Saturday, September 22, 2018
The Call of Fall
It is absolutely gorgeous this morning in SE Kansas! It's been a blistering 90's or so most of the past week, and we've so wanted fall to come, especially since we had no spring and have had summer for more months than we can count. We woke up to 50's for lows, and it was so nice!
Moving into the fall season brings areas we can work on for saving money and using frugal measures. We generally use this season as a prep time for winter, which is a costly season. But, this prep time can save us on resources and finances if we think about what we do.
Right now, those of us in cooler weather can cut the AC off. Folks farther north are probably using heat, especially where they've already had snow. Remind me not to move there! Anyway, opening your windows to let in fresh air and cooler temps will dramatically save on your electric bill. It also saves wear and tear on whatever unit you use to cool your home. We run fans to help circulate the air in our house and get that sweet smelling fresh air as far in as possible. If you have ceiling fans, those work very well in circulating, have your blades set to pull air up for now, and when winter comes and you use your heat, set the blades to push air down.
For those who do not open windows, this is a good time to start working on weatherizing those windows. They are a good source of heat leakage in the winter, which raises your energy cost. Here at our house, we use heavy clear plastic and attach it to the outside of the windows on the downstairs and the inside of the windows upstairs. It makes a big difference and you don't feel a bitter draft in the middle of winter when the wind is howling. Plastic is easy to find at your local hardware store, Home depot/Lowe's, Walmart, and possibly other discount stores. We use double sided tape inside the house, cardboard strips and staples on the outside. On the outside we roll the plastic up in spring so we can have the windows open, and return it back to the window and staple down in November.
This season is the time when we start pulling out our blankets, quilts, warmer clothes, and pumpkin spice everything. We decorate our houses and yards to show the harvest colors. This can be costly, but it doesn't have to be.
If you're decorating your house, use what is naturally around you. Colored leaves in vibrant hues of reds and golds will soon be everywhere. Gather some, and gently spray them with clear coat paint to keep them from degenerating any farther and keep that color a while. I remember my mom doing this and calling it shellacking. She also did this with pine cones. Take the clear painted leaves and adhere them to a wreath or whatever decor you prefer to use, do the same with the pinecones. Pumpkins are perfect to work with as well. If you don't grow them, you can purchase them at decent prices. If you DON'T carve them, they will last much longer. When carving them out, you open the gourd and allow bacteria, oxygen, fungus, and bugs to get in and the inner flesh will deteriorate quickly. Leaving the gourd whole will allow it to last much longer outside, especially on a dry area. You can then use these later in the season for pumpkin pie and other goodies. Roast the seeds for a great treat (I personally prefer brown sugar and butter on mine). You can use butternut squash and other squash/gourds for decor, and then turn around and eat them later. This makes a good double duty decoration!
If you know farmers or do your own gardening, save your corn stalks after harvest and use them for decor. Tie a few together in a bundle and you have instant decoration without the added cost. If you have dried grass/hay bales/dried wheat grass (straw)/oat grass/etc, you can use it for decor, bundled or used as bales for stacking, or in the sleeves of a scare crow. Save some field corn or Indian corn to dry out and use it for pops of color. Mums are a traditional fall decor item, they're great for color, and when you plant them, they return year after year after year after year. My father-in-law has a yard full of mums that started off of one mum that has been used for cuttings for years. It's pretty to see in the fall! Marigolds are often bright and very beautiful this time of year as well. They are annuals but reseed themselves very well. It is almost like cooler weather brings out their colors better.
Now is a good time to check your warm clothes supply, while garage sales are still going. People are clearing closets and preparing for the winter Christmas clothing haul, Some pieces might need a little mending, but if you are handy with a needle and thread, you can do it easily and save lots of money.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of ideas. This is just a very beginning...considering this is the first day or spring. :)
What are your frugal ideas for fall??? I'd love to hear them!
Gratefully shared with: