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Make Shopping Easier with MyLowe's

November 13, 2011 |
posted by Ana White

This is silly, really.

When Grace was a baby and we were building our house, I went to Lowe's first.  I've always felt very blessed just to have amazing home improvement stores with helpful people, wide selections, and fair prices, but the reason I went to Lowe's first is really silly.
It's because they kept flatbed and lumber carts in the aisles where you needed them.  It's because I didn't have to carry my newborn baby outside - sometimes in twenty below temperatures - and round up a flatbed cart, push it through the snowy parking lot, and then deal with a cold cart - while my daughter screamed and I dodged cars and snow drifts.  And Lowe's understood how a little thing like putting carts where you need them could be such a big deal to one busy mom.  I know it sounds silly, but that is the reason I went to Lowe's first.
So it's no surprise to me that Lowe's has created a comprehensive suite of free tools just for people like me - with limited time, tight budgets, real home improvement challenges, and probably a kid or two tagging along - to help plan, organize and manage all of our home improvement purchases. 
It's called MyLowe's, and I'm pretty excited that Lowe's has asked me to use and share my experience with you.  Because I look at MyLowe's like the carts in the aisle - a considerate effort to make a challenging task - buying building materials - that much easier on busy people everywhere.  We can use the MyLowe's tools to save paint colors, keep records on our major appliance purchases, put dream tools in wish lists, to create shopping lists for projects, and even to have orders pulled for pickup.
For us building furniture, MyLowe's answers the biggest question of all: How much will a project cost for me to build in my area?  I've never been able to answer this question because lumber and building materials vary greatly depending on where you live.  Today, I can.  Today, I am going to show you how to use MyLowe's to create a folder with the building materials I commonly use in projects, and then pull from that master list to quickly price the cost of materials for your chosen project.

1.  Sign Up For a Free Account

The first thing you need to do to use all these great, free tools is sign up for a MyLowe's account.  It's a very simple account sign up - probably take you less than a minute - and will save you hours and hours later on.  If you sign up right now, you can  start getting realtime price lists working for you.

2. Find Your Local Store

Check on the top of the page if your local Lowe's is listed.  If not, click on Find a Store at the top, and find the nearest Lowe's and save it as Your Store.  This will enable local real time pricing for you - and also give you access to materials sold in your local store.

3. Find and Save Your Favorite Building Materials

Now simply just search for the items you buy frequently and click on Save Item.  In this example I have 1 x 2 x 8 Whitewood furring strips (I'll give you a complete list of my favorite materials at the end of this post).

4.  Create a Folder

You can see I'm already creating folders for Appliances for the Momplex and the Play Kitchen I'm working on for the Make Two Challenge.  Make a new folder for Furniture Projects, and we can use this folder to save all of our favorite Furniture Building Materials to.
I named my folder "Furniture Supplies."  Make sure you click Done.
After you click Save you have successfully created a folder to start saving your favorite building materials too!
Here are some of mine that you can search for and add to your own folder.
 1 x 2 x 8 Whitewood
 1 x 4 x 8 Whitewood
 1 x 6 x 8 Whitewood
 1 x 8 x 8 Whitewood
 1 x 10 x 8 Whitewood
 1 x 12 x 8 Whitewood
 1 x 2 x 8 Furring Strip
 1 x 3 x 8 Furring Strip
 1 x 4 x 8 Furring Strip
Supplies may vary depending on where you live.  Where I live, our whitewood boards and furring strips are really good - but you may find where you live hardwoods available and inexpensive, or you may prefer working with MDF.  Customize and create your folder with your most favorite building materials so you can quickly and easily price out and buy what you need to build projects.
When you visit the store and make purchases, you can have those purchases saved to your MyLowe's account.  Then you can go back and view the purchase receipt  and add your favorite products to this folder as well.  Just ask to get a MyLowe's card.
You can access your folders at any time from any page at the top header bar.  Once you are in your folder, click on items you want to purchase.

5. Buying Materials

And add to your cart.  How easy is that?  You can even choose Pick Up in Store to have your order pulled for you.  
You can of course create folders and lists for any project.  In this example I've created a folder for the Charity Play Kitchen I'm building for the Make Two Challenge.  I can print out the shopping list, or email it to myself and take it to the store as well.

And there's more!

