12 Ways I’m Going to Save Money This Fall

fallIt’s the end of August, and you know what that means- it is almost time for Fall.  To me, that means breaking out the jeans and hoodies, tolerating a bunch of pumpkin-flavored crap, and enjoying a short break without having to use the air conditioning and heat.

In the Midwest, it also means enjoying beautiful weather that is nearly perfect for fun family activities like camping, visiting state parks and amusement parks, and sitting around campfire.

Now that summer is coming to an end, I’m ready to put myself on budget lockdown and implement some of the strategies I’ve used to save in the past.  With that being said, here are 12 ways I plan to save money this fall:

  1. Keep the heat off as long as possible- That’s right.  Pull out those sweaters and blankets, bitches!
  2. Make homemade soups- I am currently waiting for the squash and cabbage in my garden to ripen up, then it’s ON!
  3. Do my own landscaping- Fall means cleaning up the flower and vegetable gardens and winterizing some of our plants.  And guess what, I’m doing it myself.
  4. Winterize my house- We said we were going to do this last year but ran out of time.  This fall I am going to caulk windows and doors and get this house winter-tight!
  5. Bagging my own leaves- Yep, I’m doing that myself too.
  6. Holding off the gym membership- I might sign up for the gym on a month-to-month plan this winter, but I plan to hold off as long as I can.  I love exercising outdoors during autumn.
  7. Price shop- I generally call and price out insurance policies at least once per year.  That typically includes my homeowner’s insurance, the landlord insurance on our rentals, and my car insurance.  I’ve found that there are a ton of ways to save on insurance if you’re willing to put in the time.
  8. Shop for the holidays- I typically start stocking up for the holidays around this time of year, but only when I find gifts on super sale.  I had Christmas shopping done by October last year!
  9. Buy out-of-season stuff- I just got water shoes for $1 at Walmart and bought my kids new bathing suits for $4.  I love shopping in the off-season for the best bargains.
  10. Get outdoors- One of my favorite things to do in fall is spend time outdoors.  That typically means playing with the kids in a giant pile of leaves or pulling them around the neighborhood in a wagon.
  11. Try not to go out to eat- We have a few small trips coming up and we’re trying not to go out to eat in the weeks before and after those trips.  Wish us luck!
  12. Breaking out the old clothes- I have a ton of nice fall and winter clothes from last year, and I have no plans to replace them at all.  The same goes for my husband and two kids.

That pretty much sums up how I plan to save money this fall.  How about you?  What are your fall savings plans?

About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Comments

  1. MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    You can call your home energy provider and ask about their Energy Audit program. Typically it doesn’t cost you anything and someone comes out and finds all the places you are losing heat and ac. They review top to bottom. For lower income folks I’ve heard them even repairing the problems at no cost. Might be worth a check if they will do it for free!

    • We signed up for that last year but they never showed up! Then I got too busy to call and complain. I will definitely try again this year- they said it was completely free. Our utility bills were very reasonable in our new house but I would still like to tighten things up a bit.

    • This is a great service that I wish more people knew about! Thanks for reminding me as I need to remind my parents to have it done.

      Jay

  2. I love fall and all the pumpkin flavored crap that comes with it. We are still at least a month away from it down south, but my favorite day of the year is the day we can turn off the AC and open all the windows. Our electric bills will be cut in half!

  3. Sounds like some great ways to save money! We love making homemade soups in the fall and winter- that’s pretty much the main thing we eat for several months. And we also plan to try to keep the heat off for as long as possible!

  4. I plan on doing many of the same things you are. I have been doing a lot of landscaping work and I’ve done it all myself. I don’t plan on buying many new clothes this Fall, either, because I already have a bunch of sweaters that I love wearing. Bring on Fall! But not Winter….

  5. #6 is the TRUTH. spring and fall are my favorite times to run outside. Fall gets the bonus for the leaves turning colors. The only good news for us and a gym membership (if we were to join) is that our health insurance reimburses us up to $400/yr if you go to the gym twice a month. So they aren’t even asking for that much of a commitment.

    • I love the fall leaves in Indiana-especially where I live in Hamilton County. It is so beautiful!

    • Woah, only twice a month? My insurance will reimburse $20 a month (a local membership costs about $35), but I have to visit 12x. Normally, this is awesome, as it gets me to exercise. I have a newborn now, so I’m holding off on the gym membership until my schedule settles enough that I know I can make it to the gym enough to get reimbursed.

