You can buy the cheaper outdoor furniture, and you can also look at garage sales, estate sales, and used furniture stores to get bargains on pieces of lawn furniture that are used. Used chairs can often be repainted, refinished, or retro fitted to make them look new again.
If you do buy the less expensive lawn furniture there are ways of making it lasts longer. The first thing to remember is to store the items when they are not being used. Do not leave the less expensive chairs out in the elements if you want them to last longer. These items can be damaged by sun, and freezing temperatures. When you are through using the pieces simply store them out of the weather until you need them again.
Cushions should be removed from lawn furniture and stored in protective containers. You may not have room in your garage, or storage shed for the cushions off of your furniture, so store these items in large plastic containers with lock down lids. You can usually buy these containers at local dollar stores, and at discount stores. They will increase the life of your cushions drastically.
You can buy wooden chairs for the yard if they are made of pressure treated material. If they are not made of pressure treated material then you will want to use a water sealer treatment to protect them from the elements. If they are pressure treated they can also benefit from a water sealer, but you must let the wood age for at least ninety days before you treat them.
Painting wooden chairs and tables will also extend their life. The paint helps to seal the items so that rain cannot damage them, the sun cannot warp them, and insects will not try to make homes in them.
If you cannot store your lawn furnishings in a shed during the winter try and cover the items with a tarp. The tarp will help to protect them from the wind, and rain, and this will lengthen the amount of time you get to use them.