12 Frugal Living Tips For Fall


Fall is the time of year when we get back to schedules and routines. This also makes it the perfect time of year to get back to budgeting, saving money and living well within our means. Here are 12 frugal living tips to help you save money and live well this fall season. #fallsaving #frugalfall #frugalliving #frugaltips #personalfinance #savemoneyFall is the season of schedules and routines, which makes it a great time to get back on budget and save money by following some easy frugal living tips for fall. From budgeting and meal planning to earning side income and taking advantage of the Earth’s bounty in autumn, now is the perfect time of year to spend a little less, save a little more and put a little extra away before the coldest and most expensive time of year hits in just a few months.

Here are 12 tips to help you live frugally this fall and maybe even generate a little extra income too!

 

1. Have A Yard Sale!

We usually think of spring and summer when we think of clearing out old junk and putting it up for sale. But early fall is still a great time to have a yard sale! The weather has cooled down a bit but there are still sunny days to make the most of. And shoppers are still out looking to score some good deals before the bad weather sets in and yard sale season officially ends for the year.

Having a yard sale is a great way to clear out some clutter and make some space before heading indoors later this season. And if you have a decent amount of stuff (especially quality or rare goods), you could actually earn yourself a nice chunk of extra spending money, which is sure to go a long way as the holiday season kicks in to full gear. Be sure to watch the weather though and plan your sale for a sunny weekend day.

Pro tip: Post quality, new or rare/antique items online on local buy & sell pages or take them to consignment to earn even more than you might at a yard sale. This is also a great option if you only have a handful of quality goods to sell but not enough items (or time) for a full-on yard sale.

 

2. Eat (& Preserve) The Harvest

Fall is harvest season, and while this is also a frugal living tip for summer, you can still enjoy local, seasonal foods you either grew yourself or picked up for a steal at your local farmers markets come autumn. 

It’s also prime preserving season as the last of the harvest come on with full force and we put up as much food as we can for winter. 

Pro tip: Look on your local buy and sell pages for locals with extra fruit and nuts they might be willing to sell for cheap or even give away for free. You might have to go pick it yourself, but in my experience, many people are more than happy to give food away in exchange for you doing the harvesting work and cleaning it up off their property!

 

3. Create A Budget

Fall is the perfect time to get back to a routine and back on budget. Take some time to review your finances and create a realistic budget that works for you and your family. Remember to factor in the upcoming holiday season and plan to put a little extra aside for Thanksgiving and Christmas so you can stay on budget and out of debt when the most wonderful (read: expensive) time of year rolls around.

Pro tip: Take out the exact amount of cash you budget for the week and allot it to your various weekly expenses by placing it in different envelopes or jars labelled “groceries,” “gas,” “entertainment,” etc. For more on this method, check out Dave Ramsey’s envelope system.

 

4. Meal Plan

Speaking of routines, fall is a great time to get your meal planning back on track. Whether you’re meal planning for health reasons, to save time and stress less or to make sure you’re using up food before it goes bad and stretch your meals as far as they’ll go, all of the above reasons will also save you money at the end of the day.

Having a weekly meal plan based around what you already have on hand means nothing goes to waste and saves you money buying extra ingredients while other things go bad in your fridge. It also helps you stay on track with your health and spending by curbing your urge to grab fast, processed, convenience foods when it’s already late and you haven’t thought about dinner yet. No downside!

Download our Weekly Meal Planning Template along with fridge, freezer and pantry inventory sheets and Smart Shopping List here in our Free Resource Library to help get your meal planning in order this fall!

 

5. Put A Sweater On!

While it may be tempting to crank the heat up come the cooler days of fall, save some money by finding other ways to get warm. It’s still warm enough out that simply putting on a sweater (maybe a scarf?) is probably enough to keep warm both inside and outside. Or cuddle up under a blanket with your sweetheart (or furry friend) and sip on some tea or hot cocoa. Just resist the urge to turn the heat on just yet! You’ll be glad you waited when you’re heating and electricity usage skyrockets come winter.

If you have a wood stove, you can delay turning your heat on for even longer, or even forgo it altogether! Plus, you can avoid using your stove by cooking on top of your wood stove instead. And anyone can save money on electricity by turning off the lights and lighting a few candles at night instead. Or turn off the TV and read instead! Fall is a great time to cozy up with a good book:)

 

6. Prep Your Home For Winter 

You can go one step further to save on heating and electricity this fall and winter by prepping your home for the cold. Invest in some weather stripping around drafty doors and windows or heat-shrink some plastic over old windows to keep the cold air out. Switch to LED lightbulbs to save money on electricity and stock up on candles, flashlights, batteries and blankets in case the power goes out during a winter storm.

