Think Having A Nice Backyard Is Expensive? These Clever Things Will Prove You Wrong

Outdoor living has never been easier (or cheaper).

Written by Julie Peck
Originally Published: 
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Turning your outdoor area into an oasis worthy of HGTV is cheaper and easier to achieve than you might think. Adding landscape lighting, for example, used to be an expensive affair, but now with solar-powered options, you can do it without breaking the bank. I’ve also rounded up genius products that make yard maintenance easy, as well as design-minded finds that turn your patio into an open-air living room. These cheap and useful backyard upgrades will help you turn your backyard into the great outdoors.


These Color-Changing Wind Chimes That Are Solar Powered

Instead of making noise when the wind stirs them, these light-up wind chimes change colors to give your yard an out-of-this-world aesthetic. They hang easily in a tree or from your pergola using the included screw hooks, and work using solar power, so no batteries are involved. You’ll enjoy eight to 10 hours of gently shifting colors on a full charge.

  • Available styles: 11


These Solar Lights That Illuminate Your Fence

Light up a fence, deck, or outdoor steps with these solar-powered fence lights. They install easily with the included screws and feature an array of color options, as well as your choice of warm white or bright white. Weather-resistant, they have a built-in dusk sensor that turns them on and off automatically.

  • Available styles: 2


This Outdoor Rug That Adds A Warm Vibe To Your Patio

With an eye-catching geometric pattern, this area rug adds character and warmth to your outdoor space. Crafted from a waterproof, fade-resistant polyester blend, maintenance is easy with your vacuum and simple spot cleaning. Opt for the natural brown version pictured here, or go for shades like bright blue or understated gray.

  • Available sizes: 9
  • Available colors: 7


A Multi-Tier Stand That Lets You Show Off Your Plants

Made from sturdy carbonized wood, this multi-tier plant stand can hold up to seven pots or other outdoor items to create an attractive and versatile display. Each 12-inch platform is designed for maximum stability, so you can put your heftiest plants on it. Available in a variety of styles, it’s easy to assemble.

  • Available styles: 11


These BBQ Lights That Illuminate Your Grill While You Cook

These grill lights are outfitted with strong magnets that let you attach them to the side of your barbecue, providing plenty of illumination when you’ve got steaks or burgers on the fire after dark. Battery-powered, they have a flexible gooseneck design, so you can aim the beam right where you need it. Use these for car repairs, too.


These Lawn Aerators That Attach Right To The Bottoms Of Your Shoes

Keeping your lawn healthy is as simple as taking a walk in these aerator shoes that are covered in sturdy metal spikes. Simply strap them onto your sneakers or boots, then tighten them using the durable, corrosion-resistant metal buckles. Go about your other outdoor chores and give your lawn a treatment at the same time — the shoes are sturdy and provide excellent heel support as you walk.


This Game That’s Like A Combination Of Darts & Horseshoes

A cross between darts and horseshoes, this ring toss game is ideal for pick-up games on your back patio. An Australian import, the board is made from real wood and the rubber rings are safe for use in a group. It’s the perfect way to while away the afternoon, and you can choose from three sizes depending on how much outdoor space you have: tiny, classic, and giant.

  • Available sizes: 3


These String Lights That Make Any Evening An Occasion

Turn any evening into an occasion with these fairy string lights that will make your porch or outdoor dining area look magical. This set has 300 warm white LEDs, and comes with a remote control that lets you toggle the settings, so you can make the lights twinkle, fade, and light up in waves — or you can simply set them to steady on. These are perfect for everything from romantic dinners to fun evenings with the kids.


This Hook That Makes Storing Your Hose Quick & Easy

With this wall hook that makes for convenient storage, you won’t ever accidentally mow over a stray hose again — and you won’t have to deal with a clunky eyesore cluttering your lawn, either. Made from sturdy, stainless steel, it can handle hoses up to 50 feet long. Just mount it to the wall near your spigot using the included screws. You’ll be surprised how big a difference this small, cheap fix makes.


