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What should I do about high lawn care expenses?

January 5th, 2009 at 07:25 pm

We have our lawn mowed for $32 per week, and a good lawn service for about $500 per year, so obviously that is not good for someone with debt to pay off. The problem is that both service providers do an excellent job. I think at a minimum I will ask the lawn mowing guy to go back on the alternating plan we did a few years ago. The main reason I don't just cut him off completely is I like him and he does an absolutely perfect job! And as my neighbor says, $32 per week doesn't seem bad, but 32 x about 30 is bad indeed! Same for the service that fertilizes and aerates and seeds- they do a perfect job. When I do that myself, the results are not so good, largely because I don't have the equipment to aerate, and I can't spread fertilizer evenly to save my life!

So should I cancel the fertilizing service for next year and see how it goes? And how can I tactfully cancel the lawn mowing guy, or at least reserve him for vacations? Or should I look elsewhere to save? This seems like a must when I look at what significant expenses I can cut.

7 Responses to “What should I do about high lawn care expenses?”

  1. gamecock43 Says:

    It depends on your lot size and COL- I pay $50 a month for lawn service. To cut it down, maybe you could ask them to come 2x a month rather than 4. Cut the bill in half.

  2. Ralph Says:

    Actually it's $32 per cut for a third acre with a fairly steep hill, but it is usually needed once a week. Of course if I stopped getting it fertilized so much... - it's a vicious cycle. But I think I definitely will cut the bill in half by at least alternating with him. If I get my mulching mower running I can reduce the problem I have with excess clippings, that's another reason I love his work, he removes them. But in the interest of being organic, a mulching mower seems sensible.

  3. whitestripe Says:

    why do you have to fertilise your lawn? i have never heard of that before. maybe it's just something no one does here. we live on a 500sq m block and mow the lawn once every 2 or 3 weeks. never have we fertilised it before though.

  4. mjrube94 Says:

    Our problem is that we don't have the time to tend to our own lawn. If you do, you can rent aerators, seeders etc. from a local store (we have a place called Taylor Rental in NJ, not sure what would be around you). You could probably rent all the equipment you'd need to do a "professional" job, if you only had the time.

    As for the weekly cuttings, could you get a high school kid to mow it for you? May not be quite as perfect, but I'm sure you'd get it done for less than $32.

  5. CouponAddict Says:

    Do you have a level of prettiness you have to live up to? Homeowners board? If not are you planning to sell you home and need a tip top shape yard!


    If it is only personal preference:
    We only fertilize our yard in the spring (crab grass prevention), your yard sounds like mine in size and slope. I mow it myself, I plan to cut back the length of watering next year to reduce water costs and the need to weekly mow.

    In your case I would reduce to just a spring and pre-winter fertilize treatment and skip the whole year contract, then you could cut back the mowings to once every two weeks or three, If needed you could do a quick mow between cuttings.

  6. Ima saver Says:

    I actually think that is pretty cheap, but we live on 2 acres. My husband has to take off 1/2 a day to cut grass.

  7. homebody Says:

    My husband enjoys mowing our lawn. He takes great pride in having the greenest nicest yard in the neighborhood. Our house sits on 1/4 acre approximately, so we have a large front yard and a smaller back. I mow it sometimes too. It gives you a good sense of accomplishment if you are looking for one. I have never had a lawn service so I don't know what is reasonable. DH also edges it and fertilizes it and aerates it too.

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