A Pumpkin Costs What?!: 4 Fun and Frugal Fall Activities
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I’ve said it before, but I LOVE fall! Gone, well maybe not always in the Midwest, are the dog days of summer and we get to enjoy cooler weather, the changing of leaves and football! We’re always looking for ways to enjoy different activities in the fall as a family, but the challenge is to be frugal while doing so. While there are many things you can do in the fall, I’ve listed some of our favorite frugal fall activities below.
Who Can Celebrate Fall Without Pumpkins?
If you have kids, you know how they like to carve pumpkins before Halloween. I don’t know about where you live, but in Omaha we have a proliferation of what I like to call pumpkin amusement parks. How much does it cost to go to one of these places you ask?
At $10-15 per head (including charges for the little ones), the answer may surprise you. So, after stepping foot in the place we’ve already spent $50-75 I’m hesitant to drop another $2 per pound on overpriced pumpkins that I can’t even pick myself. Added on top of that, they have all sorts of attractions and junk food that hike up the bill even higher.
By the time you walk out with a pumpkin, you’ve easily spent north of $150 for a freaking pumpkin or two! I don’t think so! We’ve gotten around this by finding several local farms that let you come pick as many pumpkins as you want and get out spending under $10. Heck, you’re doing their work by paying to clear their field!
Make Your Own Frugal Treats
Who doesn’t like to enjoy some treats during the fall? I know our family does. The problem is that if you’re trying to do so frugally you’ll not only find it a challenge, but it can be incredibly unhealthy. I mean, do you really need a caramel apple that has all sorts of junk on it and has calories equal to several meals?
Well, get around that by buying your own caramel and putting it on the apples yourself. Doing this cuts the fat off your waist and adds it to your wallet. If you have any other apples leftover, then you can make your own bobbing for apples station in the backyard and have fun with the family.
Apples not your thing? Then you could also do things like:
- Homemade kettle corn
- Pumpkin shaped cookies
- Roasted pumpkin seeds
While I enjoy watching my alma mater on cable TV I enjoy watching football at pretty much any level. I know, it’s a sickness, but it’s a game I enjoy. If you live near a local junior high, high school or smaller college, many have football games on Thursday- Saturday nights and can be a great source of frugal entertainment.
We have a high school a few blocks from our house and if it’s not too cold we’ll walk there as a family and take a thermos of hot chocolate and watch the game. The kids love it as it means they get to stay up late and I get my football fix – two birds with one stone in my book!
Take a Look at the Leaves
This last one really applies if you have a lot of trees in your area. That said, we love to go for family drives and look at the leaves that have changed color. Of course, you can choose to only do that, but we like to take it a step further and either bring a meal with us or some coffee for us and hot chocolate for the kids. Not only does this provide for some frugal entertainment but we also get time together as a family too.
I know there are many other activities to be enjoyed in the fall, what are some of your favorite fall pastimes?
Photo courtesy of: Liz West
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.