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Money Saving tips and ideas: The Garden centre…

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Well here I am again, the tight one at The Allotment Gardener. Only a short blog this week, but there’s money to be saved again.

How often do you go to the garden centre only looking for one specific thing and come away with a basket full of gadgets and knickknacks? I don’t! As a lad I took up fishing and relatives would buy me brightly coloured bits and bobs they had found in catalogues or from Woolworth’s. Totally useless for my needs, but I thanked them all the same. Then I took up golf and received more ball cleaners than golf balls. Now I garden and it’s so much easier. Suttons, Dobies, Thompson-Morgan, Marshalls and all other major seeds catalogue companies sell gift vouchers that are a great present, as you get what you want from a reputable supplier and your friends and relatives know that what they have got you is what you want. There is however a beautiful bonus in this.

As I can get all my seeds etc online I am not tempted to make unnecessary trips to my local garden centres. Here’s the bonus, I don’t end up buying balls of “garden Centre” string at £2.99 a packet I get a bigger ball of string at the pound shop, for yes you guessed it a pound. I don’t buy 20 cable ties from the garden centre for £1.99 I go to Screwfix and buy 100 ties for 74p. I don’t buy biodegradable flower pots from the garden centre at £3.49 for ten; I make them from stuff that would otherwise go in my recycling bin. (I will get out my camera and get some snaps of the two methods I use for making the pots in the near future). What I have noticed, is as soon as you go to a specialist shop, you get specialist prices. I’m not knocking garden centres, they are convenient, invariably well-staffed with knowledgeable employees, but they are after all a business, out to maximise their profit. Why buy small trays for starting your plants off on a window sill at home, when you can use the plastic containers your supermarket mushrooms come in.

In summary, when you do go to the garden centre and are about to pick up 20 metres of wire, or cane eye protectors, STOP! Think, where else, what else or how else. You’ll probably save so much money, you might even decide to have a slice of that lovely coffee and walnut cake they sell in the garden centre café.

Blogging again next week, please send me your money saving tips and ideas, I’ll give you all the credit if they go in one of my blogs, or you can just comment on this article with your ideas.

p.s. Tin cans and small plastic drink bottles (see photo), make excellent cane eye protectors and also double up as bird scarers.  Free CDs and promotional DVDs given away free in Sunday papers, can also be used to deter the birds, by attaching them to some of your pound shop string between your canes.

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