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If you’re planning to mulch your yard this year, you may have noticed that you could easily spend more than $200 on materials alone. Uh, no thanks.

Truth is, you can actually save 40% on your entire mulch purchase (including delivery!). I’ll show you how.

I got knee-deep in the top mulch retailers and brands to figure out what a good price on mulch actually is, and how to get it using sales, bulk discounts, and more.

Make sure to download the Krazy Coupon Lady app and favorite our home and garden page, where we’ll post all of the best gardening sales and tips.

 

1. First, to find the best price on mulch, always calculate cost per cubic foot.

Calculating your cost per cubic foot is easy, and it’ll help you make sense of exactly how far your dollar’s gonna go with any mulch purchase.

All you need to do is look at the price tag, and divide that price by cubic feet listed on the package.

You can usually find the cubic footage front and center on the mulch package, but sometimes brands place it in the bottom left- or right-hand corners.

 

2. You should never pay more than $1.25 per cubic foot, and your goal is $1.00.

When it comes to wood-based mulch (as opposed to rubber mulch, which is far more expensive), most of the store price tags will be about $1.70 or more per cubic foot. Lowe’s, The Home Depot, and Menards are the only retailers I found whose everyday prices consistently had mulch below $1.70 per cubic foot.

If I can avoid it, I don’t want to pay regular retail prices for mulch, not when retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot run springtime sales that consistently have mulch for $1 per cubic foot.

If you need mulch now and you can’t wait for a sale, that’s when you might have to pay around that $1.70 per cubic foot number.

If you’re looking for rubber mulch, the stock-up price is unfortunately much higher. Home Depot and Lowe’s are still your best bet. They sell rubber mulch for $5.58 per cubic foot, and that is the best price around.

 

3. The best time to buy mulch is during spring sales at Lowe’s and The Home Depot.

Home Depot Spring Black Friday ad held in front bags of mulch.

Lowe’s and Home Depot both run Spring Black Friday sales (it’s called SpringFest at Lowe’s and Spring Sale at Home Depot) that start on the second Thursday of April. This is by far the best time of the year to buy mulch.

Home Depot’s spring promotion is 5 bags of either Vigoro (reg. $3.33) or Scotts Earthgro (reg. $3.33) for $10 total. That’s 2 cubic feet for $2.00 or $1.00 per cubic foot!

Home Depot’s Scotts Earthgro mulch is normally sold in 1.5-cubic-foot bags, but sells in 2-cubic-foot bags during Spring Black Friday. Lowe’s runs the same promotion on their store-brand mulch (reg. $3.68).

If you can hit either sale, you’ll only pay $1 per cubic foot of mulch. That’s 38% cheaper than the lowest everyday price I’ve seen.

 

 

4. Get to know the best regular prices for the top mulch brands.

Here are the top US mulch brands and their everyday cost per cubic foot in 2022:

 

No-Float Cypress mulch at Lowe’s

No-Float Cypress mulch is available at several retailers, but Lowe’s had the best regular price of $3.18 ($1.59 per cubic foot). As the name suggests, this mulch is made primarily from cypress trees.

Cypress mulch has a reputation for absorbing water, which is why it doesn’t float away during heavy rains.

Oldcastle No-Float Cypress mulch costs $3.18 for 2 cubic feet.

See this week’s biggest Lowe’s sales here.

 

Vigoro mulch at The Home Depot

Vigoro mulch is available at Home Depot in black, brown, and red. The different colors indicate different primary sources of wood. Cypress is often used for brown mulch, cedar is used in red mulch, and black mulch is usually some form of hardwood (think: oak).

Home Depot sells Vigoro mulch for $3.33 ($1.67 per cubic foot). Employees I spoke with said they prefer red because the cedar naturally acts as an insect repellent

See this week’s best Home Depot deals here.

 

Menards mulch

Menards has the most affordable store-brand mulch at $3.33 per bag — that’s $1.67 per cubic square foot.

Menards wood mulch costs $3.33 for 2 cubic feet.

Like other stores, Menards has a mulch calculator on the product page, which is super helpful for figuring out how many bags you’ll need for the job. But be careful with Menards’s calculator. My price per bag went up to $4 after it calculated I’d need 63 bags for the job. Once I refreshed the screen and manually entered 63 bags, my price stayed at $3.33 per bag.

 

Home Depot mulch

Home Depot’s store-brand mulch (reg. $3.47) runs for $1.74 per cubic foot. If we’re going off of the everyday price, it’s too high. But Home Depot does bulk pricing for their mulch. I’ll explain more below, but if you buy 30 or more of the store-brand mulch, they’ll discount the price down to $3.12 per bag — that’s $1.56 per cubic foot!

See this week’s best Home Depot deals here.

 

Hyponex mulch from Walmart

Walmart’s mulch is only stocked on a seasonal basis, so depending on where you live, you may not always be able to buy Hyponex mulch, which Walmart sells for $3.48. The bags are 2 cubic feet, so it comes out to $1.74 per cubic foot.

Hyponex mulch is made by Scotts. For a premium brand, $1.74 is the best everyday price.

See this week’s best Walmart deals here.

