowe's doesn't back the warranty on the product, so it may be best to go with a bigger, more reliable, warranty-backed brand.
Avoid: Bathroom Vanities
Do the bathroom vanities at Lowe's look okay? Sure. They do look pretty good, but do you know what you’re paying for? Low-quality particleboard and laminate coverings. The doors may not align properly, and God forbid you get it wet. We say that as a joke because we know bathroom vanities will get wet.
You can just check out the examples in the stores. They don’t even hold up with no moisture and no regular use! Can you imagine what it would be like in a home where people are using it regularly? Disastrous. When in doubt, go to a local millwork place. They’ll offer a custom product that will actually last your lifetime.
Um...have we lost our mind? Hold on a second. Take a look at the prices before you count Lowe's out for anything cooler-related. These prices are even lower than the ones you'll see at Walmart and much cheaper than any camping or sports stores like Academy and Dick's.
The only thing with this is that they don't carry this kind of stuff all year. The best time to get it is just when the weather starts to turn cold and all the outdoor stuff goes on sale. Most of these deals are also in-store, so make sure to stop by for a quick peek.
No one is denying that Lowe's is convenient. You can get everything you might need for your home improvement in one place, but…(there’s always a but). But you can actually save money by checking around what’s local to you – countertops are a great example of this.
Lowe's offers slabs for countertops and half-custom countertops. The problem is that the store will get their countertops at a wholesale slab yard! You’re paying just for Lowe's to store the product. By the way, them storing the product could also mean it might get damaged in the process. The more hands it passes, the riskier it gets (and more expensive).
Honestly, Lowe's toilets are pretty great. When these toilets say they have "max power," they aren’t joking. We’re not sure when you would need to stuff that much crap down your toilet – pun intended – but knowing your toilet won’t back up all the time is pretty great. Better yet, their toilets won't chip or tarnish easily.
Our favorite thing is that many of the products offered at Lowe's are American-made. You don’t have to worry about grabbing yourself a toilet and even installing it yourself if you’re feeling especially adventurous. All the equipment is right there, and it’s actually easier than you may think.
Avoid: Grilling Accessories
Avoid getting your grilling accessories at Lowe's. It’s tempting, we know. You’re just walking the aisle, and boom! There’s a 20-piece stainless steel tool set, which would be perfect for your summer get-together. It might seem like a decent price at $36, but in reality, that same thing can be purchased for $25 on Amazon.
Walmart and Target also offer great prices on grilling accessories in the summer. That’s the only catch is that it has to be summer to find them in store. The best rule of thumb is that if everyone needs it, don’t buy it at Lowe's. Check Walmart, Amazon, Target, or even a local shop near you.
Lowe's has some fantastic grills and smokers you can grab all year ‘round – you read that right. Unlike other places that only put grills out during seasonal times, they realize the weather might be right in December to throw some chicken or hotdogs on the grill. Not only that, but the prices are very reasonable.
Naturally, there are some special days (or weeks) that they put their grills on sale. Black Friday is a huge week, but there’s also the Spring Black Friday event that goes on around April. You’ll catch both low-end and high-end outdoor cooking equipment going on sale during both of these time.
Avoid: Small Appliances
At this point, there’s no reason we shouldn’t all be purchasing our small appliances at Costco and Sam’s Club. They’ve pretty much cornered the market on small appliances, whether you want a microwave or a knock-off KitchenAid. You can get a decent Microwave at Costco or Sam’s for $50 or less. That same microwave at Lowe's? Easily $60 to $80.
That goes double for things like food processors. Even if they’re on sale, they can be artificially jacked up. Nowadays, companies are putting things on “clearance” with a price that’s not even a real sale. They just mark the price as red, throw the label up, and pretend like it’s on sale. The best bet for small appliances is to shop around.
Buy: Like a Contractor
This one is a little vague, we know, but hear us out. When we say, "buy like a contractor," we mean buy anything that comes in bulk that a contractor might purchase for a project he's working on. Insulation? Lowe's. Tons of bushes for a yard project? Get that contractor bulk price!