  6. Spring and fall rock my world. Though it’s actually been a surprisingly beautiful August here in NYC. I think I’ll have to do my holiday shopping now too as I’m booked for an out of town contract from the end of October through December.

  7. Fall is my favourite time of year. Definitely will be keeping the heat off as long as possible. Exercising outdoors is great because it’s the perfect temperature. I also plan to get tackling some of my indoor projects I’ve been putting off (minimizing anyone?). Now I’m starting to get excited for fall even though I dread what comes after it! :0(

  8. Good plans! I am going to try and not put the heating on for as long as possible. Jumpers and blankets all the way! I love making homemade soup too, it’s so warming and delicious and frugal :)

  9. I’m so excited for soup, chili and honey crisp apples (though these don’t save any money). Fall is my favorite time of the year. I plan to do several of the items listed above!

  10. #1 and #2 are my go-to money savers this year. The wood burning stove is going in next month, so that should help lots with fall and winter money savings!

  11. Love this time of year too.We try and hold off the heat as long as possible too. With 3 children who know how to handle a rake and the lawnmower I like to supervisor the landscaping around our house. :) Just need to avoid impulse buying all the pumpkin spice stuff and we’ll be fine.

  12. Great tips! When you mentioned homemade soups, my mouth watered haha. I love soup in the fall!

  13. I love to play the “How long can we wait until we turn on the heat” game as well. Hey, if I can wear shorts well into November outside……(in Minnesota)…..

    • Oh man! Minnesota winters can be crazy. Greg’s parents live up there and we’ve visited during -20 spells more than once.

    • We had a nice MN summer, so hopefully you saved by not having AC on much (if at all). We don’t have AC, and I so appreciate the cost savings.

  14. I’m feeling it! This weather is scaring me. I am so not ready for a NJ winter!

  15. Other than traveling for work and taking a trip to celebrate our wedding anniversary in October, our spending will be on lockdown much like you. Our heat is covered in our rent but we still plan to check the windows and find ways to conserve heat. Just because we don’t own the place doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help the landlord to save some money…now if they only reduce the rent a little as compensation lol!

  16. Beautiful picture with your post, Holly. Autumn is my favorite season. Cool days, crisp nights with clean air you can actually breathe without feeling suffocated by humidity. At least this summer has been very mild by central Illinois standards. I also start Christmas shopping early. The problem is to get wish lists from my grown up kid before December. (You’d think he’d have that figured out by now).

  17. Even thought I’m not super excited about the seasons changing, I am excited to get out my new clothes. Each year, when the seasons change I buy clothes that are going on clearance, so not I have a bunch of fall and winter clothes I haven’t even worn!

  18. I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup and that’s it! Fall through Spring is my favorite time of year. I enjoy summer I just think it’s a waste because I don’t live near a beach :) The bulk of my clothes are for cold weather (live in Colorado) so I get the most bang for my buck at this time of year. I try to keep the heat off for as long as possible but I hate being cold inside the house. I’m about to pull out the crockpot and rock some slow cooking happiness.

  19. It’s been a beautiful summer…not too hot and humid! Can’t believe it’s almost over. Spring and fall are my favorites…hopefully winter won’t be as brutal as last year. My wife always buys things out of season…much better deals.

  20. Maybe I’m in denial, but every time I see a fall themed post in the blogosphere it surprises me. It’s still August (I know.. barely)! We still have hot weather and sunshine around here so it’s hard to get into fall mode. I know we need to winterize the house as well.

  21. I made Shepherd’s pie on the weekend because it was so cool here. It just felt cozy… and then I realized it was still August and I freaked out a little bit :) But I love the Fall… I’m a cozy sweater and scarf kind of lady so giving me the proper weather to wear it makes me so happy. Time for the slow cooker to come back out!

  22. I’m excited for fall just reading this! Love that pumpkin-flavored crap! This pretty much sums up our seasonal money savings too. Keeping the heat off for as long as possible is the biggest one for us–we made it to November last year, which we were pretty proud of!

  23. These tips are so helpful, Holly! I think it’s a great reminder that there are always things we can do to cutback or change our situation to improve our finances. I know I will be keeping the heat off, putting off a gym membership, and winterizing my house, too.

