Putting in a garden can be an expensive ordeal. This is especially true if this is your first year and you have to get everything to start out with. Each year I try to minimize the cost of starting a garden. (There is no reason to spend $200 starting a garden every year, when it would be cheaper to buy organic food from the grocery store.) Each Friday for the rest of the month I am going to be talking about ways you can save money in your garden. This may be ways to save when starting your garden or during the gardening season.
This year, I have been able to use gift cards to buy several items for my garden. These have come from a variety of places. Which lead me to my next point: there are several ways to obtain a gift card. Here are four ways to do so:
- Receive them as gifts
- Win them
- Earn them
- Buy them at a discounted price
Receive them as gifts
Has anyone ever asked you, “What would you like for your birthday/Christmas/mother’s day/father’s day/grandparent’s day?” If you are like me, there isn’t much you actually need. Often I think in terms of items for me or the house, but why not mention the garden? A gift card to your favorite gardening store or seed company is a great way to be able to try something new or lower the cost of your garden.
Being as these will be gifts, this is not the most predictable way to obtain gift cards, but it is one option.
Just like receiving them as gifts, winning gift cards is also not the most predictable way to get gift cards, though you could potentially win some large ones or even several smaller ones. “Gift cards for gardening stores? Are you sure you have seen these?” Well, actually, yes. However, you may not have thought of some of the stores as gardening stores. Think about it. Doesn’t the big retail store near you sell gardening supplies? And your large grocery store? They may not be at the top of your list to shop at, but you can still find items there you may need. Pots, gardening gloves, hoes, spades, canning jars, freezer containers and bags, fertilizer, seeds, bird netting, bird seed, feeders, etc. can be found at most of these stores.
How about sweepstakes to redo your back yard or redesign a room in your house? I would love to redesign the area of my home where I start seeds and grown them into transplants. Even more I would be thrilled to be able to redo my back yard, which also contains my vegetable beds and soon my berry bushes. You may need to think a bit outside the box when looking a sweepstakes, but I have seen a lot that could be used for gardening or garden related activities.
Now we come to the last two methods I mentioned. These are a bit more predictable as you have some control over if you will get them and how often
Earn Gift Cards
There are many ways to earn gift cards. Here are a few of the ways I use currently.
Recycle bank – earn points by learning about living a greener lift style and by doing certain actions. A lot of the actions are not available in my area, but I have learned a lot over the years. The rewards vary, but there is an option for gift cards. Remember what I said while talking about sweepstakes, think outside the box. Right now I see three different gift card rewards that could be used for gardening items.
Bing – You earn points by searching online and then get to choose your reward. You can earn up to 15 points each day by doing searches, and sometimes a couple more by completing daily offers. It takes me just over a month to earn a $5 Amazon gift card, with less than a minute worth of time spent on the website each day.
Swagbucks – Not only do you earn points randomly by searching the internet, but also by watching ads, printing and using coupons, daily polls, No Obligation Special Offers, surveys, shopping through their site, playing online games, installing their tool bar, doing tasks, and finding special SwagCodes. It is very easy for me to earn a $5 Amazon gift card from this site. Again, you can choose which reward you like. Amazon gift cards are the ones that happen to fit my needs to most. If I were to put in more time, earning $10 – $15 each month in Amazon gift cards would be very doable. There have been times I did this, but it took more time than I have right now.
Inboxdollars- This isn’t exactly a way to earn gift cards, but they do send you a check once your balance is more than $30. It used to take me a long time to reach that amount. Then I started paying attention to the ways I could earn money on this site, beyond reading emails. If I am looking to print off coupons, I check out this site first. They also pay $.01 for every two qualified searches, up to $.15 per day. There are more ways, but those are two way I often use. Also, if you are new to Inboxdollars click on the banner below and get a $5 signup bonus.
Buy gift cards at a discounted price
This is probably the most reliable way to get gift cards, though it is also the most costly. Yes, you will still be saving money as the gift cards are discounted, but you will have to still spend some money. There are several gift card exchange sites. As I haven’t personally used one yet, though plan to do so for my next major garden project, I can not personally recommend any at this time. One site has a savings of 7% for a card from a major home improvement store. 7% may not sound like much, but if you are planning on spending a fair amount of money on a garden project or to get things going, then 7% can add up. Also, if you can pair this with a coupon, you will have even larger savings.
Before buying a card, make sure you know what the shipping fees are. These will vary by site.
Now, I know I have talked a lot about Amazon gift cards. In case you had the same thought I initially did, “You can’t find garden stuff on Amazon”, let me show you what a quick search did. And just for the record, I am not an affiliate with Amazon though I am for some of the sites above.
12 Heirloom Varieties of Vegetable Seeds
Ferry Morse Heirloom Tomato Collection
Summer Squash Black Beauty Zucchini Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds 25 Seeds
Herb Garden Plant Pot Row Markers – 15 Green with Pics
Women’s Garden Gloves, 6 Pair Pack, assorted colors. Women’s Medium
Worm Factory 360 Worm Composter
These are the results from a few quick searches I did. Imagine if you took your actual “need to get” list and looked through here! Or one of the larger retailers that you can earn gift cards to from one of the actions above.
How do you usually keep the cost of gardening within reason? Leave a comment with your favorite tip.
This post contains affiliate links.