This Easy-To-Clean Digital Thermometer With A Backlit LED Screen

With this digital meat thermometer you’ll never have to worry about overcooked or undercooked food again. The temperature is displayed on an LED screen — it’s even backlit so you can see it in those late night grilling sessions— and gets a read in just three seconds. The waterproof thermometer can be easily hand washed. With a probe that has a 180 degree rotation so the screen is always easily accessible, this highly-rated kitchen gadget will take the guesswork out of your grilling and cooking.


These Eco-Friendly Planters Your Flowers Will Love

Available in five colors to match any backyard vibe, these round hanging planters are perfect to add some greenery to your outdoor space. Made from recycled plastic and natural stone powder, they come with four built-in drainage holes so your plants can breathe and are never overwatered. The sturdy hanging rope can be adjusted to whatever length you need. With a minimalist design, these planters will make sure you plants look and feel great.


A Sail Shade That Provides Relief From The Sun

Get a little relief from the sun while you’re dining, relaxing, or working outside with this shade that’s like a giant sail over your yard. Made from sturdy, UV-resistant fabric, it blocks sun rays to keep you cool. The shade is finished with stainless steel D-rings and comes with everything you need to install it between trees, a fence, your roof, or the side of your deck.

  • Available sizes: 13
  • Available colors: 6


The Solar-Powered Lanterns That Have A Nostalgic Vibe

With a look that’s reminiscent of old-fashioned railroad lanterns, these outdoor lamps can be hung from railings, hooks, or your patio umbrella — or you can simply set them on the table. Solar-powered, they illuminate automatically at dusk, so you don’t even have to bother with switching them on. They’re durable and weather-resistant for long-lasting use.


This Hammock Swing That’s Built For Relaxing Afternoons

Hanging out in the great outdoors is even more relaxing when you’re kicking back in this hammock swing. Ideal for napping, reading, bird watching, and more, it’s made from durable cotton and engineered to hold up to 300 pounds. The ropes and steel S-hook make for easy hanging.


The Patio Umbrella Light That’s Perfect For Al Fresco Dining

It may look a little like a flying saucer, but this patio umbrella light is the easiest way to light up your outdoor table for dinner. Waterproof and durable, it comes with a remote control that lets you adjust the brightness and set timers. Just stick in three AA batteries, attach it to the umbrella pole, and you’re ready to go.


This Portable Wireless Speaker With 24-Hour Playtime

Nothing brings a backyard to life like music, and this portable wireless speaker offers exceptional clarity, zero distortion, and powerful bass for a budget-friendly price. The speaker boasts Bluetooth technology that can maintain connection up to 66 feet away. It has a battery life of 24 hours. Lightweight and waterproof, this speaker is perfect for everything from backyard parties to patio date nights.


This Caddy That Makes Outdoor Dining A Breeze

Bring everything you need from the kitchen out to the grill or patio table — in just one trip — with this caddy that’s designed to hold everything from silverware to condiments to paper towels. The sturdy steel frame is powder coated to resist corrosion, and a wooden handle makes carrying easy. There’s even a hook on one side for tongs or a spatula.


These Silicone Coasters With A 4.8-Star Rating On Amazon

These coasters with a holder have a near-perfect rating on Amazon after nearly 7,000 reviews. Why? Well, the silicone material is heat resistant for morning coffee and slip resistant for glass tables and other slippery surfaces. Best of all, they’re dishwasher safe, so if there’s a rose incident, you can clean them off with ease.


This Door Screen That Is So Easy To Install

Ditch the tools — you won’t need them to install this magnetic screen door. Instead, this budget-friendly mesh door comes with magents, tacks, and hook-and-loop tape to make putting it up a breeze. And once you do install it, you’ll feel a breeze in your home. The best thing about this door is that the center is closed by 26 magnets, so you can walk through hands-free with a tray of sangria.