  24. For me, fall means finally being able to ride my bike again. It’s too dang hot here in the summer. Fall and Winter are biking times here in AZ. :)

  25. Fall is great, once winter comes I certainly like the winterizing the home, little plastic and some caulk would probably save a few dollars.

  26. I have similar plans for this fall. The main thing is trying to keep the heat down.

    Just one question. Who buys non-homemade soup? hahaha Every soup that I consume is homemade. If I’m going out to eat, I’m certainly not buying soup!

  27. Fall is my absolutely favorite season and I cannot wait. Primarily because it means no A/C and no heat. We save lots of money on our utilities in the Fall. I also get out and workout more outside which is fun and inexpensive. Once the leaves turn, I will pick some off the trees around us and create home decor from them, it’s a great and cheap way to decorate for Thanksgiving.

  28. I am sad to see summer go, but it is nice to crave soup! I am not spending a penny on Halloween this year. We will dig in the closet and wear something we already have or repeat last year’s costume.

  29. I have to turn on the heat lol. I think I’ll be spending more money this fall/winter. I wish I could save more like you but I just save about 30%-40% of my income.

  30. I love stocking up on clothes off season! I’m also going to hit up a large kid’s consignment sale in October. And, make and freeze soup/stews.

  31. As I read through your list, I’m reminded of that irony that keeps rearing its head through our debt-reduction efforts. To save time and money, it helps to have time and money. I look at all of your DIY projects, and wish I had set myself up to have the time to do them! But you do what you can, right? I can take on the early Christmas shopping for now. The homemade soup? Some day, I hope!

  32. Good thoughts! It’s important to be proactive about it. I think I sometimes just go with the flow and end up realizing later how much I spent.

  33. Great list. We’ve already started cutting back on watering the lawn. The peak heat is gone and I don’t mind it being a little more brown now that the kiddo is in school and isn’t playing around as much. Saves around $20-25 extra to turn things down. Plus it’s time to break out the hoodies! Fall is the best time.

  34. Great ideas! I’ll admit I’m a slouch on the first one because I’m always cold, even in the summer I’ll wear a hoodie until it hits 80 degrees. I’m planning on making a lot of meals ahead of time and freezing them (already started) and I’ll be using giftcards I’ve earned all year for Christmas gifts that I’m trying to finish early for less stress sake.

  35. I’m another hoodie lover. I often have to wear one around our apartment, even though it’s usually 78 degrees. I’m always cold! But I love being able to open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. Fall temperature is perfect for walking.

  36. I have such an easier time holding off on turning on the heat than the A/C. I’ve got no tolerance for being hot, but my Siberian ancestry is definitely useful in avoiding turning on the heat. Also, I love sweaters. Fall clothes are the best!

  37. There is just a sense of pride when you do something yourself. It’s hard to get that satisfaction.

    I lover number one, lol! Plus, I try to get my wife to put those sweaters on, somehow my case is never compelling enough …

  38. Since I’ll be spending more time in the house this winter I’m going to save money by meal planning. What tends to end up happening if I don’t then we spend more money on going out to eat. I’m going to try and make a weekly plan and see how it goes! I’m hoping that I have a good 2-3 months with a lower electric bill as well. The summer bills haven’t been cheap and the winter ones are usually a lot more!

  39. I’m looking forward to lower electricity bills too! I know it’s only $30-$40, but it counts! We are also doing more meal planning. I’ve set a budget for gas and food every week to lower our food expenses. This will hopefully cut our budget by $500, and I can save that extra money.

  40. What a brilliant list. What I loved was tolerating the pumpkin stuff haha. It’s true Fall is all about pumpkins, squash, soup, jeans and hoodies… oh and bagging leaves. I’m right in there with you with all of that but with baby on the way it’s going to be even more challenging for us but we’re ready for it, I hope!

  41. I love fall in the midwest! That one of the seasons I miss most. With my work situation I’m in survival mode, so for me it’s going to mean essentials only. But the weather stays hot here so there is plenty of beach volleyball.

  42. Don’t your kids need new sizes of clothes for the fall? I spend very little on clothes since I buy them all used. But each season, my kids do need a bigger size. They are 5 and 3. :)

    • Not this year! I still have a bunch I’ve bought at yard sales up through 6s and 7s. After that I will need to do something. It’s getting harder to find nice, used stuff in the bigger sizes.

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