Fall. With its vivid colours, beautiful sunny days and bountiful harvests, there’s no lack of things to do! Here are 6 activities that won’t break the bank.
The bright sunny days of fall are precious, especially because we all know the cold days of winter are around the corner. So, make the most of them by spending time outside. Go for a hike in the mountains to appreciate the fall colours before the trees lose their leaves, spend an afternoon in a park near your house, take a walk down main street or enjoy the last rays of the day’s sun on a terrace with a warm cup of coffee. There are so many outdoor activities to choose from. Even better, these activities will do you – and your wallet – a world of good, because they don’t cost a thing!
A must-do activity for families, fruit and vegetable picking is always tons of fun, whether you have kids or not.
And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. An 18-lb bag of apples will run you between $15 and $20, while you would pay around $25 for the same bag at the grocery store.
For the best value, buy a big bag of apples and put it in the fridge so the apples keep their crunch.
Whether you’re with friends, a date or even with Fido (some orchards allow leashed dogs), you can’t beat a day out in the country. Want to try something new? Pick pumpkins, grapes or vegetables this year, instead of the traditional apples.
Some farms even open their doors to the public, and you’ll find wonderful surprises inside for young and old.
Fall. It’s harvest season, which means it’s time to buy cases of tomatoes and tons of vegetables from the farmers’ market for practically nothing!
Want to get even more for your money? Go at the end of the day on a Sunday, when shoppers are winding down and merchants are packing up their weekend produce. They might be more inclined to negotiate on price.
Pick a rainy afternoon to get started. Why not invite friends over? You can start a culinary tradition where everyone leaves laden down with food at the end of the day.
Next, it’s time to get to work cooking up tomato sauces, Mexican salsas, pies and all kinds of marinades. Double or even triple your usual recipe. You’ll have enough to last the whole year. And a good jar of homemade sauce makes a great host gift.
And don’t forget about peppers. They end up costing a fortune in the middle of winter. Roast them in the oven to remove the skin, then marinate them and make preserves in glass jars. You’ll be glad to have them on hand when pepper prices skyrocket.
Fall is also a great time to take advantage of sales on summer items, like air conditioners, lawn mowers, barbeques and patio furniture. Stores need to make space for their winter stock!
It’s also a time when lots of companies do warehouse or sample sales. Find out whether your favourite brands and stores are holding a sale, and you could leave with a ton of stuff at a fraction of the price.
Fall isn’t really here until you’ve bought a few pumpkins in preparation for Halloween. If you decide to hollow them out to illuminate them from the inside, make sure you keep the seeds to roast in the oven.
Even better, decorate for Halloween with uncarved pumpkins, then carve them into cubes to roast, and add to sauces, salads or pasta.
Pumpkin can also be puréed – the first ingredient for a pumpkin pie or an amazing fall chaï latte!
Autumn is synonymous with comfort at home. Take the time to decorate your dining room so that it’s warm and welcoming. Then, instead of eating out at expensive restaurants all the time, you’ll be more likely to want to invite friends over and spend long nights deep in conversation around a good meal.
Do the same thing with your living room. A fireplace is a significant expense, but if it gives you reason to spend more time at home rather than organizing nights out, it will more than pay for itself soon enough.
There are also lots of little things that can instantly warm up the atmosphere of a room.
Like a ton of coloured cushions and blankets, or a nice rug to keep your feet toasty warm.
By warming up your space you’ll be far more likely to want to hide out in this cozy spot to read a good book, magazine or enjoy a cup of coffee with your partner or friends.
Another big one: the soft, heavy duvet you’ll want to slide under at night to watch a movie. Far more cost-effective than going out to the theatre!
You’ll definitely be happy to take advantage of these little comforts when the mercury starts to drop.
In the meantime, it’s time to enjoy the last gorgeous days of fall and all its abundance! Will you head for the park, the orchard, the terrace of a café or the farmers’ market this weekend?
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