Don't be afraid to ask an employee if there is a discount for buying something in bulk, either. Lots of contractors use Lowe's instead of Home Depot because of these great discounts. Plus, Lowe's has a pretty decent military discount so you could potentially double-dip on discounts.
If you’re shopping for a vacuum cleaner, you should do yourself a favor and avoid this big box store. Not only are their vacuums way overpriced compared to other stores, but they also don’t stand the test of time. You might save a few bucks in the short term, but that money is nothing compared to the dent it will leave on your wallet.
The best time to get a vacuum is around Black Friday. A lot of top brands will go on sale, like Dyson and even higher-end Sharks. You can get as much as half off at Amazon or even the manufacturer! It's a little more work, but totally worth it in the long run.
Buy: Patio Furniture
There’s a caveat with patio furniture: get it while the going is hot. Lowe's typically takes away its patio equipment in the winter when most people aren’t going to be outside. However, you can still find some decent deals for patio furniture online if you want to purchase something for the upcoming spring or summer.
The most aggressive sales go on during the end of the season when Lowe's is desperately trying to clear out all the bulky furniture to make room for the new holiday décor that’s already come in. Black Friday is also not a bad time to check out any patio furniture deals, but that’s exclusively online.
Avoid: Flooring Services
It might seem tempting to use the flooring services at Lowe's, but you’d be doing yourself a big disservice. The problem with this is that Lowe's doesn’t typically do the work themselves. They hire a third party to install your flooring. This third-party contractor will often do a very poor job.
Whether it’s tile or hardwood, it may be best to do it yourself or go with an actual flooring company. Many customers have reported that their flooring jobs were done poorly, which resulted in damage to their homes. You don’t want to spend thousands to learn you have to spend more to get it redone.
Buy: Fire Pits
Walmart is fine for getting a cheap fire pit, but it's exactly that — a single design. If you're lucky, there will be two options, and both will be acceptable at best. After all, they can hold fire. If you want something stylish, however, you may be out of luck...unless you swing by Lowe's.
Especially in the winter, Lowe's will have an excellent selection of fire pits that use both wood and crystals. There are even little tabletop fire "pits" that you can put on your outdoor tables. Everything is pretty stylish, too, so you're sure to get compliments from your neighbors.
Avoid: Major Appliances
Every now and then, you might look at the major appliances at Lowe's and think, “Hm…maybe.” Do yourself a huge favor and stop yourself. If you care about service, you’re going to want to go with a local store because most people who purchase appliances at these big box stores are incredibly unhappy.
The products are fine, but the delivery service? Yikes. Most people find that their appliances are damaged in transit. The installers try to skip out on basic services like the removal of old appliances. Finally, you might realize the appliance doesn’t offer the feature you originally purchased it for. That’s because the sales people know very little about what they’re selling.
Buy: Picture Hanging Supplies
It honestly makes sense to find good picture-hanging supplies at Lowe's. Sure, Walmart has some options, but if you want something more than screws and Command hooks, then a home improvement store is the best place to go. There are full kits that offer ways to hang canvas, picture frames, and so much more.
Many of these kits are also designed to cut down on the damage done to your wall, unlike anything you’ll find at Walmart or Target. Some kids also offer metal wires and weights to ensure the pictures are straight. By the way, Command strips? Lowe's has a larger selection of them as well.
Avoid: Cleaning Products
Looking to save some money when you go to Lowe's? Avoid the cleaning aisle. While the products are fine, they’re 5% to 10% higher than if you were to swing by Walmart. For example, Scrubbing Bubbles at Lowe's is $3.69. That’s not too bad, but when you know Target and Walmart are just $2.84? That price looks steep.
What’s even better is if you skip name brand. The dollar store typically offers fantastic cleaning options on a budget. Many cleaning chemicals aren’t expensive to make, and companies are betting on you wanting to get the brand name. Always look up the best way to clean something before wasting $5 to $6 on brand-name products.
Buy: Packing Supplies
When you're in a pinch and need to get some packing supplies, don't waste your time at a UPS store or Target. Get what you need with the extra savings by shopping at Lowe's. Because Lowe's also packages and ships heavy appliances, you can get everything from boxes and bubble wrap to kraft paper and tape.
What's even better is that you can get these supplies in bulk for much less than you'll get at any postal store in the area. You'll have extra for the next time you need it, and you won't have to spend twice the money doing it!
There’s a reason carpenters tend to shy away from Lowe's. Not only are the products subpar, but you’ll also find issues with the measurements. You could measure your door a million times, and when you purchase the door from Lowe's, it won’t fit. Why? They typically aren’t cut properly!
Don’t even get us started on custom doors. If you have a specialty door in mind, you’ll end up with delays, return issues, and the measurements will still be off. The best bet is to go local. Find a shop near you with qualified experts that can insure their product and stand by what they deliver.
Got a critter driving you up the wall in your house or yard and can't seem to get rid of it? Lowe's is the place to go. It seems like if there is a pesticide for it, Lowe's will have the product to take care of it, whether it's wasps, moles, Japanese beetles, spiders, and so much more.
Not only that, there are multiple solutions for the issue. One method of getting rid of flies not working? Try one of the other ten! We really commend Lowe's on the great options in-store and online. It's truly your one-stop shop for pesticides.
Windows often run into the same issues you’ll find with doors – they aren’t high quality. The measurements can be off sometimes, too. If you aren’t installing it yourself, you’ll run into even more problems since the quality of the installation is poor at best. At worst, you’re looking at thousands in damages after it rains.
For windows, go local. Not only will these places have qualified experts that can help you find exactly what you’re looking for, but they also know their products like the back of their hand. They can guide you through any concerns you might have, and you’ll end up with something perfect for you home. After all, windows aren’t something you can easily replace.
All sinks are the made the same! Well, not quite. We all know what happens when you buy a cheap, knock-off brand of something on Amazon. Maybe it breaks faster, and that’s fine, but for sinks? Water isn’t something to mess around with because water damage is serious. Go with Lowe's.
Lowe's carries all the top brands like Kohler and Kraus. Better yet, Lowe's carries American brands, so you can ensure that the quality is there. Just don’t get the sink and vanity combinations because that just sets you up for a bad time.
Avoid: Kitchen Cabinets
Are kitchen cabinets at Lowe's cheap? Absolutely. They’re incredibly cheap, but there’s a reason. The quality is incredibly awful. Most of them will end up scratched up within a year or two. Heck, they even get damaged from cleaning! The damage can't be painted over, so you’ll need to replace the fronts of your cabinets. Considering how quickly Lowe's rotates stock, that’s not good.
You might find that the product is no longer sold, and you have to replace all your cabinet faces! That doesn’t even touch that the cabinets are typically out of style. While going to a local cabinet shop is more expensive, you’ll get a product that will last you a lifetime. You can also refinish cabinets that are actually made of wood and not MDF.
Buy: Christmas Trees
Fake or real – it doesn’t matter! Lowe's and other home improvement stores have a fantastic selection of Christmas trees. For real trees, the prices can be as low as $50 or as high as $80. That might seem like a lot, but pop-up Christmas tree sellers charge more than $100 for a small tree that’s…imperfect. For $100, that thing better is perfect.
For artificial, Lowe's has really stepped up its game. There are tons of fantastic features you won’t find at trees sold at Walmart or Target. This can include twinkling, color changing, timers, and so much more. You’ll want to grab a tree with the most branch tips, and Lowe's can offer trees with up to 6000 tips.
Avoid: Kitchen Items
We’re going to have to be brutally honest – kitchen items at Lowe's are beyond subpar. Pots and pans typically end up destroyed before the end of the year. Then there’s the fact that the prices are so much more expensive. The prices need to be that high since most people don’t purchase stuff like this there.
