Citizen science is a form of collaborative research engaging the public with professional scientists. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are a leading factor in the recent spread of this phenomenon. A common assumption is that money and ICT are the ideal solutions to issues of data quality and participant engagement. The reality is instead that resource limitations often require adopting suboptimal ICT, including tools that are "free as in puppies" with hidden costs from poor usability and lack of appropriate functionality. A comparative case study of three citizen science projects, eBird, The Great Sunflower Project, and Mountain Watch, found that projects with few ICT resources employed a broader range of strategies to address these issues than expected. The most practical and effective strategies integrated available ICT with other resources to open up new solutions and options for supporting citizen science outcomes in spite of resource limitations.