If you know someone who has a raspberry or strawberry patch, you can always ask to transplant some of their invading "babies". If you don't know any gardeners, berries are still cheaper to grow than fruit trees. I paid $4 for 25 strawberry plants last year, and I believe around $10 to start a raspberry patch at my parents' house.
1. Raspberries: Raspberry canes will bend over to the ground and actually take root. To transplant, cut the cane connecting the "mother plant" with the "baby plant". Dig up the baby plant to grow in a different spot. Raspberries also tend to crowd each other for room. They can benefit from a good pruning in the fall or spring, to chop off any dead parts and create space for younger, better-producing canes.
2. Strawberries: Strawberry plants essentially do the same thing as raspberries. They will grow long, leggy "shoots" that look like naked branches with a patch of leaves on the end. This patch of leaves will grow roots and grow into another plant. Cut the shoot halfway between the mother and baby, and dig up the baby plant. Replant in a different area. Strawberries, like irises, need to be thinned out every once in a while. The plants propagate themselves and start to crowd each other. After three years, strawberries don't produce as much as they did before. However, you can start a new row of strawberries with "babies" from the old row, and soon enough you'll have a good producing strawberry patch again.
Why Not Start Today?
To me, growing strawberries and raspberries is a no-brainer. Berries are extremely healthy to eat. Unlike rhubarb, they can be eaten without added sweetener, but like rhubarb they are VERY easy to grow and it is almost difficult to kill them off once they've been established. You can save hundreds of dollars per year by starting a $30 fruit patch that will grow and re-establish itself (with some help!) for free every year. I was able to get 25 strawberry plants for $4, and transplant some of my old raspberry patch from my parents' house.
You don't have to stop at strawberries and raspberries. Last year I was able to grow and/or forage: strawberries, rhubarb, red & black raspberries, mulberries, apples, and pears. With these fruits I was able to make: frozen berries, jam, jelly, syrup, canned pears, applesauce, dried apples, apple cider, wine and vinegar. The only fruits I actually bought last year were some bananas and pineapples on sale, and the odd lemon or orange for a recipe.
Start YOUR very own fruit garden with strawberry and raspberry transplants today!