There’s a good chance all this autumn energy has you feeling inspired to celebrate the season (while following pandemic safety guidelines, of course). Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do so without breaking the bank. Here are 10 tried-and-true ways to celebrate fall on a budget.
1. Host a fall-themed party.
Fall is a time to gather around the table with the people you care about most. A fall-themed party certainly doesn’t have to bust your budget, especially if you make it a potluck affair where everyone brings an autumn dish. If the weather’s right, grab your chunky sweaters and enjoy an outdoor party around the campfire. You can also time your get-together to coincide with a fall holiday. Whether it’s a spooky Halloween party or an intimate Friendsgiving, you can get creative with snacks and signature cocktails on the cheap.
2. Explore a local farm.
Many farms go above and beyond in the fall — think hayrides, corn mazes, fresh apple cider and the works. If you have a tough time finding a local farm with all these offerings, spending the day at a pumpkin patch can be equally satisfying. End it right by carving or painting pumpkins with friends or family. The finished product can add a splash of fall to your front porch. An added bonus is that pumpkins are almost always cheaper at a farm than the grocery store.
3. Celebrate the fall equinox.
The fall equinox comes around every September to mark the beginning of the autumn season. Like the spring equinox, it symbolizes a time of change and transition. Many see it as an opportunity to reconnect with the earth. If that sounds like you, a sunrise or sunset yoga class on the beach could feel super restorative. Others may enjoy driving through fall foliage or indulging in some gratitude journaling. There isn’t one right or wrong way to celebrate the turning of the season.
4. Hit the kitchen.
Autumn is known for its warm and soothing foods. Don’t be afraid to break out the crockpot and scan your Pinterest feed for fall recipes. Slow-cooked soups, stews and hearty meals can be just the thing on a cool autumn night. If you’re more of a baker, you can whip up classics like pumpkin pie or homemade apple butter, then gift them to friends and family. Focusing on simple recipes with few ingredients can help keep your budget intact. Look to your pantry first to make the most out of things you already have.
5. Choose a volunteer project.
Fall is the season of gratitude and giving. Take some time to think about the causes and issues that mean the most to you, then research different ways you can make a positive impact. Maybe it’s gathering up a group of friends to feed the hungry, coordinate a beach cleanup, or donate time to a local animal shelter. No matter what it looks like, it could be a great way to start a new habit of helping. Research published in the Journal of Happiness Studies suggests that people who volunteer are healthier and more satisfied with their lives than people who don’t.
6. Get crafty.
Autumn is an ideal time to explore new crafts. Think in terms of indoor and outdoor projects. DIY painted pumpkins or make-your-own wreaths can both be done with minimal supplies, which is good news for your budget. They’ll also transition naturally from Halloween into Thanksgiving. If you’re pretty crafty, you can think about adding some homemade fall signs to your front porch, then storing them after the season to use again next year.
7. Go to a fall festival or event.
Head over to your town’s event calendar to see what fall activities are in store this season. There may be fall-themed festivals, concerts or wine tastings on the agenda. Following your chamber of commerce on social media is a great way to stay in the know. Your favorite mom-and-pop restaurants and stores may also have plans to host autumn events. It isn’t uncommon for communities to celebrate different seasons with free events around town.
8. Head to a hiking trail.
As temperatures become more forgiving in the fall, it’s a great time to hit your local hiking trails. If you don’t have access to hiking spots, you can explore nature trails instead. Visit the parks department websites for your town and neighboring communities to find some free hidden gems waiting to be explored. If you’re after some spooky Halloween fun, you may be able to find a guided nighttime nature tour.
9. Take a budget-friendly fall road trip.
Packing a bag and hitting the road can be especially fun at the turn of a new season. Look first to areas that are within driving distance from your home. If you make it a group event, you’ll be able to split the costs of gas and lodging. National parks and campsites make for wallet-friendly adventures that allow you to soak up the autumn season. Insider tip: Heading out on National Public Lands Day (September 25, 2021) will land you free admission to any national park.
10. Organize an alternative tailgate.
If you’re unable to get tickets to a football game, you can still gather up some friends for an alternative tailgate without going to the stadium. Instead, make it a driveway party and play the game on a projector or TV. Roll out the grill, put on your team colors and enjoy the cool weather while watching your favorite team. You can make it a tradition by alternating between different friends’ houses each Sunday.
No matter how you choose to celebrate fall, be sure to plan ahead and budget for the fun. DailyPay makes it easier by unlocking instant access to your earned pay.