Save Money at the Big Box Hardware Stores using your Smart Phone


For you old timers who still use a bag phone or a Jitterbug, this article is not for you.  However if you’re hip and up on technology, you have a smart phone. There are tons of apps that allow you to do everything from ordering a pizza to depositing a check.

All modern smart phones can scan using the camera making checking UPC codes a snap.   Here are some apps that will help you save money by instantly comparing prices.

Lowes –  A nice app that allows you to shop Lowes entire inventory, it gives you real time inventory at your local store or ship dates if it is out of stock.  It includes a tag scanner that works well if the product is in the Lowes database.  Lowes also has a large video selection of how to videos available throughout the app.  The included design gallery is an interactive way to find ideas for your project.


Home Depot – This feature filled app includes a toolbox that includes a tape measure, converter, caliper and my favorite the nut and bolt finder.  It also can calculate how much drywall, flooring, insulation or interior paint you need for your project.  Like Lowes it has a video section and also can scan inventory.


Amazon – Amazon is a good app to look for an online price of any item not just home improvement related.  Amazon usually has one of the best tool prices and with online tool giants like Acme Tools selling on Amazon, you know it will be backed by great service.

Google ShoppingGoogle usually always has the lowest price, but it may not be from a reputable source or the unit is refurbished.  You need to look closely at who the seller is.  Sometimes with Amazon you need to check this out also.


Test –

We went to Home Depot and started scanning items with both my Amazon and Lowes apps to see who has the best price.  Here is an example:

We scan a Bosch PR20EVSK Colt Variable-Speed Palm Router Kit in Home Depot with the Lowes app.

Home depot is cheaper than Lowes by $10.

We check the Amazon app and find it for $103.25 with free super saver shipping.  With a few clicks we managed to save ourselves some money.  If you see a cheaper price on your phone go to a manager and see if they will beat it.  Most stores will price match , they want your business.


  1. The added benefit to Amazon is that in most states you aren’t charged sales tax at the time of purchase. So, you’re still getting a better deal even if the Big Box will price match.


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