Recently, Lowe's has jumped on the organization trend and started carrying plastic bins for inside the fridge, cabinets, or wherever. These bins are fine, but you know what isn't fine? Charging three times the price for something you could get at Walmart. Before getting anything organizational at Lowe's, check out your local Walmart, especially the Mainstays brand.
Buy: Closet Organization Systems
Closet organization systems have blown up in popularity since organizing became the new hobby — yes, it's a new hobby. Thanks to brands like The Home Edit, people want everything in their life to have a place, and that's great...until you see the price tag on most of the "systems" out there.
The Container Store will make a customized closet system, but you better be ready to drop top dollar on it. Instead, consider Lowe's. The customization takes a little more DIY, but you'll get some extra savings you can use elsewhere in your home. It feels good to save money, doesn't it?
Even if the clothing items at Lowe's seem like a great deal, you should really think twice before buying them. Not only are they often made of inferior quality material, but they may not fit properly, leaving you with clothes that neither serve nor satisfy any purpose.
Moreover, more often than not, the colors fade away after a few washes, and the clothes don't come close to retaining their original look or shape. The materials cause them to degrade, which gets stuck in your washer! So, if you want to make sure that your money gets put to good use, someplace else would be your best bet!
Shopping for spices at Lowe's might seem like a convenient option, but hold your horse. The easiest isn't necessarily the best choice. The prices are a little higher than they should be, and that doesn't even approach the fact that the spices have probably been sitting on the shelf for several years. When grilling, fresher spices are always better (even for dried).
Spices that are several years old have lost much of the flavor, and you'll be using twice the amount just to get any taste on your meat. For anything grocery-related, go to your grocery store. There will be more options, and you can even mix-and-match your own spices for a unique rub.
Buy: Manual Yard Tools
Let's be honest: automatic tools are super expensive for something that you may not use a ton. You may not want to drop several hundred dollars on a tiller you need for a small yard project. Lowe's has the solution for you right in-store. The manual tool section is absolutely massive.
There are several different types of shovels, tillers, axes, hatches — you name and this store has it. It's honestly a little impressive when you get down to it. If you aren't afraid to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, buy a cheap manual yard tool. You'll save some dough.
Ahhh Lowe's, a staple in the home improvement world. Sure, they have great products from insulation to power tools....but one item we recommend steering clear of is their selection of knives. Not only are they made from subpar material and construction, but they'll often put you right in the price range of mid-quality blades that will last you much longer!
Knives from Lowe's may tout all these amazing claims, but after a year, they'll be rusted and dull. You won't even be able to cut a tomato with these knives. You'll look at them and realize that they were just expensive paperweights. Find a good brand of blades and buy them from a reputable vendor, instead.
Avoid: Common Plants
Want to get a nice pothos or fern? We’re going to say that you should avoid the common stuff at Lowe's simply because the prices are obscene. You can pay as much as $6 for a small pothos when most plant hobbyists are giving away cuttings for free! Sure it takes a little longer, but you could also pay a few bucks for a full six-inch pot.
Heck, some plant groups are even willing to give you large trees like a fiddle leaf fig for free. It definitely doesn’t hurt to ask! If that doesn’t pan out, check out your local plant stores. They’ll offer common plants for dirt cheap since they’re typically easy to grow, and they have a massive stock of them. Remember when buying plants: check for pests.
Buy: Clearance Plants
Clearance plants? Heck yeah! The thing about Lowe's and other home improvement stores is that they don’t have employees that typically know how to take care of plants. They are given locations to place them and told when to water them, but many plants end up waterlogged or dried out.
That isn’t necessarily bad for you because you can let it dry out (or water it), and the plant may bounce back better than ever. Some plants can be as low as a dollar once they “look” ugly. You may also be able to ask for some plants to be discounted because they aren’t necessarily healthy. There are also some great sales on landscaping plants near the end of the season.