Top 10 Things To Do in October on a Budget

Bored in October? You don’t have to be! Just because the days are getting cooler doesn’t mean you can’t still have loads of fun.

Of course, with the holidays just around the corner, many people tighten up on the money front. They know that Black Friday is coming, then holiday gifts and spending a lot of money in October isn’t always wise.

The good news is that you can have your cake and eat it too. Check out these 10 budget activities that are perfect to do in October!

1. Decorate for Fall

Get in the spirit for Halloween and decorate your house near the beginning of October. With all the fallen leaves, cheap pumpkins, apples, and other items on hand, it’s easy to make your own decorations quite cheaply.

Stuff some old clothes with newspaper or straw to set a scarecrow on your porch. Paint his face on a pumpkin head or stuffed burlap sack.

Place a pumpkin spice candle in a bowl and surround it with colored sand for an inexpensive, yet elegant centerpiece. Create a garland with colorful fallen leaves to frame windows and doors.

The list of ideas goes on and on. Plus, there are plenty of fall crafts you can do with your kids!

2. Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte

For many people fall wouldn’t be fall without a generous serving of pumpkin spice latte — multiple times. Unfortunately, supporting a fancy coffee habit gets expensive quickly.

This idea gives you something fun to do on a cold afternoon as well as helps you save money. Once you learn how to make your own pumpkin spice latte, you won’t have to stop by the coffee stand once or twice — or thrice — every day.

Here’s a delightful recipe to get you started!

3. Road Trip!

In many areas of the US, October is a delightful time to take a road trip. The hills are on fire as the trees burst into brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange.

Not sure where there is a pretty drive in your area? There are online tools you can use to help find a route.

If there is a quaint town with a historic district nearby, you can turn it into a day trip. Wander along the streets and get lost in a simpler time. Keep an eye out for photo ops! You’ll find one around every corner in a charming spot in small-town America.

4. Go For a Hike/Bike Ride

Summer gets all the attention when it comes to activities like hiking and biking, but the reality is that October is the perfect time for them. The weather is cool enough that you won’t get overheated as you work up a sweat, but not so cold that it is uncomfortable to breathe.

As a bonus, it’s also another great way to enjoy the fall foliage. Hikes typically take you to a high point where you will have a breath-taking reward for all your hard work on the trail. Many also have scenic spots along the way to tease the appetite.

If good hiking hills are scarce in your area or you have small children, go for a bike ride instead. Strap a seat on the back of your bike or use one of those little trailers to haul your kids plus snacks.

Don’t have the equipment and don’t want to spend the money on it? Ask around amongst your friends. Chances are, somebody has a bicycle they’d be willing to lend you.

5. Host a Potluck Party

Potlucks are such a fabulous way to get together with your favorite people without dumping too much work on your shoulders (or spending too much money). Invite a few of your friends and have everybody bring their favorite fall dish.

You’ll have plenty of food to go around without all the work and expense that tends to come with parties.

To add some extra intrigue, make it a themed party. You could choose a certain type of food, perhaps ethnic dishes like French or Indian. Or you could choose a party theme like fall or Halloween. Add a prize for the best dish or costume to inspire a little friendly competition.

6. Try Some Pumpkin Recipes

Did you know that you can use pumpkin in almost everything when it comes to baking and cooking? Pumpkin can go in cakes, cookies, donuts, pies, soups, hummus, cheesecake, and so much more!

Pumpkins are cheap and readily available anywhere at this time of year. Don’t be intimidated by them, it’s actually really easy to cook with pumpkin. Furthermore, pumpkin is really good for you (as long as you don’t add buckets of sugar to the dish).

Plus, you have to eat anyway, so why not make a fun activity out of it? Have a baking day with your kids and prepare all sorts of warm pumpkin spice dishes and desserts. Freeze what you won’t eat right away for quick snacks and meals. You’ll be thanking yourself for a few easy dinners during the busy holiday season!

7. Scary Movie-Thon

Now that you have all these pumpkin sweets on hand, gear up for Halloween with a scary movie night. There are tons of classic family movies like Ghostbusters or Halloweentown that are fun to rewatch with your kids.

