In the long run it may be less expensive!
I'll pass on the manure, but you probably got a higher quality slower
growing more hardy grass seed blend with a higher germination rate and
a better grade of clippers that will last years longer from your local
store. And as you pointed out, with a whole lot less aggrivation!
Last spring I bought a 50 lb bag of grass seed from WalMart (their
last bag of that blend) and picked up a second bag (similar blend)
from our local hardware to finish up the rest of the yard.
The part of the yard done with the WalMart grass seed continued to
need mowed once a week, while the local bag required cutting every
other week. On the surface this may seem like the WalMart seed was
faster growing, it was, but the fast growing 'shade' grass to protect
the slower growing quality grass until it takes hold kept growing and
didn't allow the slower growing to gain a proper foothold.
As we neared the end of the summer, the part of the yard planted with
the local hardware stores grass seed, was completely of the kind of
grass desired and most of the shade seed was now gone. That part of
the yard looked great! The WalMart seed was still putting out the
shade grass and very little of the desired grass was seen.
After the first few freezes, it was evident that the hardware seed did
it's thing, then by the following spring, this spring, the side of the
yard done with the hardware store grass seed is exactly how I wanted
it. The WalMart side is very sparse of the desired grass, but it is
there and the shade grass (which is an annual grass) is no longer
I spent more time than I should have, having to cut every week instead
of every other week, and still did not end up with the lawn I wanted
after the first year.
So there is more than meets the eye in many products.
The price may be higher, but the quality is also much higher, from
your local suppliers.