Frugal Ways to Save This Fall


Take advantage of the lull before the holidays rev up to get a few last minute financial chores in.

Winterize Your Home
A few simple things can save you a lot of money on your heating bills. If you have window air conditioners, take them out and put them away. Caulk any gaps in your windows. If your windows are really drafty, cover them with bubble wrap. It works as well as or better than those plastic kits you buy and it’s cheaper. If you’re gone most of the day, get a programmable thermostat. You can set it lower during the day and at night but program it to warm up before you get home or out of bed. Change your furnace filters. Take out your screens and install your storm doors and windows. Change your ceiling fans to turn clockwise, this will push the warm air down.

Clean Out Your Closet
Time to put the shorts and sun dresses away and replace them with sweaters and jackets. While you do that, take stock. If your summer stuff is looking a little ragged, now is a good time to replace it as stores will be trying to sell off the last of their summer stock.

Stock Up On Produce
One of the best things about fall is the bounty of produce. If you know how to can or just have a lot of freezer space, stock up now while produce is cheap and actually has flavor.

Use Up Your Flex Spend Dollars
For many plans, any money not spent by December 31 is lost. That’s your money! Make sure you spend it before it’s too late. Stocking up your medicine cabinet is a good idea, saves you a trip to the drug store for cough medicine when you’re feeling terrible.

Start Your Holiday Shopping
You probably have another two days before every store starts piping in Christmas music but that doesn’t mean you can’t start shopping now! When you’re rushed, you spend more money. Take time, make a list of what you want to buy for each person on your list. Because Christmas is still comfortingly far away, you can shop around for the best prices. You can also get some end of summer deals. Sure, your niece isn’t going to play with that croquet set in January but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good gift.

Make Holiday Travel Plans
The longer you wait, the more expensive it will be to fly home for the holidays. You’ll also have more choice right now for things like which airline, which airport to leave from, flight times, and seat if you book early.