Adults might like something a bit more thrilling and there are plenty of movies to choose from in that department. Pro tip: scary movies make great date movies — your date won’t let go of your hand the whole evening!

8. Scary Book-a-Thon

Are you a reader? Rainy October evenings are the perfect time to curl up with a good book and enjoy a night in. Make yourself a pumpkin spice latte and grab one of the pumpkin treats you made and settle in for some well-deserved me-time.

To get in the spirit of the season, choose a thriller or scary book (think Stephen King’s classics).

9. Park Picnic

October days offer some of the last chances most of us will have to enjoy a meal outdoors until spring. Once November rolls in, the temperatures are officially too low to have an enjoyable picnic.

Grab your sweetie and pick a sunny spot at your local park to lay out a picnic blanket and have a delightful meal. Bring a frisbee or ball to play with your kids or furry friends. Summer days are fading away and you’ve got to savor it to the last possible moment.

10. Marshmallow Roast

If you’ve got a fire pit out back, this is the perfect way to spend a fall evening outdoors. Grab some marshmallows, your favorite chocolate bar, and some graham crackers. Then, challenge your family to who can roast the perfect marshmallow.

Don’t have a firepit? Not a problem, get creative and roast marshmallows over the stove or find out what happens when you put a marshmallow in the microwave! (Just have some warm soapy water on hand to get it cleaned up quickly).

Having Fun does not mean Spending Tons of Money

There are plenty of ways that you can have fun in October without spending a ton of money. Some of the ideas we’ve presented on this list are even money-saving when you do it right!

So enjoy this month, enjoy life, and let us know what other ideas you come up with in the comments!

Best Fall Music – Top Songs by Genre

Music is mood, and music is life. So, it makes perfect sense that tracks about the fall season bring a particular type of ambiance to any occasion. 

Maybe it’s the changing weather, or perhaps it’s something more intangible, something more sentimental and powerful?

For many, fall is about genuine reflection, recapturing the magic of first kisses, giving thanks, football games, and a few tricks and treats here and there in October.

That’s why fall music is so diverse and inclusive because all of us get a sense of renewal and hope during this time of year, whether it’s going back to school or getting an early start on holiday shopping.

Still, with so many great songs out there, what is the absolute best for the fall season?

Part history lesson and part playlist, here are the classic fall tracks we’ve compiled, broken down by genre to add a little something for everyone, including younger generations too.

Jazz

No matter how you look at it, fall and jazz go hand-in-hand. The easy-going rhythms and slow tempos make jazz fit nicely into the feel of the fall season.

Maybe it’s the lo-fi vocals, or perhaps it’s the orchestral instrumentation that reminds us of fall? Listen to these classic jazz tracks and give them some thought for yourself.

“Autumn in New York” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

If you’ve never heard this song, you’re in for a treat because no one does slow jazz like Ella and Louis, for those hip enough to use their first names, that is.

“In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington

As we led off the article, music is mood, so give this track a spin to get in that sentimental fall feeling. Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” captures that sense beautifully, and get ready to sway back and forth during your first listen.

“One September Day” by Nina Simone

Nina Simone is arguably the most underrated female vocalist of her day. Ella (we’re hip, remember?) and Billie Holiday have had their day; it’s Nina’s time now.

“September in the Rain” by Dinah Washington

Yet another incredibly under-rated vocalist of the early 20th century, Dinah Washington’s voice gets stuck in your head just as quickly as other jazz icons. “September in the Rain” is merely one of many of Dinah’s soul-searching tracks.

“I’ve Got Plenty to be Thankful for” by Bing Crosby

Lastly, in the jazz genre, we come to Bing Crosby’s “I’ve Got Plenty to be Thankful For,” one of the best songs about Thanksgiving ever composed in the 20th century.

Rock and Alternative

Is jazz not doing it for you? Well, that’s fine because everyone has different tastes in music, especially when it comes to more popular genres like rock and alternative.

But that doesn’t mean rock n’ roll artists haven’t already covered what the fall season means to them, so here’s a selection of songs to rock out.

“Autumn Leaves” by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran’s voice is unmistakable, and his track “Autumn Leaves” ranks among his most famous songs ever. Once you hear this track, you’ll see why Ed chose this title.

“November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses

Do you need an 80’s power ballad in your life? What Gen-X music fans don’t! If you’ve never listened to “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses, get your lighters ready to hold in the air because you’ll get the vibe after the first few bars or so.

“Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood

A more modern addition to our semi-official fall playlist, “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood, may appeal to younger audiences. Still, you can’t deny the musicality in this track or its connection with the fall season. After all, the song is literally about when it gets cold, and you need that special someone nearby.

“Seasons of Wither” by Aerosmith

Not to be outdone by rivals Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith released this track a while ago, and it still gives many music lovers chills like no other. Is there any other way to judge an 80’s power ballad? We don’t think so!

“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Going way back to the mid 20th century, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” had to make our list. Listen carefully to the lyrics and see if you can hear the fall connection. If not, ask any old rock n roll fan, and they’ll sing the whole song for you.

Country

Now, we come to the country music genre, and if there’s a class of music more suited to fall, we haven’t heard it yet. Many of the most popular fall-inspired songs hearken back to a simpler time when the harvest represented a spirit of renewal and hope for the winter.

“The Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney

Is there anything more fall-like than playing football? Kenny Chesney apparently doesn’t think so! This country music icon even felt he had to make a song about it.

“September” by Corb Lund

Often, fall songs are about the month of September,  and it makes perfect sense. Check out “September” by Corb Lund and listen for the subtle references to the season.

“Harvest Time” by Luke Bryant

Has Luke Bryant ever made a bad song? If so, “Harvest Time” sure isn’t one of them! A more modern take on the genre, this track is worth listening to during a fall sunset with that special someone.

“I’m Alive” by Willie Nelson

Texas-born, Texas-proud Willie Nelson makes the ultimate Texas country music. Listen closely to “I’m Alive,” and you’ll see why generations of fans keep falling in love with Willie’s music.

“A Little More Summer Time” by Jason Aldean

Not every track about fall praises the season, and “A Little More Summer Time” is a great example. Renewal and hope may work for many, but what if the summer was so fantastic you won’t want it to end?

R&B and Soul

Whether you call the songs rhythm & blues or soul music, these artists from the 1970s onward wrote some of the most iconic tracks in the history of American music.

“Easy” by The Commodores

Rebooted by Lionel Richie in the ’80s (nice try, Lionel!), “Easy” was actually written by The Commodores well before Lionel put a glam-pop spin on the track. Wake up early on a Sunday, sip a cup of coffee, and watch the sunrise while listening to “Easy” to ring in the season.

“September” by Earth, Wind, & Fire

There’s no introduction required here. If there’s a happier, more joyous song written about the fall, we’ve never heard it.

“I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz II Men

If you and that special someone are looking to recapture the spark this fall, “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz II Men suits the mood perfectly. While technically not about fall, there’s definitely a fall feeling in this track.

“If This World Were Mine” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Continuing with the theme of recapturing true love, Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell’s little-known class “If This World Were Mine” is yet another R&B classic that many young people may have never heard before. If not, it’s time for a soul music history lesson. 

Hip-hop and Beats

Who said hip-hop and modern beats couldn’t be about the fall too? While you may not consider this genre a red herring, here are the songs that would go great for a Halloween dance party.

“November Has Come” by The Gorillaz

A slow, lazy walk down the street, the beats, and rhythms in “November Has Come” by The Gorillaz complement the season well. As one of the more subtle selections on this list, this song makes an excellent ambiance for an October gathering with friends.

“October Song” by Amy Winehouse

This lesser-known recording by Amy Winehouse never received its due before the artist passed away. As such, a Winehouse cult following has emerged over the years, and “October Song” is arguably the best Winehouse track aside from her smash hit “Rehab.”

“A Nightmare on My Street” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

Whatever happened to narrative hip-hop and rap lyrics? They may not be as popular today as they once were, but DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s beat “A Nightmare on My Street” is another Halloween-inspired track to include in your playlist.

“Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell

No, this song wasn’t written by Michael Jackson since he’s only the featured artist. But any Halloween get-together that doesn’t play this track just isn’t doing it right.

“Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees

Another well-done remake that many confuse with the original release, “Killing Me Softly” by the Fugees, essentially propelled Lauryn Hill to the top of the mountain in the 90s and 2000s. Once again, we come across a track with a fall mood that you may not have ever considered in your playlist.

We hope you enjoyed our list and will enjoy these songs this fall!

Fall Bucket List

Autumn is officially upon us and soon the hustle and bustle of the holiday season will be here. But in the meantime, what are some fun things you can do with your loved ones during the fall?

We’ve rounded up a fantastic list of must-do fall activities that you will absolutely love. The best thing is…they won’t break the bank. Because no one has to spend a bunch of money to have fun, Check out these ideas here!

1. Go Camping

Winter is on the horizon and this is the last chance you’ll have for a while to enjoy time outdoors without shivering the whole time. Make the most of it and take one last camping trip of the year.

Leave the iPads and Netflix behind and spend some time in nature. Scientists are discovering an ever-increasing list of physical and mental health benefits of spending time outdoors. Feeling skeptical? Just ask anyone who has spent some well-needed time in nature.

Worried about spending too much money on the trip? There are lots of places where you can camp for free!

National and state parks tend to be pricey, but you can camp in national forests, grasslands, and the Bureau of Land Management lands for free. You just have to be willing to forego amenities like bathrooms and showers.

2. Camp in Your Backyard

If camping in the wilderness is a little too adventurous for you, keep it closer to home. Camping in the backyard is also free and can be an exciting adventure. It also comes with a big bonus — it is accompanied by electricity and running water.

Regardless of where you camp, be sure to build up a nice fire, swap ghost stories, and roast marshmallows. There’s something mesmerizing about watching the crackles and pops of the flames while enjoying that sticky, chocolatey goodness.

Couple that with spending time with your loved ones and this is an experience you won’t soon forget.

3. Road Trip!

Camping might not be your thing, but a road trip might catch your fancy. Fall is a wonderful time for a family drive, particularly out in the country where the colorful fall leaves are on full display.

You can make it a day trip that will only cost you some gas, or book an inexpensive Airbnb in a nearby town. This is a particularly great idea if you can find a quaint little town nearby.

Go on a walking tour of the area, enjoying the fresh air and small-town atmosphere. Walk through the historic section to check out the old houses and wonder at days gone by. Stop in at the local cafe for a slice of homemade apple or blackberry pie.

You might be surprised at how relaxing it can be to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city for a little while.

4. Go Hiking

Autumn is the perfect time to go hiking. During summer, hiking gets really hot and sweaty. Fall weather is cool enough to make your trek pleasant, but not so cold that you’re fighting numb toes and fingers.

Plus, when you get to the top, the colorful vista before you will make the hike more than worth it.

5. Participate in a 5K Walk/Run

Another great way to get exercise is to participate in a 5K walk/run. It’s almost guaranteed there will be one going on somewhere nearby. Organizers like to take advantage of the pleasant fall weather for events like these.

The entrance fee for community race events is generally pretty low. Plus, many of these races are put on to raise money for a local non-profit. In that case, your entry fee will be tax-deductible.

Furthermore, you can help with the fundraising by encouraging others to participate in the race with you, or sponsor your ticket if they’d prefer.

Helping others is always rewarding and you get a fun day out of the deal as well!

6. Fall Festival

There is more than one way to party in the fall. From Oktoberfest to harvest parties to Halloween parties, there is something for everyone.

The entrance fees are usually pretty cheap, and some are even free to get in. You’ll have to pay for refreshments, games, and candied apples, or you can just stroll around and enjoy the atmosphere.

For bigger savings, consider volunteering at the event or joining the organizing committee. Usually you’ll get a few tickets as a thank you, plus the satisfaction of being a part of something that brings joy to others.

7. Make Your Own Halloween Costume

September is almost gone already and Halloween will be upon us before we know it! Get prepared (and save some money) by making your own Halloween costumes this year.

