Frugal gardeners know that one of the best ways to save money is to reproduce their garden crops from year to year. Fruits have pits that will produce another tree and many flowers have bulbs that double, giving the means to grow another plant. The best investment for multi-generation planting will always be plants that create seeds. One plant can make hundreds of seeds, affording the opportunity to grow an entire garden's worth of food or flowers from just one plant. Never save seeds from hybrid plants as they will not grow true to form the next year.
Cucumbers are a version of summer gourd or squash, producing many long vegetables that have dozens of seeds. Allow one of the cucumbers on your vine to fully ripen. The cuke will turn yellow and be unappetizing for the table, but the ripening process allows the seeds to fully mature. Remove the seeds from the ripe cucumber and allow them to dry on a paper towel. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place until planting time next year.
Cheerful and bright marigold flowers are easy to grow and often one of the first plants that parents allow children to plant. Extend the gardening lesson over the winter and on into spring by saving marigold seeds from a prized flower. Allow the flower to dry on the stalk. Shake the dried flower head into a paper bag to remove and capture the seeds. Save the seeds in a dry place and plant them next spring for a new burst of color.
Toasted pumpkin seeds are a tasty fall treat, but save some from the oven and you'll have free pumpkin plants next season. Remove the seeds from the membrane when you are cutting up a pumpkin. Soak the seeds in a bowl of water to clean them. Remove any seeds that float--they will not germinate. Allow the seeds to dry and store them in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator until spring.