Garden centre clubs
The major garden centre chains are all competing hard for your pounds - and many have set up club schemes to help you make savings while you spend. If you regularly visit the same garden centre, these are well worth joining.
Wyevale Garden Centres run 'The Garden Club', a free membership service which offers reward points for every £1 you spend in their garden centres, restaurants and online, and what's more, club members over 60 benefit from double reward points every Tuesday.
Further club savings can be made on monthly seasonal offers and at special events such as 'triple point weekend' deals.
National garden centre chain Dobbies also has its own garden club, with discounts, points and rewards on purchases. You do have to pay £10 to join, but for that outlay they promise savings of 10 per cent on plants, bulbs and seeds.
And although not exclusively a garden centre, it's also worth considering signing up to B&Q's Diamond Club, which has been merged with the B&Q Club. As well as the perks of the B&Q Club, people over 60 get 10% off every Wednesday on a range of products.
Money-saving schemes at smaller garden centres
But it's not just about saving money at the big name garden centres. Many of the smaller garden centre groups, and one-off outlets, also operate reward schemes and clubs for the benefit of regular customers.
Ask at your local garden centres for any schemes and cards they may offer specifically to help older people save money. Many run loyalty card schemes specific to their garden centre or garden centre branches. You will benefit from discounts, and often there's a specific day of the week when older people can make the most of money-saving deals on purchases for the garden.
To check what's on offer at garden centres in your area, have a look at The Garden Centre Association website, where you can search by county for high quality garden centres. But here are few examples:
Thompsons Garden Centres in Kent hold spring garden club evenings which combine a social event for garden enthusiasts with savings for members.
Deans Garden Centres in York and Scarborough has a loyalty card scheme to help you rack up points while you purchase.
Oaktree Nursery & Garden Centre in Bracknell runs an over 60s club plus weekly discount day.
Planters Garden Centre in Tamworth combines a discount day, exclusive offers and excursions for its members over 60.
Save money at garden centre cafes and restaurants
Your savings at the garden centre needn't only focus on getting the best deals on shrubs and plants. You can also make savings when having a snack. Look out for special offers in the centres' restaurants; Wyevale Garden Centres, for example, often promote deals such as two meals for £10.
To get the most from your visit, don't just go for the colourful promotions they're pushing at the front of the shop; have a good walk about and a root around for less conspicuous bargains.
More often than not, the best bargains are lurking at the back of the garden centre and in plant clearance areas. Often the drab-looking perennials which you can often find on clearance can, with the right care and attention, give you beautiful colour when they next reach their peak.
If you do want to buy flowers at their peak for instant colour then consider asking your green-fingered friends and family if they'd like to go plant shopping too and make an outing of it - garden centres, like supermarkets, will often have multibuy offers that could potentially be shared out to save you and your friends money.
Buying plants online can be a great option, particularly for gardeners without a car. Online garden centres also allow you to preorder plants in good timing, and let you choose from a far wider range of plants.
Related: the benefits of buying plants online
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