The Waterproof Pillow Covers That Give Your Outdoor Living Space An Instant Update

Change up the look of your outdoor living space quickly and easily with these waterproof pillow covers. An easy way to spruce things up, they’re made from sturdy polyester canvas and come in a panoply of colors so you can let your creative side run wild. Also dust repellent, these pillow covers feature a hidden zipper for a tailored look, and they’re machine washable for easy cleaning.

  • Available sizes: 6
  • Available colors: 20


A Fire Pit That’s Small Enough To Sit On Your Table

Add a dramatic note to your next outdoor dinner with this fire pit that’s designed for tabletop use. Handcrafted from concrete with a low-key industrial look, it works with rubbing alcohol to create a flame that’s perfect for adding ambience or even roasting marshmallows. Plus, it’s smokeless, making it a much more pleasant option than a full-size fire pit.

  • Available styles: 5


This Sleek Wine Chiller Bucket That Doesn’t Sweat

Perfect for parties or a night in, this sleek stainless steel wine chiller ensures you’ll never have to worry about your white wine or Champagne getting warm again. Just place your pre-chilled bottle in this bucket as the night gets started and it’ll stay cool for up to two hours without any messy ice. With double-walled insulation, the bucket won’t drip or sweat so your table stays dry and water ring free.


A Grill Brush That Makes Quick Work Of Post-BBQ Cleanup

Make cleaning the grill easy on yourself with this grill tool that incorporates both a scraper and a brush for the ultimate in versatility. With an 18-inch easy-grip handle for leverage, it has a sturdy stainless steel design with woven braces for extra durability. The scraper incorporates grooves that are easy to use on any size grate, while the brush uses stainless steel bristles that pack on the cleaning power.


This Bracket Hanger Great For Plants, Chimes, Or Feeders

Hang your lights, feeders, flower pots, or holiday decor on this wall-mounted hanger to spruce up any outdoor area. Just mount the rust-resistant hanger with the matching screws onto your fence, deck post, or wall and the 11-inch hanger can hold up to 35 pounds. The hand-forged wrought iron finish and precious butterfly complement anything you hang on it for a charming and useful addition to your yard.


A Pet Waste Scooper That’s A Must For Dog Owners

Tired of stooping over to remove all the droppings your four-legged bestie leaves behind? This dog pooper scooper set features long handles, so you can clean up without bending down. The set includes a flat shovel, a sturdy metal rake that’s specially designed for teasing that waste from between grass blades, and a collection pan that transports everything to the trash.


These Gardening Gloves That Have Claws For Digging Into Soil

These gardening gloves are outfitted with claw tips that are worthy of Wolverine — use them to plant flowers and seeds and you won’t even need a spade. The durable latex material is water-resistant and tough enough to stand up to soil, sticks, and thorns, while the stretchy elastic cuffs provide a snug but comfortable fit.

  • Available colors: 2


The Thermacell Lantern That Repels Mosquitoes Without A Smell

If pesky mosquitoes are cramping your style when you’re outside — but you don’t like the strong scent of citronella — this Thermacell lantern is going to be your new best friend. Battery operated, it uses an EPA-reviewed repellent to fend off pests within a 15-foot radius. It’s a breeze to operate, and the cordless design means it goes wherever you go.

  • Available styles: 3


A Combo Stool & Kneeler For More Ergonomic Gardening

Gardening can be hard on your back and knees, but not with this folding stool that works as both a seat and a kneeler. The sturdy steel frame can hold up to 330 pounds, but the stool itself only weighs 7.5 pounds, making it easy to tote around your yard. The foam padding is soft on joints, and the built-in side pockets are perfect for tools and gloves.


This Cute Side Table That Gives You A Place For Your Drink

This side table makes a cute and cheerful addition to your patio decor, and it’s perfect for citronella candles, drinks, or appetizers. Made from powder-coated steel, it can hold up to 50 pounds and is designed to stand up to the elements. Plus, it comes in a rainbow of colors, including sage green, peacock blue, and bright red.

