International Frugal Fun Day takes place the first Saturday of October each year. While October 7th may only be one day, the spirit of frugality is easy to bring forward the rest of the month, especially as we head into a busy season of Halloween costumes and treats, Thanksgiving dinners, and general Holiday hectic-ness. Though it seems like the season to spend money, here at InTown Suites we’ve come up with a few ways to save every day and enjoy fall on a budget.
GET OUTSIDE AND EXPLORE
The weather is still lovely across the country, so there’s no reason to preemptively prepare for the cold by staying inside. Get outside and explore the many harvest time festivals and activities around you, no matter where you live!
Bundle up the family and take a short drive to the countryside to experience the fall harvest in all its glory. Visit an apple orchard or visit a pumpkin patch to stock up on some seasonal fruit and veg. It’s cheaper than buying from a big box store, you’re supporting local producers, and if you’re lucky, you’ll snap some pics of the kids (or fur kids) having a great time. Your u-pick bounty will feed your family for weeks, especially with these great apple and pumpkin recipes.
Of course, you don’t need to go to the countryside to experience autumn’s greatest show: the changing of the leaves. Head to your local park or nearby trails for a festive walk or hike with your family, armed with a thermos full of this hot chocolate and a camera to capture the surrounding beauty. What goes up must come down—and that goes for pretty leaves too. If your yard is now covered by a thick blanket of colorful foliage, turn a chore into a fun outdoor activity. Gather your household, grab the rakes, and make comfy piles of leaves to jump in before bagging them up and placing them curbside.
MAKE SOMETHING YOU’D NORMALLY BUY
It’s easy to rely on packaged goods to save time, but it can also be really expensive, and often not as good as the homemade version. Everyday grocery items can be easy, fun, and most of all, cheaper to make at home. Take a crack at breadmaking and be rewarded with the superior taste and satisfaction of homemade bread. Make Fido a special batch of treats with these great 5 ingredient recipes. No store-bought jar can beat homemade jams, sauces, and pickles. Take up a new hobby like canning and preserve every last bit of seasonal produce to keep all winter long and even hand out as gifts.
Household and personal cleaning products are not only pricey, but they’re often filled with chemicals and preservatives. The good news is that you can make many of these products at home for a fraction of the price, using all natural ingredients. Use this simple all-purpose cleaner to get your house sparkling, or plan out a day to make hand soap, laundry detergent, and homemade air fresheners. Even items bound for the compost can be turned into gourmet spa products, like this fantastic cellulite curing coffee scrub.
You don’t have to go out of your way to save money. Simply making your daily coffee at home and preparing your lunch instead of ordering out will save big bucks. Turning date night into a learning experience and attempting to recreate your favorite restaurant dishes is a fun and cost-effective way to improve your culinary skills and spend more quality time together.
DO THINGS THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
We live in a world of modern convenience, and boy does it make it easy to spend money. From unlimited services and gadgets to basic human necessities like electricity, these conveniences come at a price, one we often don’t factor into budgeting.
There’s a lot to be said for doing things the old-fashioned way. Granted it may take more time, but a lot can be gained (and saved) by going tech-free. Why not wash those delicate garments by hand instead of shelling out for dry cleaning or hang dry your laundry in the crisp autumn air instead of turning on the dryer. Sew those missing buttons on by hand or stitch up that busted seam instead of taking it to the tailor or discarding altogether. Planting an indoor herb garden, chopping your own wood, tackling small home improvement jobs with the help of YouTube tutorials—there are unlimited ways to save money when you put a little elbow grease into everyday tasks.
Even relaxing at home can cost you a pretty penny. Try taking one night a week to completely disconnect. Turn off the TV, flick off the lights, and pile on the candles and firewood. By the flickering glow of candles, enjoy a cozy dinner with friends and family followed by drinks and games fireside. Unplug and enjoy quality time together without the cost or distraction of modern amenities.
It’s easy to be frugal every day of the year, even when you’re traveling. InTown Suites offers affordable extended stay accommodations in 22 states, so it’s easy to save on vacation this fall and all year round.