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How to get plants for next to nothing

How to get plants for next to nothing from your local supermarkets or garden centre - The Thrifty Island Girl

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of bagging a bargain! I absolutely love finding massive discounts on pretty much anything. Hence you may also know me as the “Pricecut Princess” from watching me on Channel 5. Even if you’re not the coupon queen type, it’s still worth knowing a few tricks up your sleeve on how to save money on plants. Plants can be very expensive, but you can still create your dream garden on a Budget or invest in some low maintenance houseplants.

Today I’m sharing my trick on how I get 75% off full priced plants from supermarkets and garden centres. This plant hack will save you a lot of money, but also save plants and plastic pots from ending up in a landfill.

How I get plants for dirt cheap from supermarkets and garden centres

From spring time, all the way through to autumn you’ll usually see garden plants for sale at the entrance of supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Aldi etc. However if you look at the flowers or little bushes carefully, you may spot some that look half dead. This could be because the supermarket may have forgotten to water or the cold air from the air-conditioning (AC) is blowing directly onto the plants. The AC is harmful to some plants, as it can strip moisture from the soil and leave. I have to say I don’t see dying plants in garden centres very often, but do find them on the odd occasion.

Unfortunately many people don’t give the dried plants a second thought and go for the healthiest pots instead. Of course, who would want to pay full price for an unattractive pot of primroses or hyacinth?

My recent primrose purchase with a 75% discount

Last week during the half term I went to do some grocery shopping with the better half and Yasmin. As we entered Tesco in Lewisham, I saw loads of primroses for sale. They had the trays of 6 small primroses for £3.50 and the bigger primrose plants for £2.50 each or 3 for £6 with the Clubcard discount. Since I love filling the garden with colourful flowers, I decided to have a look at the plants. I then saw quiet a few pots of primroses with super dry compost and the plants looking floppy. I did feel a little sad for those plants and knew if they dry even more the staff will most likely just throw them in the bin.

The dying primrose plants Lei Hang picked up from Tesco in Lewisham
The dying primroses Lei Hang picked up from Tesco in Lewisham

I just had to rescue them from ending up in the landfill. So I picked up the 6 half bed primroses in the picture above and went to see the duty manager at the time. As I knew nobody would pick these up, I’ve decided to ask whether they would be happy to reduce the price. These 6 pots would be a total of £12 with the Clubcard discount. Upon asking whether I could have a discount on these beautiful plants, she offered me 75% discount. I was over the moon! She reduced each plant to 63p, which cost me a total of only £3.78 instead of £12. That’s a total bargain!

My Tesco receipt showing plants have been reduced to 63p each

I then took these babies home and gave them a bit of tlc. I’ve trimmed all the dry dead looking leaves and flowers off, then made sure the all pots have been watered.

I will admit, it took me more than an hour to sort these primroses out. As soon as I got back to the Isle of Wight, I’ve planted all the primroses in the garden. I’ve also made sure to put some plant food in the soil to boost their growth and produce more flowers. The plant food that I’ve used is Miracle Gro All Purpose Continuous Release Plant Food


What to look out for when buying half dead plants

Before you decide to pick up some dying plants from your local grocery store, make sure that the plant isn’t infested with bugs or some sort of fungus. Also make sure that the plant is not too dead. This way you’ll have a greater chance of rescuing the plant.

The plants I personally like to rescue are primroses as they are very hardy plants. Hyacinth and daffodils are also very great rescue plants. Though you might not see it flower the same year again, but they will come back next year!

Hope my tip helps you create your dream garden for a fraction of the price. Have you asked for discount before? If so comment below to share your story with me and others.