 

Ace Hardware mulch

Ace Hardware’s mulch (reg. $3.59) is sourced primarily from hardwood (think: oak or maple). It comes out to $1.80 per cubic foot, but it’s worth noting that Ace Hardware offers free delivery on their mulch. I’ll touch on this later, but that service can end up saving you as much as $100.

Ace Hardware locally sourced mulch, reg. price $3.59

See this week’s biggest Ace Hardware sales here.

 

Lowe’s mulch

I was surprised to see Lowe’s store-brand mulch (reg. $3.68) priced higher than the No-Float Cypress mulch mentioned above. The price per cubic foot on Lowe’s mulch is $1.84. Like the other store-brand options, Lowe’s mulch is available in red, black, and brown colors.

Lowe’s store-brand mulch, reg. price $3.68

See this week’s biggest Lowe’s sales here.

 

Scotts mulch at Lowe’s

You don’t have to look hard for Scotts mulch, but if you want the best price on Scotts wood mulch, then Lowe’s is where you need to go. Lowe’s has 2-cubic-foot bags of Scotts mulch for $3.98, which comes out to $1.99 per cubic foot.

Scotts Nature Scapes Color Enhanced mulch, reg. price $3.98

This beats out the price per cubic foot from Home Depot ($2.22 per cubic foot) and Tractor Supply ($2.25 per cubic foot).

See this week’s biggest Lowe’s sales here.

 

Preen mulch at Lowe’s

Preen is the priciest brand of natural mulch (reg. price $4.98) available at the top retailers. A Lowe’s associate explained to me that this mulch is treated with a weed preventer, and that’s why it’s more expensive. But at $2.49 per cubic square foot, Preen’s mulch is more than double the price of some of the on-sale mulch I’ll highlight below.

Preen Mulch Plus Weed Control, reg. price $4.98

See this week’s biggest Lowe’s sales here.

 

 

5. Use a mulch calculator to figure out how much mulch you need.

Figuring out how much mulch you need for a given area isn’t as simple as just getting enough to cover the square footage of your garden. That’s because, for the best results, you want to have a mulch depth of 3 inches.

Getting enough mulch to cover both the square footage and that depth is, embarrassingly, math that I’d rather not solve by hand. I use this mulch calculator, which shows you how many bags of mulch you need. It provides information for 2-cubic-foot bags and 3-cubic-foot bags. (And if you have a 1.5-cubit-foot bag, just double the amount they tell you to get.)

For instance, a 400 square foot area needs 3.7 cubic yards of mulch to hit that 3-inch depth (one cubic yard equals 27 cubic feet). The calculator says that I’ll need 50 2-cubic-foot bags of mulch to do the job, which could cost as little as $83.50 if I went with the Vigoro mulch at The Home Depot.

 

6. Get free mulch delivery from Ace Hardware.

Delivery on mulch can be a huge cost on your purchase. At Home Depot, expect to pay $79 for local delivery. Ditto for Lowe’s. Menards charges $100 for delivery within 15 miles.

If you know you’ll need to get delivery, then see if Ace Hardware has the mulch you need. They provide free delivery. Depending on how much mulch you’re buying, free delivery can be a difference-maker in saving the most money.

 

 

7. Or rent a truck from Lowe’s for $19 and transport the mulch yourself.

Lowe's rental truck in front of Lowe's store

If you want to combine the best mulch prices with a much more affordable delivery fee, then how about making the delivery yourself? Lowe’s truck rentals are the answer. You can rent a truck for 90 minutes and only pay $19.

A word of caution: If you go over 90 minutes, then you’ll have to pay $129 for the rental. So you might wanna get some help.

You can also rent a truck from Home Depot, but $19 will only get you 75 minutes.

 

8. The Home Depot will discount bulk mulch purchases 10% off regular price.

Screenshot showing a "buy in bulk" discount on Vigoro mulch from Home Depot

Home Depot has two categories for bulk mulch. The first is a bulk pricing discount (10% off regular price) they’ll apply to any purchase of more than 30 bags of mulch. This would bring Vigoro mulch, for example, down to $3, which means your price per cubic foot is only $1.50.

The other category is bulk mulch, which sounds similar but applies to folks who need 5 – 25 cubic yards of mulch.

The price per cubic foot for bulk mulch is higher than the individual bags I highlighted above, but Home Depot will give you free shipping. And at this size, it’ll take a dump truck to deliver your mulch, so take solace in the fact that this will be a convenient delivery method.

 

9. Mulch alternatives like wood chips or composting can keep your costs below $20.

Still sticker shocked? There are plenty of cost-effective ways to nurture your garden without spending money on mulch.

Compost bins are available on Amazon for $20, and these composting bags from Target are $5.79. It’s more work, as you’ll need to routinely cover your soil with your composted kitchen scraps, but hey, it’s effective.

Although wood chips don’t insulate your plants or retain water as well as mulch does, you can get free wood chips for your garden from Chip Drop. It sounds too good to be true, but Chip Drop exists to connect gardeners with tree trimmers and removers who are looking to get rid of excess wood chips.

Do you have any other questions about mulch? Drop ’em in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you! Thanks for reading.

How to Save Money on Mulch, Plus Where to Buy for Best Price