Creating Outdoor Living Spaces on a Budget

Fire pit with text: "Creating outdoor living spaces on a budget"

If your back yard is currently just wasted space, why not revitalize it in time for summer? Outdoor living is a way to reconnect with nature and utilize your property to the fullest. But what about staying on budget? With these frugal ideas, you can create a beautiful, budget-minded back yard getaway.

Utilize Salvaged Flooring Products

Slate slabs nestled among pea gravel make for beautiful outdoor flooring. Round concrete slabs surrounded by small stones serve as another option. Find these products from a salvage yard and you’ll save big on garden path materials. Think outside the box and use non-traditional outdoor flooring surfaces, such as round iron bench press weights as stepping-stones, for a unique look.

Install a Fire Pit

Portable fire pits are an affordable way to add heat and light to the back yard. Choose a gas-burning option or traditional wood-burning fire pit based on your outdoor living preferences. Many portable fire pits are collapsible for easy off-season storage.

Design an Outdoor Kitchen

Normally, outdoor kitchens cost thousands of dollars. However, with a little creativity, you can make one yourself for a fraction of the cost.

Start with a grill. After all, what’s outdoor living with barbecuing burgers and steaks? Then build a counter area. One affordable option is to stack cinderblocks on top of one another to act as supports for reclaimed wood to sit on top. Seal the wood to make it waterproof. Finally, pull up a few stools for family members to gather ‘round and enjoy a barbecued meal right at the heart of the action.

Create Outdoor Seating

You can always purchase lawn chairs and outdoor dining sets, but these tend to run hundreds of dollars. If you have some DIY skills, you can build your own seating with reclaimed wood or cinderblocks.

Once built to chair height, simply cover the wood or cinderblocks with cushions covered in outdoor fabric. When building your own furniture, you save a ton of money, and in the process you get to customize the fabric colors and materials you prefer.


You can add a splash of color in your outdoor oasis without spending a lot of money. For a purely decorative, sculptural element, place brightly colored bowling balls in strategic locations.

Potted flowers always make appropriate outdoor accessories as well. To ensure you spend most of your time outside relaxing, choose low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants to accessorize your yard.

Mix beauty with functionality by investing in old-fashioned metal watering cans. Place them around the patio as accessories and use them to water your plants when the time comes.

Light Up the Back Yard

If you plan to spend time outside after dark, lighting is a must. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot to illuminate the back yard at night. Solar-powered landscape lights are inexpensive and cost nothing to operate. Tiki torches use citronella as fuel, providing light and much needed pest repellant at the same time. Lanterns hung from the trees create an ethereal atmosphere perfect for relaxing after dark.

If these outdoor living ideas inspire you, we’re glad we could help! If you need assistance implementing these ideas, please contact The Grounds Guys®. We offer everything from lawn maintenance and pruning to hardscaping and outdoor lighting solutions to help you prepare your back yard for summer.