10 Ways Thrifty People Landscape


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10 Ways Thrifty People Landscape


10 Ways Thrifty People Landscape

1. Thrifty people shop yard sales

Our rose trellis was $2 at a yard sale. The lawn edging around one of the flower beds was also purchased at a yard sale. I have also found play ground slides and swings at yard sales to create the  fun part of our landscaping.

2. Thrifty people do the work themselves

My husband did most of the work on our yard with a bit of help from the children. If my husband doesn’t know how to do it he consults the internet for help (YouTube is a great place to start) or the local library for books. Both sources are free.

My husband also likes having a small library on hand that addresses landscaping and home repairs and for that I use all the tips I share in my building an inexpensive home library series.

flower bed

3. Thrifty people keep their eyes out for free

My husband noticed that a local crew was demolishing an old brick building near us. He asked a worker what was happening to the bricks. When he heard they were getting carted away to the landfill my husband asked if it was okay if he took some. The worker checked with his foreman and reported back to my husband  saying that is was fine. We got enough brick to outline several flower beds, the trampoline area and the pool for free.

4. Thrifty people use what they already have

We worked around thriving plants the previous owner had already planted. We brought along a bird bath from a previous home. My husband used leftover fence panels to skirt in the bottom of his tool shed.

load of discounted mulch

5. Thrifty people use social media to their advantage

I was on Facebook one day when a friend said she had a load of mulch available for 50% off, all we had to do was pick it up. I messaged her right away and the mulch was ours and now provides a bit of variety from the rock placed around all the other areas of the yard. I also kept my eye out on local facebook selling pages for items for the project.

6. Thrifty people shop end of season sales

I can think of only one plant in our entire yard that was bought at full price  The rest have all been bought late September at 50 to 75 percent off. As long as they have a week or two in the soil frost free they survive through the winter to flourish the following spring.

7. Thrifty people buy in bulk

My husband figured out it would be cheaper to buy our fencing by the plank than to buy pre-made panels. He also found out if he bought a certain amount of planks he would save even more. He used these planks up by making them the roofing for our children’s play house as well as the walls.

8. Thrifty people befriend gardeners with green thumbs

There are a few blank areas still to be filled in our new flower beds. My plan is to see what comes up at end of season plant sales and then in spring broadcast over Facebook “I need a few plants for my garden, anyone got any they are getting rid of”. Usually this gets me one or two offers of free plants as long as I come over when they are overhauling their flower beds to pick them up.

fence building

9. Thrifty people use child and friend labor

We have three children who are always looking for ways to earn money to save up for their latest goal. We pay them a fair price for helping us but it is still a lot less than hiring out the job. Yes we could ask them to work for free, but by paying them we also are provided the opportunity to learn how to manage money.

In the past I have also asked friends with green thumbs to come over and give this brown thumbed person a hand in positioning plants in areas for optimum growth.

10. Thrifty people use discounted gift cards to purchase their supplies

For our backyard project we purchased Lowe’s cards at  up to  10% discount from discounted gift card companies like cardpool

I am always looking out for more tips on being thrifty in our landscaping; do you have any to share with me?

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  1. I love the idea of buying Lowe’s gift cards at a discount. You can also get a Lowe’s 10% off total purchase coupon to use with the gift card, if you pick up a change of address form from the post office (free in the packet). It would be good to use if you had a big project to do.

    Thanks for all the great ideas you always have – I love your blog! ☺

  2. Great! We shared this with our readers at homesteadlady.com.

  3. Thanks for some great ideas. I also use facebook to give/get free perenials. I also shop the end of season sales at the local nursery. Your flower beds look great 🙂

  4. Love these ideas! A few friends of mine are part of a local Facebook group where they chat about gardening and do free plant/seedling exchanges. What a great way to connect and landscape thriftily (sp?).

    • Sounds great! I have a brown thumb so I rely on my green thumb friends to help me keep my plants alive and thriving and to provide me with new ones from their bountiful gardens when I am not successful which is often.

  5. Great tips!
    My husband calls it “Living off the fat of the land”. He was able to put a beautiful rock boarder on both sides of our 90′ driveway, make a retaining wall and steps all from rocks that were being displaced from road work. He killed himself making probably 50 trips collecting the rocks, but it came out amazing!

    • Love the idea with the free rock! We need to build a retaining wall up our driveway eventually and have been trying to figure out how to do it inexpensively. Now that I think of it I think I might know one source of free rock that just might be large enough.

  6. Great tips, especially as so many of us are starting to wrap up this year’s gardening season and looking towards next years.

    Thanks for linking up at Fabulously Frugal Thursday!

  7. Richard Buse says:

    Layers of newspaper work as well as landscape fabric for keeping weeds or grass from growing amid mulch. Also, many perennials (hostas, iris, day lilies, etc.) expand/multiply on their own. If you’re patient and willing to split up such plants every few years, you can do a lot with just a few original plants.

