I've dallied with gardening on and off for years, but with prices at the supermarket higher every time I go, it's time to get serious. I want to grow a garden that saves a significant amount of money.
There's one catch to that plan: It's easy to spend more on a garden than you will ever get out of it.
Seeds are cheap, but they are just the beginning. William Alexander, the author of "The $64 Tomato," learned that the hard way.
The title says it all, but the dirty details reveal he spent $16,565 building the perfect garden and $735 maintaining it for one year. Amortizing the initial costs over 20 years, adding this year's expenses and dividing the result among all his produce, he figured his 19 Brandywine tomatoes cost $64 apiece.
Whether you save by gardening depends largely on where you live, what you grow and how well you resist slick gadgets and miracle solutions. If you're looking to save money rather than to start a hobby, here are five garden crops likely to give you the best return: