My front porch to the driveway is all grass. I want to add a CHEAP pathway so the winters aren't slippery on the snow and grass. My idea is to lay out a weed sheet the length and height I want it to meet the driveway. I want to go simple and lay out my mulch 1 foot (or more beds) on either side of the path.
You get what you pay for. I put a path in between my driveway and front door, mostly so the postman wouldn't land on his kiester in the winter. I bought 8x16" pseudo-brick concrete pavers; they cost, like, $1.49 apiece. I got those because they were the cheapest paving material I could lift. I didn't want gravel or mulch because that loose stuff can scatter into the grass and then pii-yowng! the lawn mower will fling a chunk through a window. The pavers have worked really well and look good besides. I planted sedum and creeping thyme and potentilla along the edges and they look very good.
well if you have the time, and dont have the energy to manually remove grass/soil for the path you can always kill it off by tacking down some black plastic to kill the grass. i personally, would work it in, but after than you can cover it w/whatever you desire. since you are putting beds in next to it the fact that you do not remove any soil to bring the path down shouldnt matter. i would lay mulch, natural face stone or 3/4" rock with some steel edging to keep the stone in the path .
From personal experience, I have found that there is no way to keep all the gravel/rock where it belongs, and the lawnmowers will find it for sure. It also rolls around and you can fall on your fanny that way also, as does cover material like bark chunks. The weed barrier only works for a little while and then you get dirt on top of it and Bingo--the grass and weeds are back. I understand needing to do it without great expense and needing to have it look good because it is the front of your house. I don't know of any surface that is ice-proof. If you scatter salt on the pathway during winter storms, you would help with the ice problem and kill your grass at the same time, but then a dirt path would be slushy in the rain. I don't know that there is any good solution that you would not have to spend some money on. I guess you can tell I am typing as I ramble through my brain trying to think of something that will work. You can get those big flagstone pavers and place them in your grass and form a path that way. I don't think they cost too much and you would not need a lot of them--just mark out where they go by the length of your footsteps. With your edging and the flagstones, you would be able to keep the grass pretty much in control and those pathways look good in the pictures I've seen. In fact, I wish I had done our garden paths that way.