If you do much gardening, you're familiar with your shovel, rake and hoe at the least. As the season winds down (as it surely will soon!), you will probably be doing last-time chores with them.
Your hoe will probably see its last activity first, as you clear away the weeds for the last time. Perhaps you will use the hoe to clean up the dying bean vines or help even mulch across beds that are ready for winter. You may finish turning compost heaps or dig carrots or other root crops, then it's time to put your shovel away. The rake will surely be the last used, as you rake up fallen leaves and tidy up in anticipation of winter.
All of your tools need to be taken care of all the time, but it's especially important before you store them away for the season. For tools that get into the dirt, scrub them well, then let them dry in the sun if possible. When they're completely dry, get a bucket of sand or fine rock (sand works best, but small rocks will work in a pinch). Pour used automotive oil into it and mix completely, then dip your shovel, hoe and rake into it several times. This will scour off any rust and leftover dirt and it will seal the metal against rust and help keep it clean.
In the spring, wipe each tool with a cloth to remove the oil, since it isn't very good for the ground or plants.
If your tools have wooden handles, a coat of clean oil of almost any kind, including vegetable oil or machine oil, will help them overwinter without drying out and splintering. If they've already begun to splinter, now is the time to deal with it. Sand the area down and seal with paint. As a matter of fact, it's a good idea to paint tool handles to keep them from wearing. Paint can be reapplied whenever it begins to wear off so the wood underneath stays protected.
Store tools where they won't get knocked around and dinged or scraped. The better you treat them, the better they will treat you, and the longer they will be useful and not have to be replaced. That's frugal.
Reducing your future yard and garden expenses