How to Cut Costs on Gardening Equipment and Supplies

Gardening tools can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. Watching sale fliers and taking advantage of coupons are some of the best ways to save money on gardening tools and supplies. A versatile tool like a hori-hori (or soil knife) can replace several hand tools. Look for one with a strong shaft and handle and a solid union where the head meets the shaft.

Buy Used

Gardening is a lot easier and more fun with the right tools. But the initial investment of good equipment can be daunting, especially for new gardeners. Fortunately, there are several ways to save money on gardening tools and supplies without sacrificing quality. Buying used is one way to get great tools at a fraction of their retail price. Check your local classified ads for yard and estate sales, and pay special attention to ads mentioning tools and equipment. The internet is another excellent source for discovering cheap garden tools and equipment. Websites allow you to search for your specific area and type of equipment. Some stores have partnered with reliable web site listing coupons like RetailMeNot to make it easier for you to search for discounts in one go. Remember to ask your friends and neighbors if they have any gardening equipment they no longer use. They may gladly trade you for some of their tools or even give you a whole set for free. Just make sure to wash and oil your new tools before using them. And be sure to store them in a safe place, such as a tool shed. In general, investing in a few high-quality tools that will last a long time is best rather than trying to build up an arsenal of cheap tools that may break down frequently. It’s also important to remember that you can often achieve the same results with lower-quality equipment as long as it works well and is easy for you to handle.

Buy Early

Gardening is a great way to save money, but the supplies you need can add up quickly. To help you stay within budget, buy your tools and equipment early in the season when prices are lowest. Look for sales at your local garden center and grocery stores. You may find gardening supplies and equipment deals at thrift stores or online. Make a list of the tools you’ll need for your garden tasks. It will help you decide which ones to purchase and which to use as rentals or trades with friends. When buying tools, consider top quality over price. The right tool for the job is more effective, safer and lasts longer. For example, a high-quality, long-handled trowel may cost more than $15, but it will likely last ten times longer than a cheap one. Ask neighbors and friends if they have any gardening tools they no longer need or would be willing to give you. Also, many common gardening tools can be modified with items found around the house. For instance, wrapping baseball tape around the wooden handles of shovels and rakes improves grip and comfort.

Look for Discounts

Gardening tools, supplies and plants add up quickly and can put a dent in your wallet. To keep costs down, seek discounts, especially during the summer when many retailers offer blowout sales on planters, flower pots and lawn furniture. You can also score deals on garden supplies, including soil amendments, fertilizers and weed killers, by shopping at local or online auction sites. Sites allow you to filter for specific items, so you can find what you need without searching endlessly.

Another option is to look for used tools. Gardening tools are often used outside, in the dirt and can be subjected to harsh weather conditions, so they only look new for a short time. If you’re shopping for basic hand tools, such as rakes and trowels, a discarded tool still in good working condition is fine. Sharing garden tools and supplies with neighbors is also a good idea. For instance, you can swap a rototiller for one season in exchange for helping with a weeding or mulching job in return. 


Gardening is a great way to save money on fresh produce, but it can be expensive for the basic tools needed to get started. With a little searching, though, finding inexpensive gardening supplies and growing on a budget is possible. Many local hardware and lawn and garden stores offer rentals of equipment that can be more costly to buy. It may be particularly true for large machinery, such as tillers and rototillers. Access to this equipment can be a lifesaver for those who have to do big projects on a tight schedule and want to avoid trying to fit an entire piece of lawn and garden equipment into their vehicle for a day or two. It’s also a good idea to rent equipment if you only use it occasionally or for a specific project. The cost of buying and maintaining a tool that you will only use a few times a year can add up quickly. Renting a tool that is easy to maintain makes sense if you know your needs will change over time. Look around your house for items you can repurpose in the garden, such as empty egg cartons to make seed starting trays or milk jugs cut in half to serve as scoopers. You can even purchase used planters and containers at thrift shops or yard sales to start your garden on a very low budget.