Outdoor hydroponics is the way to go!
I built my hydro system 16 days ago and started everything except the water cress from seed 18 days ago. It's all doing beyond great.
I'm growing lettuce, spinach, arugula, snow peas, water cress, broccoli a myriad of herbs and even edible flowers for my chef friends (you want to talk expensive, try buying fresh edible flowers). The system i have will grow 120 plants. I plan to experiment with just about everything.
Stop wasting your money on overpriced insecticide covered vegetables. Build your own system.
I built my system for less $400 (the most expensive was the pump at $160 but it is actually more pump the i needed). I got everything from home depot. It took less then 8 hrs to build, including the shopping, and was by no means rushing.
I am in the south Florida area If anyone needs help building one or if you want to see more pics email me.