I just love participating in these Walmart Challenges-they are such fun and it is so interesting to see what all the different Walmart Moms come up with! This time we were given a chance to update our backyards for spring with $150 from Walmart.
Americans just love their backyards, and we are no exception. Our garage is in the back, so hubs spends a lot of time out there with the antique cars and his motorcycles. I have my gardens in the back, the kids have their tree house and lots of space for running and playing. . . even the dog spends a lot of time back there on her chain (she wanders if not contained!)
So when it came time to do this challenge I thought it only fair to get an opinion from everyone. Well, except for the dog.
When I asked the kids what they would choose if they had $150 to spend on the back yard they immediately said they wanted a pool. For $149 we could have picked up this 12′ x 39″ pool. But Yankee Bill and I have always been concerned about the liability issues with a pool in our unfenced backyard. Since we live about a block from the town pool-so we can easily head over there for a swim-so a pool isn’t exactly a necessity.
Next I asked Yankee Bill what he would purchase with $150 to improve our yard for springtime. He swore that this Poulan Pro 18″ gas chainsaw would fit the bill-after all, he could use it to cut down all those scruffy Staghorn Sumac trees and weedy maples which would make the yard a much more pleasant place to be.
Yeah, I think that would be stretching it too. He just wants another thing with a motor that makes a lot of noise 😉
Then I thought about what I’d like. The cushions on our wicker set could use an update-and I could pick up this 3 Piece Outdoor Wicker Set for $56.
Then I could get 6 coordinating seat cushions for my table set at $34.11 each.
But all of that would come to a grand total of $261.10, which is $111 over my challenge amount.
And that’s when I decided that I had to get hold of myself, slow down and think.
I’m a frugal gal. I write about saving money, being creative and living within our means. So why when someone offers me $150 to spruce up the back yard am I so tempted to run out and buy things that I normally wouldn’t purchase just because it’s “found” money.
Nope, it was time to think about what I really NEED, not just want, for the yard.
This summer Yankee Bill will be doing a renovation to our deck. Right now it’s just a small square off the back porch-barely big enough for a table and the grill. He will be expanding it and bringing it around to attach to the small, currently rather useless side porch.
Once that project is done I will want to line the railings with flower boxes, like I’ve done on the front of the house and on the current side porch. So I picked up eight 18inch self watering window boxes ($6 each). I love the self watering boxes. . . with 16 (well 14 with these additions) planters to water, it’s nice to only have to do it every 3 or 4 days instead of daily.
Of course a planter isn’t any good unless I have a way to mount it, so I also got 8 sets of deck brackets($5 each). I’ll get the soil and plants when it’s time to plant them up.
At this point Yankee Bill piped up and said if he couldn’t have a chainsaw, well then we probably could use a new storage box for out on the deck-after all ours was looking pretty faded and nasty.
Those things new are pretty expensive though-and ours works fine, it just looks awful. I headed to the paint aisle at Walmart and picked up 2 cans of Krylon Fusion for plastic, textured shimmer in a brown/bronze color ($5.47 ea) and a can of Krylon Fusion for Plastic in dark red ($4.34).
A little bit of time spraying in the backyard one afternoon and I’ve got a box that looks like new~don’t worry-I took even more photos and will be posting a tutorial soon!
Go ahead-just TRY to tell me that doesn’t look 100% better. And for about $60 less than buying a new box!
While I was in the paint aisle I also noticed that Walmart carries Rust-oleum Textured finish-dark green ($5.57)-the perfect shade and texture to cover up some of the rust spots and fading on my patio set.
Sanding & then spot painting just the rust should take about 3 cans and make that set last several more years! Again, much cheaper than buying a new set (even if I didn’t get to replace the serviceable but boring cushions)
All of that came to a whopping total of $120:
Self Watering Planters 8 X $6 (($48))
Brackets 8 X $5 (($40))
Krylon Fusion for plastic in dark red $4.34
Krylon Fusion for plastic, textured shimmer 2X $5.47 ((10.94))
Rust-oleum Textured finish-dark green 3X $5.57 ((16.71))
Which meant I had $30 left! I decided it was time for something that was just plain fun and picked up 8 solar lights ($4 ea) to put around my back flower bed.
That brought my total to $152-but I was happy to kick in the extra $2 instead of skimping on the lights 🙂