Of course, if you have a wood stove or wood-burning fireplace, make sure you’re stocked up on dry, seasoned wood for the winter and make sure that it’s well covered so it doesn’t get wet (and become useless) during fall and winter rains.

 

7. Go On a Fall Hike/Walk/Picnic

In my personal opinion, there’s no better (or more beautiful) time of year to enjoy a walk in the woods or a picnic in the park than early fall. The crisp, cool air, warm sunshine and bright oranges, yellows and reds of newly fallen leaves make this fall the most gorgeous time of the year in my humble opinion. 

Fall is also the “Goldilocks” season: Not too hot, not too cold, but just right! It makes for perfect weather for soaking up as much outdoor activity as you can before everybody moves indoors for the next few months. Plus, all of the above activities are completely free to enjoy! Just grab a friend or your loved ones, pack a lunch and hit your local parks, trails, esplanade or country roads. Bring a cup of hot chai and a sweater and you’re all set to enjoy fall at its most glorious:)

 

8. Have A Bonfire

Fall is bonfire season, at least if you live in the country. Take advantage of this free fall activity and plan a bonfire party with your friends or neighbours. Gather fixings for hotdogs and s’mores, pack a cooler full of ice and cold bevies and fill up the kids’ (and kids at heart) thermoses with hot cocoa. 

Assign tasks to people so that everybody pitches in. Tasks might include being responsible for food and drinks, fuel for the fire, chairs and blankets, music and extras like lighting, games and decor.

For more great ideas to help you plan a fall bonfire, check out this article on Fall Bonfire Parties For An Unforgettable Night from aptly named website, pumpkinly.com.

 

9. Go Hunting Or Fishing

While gardening season is winding to a close, hunting and fishing season is kicking into high gear. If you’re an avid hunter or fisherman, take advantage of the opportunity to get out on a few more adventures before the weather turns and stock your freezer with some beautiful wild fish and game.

If you’ve never been fishing or hunting but are interested in trying it out, look online for safety courses offered by your local rod and gun club and ask if there is anybody who can mentor or guide you (if you don’t personally know anyone). Check Facebook for local hunting and fishing groups to start getting acquainted with the local hunting and fishing community and find a guide!

 

10. Go Mushroom Picking

Fall is a great time to go foraging for wild mushrooms. If you’re a seasoned mushroom-picker and know what you’re doing already, make a day of it with friends and family and enjoy a fall day spent walking and mushroom hunting in nearby woods. Chanterelles and oyster mushrooms are just two of many varieties of mushrooms you might happen upon in the fall.

If you’re new to mushroom picking, see if you can sign up for a local course or guided foraging trip, and pick up a guide to local mushrooms in you area. Get to know a couple varieties really well and focus on looking for those. 

Safety tip: Make sure you are absolutely POSITIVE you know what type of mushroom you’ve harvested before you eat it. Many wild mushrooms are highly poisonous and can lead to severe illness and even death, so when in doubt, toss it back to the forest. Don’t take chances with health and safety.

 

11. Make Your Christmas List Now

Now is the time to start planning for Christmas if you haven’t started doing so yet. Say what? 

Yup. It’s that time of year again when the holidays are about to sneak up on us and we’ll be left wondering how it’s “Christmas already?” 

Personally, I start planning for Christmas on Boxing Day. No joke. I take advantage of Boxing Week sales and start stocking up on gifts for the following year. And I continue to plan for Christmas throughout the spring, summer and fall as I make extra jams, jellies, pickles and preserves to give as gifts over the holidays. But fall is really the time to start planning for Christmas to make sure you don’t overspend. Plus, planning ahead of time means less stress for you later on! 

Make your gift list now and keep an eye out for things you’re looking to buy for people in end-of-season sales or, later, around Black Friday and other pre-Christmas sales. Plan and prepare now and stick to your list so you don’t spend money you don’t have on things that nobody needs. 

And continue to preserve food, both for gifts and for putting out on the table when hosting holidays dinners and parties. Not only will you save money later on, but you’ll make life a whole lot easier on yourself if your apple pie filling is already made from scratch and home-canned, ready to dump out of a jar!

 

12. Pick Up A Side Job (Or Start A Side Hustle)

As the season of routines kicks into high gear again, it’s the perfect time of year to pick up a little extra work or even start a side hustle of your own! 

