Between water, fertilizer, and lawn care services you may be overspending on your lawn. Gasp! Luckily, there are many frugal ways to cut down on costs. The tried and true cheapskate method of doing it yourself is a time investment so if that’s not an option, I brainstormed alternatives. Thanks to reader Susan who shared this post idea with us on our Facebook page!
Below I share 7 ways to save money on lawn care.
Get rid of the grass. Turn your lawn into a low maintenance space by getting rid of the green. A friend of mine, who’s a landscape designer, recently tore up her front lawn and added drought resistant plants and mulch. She also keeps chickens in her front yard for manure and their eggs! You too can look into adding trees and plants native to your region. This is called xeriscaping and it will reduce your water use and cut down on lawn care. Doing it yourself can also reduce the costs of making the switch, but you’ll have to do your research.
Skip the professionals. Love the smell of freshly cut grass and can’t give up your lawn? Have a non-professional do the work. Another one of my friends has a teenaged boy do yard work that includes mowing the lawn every other Saturday. He gets paid $10 per hour. You’d be surprised how many teenagers and starving college students are willing to pick up work during the weekend for a couple bucks. My friend did warn me saying, “You get what you pay for.” But I’ve seen her lawn and it’s not half bad. Ask around to see who is interested. Note that you’ll have to provide the tools for the job so keep the expense of used tractors or lawn mowers in mind if you don’t already have the right equipment for the job.
Share a gardener. If you don’t want to give up the pros, speak to neighbors about looking for a gardener who can work on several houses on the same day. The more houses on the block you offer up, the more you can negotiate on a price. You see, this will cut down on gas costs for the gardener as there’s no need to drive around and the person or company is guaranteed multiple jobs.
Put in a plastic lawn. Going artificial is pricey, but I’m including it because the upfront costs will eventually pay off for themselves. There’s no need to water, fertilize, or mow the synthetic lawn so in the end you will save money. Plastic lawn can look real as it comes in all shades of green and lengths from late-summer long to putting green short. Crunch the numbers to see how long a fake lawn will take to make your money back.
Plant a garden. Instead of wasting water on grass, start a money making garden in your front yard. In my area, front-yard gardening is becoming the norm. Yes, you’ll still spend money on water, but at least you’ll have fruits, veggies, and herbs to show for it. This option does take up time so you must be committed before you tear out your lawn! Note that many areas prohibit you from having a garden in your front lawn so check in with home associations and bone up on local laws beforehand.
Make your own fertilizer. Stop paying for chemical fertilizers. Compost grass clippings and leaves. Here’s how to make your own compost bin. It’s so easy!
Extend the life of your plants. Cheap gardening is possible. Before buying plants do some research to find your best options. Always buy seeds to lower costs instead of seedlings and go for perennials instead of annuals. Perennials last three or more years while annuals will have to be replaced every year.
Check with your zoning regulations. Some communities do not allow artificial turf as front lawns and you may have to rip it out. A neighbor replaced her lawn with colored rock, no lawn left, and was forced to remove it from the parkway strip.
Yazmin Cruz says
@Myke Thanks for the heads up! Your neighbor probably wasted a lot of money which sucks. Hey, you live and learn, right?
You can cut down on the amount of grass you have to take care of by putting in rock features. I am not saying to exchange your entire lawn for rocks, but you can be creative and also cut down on your weekly lawn maintenance with a couple of them.
Yazmin Cruz says
@Zimmy That’s another great idea! Like Myke mentioned above, always do your homework before going out and tearing out part of your lawn.
Bargain Babe says
@Zimmy Love this idea! Plus, adding a few rocks of various sizes can totally change the flow and feel of a space.