Home gardeners spent a total of $2.5 billion on their gardens in 2010. Quite a bit of this total was for purchasing gardening tools, equipment, and supplies.

The cost of purchasing garden tools can add up quickly, especially if you are starting your first garden. Some basic hand tools are a necessity in order to efficiently handle many gardening tasks, and even these can put a nice dent in a credit card if purchased all at once.
Remember: Inexpensive garden tools are quite different than "cheap" garden tools. You want to keep quality in mind when acquiring your tools. As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for". It is much better to pay a few bucks more for a quality tool, then it is to have to keep re-purchasing tools of lesser quality.
If you are looking for some frugal ways to add to your garden tool inventory, here are ten tips for finding inexpensive garden tools:


eBay is a great resource for finding inexpensive, new and used, garden tools and equipment. There are thousands of items listed on eBay every day in the Home & Garden section at very discounted prices.

If you visit eBay, make sure to pay close attention to the images of any used item.

Contact the seller for any questions you may have. Don't be afraid to ask, you don't want to bid on something that's on its last leg.

I typically only bid on tools that are labeled brand new, but you can find good deals on used equipment, too.


Craigslist is another valuable resource for garden tools and supplies, and you can sometimes find some for free!

Just find your local area, and search in the farm and garden section to find available items for sale.

You can even post on the "Wanted" list if there is a particular item you are looking for that is not currently listed.


Freecycle gives you the ability of giving or receiving free items. Just search for your local area, join the group, and browse what people in your area are giving away.

If you are interested in an item, just contact the person. It's a good idea to keep an eye on it as the listings can change quite often.
Note: Always use common sense and good safety practices when meeting a person from either Craigslist.org or freecycle.org. For more information on good safety practices, please read these guidelines:

Safety Tips For Using Freecycle or Craigslist
Some Freecycle Safety Tips
Newspaper Classifieds

Your local newspaper classifieds can be a good source for inexpensive garden tools.

Keep a watch on the Sunday edition, most people post their ads in this edition.

Thrift Stores

Browsing through some popular thrift stores can sometimes bring unexpected garden tool treasures.

Many thrift stores support a charity, so if you purchase from them you would pick up great bargains and help a charity at the same time.

Talk about a win-win!

It is probably best to check these out mostly in the spring and fall when people are more likely to be cleaning out there tool sheds and garages.

Almost everything you will find at a thrift store will be used, but you can find items there that are in great condition!

Yard Sales

Most frugal people know the power of perusing yard sales. You probably will not find many yard sales going on right now (unless you live in a very warm climate), but when spring arrives they will pop up like daffodils.

Take a few minutes to look in the newspaper classifieds for some of the yard sales going on in your area.

Pay close attention to any ads that mention garden tools, supplies, or equipment.

Scouting in the newspaper first will save you a ton of time! You will be surprised at some of the great bargains you can find by visiting a few yard sales.

Estate Sales

Estate sales are a great place to shop for inexpensive garden tools as well. Again, check your newspaper classifieds for estate sales in your area, and pay attention to any items that may be listed.

When visiting the estate sale, head to the backyard, garage, or shed first. That is where you will usually find the garden tool goodies.

Dollar Stores

Don't forget to check out some local dollar stores in late winter/ early spring for some basic items.

These are great for finding inexpensive items such as hoses, buckets, and plant containers.

Don't forget to visit Big Lots or Ollie's Bargain Outlets, if you have them in your area.

Re-purpose Items

Start Seeds In Egg Cartons
There are many household items that you can repurpose for use in the garden.

Empty egg cartons can be used as simple seed starting trays, milk jugs can be cut in half and used as scoopers, and medicine bottles can be used to store seeds.

The possibilities are endless, so get creative and use those items you would usually dump in the trash, and save some cash!

Build It Yourself

Instead of spending your money on expensive items like trellises, tomato cages, or raised bed kits, build it yourself.

You can easily build your own cucumber trellis, create your own tomato cages from concrete reinforcement wire, or buy the lumber and build your own raised beds.

There are many things you can construct for your garden much cheaper than buying it in stores. Plus, the stuff you build will more than likely be much sturdier, and last longer those those bought.

Saving Some Moolah on Vegetable Gardening

No matter what it is you can probably find a way to save a few dollars on your vegetable gardening. If you have some ways to save money on garden tools and supplies, please share them!