We live in a small town. Granted, it's right next to a big town, but we live in a small town. If you want to shop for DIY supplies (and we do, often) your options are:
Home Depot is 1.6 miles away from our house. Which is super nice, because our average project means approximately 4 visits to Home Depot, usually in doses of 2 or 3 in a day.
Needless to say, we are there a lot.
In fact, several of the employees know us by name. Nando, who unfortunately no longer works there, could spot us at 50 yards. Mike is now our go-to guy since Nando left, and he has a mental list of the projects that we have worked/are working on.
So, when I went to Home Depot on Thursday and went straight to the paint section, I kind of expected that Andrew, the paint guy, would at least recognize me, although I don't expect that he actually knows who I am. I counted it up, and we have purchased at LEAST 19 cans of paint from Home Depot, most of which Andrew has mixed for me. Now granted, some of them have been the smaller cans, but still. 19, and I have never bought more than 3 cans at a time. I'm there a lot.
Andrew acted like I had never been in there before. He offered to show me around the paint section, and demonstrate how the thing-that-shows-you paint-samples-under-different-lights works. He suggested the best way to figure out a paint color was to purchase samples and put them on the walls.
I was a little disappointed.
19 cans of paint Andrew. 19. We've only lived in the house 15 months! This is not my first rodeo, or paint roller, for that matter.
Well, Andrew, too bad for you. I'm not on my fourth can of paint from the ReStore, and I have to say, I may never go back (ok seriously though, at some point I'm going to run out of walls to cover.)
Have you been to ReStore?
ReStore is run by volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, and the proceeds go to Habitat. Its odds and ends, contractor overruns, and used stuff. Its a mixed bag, but you can find some good stuff!
I paid half price for gallons of paint, premixed, in colors that worked for me. Two months ago, I bought three new towel rods for a 1/3rd of the price at Home Depot - I know because the HD tags were still on them. I bought new paint rollers. We've gotten WD40 at a fraction of the cost, and while the selection is ever-changing, it is now on my "hey, its Saturday, let's go to the hardware store" rotation.
Check them out, you just might save some bucks and help a good cause.