How Can Garden Tools like Hoe, Shovel and Rake Save Time and Money?

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Is a Garden Hoe and Other Garden Tools Necessary to Save Money and Time?

by: Carol Giambri

Some people assume you need the "shine" of newness for your garden tools.  I'll share my ideas below with the how and why of what I believe is necessary that does save money and time.

IMG 2783 225x300 How Can Garden Tools like Hoe, Shovel and Rake Save Time and Money?  New shiny tools–that "was" me

The year is 1971 ~ first garden…

I had no one to ask about tools at the time and learned over the years what I am sharing below. Today, the "shine" of newness buying has worn off. I am attracted to garden tools from thrifty stores and other places I am sharing below.  Used works and broken in by others hands and now they become mine without any shame.

It's like having your first dog, house or baby.

IMG 1182 225x300 How Can Garden Tools like Hoe, Shovel and Rake Save Time and Money?Cute Baby

Involve the kids in gardening….

Get the kids involved at an early age.  Give them the teaser so they won't desire to depart from it. 

You just don't always know what you need to know initially so you think about things differently and the "shine attraction" hits your eyes and your pocket. It happens to many.  Where I grew up in New York City, New York I was living in apartments.  I never learned about gardening or had interest before my arrival in Boulder, CO back in the early 1970's.

That was then and this is now…

Today I want to share there are just a handful of tools that I consider really important to start using a beginner or seasoned gardener.  It does not to cost a ton of money either. I'm even going to throw in a recipe today too. Just never know what to expect when you come here. 

These three garden tools are necessary for every home gardener:

IMG 4236 300x225 How Can Garden Tools like Hoe, Shovel and Rake Save Time and Money?

garden hoe, shovel, rake

1. Hoe

I used to use a flat hoe like you probably have used and seen around. If not here's the warning "don't" buy this one.  What I have found best to "buy" and haven't found a "used" or recycled" one yet is a hoe with a blade at the bottom. This is my action (double action hoe) found at hardware chain. Mine is several years old so not sure on the going price. I would say locally under $20 but worth every penny.  It is like saying "A penny saved is a penny earned."  You do "keep your time" in seeing how fast it works. Mulching may help cut down on the weeds, but this fast hoe a few minutes a day is amazing and works wonders. You will love going out and "hoeing."

2.  Shovel

I love shovels with wooden handles that have a point in the center and feels light enough to carry but not aluminum and flimsy to use and break.  Now these probably can be found used locally. 

3.  Rake

I do have a rake, actually a few, but really need one.  For me it's most useful moving things together like piles of leaves.  Other than for this reason and moving rocks around outside the garden, I have little use, but included it in necessary as it can be for most people.  

Saving money…

Save dollars and not pennies

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Save dollars .. not pennies

1. Community garden: If you are in a community garden with others there may be tools for the community to share and own being part of it.

2.  Craigslist: Usually small cost. Just know your prices of new to see if it is a bargain basement price.

3.  Freecycle: free exchange of items.  Someone posts, you respond fast and you receive.  But, you must be a giver to others to be part of the community. 

4. Thrift stores: (ARC, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.)

5. Pawn shop

A recent thrift store trip…

IMG 2797 225x300 How Can Garden Tools like Hoe, Shovel and Rake Save Time and Money?

A thrift store

On a recent trip to the thrift store I was shocked to see so many tools. I think it was just a special day as never seen before. 

I didn't need anymore so I saved them for others to buy.  Tip: If you see a tool you need, buy it or someone else will buy it faster than you flicker your eyes. I missed out on many deals by snoozing.  Now if it attracts my eyes it's into the cart and then before leaving the store I decide. Even knowing this tip I recently got snagged by my not following my own advice. See we are all human and I am talking to myself here.  That is how thrift stores work–see, pick up, buy or not becomes a choice.

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Thrift store garden tools

Reflecting and Acting

From this post you probably gather I am about getting used first if possible.  For you, are you needing some new garden tools?  How about using my "saving money" tip places to start.  If all fails then go with the "shine of newness" or keep looking for thrifty deals if not needed right away.

