The Trotters are about to enter their 10th successive Premier League campaign and Gartside is adamant the club must live within their means to keep that run going, admitting it is futile to even try and keep pace in spending terms with the likes of Manchester City.
He told the club's official website: "To play catch-up with Manchester City, we're talking about £400million , not £10million, not £20million, not spending it on another striker.
"Being realistic, the youth system has got to work because we can invest in the youth and we've got to see some return for it.
"That's the way (manager) Owen (Coyle) wants to move forward, he wants a younger team, he wants a team of youngsters who are going to run for him, obviously youngsters with talent. Hopefully youngsters with talent, who have been brought on by Bolton Wanderers - that's the way forward.
"I think that's true of other clubs in our circumstances. We can't go on forever tipping money into this, it won't work, it's not sustainable and we have to find a way of supplementing that talent, or supplementing the talent we've got with home-grown talent."
At the beginning of the millennium Bolton were regarded as a team which would scrap for every point under then boss Sam Allardyce at the expense of pretty football.
Gartside now wants the club to evolve into a more attractive outfit under Coyle, who took over from Gary Megson last season.
"Hopefully we can unify the whole place again, under a leader, and in football terms, under someone who can actually now express himself more on the pitch, and begin to attract the fans back as well," Gartside added.
"After seven years of playing a certain type of football, we've now got to entertain a bit more and recognise that's the business we're in."