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I love Harbor Freight. I love Harbor Freight coupons, deals and the free things I get there.

Their coupon policies are simple - but just about every time I'm there I see someone have issues. I will guide you through how to get organized, understand the fine print, know the coupon differences and save a bundle of cash.

I used these principals when I built my other instructible the $9 emergency phone charger.

Step 1: Free Coupons

The free coupons are the ones that everyone sees first. These are awesome. This is first most people see on their filers. These should be a staple in your Harbor Freight visits and used every time you go.

However it is worth noting there are two types: Free with ANY PURCHASE and Free NO PURCHASE REQUIRED. Both are hand to have. If you don't find what you are looking for you can at least grab a freebie. As an added bonus, when they ring it up I don't pay tax on it either in in VA.

Check the coupon for the item number - It will help you figure out which item you are actually looking for. Don't go by the value price. It is generally different from the shelf price

Not all free items are created equal. I'm not a fan of the black LED flashlight. I think the blue one is much better. I do like the magnetic parts tray, rope, multimeter and especially the 24 AA/AAA battery packs.

Organization:
These can get a little unruly and hard to organize if you let them - especially since once you know where to look you will find them everywhere. The easiest thing to do is clip any that interest you. Sort them by expiration date in a stack by free item. Put a paper clip on each stack and the lot of stacks in an envelope. Toss this in your glove box. When you get new coupons add them to the bottom of the stack so the expiration dates don't get mixed up.

Step 2: Super Coupons

Super coupons and the rest of the coupons printed in a grid are different at Harbor Freight than most places. Mainly they are not restricted to a quantity of one. Each coupon will have a limit printed on it. For instance the solar panels are limited to a quantity of 3 but the 24 pack of AA's on the same page is limited to 8. So I can use one coupon to buy 3 solar sets and 8 battery packs - and get the discounted price on all of them. If I were to go over the limit I would be charged shelf price. Additionally if you bring in the whole paper you can just point to the coupon and the cashier will just scan it - and you can take the coupon back home again.

You still need to check the item number to make sure you are getting the correct item.

Super coupons are great because they tend to cover items that you can't use a 20% off coupon on such as generators, winches, tool carts, solar panels, welders and floor jacks.

Organization: I don't cut these out. I put them in a stack in a folder. Oldest on top, newest on bottom. When I notice the coupons expire I toss the whole sheet. If I need something off that sheet I just take the whole thing with me. Cutting these out and organizing them would be a pain and a big waste of time.

Step 3: 20% Off One Item Coupons

There is no reason to walk into Harbor Freight without a 20% (or sometimes 25%) off coupon!

20% off one item coupons should be easy to use right? I see this get used incorrectly often.

A few quick pointers

They do work with with items on sale
Check the expiration date before checking out
Don't attempt to put it with another coupon on the same item.
Don't try to use it on things they don't cover.
They do work with website items not sold in stores if you call the 800 number to order.
They do not work on open box or tent/parking lot sale items.

I know the print is small but this is what is excluded from the one I have in my hand:

Cannot be used with other discount, coupon, gift cards, inside track club membership, extended service plans or any of the following: compressors, generators, tool storage or carts, welders, floor jacks, toawable ride on trencher, saw mill, predator gas powered items, open box items, in store event or parting lot sale items.

Organize these the same way and in the same envelope as the free items.

Step 4: Other Deals

Parking lot sales are great for big ticket items. Typically I see the lowest prices on things like generators, solar panels, welders and winches etc. Consumables are a good bargain here too: sand paper, electrical tape, solder, latex gloves, paint brushes. Stock up especially if it is over 70% off.

Open box corner.
Every store has an open box corner. These items can be hit or miss. I tend to find that I can buy the item on sale with a 20% off for less than the open box price.

Price Match!
Most people do not know that Harbor Freight will price match its website. Generally the prices are the same - but I've caught it several times where the website is cheaper. Show the cashier a print out or the item pulled up on your phone - they will give you the lower price.

Step 5: Sourcing Coupons

The Sunday paper is your best bet for finding these coupons - but did you know there are four places you should look?

  1. Red Plum insert
  2. Smart Source Insert
  3. Loose single page insert in advertisements
  4. USA Weekend insert

Website and email - packed with printable coupons

Specialty magazines: Offroad, woodworking, motorcycles, sports cars - etc.

Dumpster dive the newspaper recycling bins! No shame in that recycling game. Just make sure the unused bits go back in the recycle bin.

Step 6: Bonus: Filler Item

Sometimes you just want the free with purchase item - but don't really need anything. What you need is the cheapest filler item you can find. To date the consistently least expensive item I've found is the "Color Snap Blade Utility Knife". This is a normal stocked item that retails for 49 cents. However they are often (and by often I mean almost always) on "sale" for 29 cents. It is a crazy deal by itself, but if you pair it with a free with purchase item it makes it amazing. Not only are they cheap but they are useful. By comparison the loose #1 Phillips drill bits are 67 cents on sale - 69 cents retail.

Can use the same freebe coupon daily
Can they scan the coupons i receive through email of off my phone, or do i have to print out the coupon to use it in store?
<p>I found it refreshing to read that so many people like this store as much as I do. </p><p>*BUT* i didn't find what I thought the holy grail of HF inside info would be: </p><p><em>What is the cheapest item available in the store so I can still use the free coupon? </em>(Drill bit?)</p>
<p>Funny you should ask. I've been looking around for that very answer for a while. I've found that the #1 Phillips drill bit inserts run about 67-69 cents. That is cheap but the Snap Utility Knife which is often found on or near the counter is 49 cents (retail) but has been on sale for 29 cents for as long as I can remember.<br></p><p>http://www.harborfreight.com/color-snap-blade-utility-knife-60828.html</p>
<p>That is some free stuff badassery.</p>
<p>I have heard of people getting the lathes at a cheap price. How would you go about finding out how to purchase it the cheapest way?</p>
<p>If you go to struggleville.net you can put the item number into the search bar and see if and when Harbor Freight has ever had a coupon for the item.</p>
<p>Is there a way to get an email/text when a specific item goes on sale? Anybody? Thanks.</p>
<p>At Harbor Freight almost no item is ever sold at the list price. Everything is always on some sort of sale and / or a coupon is available. This makes it hard to set up any kind of alerts.</p>
<p>great write up BTW. I have a question, all the coupons say limit one coupon per customer per day. Does this mean if I have 5 different coupons I can't go in and buy all 5 different items? Plus use a freebie coupn? Thanks.</p>
<p>Great question. In my experience you can use one specific item coupon per day - but you can use multiple different coupons at the same time. So lets say you had a discount coupon for a set of screwdrivers, a tarp, a free screw driver. You can use all of them. Now you can not use two free item coupons in the same day. Hope that helps!</p>
Awesome. Thanks!
<p>AAA also has coupons for Harbor freight, we picked up so many the store thought they were going to run out of business!</p><p>They <br> are in one of the promotional magazines and the coupons are all &quot;Free <br>without purchase&quot; walk in, grab the item, throw the coupon down and walk <br> out!</p>
<p>Where can wee get the AAA coupons please?</p>
<p>If you go into a &quot;AAA&quot; Automobile club in the USA they normally have a stand with a bunch of promotional magazines - I forget which one has them so you are going to have to go through them.</p><p>It's in a promo magazine anyways :)</p>
<p>Thanks for the guide.<br><br>Does anyone know the source of the &quot;no purchase required&quot; coupons?<br><br>I have not seen them out in the wild although I have gotten a couple images online and use them in the store from my phone but I don't know where they come from.<br><br>As you said the little Snap Utility Knifes is the cheapest item to grab and use with a free coupon the I have found.</p><p>Also, my store has started using a marker to put a big X on thew coupon when you bring the whole paper in so you can't use it anymore.</p><p>Thanks.</p>
<blockquote>its so cool to see everyone enjoying the coupons, I make these coupons as my job as a graphic artist for HFT... I really don't keep track of price fluctuations because i work on so many ads lol. have never used a free gift coupon lol. </blockquote>
<p>My husband laughs when I say HF is my fave store! Their WOODEN WORKBENCH is a WONDERFUL alternative to a kitchen island and or many other uses---easier to build by far than almost any IKEA item and who wouldn't want a vice in their kitchen? We also have two HF trailers one to put our large motorcycle ON and one that we built to tow BEHIND the bike===I am pretty sure the red paint that comes on them from Shen Jhen is pure lead so GET THAT OFF and use a good paint to cover. REPACK the wheel bearings!!!! DO NOT FORGET THIS! </p><p>And the motorcycle lift table is a wonderful thing.</p><p>Back a few years ago when you COULD use a coupon for generators I SOLD mine to a guy in line who paid me MORE for the coupon than I was buying! Win for me--and the guy STILL saved on his purchase.</p>
<p>If you shop at harbor freight as often and/or as seriously as i do - or if you are like me and being in any hardware and/or tool and industrial supply type store is like being a fat kid let loose inside the wonka factory- it seriously pays off to purchase the inside track membership, once you join then they will send you all the usual coupons- plus a three to four page EXCLUSIVE members flyer with even bigger savings and more freebies as well. Definitely a useful membership and savings tool for those of us who have to have everything we need to be able to do everything that we want!</p>
<p>I've tried to run the math on the membership. I see their exclusive pricing fliers and I've yet to be convinced. Perhaps I should revisit joining. Thanks for the comment!</p>
<p>I love harbor freight and after a couple large receipts my wife has banned me from using a cart in the store. If I can't carry it all I can't buy it all. </p>
I love Harbor Freight too!
<p>AAA also has coupons for Harbor freight, we picked up so many the store thought they were going to run out of business!</p><p>They <br> are in one of the promotional magazines and the coupons are all &quot;Free <br>without purchase&quot; walk in, grab the item, throw the coupon down and walk <br> out!</p>
A lot of their bigger items will have 2 different coupons. A good example is the black rolling tool cart more common coupon for $119 but if you look there is one for $99.

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Bio: I'm a computer engineer - but please don't judge me by that. I heat with wood, fix broken things and love camping with my ... More »
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