It is that beautiful time of year when the leaves begin to turn different colors, kids go back to school, football season starts (my husband made me put that one in), and our electricity bill drops back down to a non eye-popping level.
Can you feel the excitement everywhere—that cyclical and welcomed change perched all around for the taking?
I thought it would be fun to list some great frugal fall activities for you and your family. Check them out, and leave your own ideas in the comments section below!
- Make a Set of Family Scarecrows: Got some old clothes you haven’t donated yet? Get each family member to pick out an outfit (long sleeved shirt and pants) and purchase one or two bails of straw from a local farmer or feed store. Stuff the shirt and pants with straw, tuck in the shirt, and use either the cut bailer twine or a belt to cinch the shirt and pants together. Fill an old pillowcase up with straw and use markers to make a face (secure into a face-like shape with a rubberband), or use a pumpkin for the head. Use an old fence post or other scrap of long wood to stake each member up and display in your front yard!
- Make Peanut Butter Bird Feeders: Visit a local park or go on a walk and collect pine cones. When you get home, slather the pine cones in peanut butter, then roll each in birdseed (hint: if you are in Houston, the cheapest wild bird seed I have found is at Kroger’s). Tie to a tree with a piece of string.
- Go to a Local Football Game: Can’t or don’t want to afford a ticket to an NFL game? Take your family to a Friday night high school one instead. Be sure to bring a blanket that you all can snuggle under!
- Make Homemade Creepy Crawlers: I was a creepy crawler kid. Forget about an Easy Bake Oven; I wanted my oven to make spindly and rubbery creatures of all sorts. Here is a recipe for homemade creepy crawlers that you don’t need to bake. Or visit a craft store and find insect molds to fill.
- Go Antiquing: Paul and I have an incredible amount of fun going antiquing without spending a dime. Now that it is a little bit cooler out, go to a location with a cluster of antique stores (for us, we recently went to Westheimer), and putz around indoors on a lazy afternoon. What treasures can you find?
- Pick Pumpkins: Many people purchase pumpkins this time of year, so take it one step further, and find a pumpkin patch where you get to choose your own. Everyone will have a great time picking out the one, and then you can all go home and think about how you will carve them.
- Carve Pumpkins: Speaking of carving pumpkins, there are many great free pumpkin designs available on the web (here are 27 kid-friendly free ones, and 16 that are a little higher-skill level). You can print out to add some flare to your typical triangle eyes and toothless mouths. Don’t forget to bake the seeds with a little bit of salt for a healthy snack.
- Turn Off the TV and Tell Ghost Stories: My Aunt and Uncle got us the series “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” which I still treasure today. With nighttime creeping in earlier and earlier, take advantage of the dark. Turn off the t.v., light some candles, and share some of your own ghost stories from childhood (or make one up as you go).