Having just moved from an apartment to a house, I was in the market for a lawn mower. I headed down to Lowe’s to see what they had to offer. (As a side note, my address change packet from the US Post Office included a 10% off coupon. Lowe’s also has a 10% Military discount, although you cannot use both on the same purchase).
I knew I wanted a motor-less mower, which apparently has a technical name of “reel mower.” It has revolving blades that move in a circle, propelled by nothing but good ‘ole muscle power. They are slightly less than the cheapest push mower, but don’t require any gasoline or oil. They are also less noise-polluting than your typical mower.
This is the model I settled on, a Troy-Bilt 18 inch reel mower. The least expensive model was $99. But this model has rear wheels (which I interpret to be a smoother push), a wider footprint (which means fewer laps around the yard), and a bag to collect the clippings (this is great for the compost bin).
It was $30 less than the least expensive push mower. In southern Florida where we have to mow pretty much year-round, I’m estimating roughly 40 clips per year. My yard is tiny, so I think 3 gallons a year will cover it, so that is roughly $10 a year in gas. Add in an oil change and the yearly operating cost of a gas mower is $20. (I would have to do blade sharpening on both types, so I’m not including that).
My savings on this project is $30 initially, plus $20 per year. Not exactly a lottery-winning amount, but I am also pleased that I’m not consuming unnecessary gasoline. My only other recurring costs are some sore arms:)