Favorite Fall Tips for Saving Money (Frugal Friday)

Fall finally arrived in San Diego. We’ve had two back-to-back rainy days, I smell wood smoke from the neighbor’s chimneys, and I no longer leave the windows open 24/7. The chill is in the air!

While it may not be the true fall that folks in other locales experience, it is a cozy moment of transition for us. In Southern California, where we have rain or sun, we can use all the transitions we can get.

So, I thought I’d round up three of my favorite DIYs for fall and the cooler, cozier weather it brings. Here are some of my best ways to save money during the autumn:

Make Your Own Instant Oatmeal Packets

Boxed cereal is banned at my house. Too much mess and too expensive to fill my kids up. But, oatmeal, honest-to-goodness stick-to-your-ribs oatmeal is not only economical, but it’s filling, particularly on chilly mornings. I regularly mix up forty bags of instant oatmeal packets so that my younger set can enjoy a hot breakfast even before my coffee is ready — or my eyes are open.

What a treat to wake up to a hot, filling breakfast!

Have a DIY Pizza Night

I fell off the pizza-making band wagon over the summer. But, I’m getting back on. The days are getting shorter and weekend pizza and movie nights are gaining appeal since we can’t be outside late into the evening anymore.

This tutorial will show you everything you need to know to make your pizza at home. It’s infinitely cheaper than pizzeria pizza and much tastier than the cardboard box variety from the freezer section.

Repurpose Seasonal Items

I love to scour the clearance sections of Target and Ralphs. They seem to have the best stuff in my neighborhood. I’ve found baking goods and seasonal grocery items for rock-bottom prices. That butter was post-Christmas last year for $1.24/pound! It doesn’t get much better than that!

Keep your eyes open for Fall clearance items, particularly in the baking department.

And think outside the box. Halloween themed items can be used in a multitude of non-spooky ways. Repurpose light sticks and other lighting apparatus in your emergency kit. Bake up those orange and black Funfetti cakes — without the sprinkles. It’s just a white cake underneath. Look for costumes to add to your kids’ dress-up collection.

While the end of Fall is still weeks away, part of the deal-nabbing involves having your eyes open and grabbing the good deal when you see it. The Christmas stuff is headed on the shelves already, so they will be unloading the fall stuff quickly.

Just remember not to buy it unless you know you’ll use it. 

What do YOU do to save money?



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Comments

  1. Thanks for hosting! I shared a recipe for homemade hot sauce which uses heirloom tomatoes and a profile about the antioxidant and mineral content of cumin seed.

  2. Recently the boys two doors down came by. They’re scouts. The fundraising items they were selling were way outside the price I’d pay for those items at the store-even at full price. If I tacked on the inflated shipping it was unthinkable. So I just made a donation to their troop. It was the amount I wanted to spend and I didn’t pay more that I felt good about nor did I acquire something I probably wouldn’t have purchased in the first place. Scouts supported. Money saved. End of story.

  3. Thanks for hosting! My post today is Ground Beef Curry–lots of flavor that is usually reserved for more expensive cuts of meat :-)

  4. We buy our year’s candy supply early in November. Huge savings!

    When we were unemployed, I’d also ask for, and get, free pumpkins on Nov 1 which I froze for soup and breads. I’m so thankful those desperate days are behind us!

  5. You got butter on clearance for $1.24??? I am amaze! I’m definitely going to start scanning the aisles at my Super Target more carefully for those little red clearance stickers!

  6. Oh my gosh that butter was a bargain. I’ve been paying almost $4 a lb! Do you wrap yours in foil before freezing?

  7. I’m like u, always looking for a good deal, batch cooking and freezing. I bake for gifts and use free printables. I ran across some beautiful fall “thank you” cards and cards saying, “handmade with love from the kitchen of”. A frugal gift with a clear cellophane bag and a grosgrain ribbon.

  8. I really need to make some instant oatmeal packets! My husband loves his instant oatmeal, and the boxes are so expensive!

  9. I posted up a recipes for savory stuffed sweet potatoes, a one-dish meal. If you bake the potatoes while you are making other dishes, they are particularly frugal and incredibly nutritious.

    Sweet potatoes are one of the best deals in the produce section– chock full of vitamins as well as being a good source of fiber and quite satisfying. Not to mention the fact that most kids adore them!

  10. Thanks for the reminder to get my pizza dough started for tonight’s dinner. I’m planning on calzones. Let’s see how I feel when it’s 4 pm.

  11. I always check clearance sections/racks first when I shop. I have 3 sons going away to college next fall and today at Target (just went in to buy their Market Pantry Coffee which is delicious) I took a quick walk through the bedding clearance section and found two reversible comforters XL twin size for $9.98 each and two sets of XL twin sheets for $4.48 each. The sheet sets were originally $14.99 and I bet the comforters were originally at least $19.99.

  12. I like the idea of oatmeal packets. Once we use up all of the pre-packaged ones I got on target clearance last year I’m going to try that.

    I posted a link to some new teething biscuits I made this week:
    http://cookingluck.blogspot.com/2011/10/brilliant-teething-biscuits-for.html

  13. Wow! That was a great deal on butter. I scan Target clearance every time I’m there. I love the deals I find there.

    I also like getting candy on clearance to use in baking.

    • Me too! I’ve been freezing the chocolate bars that are sometimes free after extra bucks at CVS and plan on using them for baking cookies.

      • Yes! We save chocolate kisses etc. from holidays, they save pretty good in a clamped jar too. Just today my dd21 made a birthday candy desert gift for Hubby with valentines kisses saved in an airtight glass jar. Yay!

  14. I love, love, love the links and your common sense ideas.

    I have some good ideas for good laundry soap that we do not have to make. : )

    We love clearances too, although we did make a boo-boo on picking up over several large cartons of Almond milk in the fridge section on clearance. We quickly found out that Almond milk does not freeze well at all. : ( It becomes very clumpy, undrinkable, I wouldn’t even put it in my coffee. Just a tip so no one else will make the same expensive mistake thinking they are saving money.

    Blessings!

  15. I’m bad. I always buy next year’s Halloween Costumes when they are on clearance this year. I am about 2 costumes ahead for my 5 year old. So I’ve got this year’s already and next year’s, lol. When they go on clearance this year, I’ll buy 2 or 3 more all bigger sizes. Gives her a variety. I also buy my decorations for next year at the same time.

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