Never heard of a side hustle? It simply means starting a small business of your own that you can do part time while also working your full time job, whether that be in an office, on a farm or as a stay-at-home-mom. Some ideas for side hustles you can do this fall include making things to sell online and at craft fairs (lots of those coming up soon!), selling things on eBay, starting a blog, freelance writing, daycare or babysitting, starting a coaching or consulting business, handyman work or helping fell trees, clean gutters or even chop wood for people who need the help.

Other side jobs you might want to look into include part-time work of any kind, especially evening work if you already work a full time job. Waitressing and bartending have always been my go-to sources of extra income and you can work a flexible schedule. But all you have to do is take a look at your local Craigslist or other local job postings board to see what’s available. It’s a great way to keep busy NOT spending money this fall and earn a little extra cash while you’re at it!

Got any other great frugal living ideas for fall? Be sure to share them in the comments section below and keep the conversation going!


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

2 Comments

  1. Vanessa

    Thanks for sharing! Putting layers on is very helpful as the weather gets colder, plus its cute!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      So true! I love fall fashion more than any other season. It’s not too hot and not too cold, which makes it just right for the plethora of sweaters and boots in my closet:)

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Well, it was no small task, but I FINALLY got everything in my pantry inventoried, organized and put away.

I wanted to share my process with you too, so if you’re interested in getting a full tour of our pantry and seeing how I organize things, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and check it out on YouTube!

P.S. I know you’re not supposed to stack canning jars as having multiple heavy rows stacked on top of each other can compromise the seal of the jars on the bottom. I avoid stacking when possible, but due to the style of our pantry I have made the conscious choice to stack one row (max) on top of the bottom and always make sure to stack jars of equal or lesser weight on top. And yes, we do have plans to add more shelves soon. Just a disclaimer since I’m sure I’ll get more comments about it;)

Also, be sure to leave a comment and let me know about any pantry organization hacks you use! I’m always looking to improve our system:)
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Finally got around to taking EVERYTHING out of the pantry today and now getting ready to take inventory.

When everything is buried in the pantry, it can be so easy to forget what you have. That’s why I always recommend taking everything out when starting a pantry challenge so you know exactly what you’ve got. I was feeling like we hadn’t preserved enough food this year to get us through the month, but now that I see everything, I’ve got all sorts of creative ideas for how to use up the abundance of food that we have.

I’m also finding things I didn’t know I had, seeing what I have more than enough of and finding gaps in my food storage. This is one of my favourite reasons for doing a pantry challenge: it’s an excuse to pull everything out and actually see what we’ve got so we know what we’re working with.

In order to keep everything organized, I also created printable pantry, fridge and freezer inventory sheets where I can record everything I’ve got (so it doesn’t get lost at the back of our very deep pantry again). If you wanna grab these printables, along with my weekly meal planning sheet, homestead pantry checklist, pantry substitutions chart and 31 Days of Dinner Ideas cheat sheet, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and sign up for the Homestead Pantry Challenge and I’ll send everything to your inbox:)

Alright, back at it. Wish me luck!

Have you started organizing your pantry yet??
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🌱 One of the things I get asked the most during the #homesteadpantrychallenge is what we do for fresh veggies. Now, I much prefer to eat seasonally, which means eating the veggies that we preserved over the summer and fall during the winter. But I do start to miss my fresh greens by the time January rolls around.

Sure, I could grow some salad greens over the winter months, but that would require a level of organization that I frankly haven’t reached yet. And quite honestly, I don’t love going out to the garden in the middle of winter due to the torrential rain, swampy mud and frigid temps we get here in the PNW. No no, I’m a little too lazy and disorganized for all that! I’d much rather plant seeds a few days before I want to harvest them and do it all from the comfort of my kitchen during the nasty weather season.

And so, I turn to microgreens to provide me and my fam with fresh greens this time of year. They’re not only packed with nutrients (said to be higher in nutrients than their full grown counterparts!), they can be grown on your countertop and are ready to harvest in just a few days!

Not to mention, they taste delicious and look beautiful! I made this cheesy pasta dish topped with broccoli microgreens for dinner and the microgreens (which are just the seedling version of the full grown plant) tasted just like broccoli. Plus, the purple and green colours take an otherwise kinda boring dish and make it pop💥

I get all of my microgreens from @trueleafmarket, one of the sponsors of this month’s pantry challenge, as well as the current issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

To enter to win your own self-watering microgreens growing kit from True Leaf Market, be sure to join in the Homestead Pantry Challenge on Instagram, and to learn more about microgreens AND score yourself a sweet 10% discount off all True Leaf products, make sure you’re subscribed to Modern Homesteading Magazine (discount code is in the magazine and in the delivery email).