And this is just a tiny, teeny sample of how MyLowe's is changing our home improvement buying experience.  I'll be sharing how I use my MyLowe's account to shop for the Momplex as well.  
Special thanks to Lowe's for creating this amazing suite of tools and giving me an opportunity to use and share my experience.  I also thank Lowe's for supporting our site, the Momplex project, and keeping project plans free and supporting the development of new plans.  This post is sponsored by Lowe's, but represents my objective opinion.  
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emmarosemc's picture

I prefer lowes but home depot

I prefer lowes but home depot is so much closer.

posted by emmarosemc | on Mon, 2011-11-14 14:56
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Pam the Goatherd's picture

My nearest Lowes is 45

My nearest Lowes is 45 minutes away, but so are all the other guys. I prefer Lowes because their wood is much nicer looking than the other bigbox stores around here and their prices are better, too! Guess I'll sign up and get started...

posted by Pam the Goatherd | on Mon, 2011-11-14 20:45
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Aisha's picture

I wish I had a Lowes here.

I wish I had a Lowes here. The nearest one is almost and hour and a half away. Not very helpful! I hear so much good things about them.

posted by Aisha | on Mon, 2011-11-14 21:57

Click and Pull? Yes! That

Click and Pull? Yes! That makes my day!

posted by Andrea T (not verified) | on Mon, 2011-11-14 22:35
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bhoppy's picture

So cool!

I feel so lucky! It's hard to imagine that Lowes is not everywhere! I live in a relatively small city and there are 4 Lowes stores within a 20 minute drive!

posted by bhoppy | on Tue, 2011-11-15 08:16

No Lowes near me either. I

No Lowes near me either. I live in a decent enough sized city and there are lots of hardware stored (a couple Home Depots, a couple Menards, and lots of Ace/True Values as well as some local places) but the nearest Lowes is about an hour.

posted by Kate (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-11-15 09:26
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DirtSquirt's picture

Bah...

I hate when US stores finally come to Canada but then don't offer all of the services and tools that their US counterparts do. The Canadian site is awful compared to the US site. You can't even browse to see what products they actually carry except for a select few, and you can't find any prices except on the products that are in their current flyer. I guess we can only hope that the Canadian site improves to the US site's quality quickly!

He may wear the pants, but I wear the toolbelt!

posted by DirtSquirt | on Tue, 2011-11-15 13:28

I hear ya

I hear ya about the Canadian stores! So frustrating! I find Home Depot to have the best website for now. Rona is not bad.

posted by Kat (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-11-18 00:27
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Ana White's picture

Hi everyone, the nearest

Hi everyone, the nearest Lowes is 100 miles from me, so I hear you! But what I do is order online through the MyLowes interface and pay for it, and then have friends and family just pick up the order for me if they are in town. I also use the MyLowes account to plan and create shopping lists for when we do go to town. I am using MyLowes to pick out everything for the Momplex so I can plan rooms. For example, picking out doors and knowing the rough openings and picking out appliances and building the space to fit the appliances. MyLowes is a huge time saver! I hope you give it a try too!

posted by Ana White | on Tue, 2011-11-15 14:16
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Ana White's picture

Hi everyone, the nearest

Hi everyone, the nearest Lowes is 100 miles from me, so I hear you! But what I do is order online through the MyLowes interface and pay for it, and then have friends and family just pick up the order for me if they are in town. I also use the MyLowes account to plan and create shopping lists for when we do go to town. I am using MyLowes to pick out everything for the Momplex so I can plan rooms. For example, picking out doors and knowing the rough openings and picking out appliances and building the space to fit the appliances. MyLowes is a huge time saver! I hope you give it a try too!

posted by Ana White | on Tue, 2011-11-15 14:16
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StacieM's picture

Lowes

I love Lowes, its our first stop for any home needs; we've bought MANY appliances from there as well as fans, lighting, etc. But when you mentioned the carts, that made me think Orange Store. I've found that the way my local orange stores lumber (horizontal versus vertical), with the carts where you need them, and a better selection, I go there first for projects. Lowes is still my first stop for any other needs though. I'll check out the MyLowes this week and see some of the features.

posted by StacieM | on Tue, 2011-11-15 21:12
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wow - hadn't thought about that

But the carts being right there is a huge help. When I go to Lowe's, sometimes I'm just there to check things out. I don't want to be pushing a flat bed or whatever when I'm getting paintbrushes, but certainly will need it when I get to the lumber!

I do find our Lowe's is better organized than Orange. I also try to support our local home improvement store. The people there are very helpful, and they are right up the street. Unfortunately they don't carry a lot of different lumber, so I usually go to Lowe's for lumber.