  8. As over simplified as it sounds, one of my favorite ways to simplify is by sticking to planting hardy perennials and plants that require very little in the way of maintenance (like berry bushes). It reduces the amount of time and money I will have to invest in the future taking care of or replacing things! 🙂

  9. Sherry Sarchet says:

    I love to garden & know it can be really expensive, here are some of my tips. Way in the back of Lowe’s & Home Depot they usually have a rack of plants 75 to 50% off, you never know what you’re going to find but you can get some great stuff. Also, In Spring go to a Dollar Store – you can get seed packets sometimes 10 for $1.00 & grow your own herbs, tomatoes, peppers, etc., as well as flowers. Also, I have Dumpster Dived! K-Mart would throw out half dead plants & I revived them with love! You always have to keep your eyes open! And, COMPOST! Use your own produce scraps to make great compost! – P.S. Lowe’s gives a 1 yr. guarantee on plants. Keep your receipt. If you have a failure dig it up & take it in for a refund!

  10. Lynn Brown says:

    Some good ideas for thrift here. You lean a bit heavy on the rest of the world doing the giving…even when you consider discounting…there is a loss to your local community in terms of recycling funds locally.
    Friends help? Ok but also mention payback.
    Looking for plants from others? ok but maybe take a batch of cookies in return.
    There are takers and givers. It’s nice when the balance comes through thoughtfulness.

    • Victoria says:

      Oh believe me we do give back to those who share. My hubby is a great handy man, so he helps others all the time with this and that. Or I knit them dish cloths as a thank you. Just keeping the post short and sweet.

  11. Thanks for the great tips! We have rented our home for the past 2 1/2 years, and little by little we are rearranging everything the way we like it. With help and supplies from friends, we’ve made a lot of progress. Today the kids and I dug up dozens of bulbs that were scattered around the back and side yards, and put them in the front flower bed. We see and learn so much working side by side! We had a great day together, and didn’t spend a dime. 🙂

  12. Thanks for the tips :).

    Our neighbor told us awhile ago that Lowe’s will give you 50% off of ripped bags of compost, peat moss, etc. and my husband finally went over and found out that it was true, at least at our Lowe’s. We have saved quite a bit as we’ve built our raised beds this year.

    I am also trying to learn how to propogate plants, especially perennials, and grow my own perennials from seed when I can.

  13. I started with one old wheel barrow as a planter and never looked back. Less weeding, less bending over and absolutly beautiful results. Of course there is prep work but nothing difficult. Now i look for and uses all kinds of different containers,even an old wagon.

  14. Greats tips! Craigslist is also a good source for free or cheap materials. Composting is also a thrifty way to use yard and kitchen waste to improve your soil. Fancy bins aren’t necessary. My mom put simple chicken wire cylinders in her flower gardens, watered them, and the flowers grew lush around them.

  15. 1) Horse and other manures can be picked up for free, if you don’t mind doing the work. They are great fertilizers: horse manure is not as concentrated as some of the others and can be used fresh if you spread it around (not touching) the plant. However, composting it for six months helps get rid of the weed seeds, or you can add water and make manure tea, and strain out the seeds. Here comes another however: the texture of the horse manure is wonderful for the soil.

    2) There may be local gardening group sales and exchanges in the spring and fall. The plants are often bargain-priced.

    3) There may be a local internet gardener give away/exchange in your area. If not, Freecycle may be a site where you can find and give away plants.

    4) Just trolling the garden departments in the big home improvement stores all season can render bargains. The vendors are motivated to get a few dollars for a plant which may no longer look “presentable” but which is perfectly healthy and will be gorgeous next year. Midsummer can be a time to pick up on such deals, after a weekend when the hydrangeas didn’t get watered enough, for example. The more you garden, the better you will be able to gauge which plants are worth rescuing.

    5) If you’re not self-conscious about scrounging, items that are left on the curb for garbage pick-up can be useful.

  16. These are great tips my husband and I do as well. We get our rocks and plants from deserted lots and fields from different towns we travel by digging them up and replanting them in our yard. 🙂

  17. i also have a garden full of cast off plants! Patience allows you to buy smaller container plants and wait for them to grow filling in the gaps with annuals or short lived perennials. I compost my grass clippings, leaves, and kitchen scraps to add later to my beds. There are many creative and fun ways to reuse what you have and others. Love to DIY!

  18. Don’t forget about Arbor day. Many cities give out free plants, local to the area. 🙂

  19. I used Facebook to let everyone know that I needed plants for my new backyard that had no plants. I asked for anything they had to offer for free. I would come dig it up. I got quite a bit that way.

  20. I am a thrifty shopper for my yard also. I did raised gardens this year from free lumber and 1/2 soil that was on sale. $1.00 a bag for $5.00 bag soil not bad! We’ve mulched around our yard also that way. My husband has finally caught on too. I believe he’s getting worse being a thrifty shopper. Money saved! No sense in making co.richer.

  21. I like to take cuttings from pretty plants and use a rooting enzyme to get them started. Parks, friends gardens, all yield great herbs and flowers and even sometimes trees!


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