7 Ways to Save at the Garden Center

7 Ways to Save at the Garden Center

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If you’re planning a trip to the garden center this weekend, you may have resigned yourself to spending hundreds of dollars on fertilizer, seed, top soil, compost, flowers, plants and other items for your spring garden renovation project. The charges can add up fast, but there are ways you can save money without busting your budget.

Higher gas prices and larger grocery bills are putting a crimp on the American consumer budget, which means that you need to find ways to save money elsewhere including your garden needs. Garden centers, like other retailers, understand that you’re pinched and are looking for ways to save. By following the seven ways to save while at the garden center as outlined here, you knock 10, 20 or 30 percent or more off of your shopping trip.

1. Get the circular — The Home Depot and Lowe’s aren’t the only ones with ad circulars. Independent and family owned garden centers run ads in newspapers or send them directly to the home. In case you missed getting your copy, ask for one the moment you arrive on site. Take the time to look over the specials which are being offered just in time for Mother’s Day.

2. Get some help — You may think that you know your favorite garden center top to bottom and inside and out. That helpful sales guy, however, may be able to shed some light on something you don’t know, including that pallet of top soil marked down on the loading dock. Ask the right questions and your friend may be able to point you in the right direction or share a money saving tip.

3. Obtain a loyalty card — If your garden center values its customers, they just may offer a loyalty card which gives you discounts and points towards additional savings with each dollar you spend. For example, “The Farm Loyalty Card” for shoppers in Green Village, N.J. offers customers points for every dollar spent. This offer is giving to retail customers only.1

4. Get ripped — Ripped bags, that is. Lots of garden centers have a section where damaged or aged plants are on display along with broken bags of peat moss, lawn seed and fertilizer. The bags may not look great, but if most of the content is still there and prices are half off, then you’ve found a significant amount of savings.

5. Check clearance items — Much like the damaged goods section, a clearance area will features numerous items no longer being sold front and center. You may have come in looking for impatiens, but if marigolds aren’t selling and the price is right, then you might want to reconsider your shopping choice. Look for pots, planters, hanging baskets and other yard favorites too, items that would have sold for a mint last season.

6. Buy in bulk — The more you buy, the more you save. That’s especially true with garden centers that are eager to move product, much of which is seasonal and will simply perish if customers don’t empty their shelves. Recheck the circular for savings and pay attention to signs that say, “buy five of these and get one free.” Employ plant propagation to extend your savings further.2

7. Ask for a discount — If you’re a regular shopper and are recognized by the manager, then you should be able to ask for a discount on some items. Your retailer may have the potted Japanese red maple priced at $65, but he may be willing to let it go for $40 especially if he has plenty of them on hand and they’re just not moving. Want to save money? Then just ask!

You can save money by shopping with friends too. Sometimes a twelve-pack of cherry tomatoes is just too many to plant even with prices reduced for larger purchases. Visit the garden center with a small group of shopping friends and you may be able to work out a group discount!

References

1 The Farm at Green Village: Loyalty Card

2 Texas A&M System: AgriLife Extension; Plant Propagation

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Categories: Yard and Garden

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".