Grass clippings, vegetable scraps and other organic waste can be turned into free compost to augment soil, to mulch around trees and to fertilize your lawn. A small compost bin can generate up to 40 cubic feet of compost per year, and because factory-produced compost can go for as much as $5 per cubic foot at stores like Home Depot, your household waste could net you $200 worth of free fertilizer per year.
"Instead of throwing stuff out and sending it to the landfill or down the drain, you can turn it into something useful," says Liskey.
Another way to save money is to buy a mulching lawn mower, says Bob Markovich, home and yard editor for Consumer Reports. Instead of blowing it out the side or into a bag, such mowers chop the cut grass into tiny pieces, creating a layer of composting material that can help keep grass green, Markovich says.
Also, your current lawn mower may have the ability to block off the exit vent on the right side of the mower to get a mulching effect, Markovich says.