Monday, September 28, 2020

Frugal Fall Fun

 Fall is my favorite time of year for so many reasons, and one of my favorite things of all is the change in temperature. We had cool days in the summer time back in Illinois where I grew up and have even sat outside with blankets on the Fourth of July. But Tennessee summers are HOT and the cooler weather of fall is a welcome relief.  This is the time of year to get outside because there are so many great things to do outside.  It’s not too hot or too cold and nature provides plenty of free entertainment.

One fun thing for children to do is to collect leaves and acorns and make a home out of them. My friends and I spent hours doing this when we were children. We would rake up all the leaves into a big pile and then we would “draw” the outline of a house on the lawn. Then we played house in all the rooms we made. We used our imagination and had a lot of fun. 

Gathering black walnuts or pecans, or whatever nuts grow in your part of the country. You can spend your time shelling them and tucking them away into your freezer to save for the holidays. You can roast them as well, which is another frugal activity for the fall months. 

Another fun fall activity is apple picking or any of the multiple apple festivals they have during this time of year.  There’s an annual apple festival here every year and it’s a great place to have some inexpensive fall fun by playing games, listening to good music, or enjoying the foods that normally coincide with this time of year such as caramel apples,  apple cider, or apple pie.

Many apple orchards allow you to pick your own apples from their orchards, and several here offer treats such as fried apple pies and apple cider, and even allow you to take a hayride with your family.

What better fall fun is there than visiting a pumpkin patch?  Picking out the family pumpkin to carve or decorate for Halloween is a great fall tradition.  Have a contest among family members to see who can come up with the most creative pumpkin. Back when I worked at the hospital we had a pumpkin decorating contest every year and it was so much fun to see all the entries. 

Speaking of favorite fall foods, here is my favorite recipe for spiced cider. This recipe came from an elderly lady who attended the same baby shower as I did back in 1990 at the Methodist church in Dayton, Tennessee. The recipe calls for 3/8 cup of brown sugar. Her and I figured that 4/8 would be a half cup, so this recipe would call for slightly less than half a cup.

Spiced Cider

  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 allspice cloves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3/8 cup brown sugar
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Boil for 5 minutes with the spices.
  3. Enjoy!
Notes: This is a very old recipe, consider the 3/8 cup of brown sugar. I figure it is slightly less than 1/2 cup and that works well for me in this recipe. Also, I have substituted apple juice for the apple cider with good results. 

What about you?  What activities and traditions do you have for taking advantage of the fall season?

~ Living within our Means ~
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  1. Even though I live in a city of 3 million it doesn't take long to drive to surrounding countryside so there are usually a number of Fall fairs to visit. I'm not sure that they will be happening this year though as so many things are cancelled due to Covid. Still, I'm hoping to do a drive in the country with a friend next week as she has some artwork to collect and it will give us a chance to see some Fall colours.
    Haven't done any apple picking in years but we may stop at some fruit & veg stands and pick up some things - love a crisp Fall apple!

    1. Oh, the trip with your friend sounds like fun, Margie. I hope you see a lot of beautiful fall colors and get some great tasting apples!

  2. I love all your ideas, and will be partaking in them all. I'd add a fire-if you are in a part of a country that can safely have them. With the need to socially distance, sittin goutside wrappe din a blanket with a beverage-cocktail or cider/hot chocolate, is near a perfect night for me. Even if no fires, sitting outside with maybe a few LED candles would do the trick as well.


    1. That is a perfect addition, Sam. You could even roast marshmallows. Thanks for the idea. Blankets would make it nice and toasty.

  3. From the time I was 8 until 18, we lived on ten acres with about a dozen pecan trees. It seems I grew up picking up, shelling, and eating pecans, my favorite nut. Thankfully, I am not allergic to pecans. I no longer pick them up because I don't know of a tree where I can. But, I know a guy who will have them at the Farmer's Market.

    1. Oh, how neat that you had pecan trees when you were growing up. My grandparents had one in their backyard in the house they bought in Kentucky where they retired. And of course down in Georgia the roads are lined with them. We have black walnut trees here but no pecans. I hope they have a good crop for you at the farmers market.

    2. I wish I had a black walnut tree. I was reading that you can tap them in the winter, catch the sap and make syrup!

    3. How neat, Anne. I hadn’t heard that before.

  4. I love fall!
    I think we will go on a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop at Mabry mill for a picnic. It is lovely in the mountains when the leaves are changing, and I read that the leaves may be especially colorful this year.
    Happy Fall Y'all! :)

    1. Oh my gosh, that sounds like so much fun, Kathy. I love that episode of the Waltons where they are building the Blue Ridge Parkway and built it right thru Walton land. I hope you all have a wonderful time!

  5. I love the Fall for all of those reasons.

  6. I love fall, except for all the leaves. We have very few trees in our yard, but our neighbors are very happy to share their leaves with us!

  7. It seems like a early Fall this year. Your spice hot apple cider sounds so good!

    1. Thank you, Vickie. It does seem like an early fall this year.

  8. We did the same thing ... make homes with leaves... during recess and lunchtime when I was in grammar school. We also made walls by putting leaves in the holes of the chain link fence surrounding the school yard.

    1. Oh, how neat, Bettina. That sounds like so much fun.

      My sister’s name is Bettina and we call her Tina as a nickname. Small world. ❤️πŸŒΈπŸ’πŸ„πŸŒΉπŸŒ»

  9. Pumpkin patches have been closing down in my province because of Covid and people not following distancing requirements.

    Halloween could be next as the requirements are very stringent.

    Baking can still be done however and I hope to get some pies made.

    God bless.

  10. Jackie, that doesn’t surprise me about the pumpkin patches closing due to COVID. I read the CDC guidelines about Halloween this year and they are not recommending trick or treating this year. Hopefully those parents will find some good alternatives.

    Baking sounds good though, πŸ˜‹πŸ§πŸͺ🍩🍰


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