I will definitely be checking out MyLowes. The only downside to the pull list is that you don't get to check out the various boards yourself. Straight boards can be really important! And seeing as I live in a condo, when it comes to plywood I need to get it cut (I also only have a sedan!). So even if I get it pulled, I'd then have to get them to cut it when I get there. But I'm sure even being able to create a shopping list with accurate prices will be a huge help.

posted by moemoore | on Thu, 2011-11-17 03:56
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claydowling's picture

Use Caution

I urge you to use extreme caution when purchasing lumber sight unseen. I recently did it, and received an excellent shipment, but my family has been buying from this same supplier for 30 years without any troubles.

Lowes does not have that same reputation. My recommendation would be to use MyLowes to get a list of the material you need to buy and work out the price, but actually pull your material yourself. You can get good materials there, but don't expect store employees to have the same dedication to the quality of your project that you will.

posted by claydowling | on Thu, 2011-11-17 23:08
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kristen's picture

I have to agree...

I echo this comment--please do not use MyLowes and have them pick out your lumber, especially if you are a complete newbie to building. I was picking out my own lumber in the store awhile ago and since I want to avoid problems later, I am extremely picky about how straight the boards are. I was in that aisle a long time. A helpful employee noticed and began to help me "sight" some boards and handed me some that he considered straight. They weren't too bad but they weren't straight, and I didn't want to have to worry about it later. I just said "I'm not good enough at this yet to use anything less than perfect. But thanks for the help!" He wasn't offended and I didn't feel mean after.

Straight boards are too important. It will save you so much frustration later if you spend the time upfront yourself.

pinktoesandpowertools.com

posted by kristen | on Sun, 2011-11-20 10:53
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Ana White's picture

I'm in agreement with you too

I'm in agreement with you too - use the tool to price lumber, and click and pull other items, but I agree - there's no substitute for picking out your own boards.

posted by Ana White | on Sun, 2011-11-20 11:58

I understand that MyLowes

I understand that MyLowes will also track things like which fridge filters you use or vac bags you need to purchase. Haven't signed up yet, but now I'll look into it.

The discussion here is interesting - I've always liked our local Lowe's better than HD here in Cincy. It's cleaner and the associates don't sound like they are wasting their time when I ask about saw blades. Having studied business for many years, something you might not know is that Lowe's makes a concerted effort to attract female shoppers and HD targets the contractors (typically guys). You can definitely see this in their stores and their associates.

FYI: I'm a Realtor and can get anyone a 10% coupon for Lowe's, most Realtors can. To make it even better, just FYI, HD will honor any competitor's coupon. Feel free to email me if you want a 10% off coupon at shea(dot)lawrence(at)gmail(dot)com. Also, let me know if you need a Realtor in your area and I can refer you to someone, send me a note.

posted by Shea Lawrence (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-11-17 08:26
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Ana White's picture

Just the start!

I've been spending quite a bit of time on the MyLowe's site and I'm pretty excited about all the features. I've just barely touched on what's possible in this post. You can do things like put in the square footage of a room and MyLowe's will calculate the paint cans needed! And save the colors you choose so you can pull it up in the store to match it or find complimentary colors. Then there's keeping track of your appliances (which for me is huge because with the Momplex, we will now have three fridges, three washers, three dryers ... to worry about warranties and parts for) and when warranties run out and more. I hope you take a second to sign up for a MyLowe's account - it's totally free and easy, but will save you time and money!

posted by Ana White | on Thu, 2011-11-17 13:32
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MikeB's picture

Signed up and bought I Kreg Jig

I signed up for a MyLowes account and tried it out today. I have a Lowes about 4 miles from the house and an Orange about the same distance. I just always seemed to turn left and go to Orange instead for no real reason. Well I went to purchase the kreg jig from Orange today and their website showed the kit, but no screws, so I went to Lowes' website. They had the kit and the screws. I placed the order and when I added the kit (Item #: 142733) to my cart, they threw in a 2 3/4 in face clamp with the purchase! Order processed and said it would be available for pick up in about 20 minutes. Left immediately. 8 minutes later, in the parking lot and get an email that the order was ready for pick up.

In and out in 5 minutes. I will use this great service again. I will be turning right a lot more often after my experience. If you are on the fence for getting Kreg K4L pocket hole system, you might give the online order a try and see if you get the clamp thrown in for free as well...

posted by MikeB | on Thu, 2011-11-17 15:24
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If my dad had a Kreg...

This tool is amazing. I bought the one pocket hole system because of cost and I don't want to dab into my wood allowance.

