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15 Inexpensive Things To Do In the Fall (10 Just Wasn’t Enough)

September 22, 2010 · 31 comments

in Home & Garden, Misc Tips, Personal Finance

I love the fall, it is my favorite time of year.  I don’t know if it is the childhood memories of raking and burning leaves or what, but for a month or so, the world just seems perfect to me.  I even feel a strange sense of renewal in the fall, which really makes no sense since leaves are falling from trees and nature is starting to go dormant in preparation for winter.  Maybe it is because I am trying to squeeze in some final outdoor activities that I feel a burst of energy.

So, to celebrate my favorite season, I am sharing a list of things to do in the fall, and they all cost very little.  (Some items on the list are more fun than others…)

15 Things To Do In Fall

  1. Hop on your bike and head to a bike trail, if one is available.
  2. Visit the cider mill.  This is a no-brainer if you live where I do, and it is a tradition that cannot be missed!   Take full advantage of the cider mill too.  Often there are walking trails at the cider mill too, make a day out of it!
  3. Have a bonfire in the backyard.  It doesn’t have to be huge or anything.  We have a small ‘fire bowl’ we bought at Target for forty dollars and it has lasted 6 years so far.  The kids love roasting marshmallows, and my youngest son has started making toast over the fire for some reason.  It is a great way to reconnect as a family.
  4. Plant some mums and bulbs.  I didn’t know it when I bought my first mum plant, but it was a perennial and showed up the next year.  (MOST mums are perennials.)  However, to greater ensure your mums will survive the winter, plant it in the ground ASAP after buying it as opposed to leaving it in a pot on the porch.  The  mum will need as many roots in the ground as it can get to survive a harsh winter.   Planting bulbs that will sprout up in spring is another great fall activity.  However, don’t plant the bulbs too soon.  Wait until at least the first frost before putting those bulbs in the ground so they stay cool.
  5. Gather up the kids, buy a pie pumpkin, and bake a pumpkin pie from scratch.
  6. Attend a high school football or soccer game.
  7. Make caramel apples.  Does anyone remember those frightening ‘Wrapples’?  Those things scared me, and tasted awful (to me).  Melted caramels are much tastier.  My apologies if I offended any Wrapple fans out there.
  8. Rake leaves for an elderly or sick neighbor (or yourself!).
  9. Clean out the gutters.
  10. Shop for end-of-summer clothing sales.
  11. Find some new crock-pot recipes and give them a try.  This can be a money saving activity too.  If you can find a number of crock pot recipes you can start in the morning and then eat for dinner, it should make quite a dent in your overall food budget.
  12. Replace the batteries in the smoke detector(s).
  13. Make some salsa from the tomatoes in the garden.
  14. Go for a nice drive to enjoy the colors, and pull over and have a picnic along the way.
  15. Get an early start on Christmas shopping.  Take advantage of all coupons and sales now and spread your spending over months instead of a couple of weeks.

What fun fall traditions do you have?  Please feel free to leave a comment.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Roshawn @ Watson Inc September 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

Hey Kris,

Great list (with some unexpected items). Interestingly, this is the second site that I read that mentioned beginning Christmas shopping now. We typically do the bulk of this after Thanksgiving (Black Friday – Cyber Monday). However, maybe we should be on the lookout for some deals now.

Regards,

Shawn
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Invest It Wisely September 22, 2010 at 11:21 am

We’re going to be going apple picking in a couple of weeks. Hopefully the weather is sunny, warm, and nice on that day!
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Squirrelers.com September 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Apple picking! It’s been a new tradition 3 years running now, and is especially fun with kids. Gets them excited for natural food, and takes them right to the source, so its enlightening as well.
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Suba @ Wealth Informatics September 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Apple picking! and food festivals. In CA we don’t have that much “color” (I love fall colors!), but it is the season for a lot of food festivals – apple, graphes, pumpkin themed…
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Crystal @ BFS September 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

We don’t have apples to pick around our house in Houston, but carving pumpkins and baking the seeds is a big deal around here. I love it when the weather cools down and outdoor activities don’t feel like suicide anymore – we still have a few weeks before that starts happening though…

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Crystal @ BFS September 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm

BTW, that is the cutest dog! You should totally get one like that. ;-)

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Money Reasons September 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm

On Hop on your bike and head to a bike trail, watch out for slippery leaves on damp mornings!!!

Hmmm, let see if I can remember something I may have forgot…
Ring doorbells and run… oh wait, that was from a different period in my life! It was fun though :) Not so much now though… (lol)

Smashing pum… wait, I never did this one… ;)

Trying to scare family members by jumping from behind things (yeah, I still do this to my son, occasionally, bad Dad bad)!

Have fun and enjoy the spooky sky at night and the rustling of the leaves that are still clinging on the trees (one of my favorite things to do on cooler, Halloween approaching, nights).
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Lola September 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Love the list – I’ve done just about all of them at one time or another over the years. Fall festivals are fun, too, and fairly inexpensive.

One other thing to love about the fall – getting that extra hour of sleep back when we switch back from daylight savings time!

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Sandy L September 23, 2010 at 6:30 am

I’ve never made caramel apples. I’ll have to add that to the list this year. Thanks for the list.

We can’t burn leaves til the spring…so that’s not part of the fall smells around here.

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Barb Friedberg September 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Bonfire sounds really fun. I always wondered what those fire bowls were for! Already his the sales for bargains I couldn’t pass up ($10 jeans, $7 long sleeve tee, $5 necklace). Great ideas!

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The Saved Quarter October 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm

What exactly is a “wrapple”?

Sounds like your fall is full of fun! One we like is attending the Halloween parade downtown. The kids are all so cute dressed up!
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Kris October 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Quarter – You have never heard of a Kraft Wrapple???? Oh my!

So, they were a slap of flat caramel that was sold in a box, between plastic sheets. You took this processed caramel, wrapped it around an apple, and baked it until it melted. To me, they tasted awful.

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Iron County Lodging December 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm

There are so many fun things to do every season, it’s just hard to think of them sometimes. This post had some great ideas I totally forgot about. Love the dog in the leaves :0)

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Chicaugon Lake Inn January 31, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I thought some of those were really good fun activities. But cleaning out the gutters?? really? haha good list and things to remember.

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Kris January 31, 2011 at 10:37 pm

I never promised fun- just inexpensive! :)

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Maria July 18, 2011 at 11:41 am

I think having a halloween party, or buring leaves, or cuddling up with a halloween movie.

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Kris July 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Those are some great choices. I love the smell of burning leaves. Takes me right back to childhood.

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