The irony of trying to save money this year by growing plants from seed, instead of buying "starts" at the nursery, is that I have to spend money to buy gear to grow those seedlings.
A few days ago, I sat down at the computer to order a few things from Gardeners.com. I picked out a few items that I thought could last for several years - two self-watering containers in which to grow seedlings and some seed-starting mix (in place of soil). Each of the containers was $19.95 and the seed-starting mix was $6.95. The shipping and handling was going to be $10.50, for a total charge of $57.35.
It was expensive, but necessary, and I thought it would save me quite a bit in the long run (seedling "starts" are around $4 each at the nursery, and this year I'll be using the new gear to grow about 60 starts).
Before I checked out, I put "Gardeners.com coupon code" into Google and found a promising code that said it had given 15% off to previous users. I figured it was worth a shot and entered it into my order under "catalog code." It did not, as promised, give 15% off; for some shocking reason, it took off quite a bit more.
Suddenly, each of the planters that was previously priced at $19.95 showed up as costing $9.95, a savings of $20. The germinating mix went from $6.95 to $5.50, a savings of $1.45. Processing and delivery went from $10.50 to $9.95, a savings of $.55. And a mysterious "discount" of $3.81 popped up at the bottom, for a total bill of $30.84 - a total savings of $26.51 (46% off!)
I spent 10 minutes, at most, finding and using the coupon code. I used that code on items that I would certainly have purchased anyway, so the $26.51 represents true savings. It amounts to earning about $160/hour, which I think would be a pretty nice salary. Not bad for a few minute's work!