Some of us may be sad to see summer go while others are ready to embrace fall. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the cooler temperatures, the changing leaves, and all of those pumpkin flavored delights that appear in the fall. Here are some of my favorite money saving activities to celebrate fall.
Ways to Save Money This Fall
- Find free festivals and activities.
Check out your neighborhood, town, local community center, church, library, and local businesses for free events. Between Oktoberfest, Halloween, pumpkin patches, and other fall festivities, there are bound to be free things to do in your area. You can also visit your city’s and state’s official tourism website to find a calendar of events.
- Embrace the outdoors.
For many of us, the start of winter will mean a great decrease in the amount of time we’re able to be outside and the things will be able to do. Take advantage of all the free and cheap activities you can do outside while you still can. Go for a walk or a hike, visit a scenic area, have a picnic, go for a bike ride, go fishing, take a camping trip, fire up the barbecue, or do anything else you’ll have to give up once winter comes.
- Cook with fall produce.
Cooking in season is not only a great way to get a literal taste of the fall, but it’s also a money saver since the specific fruits and vegetables are in abundance and priced low. Items like butternut squash, cauliflower, radish, pumpkin, apples, celery root, potatoes, carrots, kale, and spinach are just some of the produce you’ll find for a bargain. Review which vegetables are in season by month and search websites like Recipes.com or Foodnetwork.com for inspiration on what to do with these items.
- Enjoy the leaves changing colors.
Regardless of how old you are, you can always appreciate the leaves changing from green to gold, red, and yellow. Find an area near your house filled with trees and head out to enjoy. Pack a picnic to enjoy with your family or friends. If you’re a photography buff, grab your camera for great pictures. If you love to draw, grab your sketch pad for some great inspiration. If you have kids, now is a great time to teach them a little science. Head to the library to get a book on why the leaves change and let them explore this and see it first hand.
- Open those windows.
Embrace the cooler temperature by turning off your air conditioner and opening the windows now. Turning off the air conditioner will save you a ton on your electric bill.
- Clean out your closet.
As you are packing away all of your summer clothing and pulling out those long pants and sweaters, get rid of any summer clothes you didn’t wear this year. Chances are, if you didn’t wear it in the last two summers, you probably aren’t going to wear it anymore. This is a great idea for two reasons. First, you’ll be eliminating clutter. This makes it easier for you to find the clothes, shoes, and accessories you actually do use instead of always having to dig through piles. If you have a better idea of what you have it will allow you to appreciate what you have and avoid buying more clothes. Second, you can take all of the items you do not want and sell them for extra cash. Nicer clothes you can take to a second hand shop. You can sell clothes, jewelry, accessories, shoes, and all other apparel on eBay, at a consignment shop, or by having a garage or yard sale yourself. Take the extra money and apply it towards a debt repayment plan or put it in your savings account. If something doesn’t sell, you can donate it. Keep a receipt of your donation so it is tax deductible.
- Shop summer clearance deals.
Now is the time to stock up on everything you will need for next summer. There will be significant deals on patio furniture, grills and grilling utensils, swimming pool gear and any outdoor gear. If the expiration dates are okay on items like sunscreen, aloe, and bug spray, stock up while they’re on sale now. This is also especially true for summer apparel including sandals, flip flops, sun glasses, swim suits and everything else you wear in summer. But this is a little tricky. First, only spend money on these items if you have extra money in your budget. Don’t just charge it because it’s on sale because after you’re done paying interest, the sale probably won’t even matter. Second, only purchase things you are positive you’ll use next year. Lastly, be sure to store these items in a place you will remember. The last thing you want to do is forget about it, and purchase the same items at the start of next summer.
- Prepare for winter.
Gradually start preparing for winter proofing. You might need to fix up your insulation around your house, make repairs to your heater, get new snow tires, purchase winter coats, boots, or other gear, or any other winter time purchases. Doing it now instead of waiting until winter will allow you to shop around for the best deals, do research on what’s worth your money, and compare prices. Waiting until winter for some things will force you to be pressed for time and unable to find the best deal.
- Start making a holiday season game plan.
We still have a few months before the craziness of holiday season, but making a plan now can save you money on your holiday shopping. Make a list of those people you need to buy for and establish an affordable budget for each gift. With that, now you can start searching for deals or thinking of creative inexpensive gift ideas. With all this time, you now have the opportunity to get creative with your gift. Start saving money each week towards your holiday budget so that you won’t get blindsided come the end of December.
What are your favorite inexpensive things to do in fall? How do you plan on saving money this fall?