You may feel an itch to landscape once the weather turns warm, but it may be wiser for the wallet if you hold off. Just like the apparel industry, the prices of plants and gardening supplies fluctuate with the seasons. Since demand peaks in the spring and early summer, that's when you'll pay the most for petunias, pines and pansies. If you wait until the end of the growing season, you can find plants on clearance that are still in healthy condition. That's also a prime time to stock up on other supplies, including gloves, garden hoses, sprinklers and tools since few people will be putting things in the ground once the weather cools.
When bargain-hunting for plants, you'll probably have to pick through some duds, however. If you see a few discolored spots, but the rest of the plant is green, you should be able to nurse it back to health. Just stay away from plants that have turned completely brown or are wilted and pale [source: DIY Network]. Annuals on clearance might also be a poor investment since they'll die at the conclusion of the growing season.
If you can't wait for the end of the season to buy new plants, think small. Purchasing smaller plants and allowing them to grow can also be more cost-effective than buying large ones.