If my dad, a retired self employed carpenter had this system available to him years ago he would be making cabinets with me instead of just baking cookies.

Have fun with those hidden 'toenailed' perfect joints.

posted by floodpuddles | on Thu, 2011-11-17 20:45

Awesome Tool

This sounds like an amazing awesome tool. I was using the service offered through Sears to keep track of my appliances and such as they offer that portion of the MyLowes Service and I've bought most of my Appliances through Sears. I have been meaning to look into this....I think I have to now. Thanks for sharing.

posted by Tim (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-11-17 15:55

My Home Depot has the same order on line pick up in store

for some time. There is also the option of a personal shopper to assist you thru the store. I wish they wouldnt build the stores so close together and build them in areas that dont have any. Home depot has been around here for a long time. Lowes built stores right across the street from them. If you drive 90 miles north or west there are no home improvement stores at all.

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-11-17 18:35
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Yes, but...

Lowes is definitely more women-friendly. Our HD is closer, and isn't a bad store, but I've always loved how Lowes employees are NEVER condescending to me and always treat me like I know what I'm talking about. HD has even said some offensive things to me like "I know you think you're super mom and all" when I have my kids with me - which is every single time, by the way. Not to say that I don't go there, cuz I do sometimes. But the carts! Oh how they make life with little children so much easier being in the lumber aisles!!! I'm so excited about this MyLowes. Thanks, Ana, for explaining it. I've been seening commercials and I'm excited to use it now!

Marion B.

posted by mebohn | on Fri, 2011-11-18 13:45
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claydowling's picture

Store-specific

I think your women-unfriendly experience may have been store specific. In the Flint, MI area my wife never had a problem going into any of the home improvement stores, and was able to order windows without any problems.

posted by claydowling | on Fri, 2011-11-18 15:40

home improvement

Officially, I'm confused! A few days ago I received a bonus pay check of 400 bucks, hooray! Suddenly I felt rich, capable of buying anything with my 400 dollars. I obviously fell of that cliff after a few moments. I realized I really don't know what to do with that money. They aren't enough to satisfy all my wishes, although they are much more than the price of a candy. All these days I have searched the internet for something to spend my money on. Yesterday I found some exciting makeup offers, I laid my eyes on 2 dresses and I discovered I kind of like extremely tall wedges, so I decided to invest in a beautiful pair I saw on GoJane.com shoes for women. Everything was perfect until I read about home improvement stores, furniture and the useful MyLowe's. It made me want a new bedroom. Now I want to redecorate my home. But the thing is I need more money if I'm going to do this. So I'm really in a tight spot.

posted by Tina L. (not verified) | on Wed, 2012-07-04 08:32

It is not silly at all, in

It is not silly at all, in fact such little gestures on the part of the service providers matter a lot. It is indeed true that sometimes shopping becomes a harrowing experience, not just because of inclement weather but also for other reasons. That is the reason most customers prefer to buy even their scent online.

posted by leonardo85 | on Wed, 2012-10-17 12:24
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Soniya Murmu's picture

Using CFL bulbs saves you

Using CFL bulbs saves you money and is environmentally friendly, but if one breaks, you should know how to properly clean it up. Make sure that you evacuate the room of both people and pets, since broken bulbs might release mercury. Building Solutions Lagos

posted by Soniya Murmu | on Sun, 2013-02-10 20:08

CFL Bulbs and the Trash

According to the local rules, which I believe come from the manufacturers recommendation, you actually cannot put burned out CFLs in the trash. You have to return them to a recycling location that then has a contract with a HazMat company to properly dispose of them. I use CFLs but not really satisfied with their performance or their dangers especially to the environment.

Jake

posted by Jake | on Sun, 2013-02-10 22:29

Lowes and Home Depot

I have a Lowes and a Home Depot within four miles of my home. I find that Home Depot has the better lumber and I like the fact that when I buy molding I can cut off the length I need and not overbuy. But neither store ever fills the entire bill so usually every project requires a visit to both stores. Home Depot does have better customer support on the floor and checkout but I can tolerate the poor service at my Lowes in Corpus Christi if that is the only place to get what I need. In closing I met last week with a local lumber yard and they are happy to work with me on my needs and the prices are lower than Lowes or Home Depot.

Jake

posted by Jake | on Sun, 2013-02-10 22:33

You could also try to shop

You could also try to shop from http://www.clubsgalore.com/, I'm always doing my shopping from them and until now I was very satisfied.

posted by milkyway | on Wed, 2013-02-27 15:20

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