What is it about fall that makes it one of the most loved seasons of the year? The summer heat starts to disappear, the trees change colors, and suddenly there are more excuses than ever to be outside. Maybe you have vivid memories of leaping into a pile of red and yellow leaves, roasting marshmallows over a crackling fire, or playing football in the backyard.
All those activities sound like fun—and did you notice what they have in common? They cost little to no money! But they’re still entertaining while creating wonderful memories for your family to look back on for years to come. So never fear, budget-conscious families—you can enjoy this beautiful time of year without breaking the bank!
To help you think about your upcoming fall activities and prepare for any expenses, we asked Dave’s Facebook fans how they enjoy the season on a budget. Here’s what they had to say.
The Great Outdoors
Fall is the perfect time for outdoor adventures. The weather is no longer brutally hot, and you have a beautiful backdrop of color in the trees. Paul K. talked about how he planned a treasure hunt for his 2-year-old daughter. “One week I took a map from our park, printed it on ivory paper so it looked old, and put a treasure map on it.” When Paul and his daughter arrived at the X, they found the planted treasure—some stickers and a small toy. “It was a great time,” Paul said. “And it cost about $4.”
Dustin P. and his children may not be digging for buried treasure, but the hunt is still on: “My kids love exploring the local creeks. We find frogs, turtles and tadpoles. . . Free and good, clean (sometimes muddy) fun!”
As long as you’re outside, you might consider heading to a corn maze or an orchard if one is nearby. Brenda F.’s family loves “hayrides, pumpkin carving/painting and homemade treats.”
And if hayrides aren’t your thing, Sarah K. may have the most unique idea for creating memories—and it involves the hiking trail. “We go hiking, collect rocks, and bring them home to paint.” Sarah said. “Then we put the rocks in the garden to remind us of the fun we had.”
Fall just isn’t fall without roasting marshmallows, cooking hot dogs, and telling scary stories. These are some of Cate L.’s favorite frugal pastimes. “My grandkids love it,” she said.
You can also schedule your family photos to get a head start on Christmas cards, take a leisurely drive to admire the changing leaves, or spend an afternoon flying kites in the local park.
If you’ve ever grown a garden, you know it’s hard work. But that effort is worth it at harvest time. Rich G. and his family bring their fruits and veggies indoors this time of year and have a special kind of party: “We like to pick our garden veggies and have a canning party. We can salsa, applesauce and pickling peppers. It’s all family weekend fun, not to mention the awesome family dinner consisting of fresh fruits and veggies that night.”
Camping is one of those timeless activities that just about any family can enjoy for almost no cost. Steph M. is certainly a fan of it. “Fall camping with crisp air is the best, and there is nothing better than getting in touch with nature,” she said. “I love cooking on the open fire and spending quality time together.”
Other suggestions included scouting your local newspaper to find out about free fall activities, having picnics in the park, and attending local fall festivals.
Seasonal activities like these are a great way for families to make memories together without spending a lot of money. As you start to think about how you can entertain your little ones this fall, don’t hesitate to think outside the box! It can save you hassle, stress and money—which is a win-win for everybody!
No matter how your family enjoys the fall season, make sure you’re budgeting for your expenses. If you need an easy way to keep track of your cash, our envelope systems will help you enjoy each season without overspending!