Thursday, October 23, 2008

10 Ways to Save On Fall

Welcome to BeingFrugal blog readers! Lynnae kindly posted my

(drum roll)

comments on fall. Which, by the way, has finally deposited its icy self on the Brick doorstep.
Here goes:

*Don’t turn your indoor heat on until you absolutely have to. Every extra day you keep the thermostat off, you save.

*Resolve to turn your home temp down – and keep it that way. We used to keep our indoor temp at 68 degrees – but now live quite happily with the temp at 64-65 degrees. Wear a sweater and save some $$. (The one drawback: your friends’ homes will sometimes seem too warm!)

*Close heating grates or registers off in unused or little-used rooms.

*Check for drafts, and fix them now. (Light a candle and put it near your window or door bottom – if it flickers, you’ve got a draft.) There are weatherproofing kits out there for windows while you save for better insulated ones. Insulating foam can be sprayed into cracks and crannies for both doors and windows. Or try using folded rugs and towels as ‘draft dodgers.’ (You can make or purchase these, too.)

*Use a small space heater. This keeps life comfortable in the rooms you live in the most. (Take the proper precautions for children and/or pets.) Note: you can even take this from room to room. Our Weimies love to snuggle near it on chilly evenings. It's a lot cheaper to heat the space you're occupying, rather than the entire room.

*Buy a bushel of fruit. Peaches and apples are harvesting through September and October for us here in Colorado – and elsewhere. Produce is a fraction of the price in stores when you pick your own or buy directly from the orchard.

*Store that fruit for later. Apples and pears will stay fresh in your refrigerator crisper for months.

For larger amounts, we keep an ice chest (or cooler) on our back deck filled with apples (or potatoes or onions) all winter long. If the temp drops below 0 degrees, we’ll bring it in overnight. It’s a luxury to go out in February and take out a rosy apple!

*Or preserve your fruit, instead! Apples can be sliced and put in a lemon/water solution, then packaged and frozen in pie-sized amounts. (Or just make pies, then freeze them unbaked. Bake directly out of the freezer at 375 degrees for 45-55 min. – yum!) I wash off peaches, then freeze them as-is in plastic bags, 2 per sandwich bag. Thaw for 30 min. (or microwave for 30 seconds), and the peel slides right off under warm water. Halve them, take out the pit, and they’re ready for use in smoothies or peach crisp. (Warning: Use them while they’re still partially frozen – if completely thawed, they melt into sauce. Still good on ice cream….)

*Learn how to knit. Or crochet. Or quilt. Not only are these hobbies warming while you do them, but they’ll produce needed items to protect from the cold. Not to mention Christmas presents! And speaking of Christmas…

*Start buying your Christmas presents now. Look for sales and clearance prices. Summer-related items are usually on deep clearance by this point. This also goes for Christmas groceries like nuts in the shell, dried fruit, etc.

Do you have any tips for saving money in the autumn months?And take a minute to visit Lynnae at -- she's great!

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