Each year when all the seed catalogs start coming in the mail, its all I can do to keep from buying everything I see. To keep spending under control, I have come up with a few tips to keep grow my seed collection without draining my bank account.
1. Sign Up for Your Favorite Seed Company’s Emails
I realize that you will get hit with a lot of email over the winter months, but this is the best way to find out when your favorite companies are running sales. This is where you will find out the codes for free shipping and discounts. Many times, this information will not be accessible by just going to the website alone, it will only be found in the email, and you have to add the coupon code to get the discount.
2. Wait for Free Shipping
Most all of the seed companies will run free shipping promos multiple times throughout the winter months. With some companies charging 6.95 for shipping, this is the way you can save money. I have found that they will run these promos multiple times throughout the winter and spring, so I don’t stress about buying all the seeds I need at one time, I focus on keeping it within my budget and buying the seeds in order of when they need to be started, cold weather seeds first, warmer seeds later.
3. Check out Smaller Companies
I love shopping a lot of the smaller seed companies as well as the big ones. Many of the smaller companies charge substantially less for a seed packet, perhaps $2.50 to $3.50 versus a lot of the bigger companies that charge $4.95 – $6.95 for a seed packet. I also find that a lot of the smaller companies do not charge near as much for shipping either. (Double savings.) Oftentimes, I will shop around and see which company is selling a specific seed that I want for the lowest price, i.e. a certain type of tomato that should be the same across all seed companies. If you can find it for $2.50 versus $5.95. Some of my favorite companies with lower prices and shipping include:
Summer Hill Seeds
Annie’s Heirloom Seeds
4. Purchase at the Big Box Stores and Grocery Stores That Carry Seeds
Some of my favorite brands of seed carry their seeds in some of the big box stores, as well as many of the healthy grocery stores. Not only will this save you the shipping cost, but it seems like a lot of those seed packets run less than they do in the catalog. The main suggestion I would have with big box stores is to stick with name brand companies (Burpee, Martha Stewart, Seeds of Change, Botanical Interests, and regional seeds companies you know are reputable). Also, double check the packet and make sure it says packed for … the year you are buying the seed. Then you know the seeds are fresh.
5. Save Your Seeds
I will admit, I am new to saving seeds from the garden, but this is a great way to grow your collection of seeds year to year. This last year I saved seeds from Hyacinth plant, marigolds, as well as a white hollyhock that keeps spreading the love. I would really like to learn how to keep more of my food plant seeds this year. If you have friends that save seeds, hitting them up for some new seeds could also be a great way to add to your collection.
I hope this has given you some ideas on ways to expand your collection. Do you have any good tips for growing your seed collection?