Start a Vegetable Garden
Cost Savings: $25-$2,000
Doubt that a garden can save you money? Roger Doiron, founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, proved it. He grew about $2,000 worth of produce in one season in his garden granted, a biggee at 1,600 square feet, but also one that's challenged by a Maine climate. His analysis was simple: He just weighed his harvest, compared it to grocery-store prices and subtracted the costs of seeds and other gardening must-haves.
The most lucrative crops for the home gardener, by Doiron's calculus, include Tomatoes (valued at $630), potatoes ($211), salad greens ($198), zucchini ($136) and strawberries ($104) but overall he identified 20 homegrown vegetables worth $25 or more. So plant a little asparagus (it's one of the eight easiest perennial vegetables to grow) and harvest $27... or go in for a big harvest, and aim higher.