With spring around the corner, and the doldrums of winter soon coming to a close (last winter has been really harsh), blooming flowers and warm weather activities have been running through my mind. Now is the perfect time to start making arrangements for the rest of the spring and the start of summer.

If your children attend summer camp, check to see if the camp offers discounts for early bird registrations. The most competitive programs often book up early. The same goes for summer travel. Start honing in on an ideal vacation spot and type in specific keywords on search engines that include your destination and the terms ‘discount hotel’ or ‘special rates’. Chances are your search will turn up discounts that are not available on major travel websites.

In addition to traveling, warm weather evokes gardeners to plan their first seasonal purchase of flowering annuals at their favorite nursery. But every frugal green thumb knows how to find a better way to get quality flowers without paying full price. Find a ‘mail order grower’ in your area and instead of making a purchase online or via telephone, and make plans to visit the site accompanied by a list of all the types of plants and flowers that you desire to fill your planters and your garden. You’ll find that the inventory is immense and there will likely be a section where slightly damaged plants or special variety plants available in excess quantities can be purchased at prices less than your local nursery or home improvement store.