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Well, we made it. It’s hard to believe that 2020 is finally behind us, but here we are, at the dawn of a new year; A fresh page and a new chapter.

This past year has been one for the history books for sure, and it most definitely has not all been good. But it hasn’t been all bad either. Us humans have a tendency to focus on the bad. It’s a survival tool that’s hard-wired into our brains to be on the lookout for danger. So we have to make a conscious choice to see the good in bad situations; To find what we can control and cling to it in a sea of things that we cannot control and, therefore, must let go of.

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As we enter 2021, I encourage you to remember that those things that were out of our control last year are still out of our control this year. They always have been, and always will be. But what is in our control are our thoughts and actions; How we choose to see and react to the world and to each other.

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I also hope that we begin to see each other as fellow travellers on the same journey, and to treat each other with equal respect, no matter our skin colour, gender, political or religious beliefs.
 
Finally I hope that the trend of people taking an interest in modern homesteading and taking action toward living a more sustainable, self-sufficient life continues long after COVID is behind us. As a whole, I think this was one of the best things to come out of this past year; A bright silver lining on a dark cloud.
 
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To a new year and a fresh start 🥂
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Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night ❤️
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Cranberry sauce is a holiday tradition, but if you’ve ever had store-bought cranberry sauce out of a tin, then you probably know how unappetizing it can be.

From the “glurp” sound that it makes as it slides out of the tin and into the bowl, to the way the jelly stays formed in the shape of the tin even after it’s out, to the bland boringness of the flavour.

No offence to anyone who loves commercially canned cranberry sauce, but even if you love the store-bought stuff, then you’re definitely gonna love homemade cranberry sauce!

I know a lot of people put orange juice or orange zest in their cranberry sauce, and you can totally do that too! But I’m actually not a fan of the orange-cranberry mix, so my recipe calls for a little cinnamon and vanilla, as well as some sugar to give it a sweet spiciness that goes oh so well with Christmas dinner.

But perhaps the best part is that you’re able to can this cranberry sauce too, which means you can make a big batch this year and have enough homemade cranberry sauce on your shelves to last you multiple holiday seasons! Or you could even give some away to loved ones with whom you’re not able to spend Christmas with this year.

Whether you want to can it for later or eat it fresh or just refrigerate it until Christmas, this recipe is a must-try this holiday season.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to get my full recipe plus canning instructions:)
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Collagen has so many health and beauty benefits, including healthy skin (and reduced wrinkles), shiny, healthy hair and strong bones, cartilage, joints and muscles.

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I’ll be posting my recipe (and canning instructions) soon. Start saving those scraps!
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I make my own body butter every year around this time, and it’s become my favourite way to moisturize my skin during the winter months. Much like a deep conditioner works on your hair, body butter absorbs deeply into your skin to help moisturize, repair and protect it.

While lotions contain water (aqua), they also requires additional preservatives to keep them from going moldy due to the water content. But this homemade whipped body butter doesn’t have this problem because it’s made of nourishing oils and fats like shea butter, sweet almond oil and coconut oil (plus beneficial essential oils for all-natural fragrance). These oils are not only all-natural and highly beneficial for your skin, they’re also easily absorbed, giving your skin a “deep conditioning” rather than just a surface moisturizing.

But the best part of all is how quick and easy this body butter is to make up in your kitchen, and what a nice gift it makes this time of year too! So you can make a jar for yourself and a few jars for the people you love:)

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-body-butter/ to get the full recipe and “whip up” a batch today;)
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#bodybutter #naturalbeauty #naturalliving #skindeep #homemade #handmade #naturalskincare
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The holidays are fast approaching, and that means it’s time for my FAVOURITE THINGS!!! 🎉🎁🎄(aka. The modern homesteader’s Christmas wish list;)

I’ve rounded up all of my fave kitchen tools, books and home and body products that I use all the time and could not live without (ok, I could live without them, but I wouldn’t want to!) and I’m sharing them all with you in this week’s YouTube video!

Grab a mug of something warm (or a glass of something chilled) and come on in for a tour of all the goods!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to YouTube.com/thehouseandhomestead for all the latest videos:)
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