Visiting your favorite grow store doesn't have to be expensive. Although gardening can end up costing a pretty penny, you can lower you bill by following these 10 tips for saving money at your favorite grow shop:
1. Talk to the Employees
Do you believe that it’s against a shop employee’s best interests to talk to you about ways to save money? Think of it this way: they know their loyal customers are hooked on growing and will come back for more.
They can give you all kinds of tips on when or how to shop for supplies based on their upcoming sales, clearance items and more.
2. Buyback Programs
Employees are also knowledgeable about whether or not the shop may have buyback opportunities. Some stores will buy back your old equipment when you upgrade or downgrade to re-sell to their bargain hunters.
You can use the cash you make off your old equipment to get discounts on newer items, or buy used equipment if it’s been vetted by the shop employees.
Warranties can also be a good thing to look into when buying your items. Finding an item with an amazing warranty may not save you money when you check out that day, but it will in the future if something goes wrong and you can have it fixed or replaced for free rather than opening up your wallet to do so yourself.
4. Social Media
Keep an eye on your favorite local shops on social media or sign up for their newsletter. This is another great way of staying informed of all the deals they offer throughout the year. Plus, some places give discounts to people who follow them on social media or emails just to reward the interaction.
Be sure to ask for samples of products that you haven’t tested in the past. Many shops will have samples on-hand from their suppliers behind the counter.
All you have to do is ask! This saves you from buying a full-sized bottle and makes it easy to find your preferred product.
6. Reusable Products
If you’re able to get a few uses out of a grow medium, then you can save the money from having to buy the product again. You'll also save time as you won't have to go to the store as frequently (and risk being tempted to pick up items you don’t really need).
7. Bulk Buys
Applying some of the money-saving tricks you’ve learned at the grocery store can help. Look for products that are shelf-stable and buy them in bulk. For instance, you can often get a great deal on larger packs of LED grow lights where each one ends up cheaper than if you were to buy them in smaller packs.
8. Shelf Life
Another grocery store trick you should keep in mind is not buying items that will expire before you use them up. Yes, you may be saving money per ounce or item, but if you end up throwing out a lot because it’s expired, then it’s not really a savings.
Consider splitting the products with a friend or relative if you are looking to buy these items with the savings without having any go to waste.
9. Coupons, Rebates & Clearances
Be on the lookout for any way to save money off the regular price. Things like coupons, buy-one-get-one (also known as a BOGO), rebates and clearance bins should be like catnip to you. Use coupons and BOGO deals to stock up on shelf-stable items. Rebates are often offered by the manufacturer, so be sure to pay close attention to the instructions on how to get your savings.
It may take a few months before you get your check or gift card, but it’s well worth the little effort that is required at first. Clearance bins are often a good way to find items that may be overstocked, being cut from the product line or are nearing their expiration dates.
10. Make a List
How often do you get to the store and find that you’re buying more than what you planned on purchasing, and then regret some of your impulse purchases?
Whether at the grocery store or a grow show, going in with a list can help you stay on track with your buying needs and save you money.
These tips and tricks will make a big difference in your grow budget. You’ll be happier with the amount of money you’ve saved, and maybe you’ll be able to save enough cash to update your equipment or buy the equipment for the extension that you’ve been dreaming about. Happy bargain shopping!
Read next: 8 Questions to Ask a Grow Shop Employee