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Meghan Belnap posted a blog entry in Green Living BlogCBS says that you can get more than 100 percent return on your investment when you choose smart lawn ideas like planters, some bushes, a tree, and mulch. Depending on how much money you have to spend on your yard, you can upgrade a little or a lot. By using rocks, gravel, and planters, you will minimize the yard space you have to mow. Hardscaping One of the fastest and easiest ways to minimize the size of your lawn is to add some gravel to create a seating area, fire pit, or other outdoor living space. You gain extra room to entertain or relax on a quiet day at home, and you have fewer square feet to mow. The time you save cutting your grass gives you a little more freedom to enjoy your yard. Recycle Old Equipment A very inexpensive way to improve your yard without busting your budget is to use old items you find on your property or old farms. Using machinery as a focal point is a fantastic way to spruce up an outdoor design. Paint a tractor, wheel barrel, ships wheel, rake, or other old tools. Put a little mulch and some bright flowers around the implement to create a cohesive design. Buy at the End of the Growing Season Better Homes and Gardens says that you can save a bunch of money on garden supplies by hitting the clearance sales at the end of spring and summer. Sometimes, you can catch a sale at the beginning of spring, but you are more likely to find the biggest discounts when the weather starts turning cold. Start looking for sale items to hit the bargain bins anytime after mid-summer. Install Artificial Turf To get out of mowing your lawn altogether, you could invest in AstroTurf. By adding synthetic grass, you can get rid of the hour or two that you spend working in your yard. While this option has an initial investment, the money you save on fuel, oil, maintenance and new equipment adds up fast. Your yard can be a stunning entrance without all the hard work of trimming and mowing for hours each week. With a little creativity, you can remake things around the property to form incredible designs. Extra tires make wonderful swings, but you can also use them as planters. Paving stones break up the yard and lead guests to the new features you create.