Working The System To Save 17% On New Windows

Are you willing to do a little extra work to save or make some extra money? Free Money Finance has a story from a reader who worked the system through a combination gift cards, reward cards, and a bit of creativity to save hundreds of dollars. The bottom line of the story:

“All in all, this method of using my rebate credit card, plus gift cards and fuel-perks, saved me $340 on the cost of putting in windows. That equates to a 17% discount.”

Yes, there are all sorts of creative ways to work the system for fun and profit. Any tips/stories out there on how you’ve combined various programs to save or make some extra money?

If You Work the System, You Can Save a Good Amount of Money [Free Money Finance]
(Photo: heymarchetti)

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  1. RandomHookup says:

    Lots of utility companies offer rebates on energy saving home improvements such as these. If available, that would probably have been more than 17%.

  2. jnrcorp says:

    It looks like Giant Eagle does not offer $0.20 off per gallon anymore. It offers $0.10 off per gallon and you must use your Giant Eagle credit card, which means you can’t get your 5% cash back from the card they used. In other words, this does not seem realistic. Can anyone else confirm this was possible for any period of time?

  3. Hoss says:

    Don’t forget the Energy Star rebates [www.energystar.gov] plus Federal tax credits of energy improvements.

    And why would anyone use Home Depot for anything as serious as windows?

  4. steve1496 says:

    I put in new windows (29) last february. The initial cost they quoted me was $15000. I refused, and kept refusing offers until I got them for about $7500.

  5. backbroken says:

    Yeah. Good plan except for the “buying your windows from Home Depot” part.

    My windows are being installed in 2 weeks. Bought from a locally owned family business that gives us a nice discount since we have been generational customers (grandparents, parents, and now I have used them over the years.)

  6. Munsoned says:

    Is the main problem with Home Depot their prices or the installation services (or is it really both)? My understanding was that their installation services are awful, but the prices aren’t bad. If that’s the case, what’s the problem here since he installed them himself?

  7. persch5 says:

    Just get a friend that works at Lowes or get a part time seasonal job there. They offered us %40 off of pella windows this year and I got my Dyson vacuum for 65% off. Just remember that the employee needs to purchase and have delivered to their house if you are getting big orders that you can’t pick up.

  8. SacraBos says:

    Recently had one of those Home Depot/Sam’s Club windows people come by for a quote/etc on replacing our windows. Showed us all the neat features and such. Told us how much we were going to save in HVAC costs, especially with energy costs going up 10% / year, since they would guarantee 40% reduction of our HVAC costs.

    Then when he started to show us the savings and ROI, it got interesting. He had a pre-prepared ROI/savings matrix he had that assumes a 10% annual increase in energy costs. Before I could take a good look at that, he covered it with a sheet of paper. Then started writing out numbers outlining our savings over 10 years with the cost of energy going up 30% every year! Using the 10% increase, it would have taken us almost 10 years to recoup the costs. Obviously, that’s going to make a tough sell, hence the sudden and outrageous change in energy costs assumptions.

    That caused our BS detectors to go off with major scam alerts, and we declined several reductions in offer price.

  9. SBR249 says:

    @SacraBos: What’s wrong with taking 10 years to recoup the cost? The fact that it can recoup any cost would be a plus for many homes. It’s usually reasonable to assume that your house will still be standing in 10 years time and I’ll bet there’s a sizeable portion of the population that will live in the same house for 10 years. Additionally, quality windows can last a long time if properly maintained. Even if you sell your house, energy-efficient windows would be a sellpoint and increase the value of the house.

  10. JiminyChristmas says:

    Depending upon the quality of the windows you are replacing, it will take you 10-15 years to recoup the cost of replacement windows through energy savings. Maybe you could come in under 10 years if you are replacing ancient single pane windows with top of the line new ones.

    That’s really not the only measure you should use though. If your current windows are not very efficient it isn’t going to be comfortable to sit near them when it’s cold outside. Windows with a better insulating value are going to make more of your house more comfortable. In my mind, that’s equal in value to the energy savings.

  11. SacraBos says:

    It’s not the 10 year ROI, it’s the vendor suddenly coming up with an unrealistic set of circumstances to make the windows sound like a good idea. That we are going to be saving “over one hundred thousand dollars!” over the course of 10 years is absurd, since HVAC costs simply do not go up 30% compounded every year. I doubt we’d even pay $100,000 over 10 years, much less save that amount.

    If they make up stories like that to sell the product, what else about the product are they making up?

  12. Trackback says:

    Here’s a GREAT money saving tip left by a commenter on the Consumerist’s post titled Working the System to Save 17% on New Windows:Just get a friend that works at Lowes or get a part time seasonal job there.