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Money Culture

10 Fun Fall Activities on a Budget

Look no further than your own stomping grounds to enjoy these 10 fall, budget-friendly activities.

Jackie Lam • September 21, 2021

Fall is here, and that means fun-filled activities for all. Are you ready to enjoy all that this magical, warm-cozy season has to offer without breaking the bank? We’ve got you with 10 fun, budget-friendly fall activities.

1. Cook up a harvest feast 🌽

Look for what’s in season at the market—think squash, pumpkin, brussel sprouts, apples, pears, or even persimmons. Then, come up with a themed dinner to share with your fam. (Pie bake-off, anyone?)

Money move: Depending on where you live, you might find these healthy goodies in abundance at the market—and on sale!

2. Pick some yummy fruit 🍎

Research to see if there are any fruit-picking farms or orchards in your stomping grounds. If so, roll up your sleeves and get busy! Think: apples, pumpkins, and cranberries.

Money move: Make the most of your fruit-picking spoils by turning them into yummy preserves. Or, chop them up, toss them in a Ziploc bag and use them for smoothies throughout the season. 

3. Embark on a leaf-collecting expedition 🍂

Whether you live in a bustling city or a more rural part of the country, put on your backyard naturalist hat and gather leaves in your neck of the woods. Then, head home and do a bit of homework to learn more about the flora in your hood. 

Money move: Why buy readymade home decor when you can go the DIY route? Repurpose leaves as tabletop decor or in a homemade cornucopia for fall.

4. Organize a Netflix watching party 🎥

Confab with your fam or some friends and host a Netflix watching party. Fun themes: back-to-school movies (i.e., ’80s classics such as The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), favorite animated kids’ shows or YouTube channels, or Charlie Brown classic specials. 

Money move: The Netflix Party Chrome extension is 100% free. Otherwise, you can choose to donate five buckaroos. 

5. Celebrate National Coffee Day with a brewfest ☕️

Why not experiment with your own java-infused concoctions at home? Try your own cafe au lait or – if you’re feeling particularly ambitious – put a twist on the classic pumpkin-spiced latte.

FYI: The official National Coffee Day falls on September 29th, so you can rally your fellow coffee lovers and put together at-home tastings, with different flavors, beans, and cream.

Money move: If you’re a hardcore coffee lover, consider investing in a few kitchen items to up your routine—a French press, cold brew maker, or a hand blender.

6. Go down memory lane by making photo albums 📸

Yep – we’re talking about the old school photo albums. Head over to the thrift store and rummage through the bins for scrapbook supplies or albums. Or, you can put together a sweet album with a photo book service. 

Money move: Look for sales and promo codes by using Chrome extensions such as RetailMeNot or Honey. 

7. Honor National Cat Day by volunteering at a local rescue 🐈

National Cat Day is on October 29th, and you can honor the day by volunteering at a local rescue or shelter. It’s a win-win: You’re helping feline fur babies who could use some TLC. Plus, you get some playtime with adorable kitties. 

Money move: If you can swing it, consider making a donation to a local animal shelter or rescue. If the organization is a registered non-profit, you’re doing your part to support a worthy cause, plus you can get a bit of a tax break. 

8. Have a decorate-off with your neighbors 🎃

Halloween and Christmas get plenty of home decor love, why not create a season-long look that you can enjoy throughout autumn? Spruce up the exterior of your adobe by adding a bit of flourish to the front porch, lawn, or windows. 

Money move: Check high shelves of your closets and storage spaces for long-forgotten seasonal decor of years past. If you have storage space to spare, you can even hunt for sale items to stack up for the next year. 

9. Put together a Round Robin exchange 🎁

A Round Robin exchange works like so: one person collects items they don’t want around a certain theme: kids’ craft supplies, teas, sports gear or women’s clothing. These items should be new or gently used. Pass the items to someone, who then takes what they want, leaves what they want, and passes it along to the next person. You can enlist the participation of neighbors in your community, or with friends who live near you.

Money move: Besides clearing your place of unneeded items and clutter, you also tend to realize how much stuff you buy that you end up not using. In turn, it could help you think twice next time you load up your cart during an online shopping splurge!

10. Host a bake-a-thon 🍞

Put together a themed bake-a-thon with your favorite pals! If you prefer to bake in your respective homes, you can host through Zoom or Skype, and consider sending baked goodies to fellow participants.

Money move: For an added challenge, make it a rule that contestants can only use ingredients they already have. By making tweaks, they might come up with their own take on a classic recipe—and they won’t have to spend more money on gathering supplies.

There’s no reason why you have to dole out megabucks to enjoy fall festivities. You can create your own version of fun using what you have, wherever you are! 

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