Backyard On a Budget Ideas

Importance of creating a beautiful outdoor space

There are several reasons for you to create a beautiful outdoor space. Please read along and I share many of them with you!

Backyard landscaping with rock garden, fire pit and diy planters

There are of course psychological benefits that come along with a space to relax in. Many people reflect upon and studies show a clear link to stress reduction with a peaceful outdoor space.

There is clearly a connection to nature that has a huge impact on our mental well being. The sun also acts as a charger and recharges us! Exposure to natural light has a definitive affect on our mood and emotional well being.

With the aforementioned, an outdoor space can be a positive environment and can stimulate creativity. Keeping an equal work life balance is key for stress reduction and an beautiful outdoor setting can help tremendously.

Cost effective pavers and pea gravel can offer a luxurious option while sticking to your budget

More exposure to fresh air has vast respiratory benefits and air quality is much improved with an outdoor space.

A smaller Aluminum Pergola Kit is a great way to utilize a small backyard or small patio.

Do I need to Spend a Fortune?

You do NOT need to spend a fortune on your backyard space! There are numerous ideas and options that can keep you under budget and on the cheap. Please continue to read below and we will go over several options, ranging from mulch and soil to repurposed furniture and other decorative items.

Budget friendly ideas from fire pits to outdoor rugs to flower beds to rock gardens and all else in between can save you hundreds or more.

How to Assess your space and set goals

On a very basic level, you will want to see what type of useable, open space you have. You will want to measure this space with a measuring wheel for simplicity reasons.

Measuring for your ultimate outdoor retreat while using cheap backyard ideas requires you first to measure your backyard space.

Depending on your project and area, you will also want to pay close attention to sunlight patterns throughout the day in case a certain seed or type of plant needs sun at particular times of the day. You should also make sure to note existing features in your space such as trees, structures or any slopes or fall in the area.

Pay close attention to sun patterns so see what plants, flowers and other landscaping ideas work best with some elbow grease

You can also do things to asses the quality of soil and its composition. This can be done by conducting a simple soil test. Along with a simple soil test, you also want to be sure to note where you would like to drain and make sure the capabilities are there for your space.

On a tight budget?  I simple soil test can tell you the types of plants that will work best for your space.  You can add plants at a lower cost for that green thumb in you!

Evaluate current state of backyard

Make sure to give your space a nice and thorough visual inspection, surveying the overall layout and design. You also want to make sure to examine existing structures such as patios, decks, pergolas, outdoor living room, outdoor kitchen or any other outdoor spaces.

Also, see what other arrangements of plants, trees, shrubs and other landscaping elements. Also, note current wear and condition of any outdoor furniture and decor.

Outdoor living room with outdoor furniture.  Nice seating area and small garden to grow flowers.

Goals for the transformation

It is helpful to pinpoint exactly what your goals for your outdoor space or backyard on a budget. Are you interested in a relaxing, personal space? Or are you looking forward to many get togethers with friends and family?

The warm glow of a coffee table in an outdoor space

Make sure to know the clear direction of what you plan on transforming your space into and have some fun with it. You can add things like string lights and potted plants or a pretty outdoor rug.

Pretty outdoor rug is perfect on a patio.  Can be the focal point for your small outdoor

Perhaps you are going for a more sustainable option. If that is a goal of your outdoor space transformation. You want to make sure to choose more drought resistant plants and shrubs that will come back year after year. You also want to choose furniture that is either Upcycled or recycled.

Upcycled furniture is a great way to build your backyard landscaping.

Identifying key areas for Improvement

Always look at hardscape and other outdoor structures. Be sure to inspect pathways, decks, patios, etc. Look for uneven surfaces, cracks or damage. This will help determine if you need to make certain upgrades to these structures.

Identifying certain spaces for entertaining and seating area are also very important when determining where and what upgrades can occur.

Great idea for a paver pathway.  Pretty backyard space with flower beds

Budget friendly Landscaping Ideas

There are numerous cheap backyard ideas for your outdoor living space. Whether you have a small outdoor space or a big backyard, there is a little something for all. You can use lower cost soil or mulch, recycled materials and even more cost effective plants and seeds. Keep reading below for more in depth ideas on a budget.

DIY Garden Beds

Many people used recycled materials when building a new garden bed. You can also use reclaimed wood and pallets when building a raised bed. Old tires are a possibility and other containers for vertical gardening, as well.

Recycled Materials

Some recycled materials to be used can be tires, plastic containers, etc. Cardboard and food scraps can be used to compost and create free adders to your soil.

Low Cost Soil and Mulch

Do you due diligence and really price shop mulch and soil. Generally speaking, bagged mulch from big box stores is more expensive than buying in bulk from a local landscaping materials shop.

Beautiful raised garden beds can be made simply and cost effective!

Budget friendly plants and seeds

As you would do with mulch and soil, you can also price shop and look for deals and specials with plants and different seeds.

Creative Paving and Pathways

Affordable Materials for pathways

Numbers of people over the years have been using repurposed stone, brick or other hardscape materials. Oftentimes, you can find this material very cheap or even free. There are great ideas on a budget to be had. With little money, you can landscape and add visual interest in your entire space.

Upcycled Furniture and Decor

Refurbishing old furniture with paint or stain

We have all seen that old, beat up, formerly beautiful piece of furniture, right? With just a bit of paint or stain, you can liven things up a bit! You can also purchase older, no longer needed furniture at a much cheaper rate, and save a few bucks.

Some new paint or stain can transform old, used furniture into a beautiful piece.

Budget friendly Outdoor entertainment

DIY Fire pit

Building a DIY fire pit can be a fun project and can be done on a budget. You just need a dug out piece of ground, with a bit of dirt and sand mixed for your base. After you have dug down and flattened the area, you can use refurbished stone or bricks to circle the area. This will keep sparks and flames off of your yard.

Along with repurposed stone and brick, you can also use soft woods to burn. Woods such as poplar, pine and spruce are more budget friendly, but may not burn quite as long.

Beautiful outdoor fire pit with pavers and outdoor furniture.

Outdoor Lighting on a Budget

If you are looking for lighting on a budget, look at things like solar powered, string lights and lanterns as well as even torches and candles for added ambiance. These items are all relatively inexpensive and can add quite a bit extra to you backyard landscaping.

Sustainable and Low-Maintenance Landscaping

A few things to consider when looking at plants, bushes and other flowers is how much sunlight and water they need and are they local to the region or not? The more local the plant, the higher likelihood it will do well with little maintenance. You also want to be sure to mulch around your newly planted and already in ground plants. Mulch helps to conserve water and helps with soil erosion. It also keeps weeds away and acts as a barrier or marker between other plants, structures etc.

Drought resistant plants can save money, year over year.

Tips for Maintaining a Beautiful backyard on a budget

And now for a few tips on maintaining your new beautiful backyard on a budget. You want to make sure you develop a regular maintenance routine. Know exactly when, how often and how much water and sunlight your plants need. Also, keep a close watch on seasonality and changing weather and temperatures as certain plants need more care than others.


Saving when redoing your backyard is not hard to do! Using the correct soils and mulches, along with cost effective plants and repurposed items can be simple and can save you hundreds of dollars, if not more.

I would strongly encourage anyone who is thinking about redoing their backyard space, to absolutely do it and have some fun while doing so!

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