You may object that implementing most of the above suggestions will save you but a bit of money. Fair enough (although every little bit counts). But the next three tricks on my list will lower your landscaping costs substantially:

Do the bulk of your watering early in the day to avoid evaporation

Vary your route across the lawn to reduce the impact of foot traffic

Buy plants “on the cheap”

Why these tips lower the cost of landscaping:

Chances are good that one of your biggest landscaping costs is watering, especially if you have a gigantic lawn and a strong desire for perpetually green grass. So any tips that help you save water will also help you lower costs. One way to save water is to ensure that as little of it is wasted as possible. Since a lot of water can be wasted through evaporation, it makes sense to water early in the day, before the sun ascends very high in the sky. If you are a sleepy head like me and do not rise that early, consider investing in a lawn irrigation system and programming it to water early in the day. If you have a big lawn, this type of system will eventually pay for itself.

The reasoning behind that tip may be fairly obvious. But what about my tip on varying your route across the lawn? This thought is definitely more off-beat; if money isn’t an issue, building a walkway to save the wear and tear on your grass is preferable. But my tip is still worth considering if you are landscaping on a budget and desperately trying to lower costs.

Let’s say the route in question is between your driveway and your outdoor storage shed. What I’m suggesting is that you make a conscious effort not to traverse the same poor, over-trodden blades of grass every time you make the trip. In this way, you’ll save the grass and lower costs for landscaping, because you can forgo that walkway construction. When you have sufficient funds, however, you might want to consider going ahead and building the walkway, since, if done properly, it could increase the real-estate value of your property. As a compromise solution, make your own stepping stones and build a walkway that costs hardly anything.

If you buy a lot of plants for your landscape, then buying “on the cheap” can lower costs significantly. It’s partly a matter of timing. Cheap plants (mainly annuals) can be had at some garden centers after July 4th. You may have to nurse them back to health, but they are a bargain-hunter’s delight. Meanwhile, some nurseries may wish to clear out space for new inventory in late fall and put trees and/or shrubs on sale at that time.