Even though I live in New York City, one of the most expensive cities in the world, I'm always looking for ways to save money and still enjoy myself, and fall is one of my favorite seasons here, so I'm excited to share some of my favorite fall activities with you today! And, if you're looking for more ways to save for the upcoming holidays, you might find this free online software helpful.
Enjoy a long walk and take in the foliage.
I love hiking, but I know it can be expensive to get out of the city very often. On weekends when we can't leave Brooklyn for one reason or another, I like to get in a quick walk in Greenwood Cemetery or Prospect Park. The foliage is pretty much perfect this time of year, and walks are free! If you have kids (or if you're a kid at heart), you could also make up a fun fall scavenger hunt, searching for certain fall items and photographing them.
Treat yourself to an affordable fall treat.
It's not free, but who can resist the call of a pumpkin spice latte, a fresh sweater, or an afternoon of apple picking? Certainly not me. Try to keep your fall treats to a minimum and save money where you can, but autumn is for enjoying yourself before the long winter. Figure out which fall items you really want, and then treat yourself responsibly. I've found that when I do that, it feels like even more of a treat than if I give myself everything I want all at once.
Host a fall potluck.
Autumn is harvest season, and some of my very favorite foods come into season this time of year. I love all the varieties of squash I've ever tried, and pumpkin is perfect in desserts, smoothies, soups, and even beers. I won't even mention how much I love a good glass of spiced cider and a sugared doughnut. To enjoy all the foods of the season without breaking the bank, host a potluck or friendsgiving! (If you need some inspiration, here's what we did for Friendsgiving in 2013 and 2014.)
Get a head start on your holiday crafting.
It's often more affordable (and always more enjoyable) to make your holiday presents by hand. For me, fall is the perfect time to get started. I love cozying up with a new quilt design or scarf to knit on a rainy fall day, and other than the costs of supplies, it's a totally free way to while away an afternoon. Plus, if you start now, maybe you'll actually finish by Christmas!
What's your favorite frugal way to spend a fall day?