10 Affordable Fall Activities to Try on a Budget

As soon as temperatures drop and days shorten, fall activities kickstart everywhere. From local pumpkin festivals to cider hitting store shelves. It’s so easy to blow your budget during fall which is why I’m sharing 10 affordable ways to enjoy the season!

Frugal doesn’t have to mean cheap or boring. You can go apple picking, whip up your favorite tomato gnocchi soup, and even drink homemade pumpkin lattes all on a budget.

baking cookies in the kitchen
Source: Plum Branch Home

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Budget-Friendly Fall Activities

1. Bake cookies or a seasonal pie

Baking cookies and fall treats like pie are one of my favorite fall activities! You all know how much I love being in the kitchen and fall magnifies that. Even if you’re new to baking, grab a recipe, have compassion for yourself, turn on some music, and have fun!

2. Carve pumpkins

Carving pumpkins is an iconic fall activity that is already budget-friendly. If you’re working with a tight budget this year, skip the grocery stores and visit a local farm or pumpkin patch. Pumpkins will be much cheaper and you’re supporting people in the community.

3. Go apple picking

When my brother and I were kids, my mom started a tradition where we visited a local orchard to pick apples each fall. We did this through the majority of our childhood. Even though I live a few states away, my husband and I visit local orchards each year. To find an orchard near you do a quick Google search, there’s almost always a hidden gem nearby.

4. Plan a hiking day trip

Hiking in general is one of my favorite activities of all time. I could hike any day of the year but hitting the trails during fall is something special. Feeling crisp air in your lungs and exploring under the canopy of colors makes the best combo. When planning a hiking day trip, pack homemade sandwiches for lunch, pick a free state park or nature area, and hit the road. The only cost you’ll have is gas!

5. Watch fall movies at home

Whether for a date night with your hubby or on a random fall evening, save money by watching a favorite fall movie at home! Fire up your popcorn maker, get out the chocolate chips or make a batch of scones, and enjoy a classic.

My favorite fall movies are:

  • Home for Harvest
  • Girl vs Monster
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Matilda
  • Halloween Town
  • Twitches
  • Haunted Mansion (Disney Movie)

6. Make your favorite fall drinks

With Starbucks, Dunkin, and all the local shops offering fall drinks it’s hard to resist grabbing a cup of joe. To save money and stick to your financial goals, make your favorites at home. Instead of a medium pumpkin spiced latte with oat milk costing $6-$8 a cup, it’ll cost you $1 or less to make at home.

7. Get into watching football (with all the snacks)

After moving to the south where college football is king, I started falling in love with the game. Down here it’s more than a game, it’s about food, hospitality, culture, and company. No matter where you live, turn on a college or NFL game, whip up a few snacks, and embrace the southern way of enjoying fall!

If you can’t stand football here’s a few of my tips:

8. Cook up a hearty soup

If warm hearty soup doesn’t scream fall, I don’t known what does! Whip up easy homemade soup recipes for supper this fall. Try my tomato gnocchi soup or hearty cheeseburger soup: they’re fan favorites in our house. If you’re looking for a classic, make a pot of cheesy potato soup with a side of rustic wheat garlic bread.

9. Go camping

Camping isn’t for everyone but if you’re a lover of the outdoors it’s an affordable way to travel! Grab your tent, camping gear, fall ingredients for cooking, and hit the road. At your campsite bundle up in a knitted blanket, toast marshmallows over a fire, and enjoy the crisp air. It doesn’t cost much to camp especially if you look for deals.

10. Take a scenic drive

A scenic drive could mean whipping up a warm chai latte, grabbing a few road trip snacks, jumping in the car, and driving around your neighborhood looking at leaves. It could also mean finding a scenic road or route nearby or planning a day trip to look at the fall colors. The only cost is gas and if your car has good miles per gallon it’ll be super cheap!

graphic of activities
Source: Plum Branch Home

How to Make These Fall Activities Happen

It’s so easy to read this list, get excited, and then let fall pass you by. You don’t want winter to come and the only memory you have of fall is sitting around wishing. It’s up to you to make memories and activities happen. Here’s my foolproof strategy to make a memorable fall:

  1. Create a fall bucket list (like the list above)
  2. Pick the top 2 activities you want to do
  3. Get out your calendar and write the 2 activities in (schedule them)
  4. Repeat as many times as you’d like

My Favorite Fall Activities From the List

Honestly almost every item on this list is my favorite fall activity. But if I had to pick my top 5 they would be:

  1. baking a fall treat
  2. cooking up hearty soup
  3. apple picking
  4. hiking day trip
  5. watching football

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Frugal Living Resources

Looking for a frugal way to purchase ingredients, or groceries in general? Check out Ibotta. It’s a free cashback app where you can earn real cash back by snapping a photo of your receipts. Plus, if you sign up using my referral link, you’ll get a $5 credit to start your savings balance!

Overspending on Groceries? Grab a free copy of my grocery savings eBook to learn how we save on our groceries each month! Signup up for free to grab the password and access your copy in the free resource library!

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  1. These are great fall activities!!
    Fall 🍁 is one of my favorite seasons.
    I love doing a lot of these. And a few others like campfires 🔥, warm apple cider 🍎 and leaves changing colors 🍁 falling. Plus the smell of fall in the air.