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Carol Giambri is a gardening expert. She is obsessed with the garden, eating healthy as a frugal shopper and photography.  At a 12 step program she would probably stand up admitting: "I am addicted and obsessed with the garden and its foods."  She even shops for unique shapes of fruits and veggies.  From worm composting, which is a new desire, to homemade cleaning products, eating edible weeds, coaching programs, speaking, copy writing content for blogs, green/recycle talk, dogs and helping her hubby, she loves encouraging people.  Carol plans to write several books on healthy living as well as a pet book where her heart still remains having seen so many go to heaven.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

michele September 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Not much space to garden here where I live but I love your idea of looking for used! Remember everyone, they get dirty really fast anyway. 
Someday, when I have my own garden I know just who to call.
Thanks Carol!

denny hagel September 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Our grandkids have had their own "gardening tools" since they were very young…beginning with the "kid size"! We don't do much vegetable gardening here but have some pretty awesome flower beds! Thanks for all the great tips Carol!

Hughie Bagnell September 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Thank you for the gardening tips Carol! Great article! Thanks for sharing…Hughie

Anastasiya Day September 23, 2011 at 2:18 am

Carol, great article! Not much space to garden here where I live too, but I love your idea. Thanks for sharing your tips with us! :)

Lori Thayer September 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

Great tips for finding your garden tools for a steal!

Pat Moon September 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Carol, thanks for sharing about your garden tools.  We have had one of those hoes you are talking about for years and yes, it really works great for mulching or just cutting the weeds.  We have not been gardening much because of the travel back and forth – never anywhere long enough at one time during the growing season for veggies to produce.  Thanks for the article though.

Olga Hermans September 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Carol, you give some awesome tips; thank you. I always enjoyed going to the Goodwill in the time I lived in the States…

Solvita September 25, 2011 at 10:10 am

Carol, you give such a great advise to people! Thank you so much for help!

AJ September 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Thanks for the tips Carol!

Carol Giambri September 26, 2011 at 9:49 am

Thanks AJ for stopping buy and seeing the tips.

Carol Giambri September 26, 2011 at 9:50 am

Thanks so much Solvita for your comment. I want to interest more people to eat closer to the garden and if this is a way to do it I am excited. I live the lifestyle so I want more “company.” Thanks for always coming by and looking.

Carol Giambri September 26, 2011 at 9:52 am

Olga, it is amazing what buys and finds I see at Goodwill and other thrift stores. In Canada you do have some thrift chains? Nothing like a great deal like my new Omega juicer for $4.99–value $200. Yes, $4.99. Amazing what people part with.

Carol Giambri September 26, 2011 at 9:54 am

Pat, I have an idea and will doing a blog about it. With your travels you can do this one thing and enjoy the garden from another angle: indoor gardening–growing sprouts which takes a few days only. Thanks for sharing. Hope you travel up to Denver, CO area one of these days.

Carol Giambri September 26, 2011 at 9:55 am

Thanks Lori. Aren’t we blessed by all our local thrift stores. Amazing what people part with. My husband probably would be giving everything away if I didn’t stand strong in believing not everything here is junk. Oh well.

Carol Giambri September 26, 2011 at 9:55 am

Anastasiya, little space? I have idea for indoor or outdoors. It is a challenge for others for sure with limitations but indoor gardening probably would work. More to come in future article. Thanks for comments.

Carol Giambri September 26, 2011 at 9:57 am

Hughie, Thanks so much for comment. Gardening is fun and so is eating healthy too. Both areas I enjoy and love sharing — never an expert but may know a few more tricks then others.

Carol Giambri September 26, 2011 at 9:58 am

Wow, Denny–awesome ideas about grandkids having own gardening tools. Amazing. I bet those flower beds can be converted into a small garden or maybe grow edible flowers for the salad? Thanks for sharing.

Carol Giambri September 26, 2011 at 10:00 am

Michele, Little space works too. No excuses or at least maybe I can dispel space limits talk. How about indoor gardening–sprouting? Maybe take a planter or container and grow herbs indoors or even outdoors during season. I just like having fun with gardening. I expect always massive crops but with Colorado weather just never know. I just have fun of harvesting a few things each day. I feel like the “mother” to the plants. Thanks for sharing.

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