  • Available styles: 25


The Wall-Mounted Rack That Holds All Your Yard Tools

Clean up your garage or shed in a hurry by using this wall-mounted rack to organize your yard and gardening tools. It features five adjustable slots for rakes, shovels, and spades, as well as six retractable hooks that are perfect for gloves, dust brushes, and your baseball cap. The included hardware makes it easy to install within minutes.


A Weighted Napkin Holder That Stands Up To Windy Conditions

Featuring a weighted arm, this napkin holder is designed so that your napkins won’t fly away if a breeze kicks up when you’re dining outside. It’s made from sturdy steel and has an industrial-chic design that’ll upgrade the look of any patio.

  • Available styles: 2


This Easy-To-Clean Grill Mat That Still Leaves Grill Marks

Instead of having to scrub your grates every time you grill, use these easy-to-clean grill mats. They’re able to withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees and are thin enough that you still get those show-worthy grill marks and desirable charred, smoky flavor. These are an Amazon shopper favorite, with nearly 8,000 five-star reviews on the e-tailer.


These Break-Resistant Tumblers That Keep Your Beverages Chilled

Made from durable stainless steel, these triple-insulated tumblers maintain the temperature of your cold beverages for up to six hours for maximum enjoyment. Just as good, they’re break-resistant, so you can sip outside in peace. They’re fitted with BPA-free lids that have sturdy rubber gaskets to prevent spillage. Choose from more than two dozen colors and styles.

  • Available styles: 25


The Giant Scoopers That Make It Easy To Pick Up Leaves

These oversized scoopers speed up the process of moving yard waste, mulch, and leaves, so you can finish your yard chores in record time. Made from durable plastic, they’re outfitted with wrist guards to help prevent strain. The slots make them easy to hang on a hook when you’re done.


A Garden Hose Nozzle With 10 Spray Patterns For All Kinds Of Jobs

This hose sprayer head lets you choose from among 10 settings to get just the right one for the task at hand, whether you’re looking to mist, sprinkle, or jet spray. A simple flick of your thumb toggles the setting, and the slip-resistant grip is designed for comfortable use. The sprayer’s connector is designed to fit most standard hoses.

  • Available colors: 2


This Chic Outdoor Rug That Can Stand Up To Heavy Traffic

With a braided design that’s stylish enough for inside but a durable construction that is suited for outdoor use, this accent rug is great for patios, porches, and entryways. It can be hosed down or treated with mild rug cleaner for easy cleaning, and the synthetic materials are strong enough to stand up to everyday use. This rug is available in nearly 40 sizes and nine colors to suit any space and style.


The Pop-Up Tents That Protect Your Food From Flies

Backyard picnics can be so relaxing — unless you’re spending all your time swatting flies away from your food. These food covers keep pests out of your watermelon, ribs, and other delicious dishes, so you can eat in peace. Made from fine mesh, they pop up for easy use, then collapse again for compact storage. Each set comes with one large cover and two small covers.


The Solar-Powered Lights That Illuminate Up To 800 Square Feet

Illuminating up to 800 square feet, these wall-mounted solar lights have a motion-sensor setting that’s ideal for quick trips outdoors, but they also have an always-on setting for late-night hangs. They’re weather-resistant for long-lasting use, and the angle-adjustable heads let you direct the beams exactly where you want them. The included screws and brackets make them easy to hang.


A Garden Border That Doesn’t Require Digging For Installation

Highlight your planted beds with this decorative garden border that doesn’t require digging for installation — just hammer the spikes right into the soil. With a classic Adirondack design, the border is flexible, so you can bend it to encircle trees, mailboxes, or garden beds. Choose from four colors: white, brown, black, and gray.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 4


This Cover That Protects Your Grill From The Elements

For all the grill masters out there, this heavy-duty barbecue cover is water-repellent and UV-resistant to keep your grill looking good for years to come. The adjustable straps provide a secure fit that won’t budge, even in high-wind conditions. It comes in a wide variety of sizes to protect charcoal or gas grills.

  • Available sizes: 3
  • Available colors: 6

This article was originally published on