Storebought costumes can get pricey, especially if you want something that looks halfway decent. But your local thrift store is your friend when it comes to making your own costume. Get a little creative and you can craft something exquisite out of a few cheap thrift store finds.

Plus, you’ll have a whole lot of fun with your family digging through the bins and browsing the racks, looking for the perfect materials. It’s almost like you’re on a search for buried treasure!

Wondering what kinds of costumes you could possibly find at a thrift store? Here’s a big list of ideas to get you started!

8. Scary Movie Marathon

Planning to stay in on Halloween? Or maybe you’re getting in the spirit before the big night comes. Regardless, having a scary movie marathon with your family can be frightful fun!

Get some fall delights like apple cider and pumpkin donuts to enjoy while watching witchy classics like Hocus Pocus or Ghostbusters.

9. Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving is perhaps the quintessential fall activity. Start the adventure by taking the whole family to the supermarket to pick out their favorite pumpkin. You can pick up cheap carving kits almost anywhere this time of year. If you don’t want to buy anything, kitchen knives, pocket knives, and any other sharp tools work for carving as well.

If you have small children, you might paint the pumpkins instead of carving them. Regardless, it’s an inexpensive activity with a bonus — the finished products serve as decoration for Halloween!

Pro tip: don’t throw away the seeds, save them to make roasted pumpkin seeds. They make a delicious snack to go with your movie marathon.

10. Make a Gratitude List

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, it doesn’t hurt to sit down and think about the things you’re thankful for. This activity doesn’t cost a dime but the riches you receive from it are priceless.

Make it a fun time with your family. Take lunch to the park for one last picnic and make your lists there. Talk about the good things that have happened this year and the hopes you have for the next one.

No matter how much life knocks you down, there is always a reason to smile. Sometimes you just have to actively look for it.

8 Easy Fall Recipes, That You’ll Love!

As the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to change, it’s clear fall is just around the corner. With the changing season comes the savory and sweet flavors introducing the holiday season. From delicious pumpkin treats to savory warm stews, it’s time to welcome all the goodness back into your life!

These top 8 easy fall recipes are great to make with kids or for a quick comfort food fix. When you need something to warm you up on cold nights this season, these recipes get the job done right. Toasty cookies, slow cooker favorites, and of course, pumpkin. There is so much to love about these tasty fall recipes!

Enjoy making treasured memories with the family over these incredible recipes this fall. You won’t regret it! Each one is special in its own way and made to fill your home with sights, smells, and tastes of fall. Quick, easy, and delicious – here are the top 8 easy fall recipes for you to try this season!

1.   Cheese Chicken Soup

Cheesy chickeny veggie soup is the perfect easy warm-up that your family will love. Your little ones won’t even flinch at all the healthy veggies! All the best flavors combined to make this fall recipe a winner. Simple wholesome ingredients and a whole lot of yum!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 3-1/2 cups water
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced potatoes, drained
  • 1 lb. Velveeta, cubed
  • Minced chives, optional

2.   Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

Infuse your breakfast (or dinner!) with the sweet pumpkiny flavors of fall. These easy pumpkin pancakes are a hit with kids and grownups alike. Perfect for a weekend breakfast before hitting the trails or for a brunch date with your friends. Every bite is bursting with fall flavors that everyone will adore!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

3.   Sausage Florentine Shepherd’s Pie

Nothing says fall like shepherd’s pie. This classic recipe with a twist is simple and super tasty too! Savory sausage and vegetables covered in creamy garlic mashed potatoes and baked to perfection. The best parts of shepherd’s pie are elevated with the delightful new ingredients in this effortless recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 3 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
  • 1 package (24 ounces) refrigerated garlic mashed potatoes

4.   Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Quick and foolproof, this chocolate chip pumpkin bread is great for breakfast, an after-school snack, or a late-night treat. Pumpkin, allspice, and smooth chocolate take this pumpkin bread to the next level. You can’t go wrong with carbs! Make this recipe as a family for wonderful memories and a tasty treat you can enjoy all week long.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

5.   3 Ingredient Vegan Caramel

Caramel is a staple of the fall season. Whether it’s covering a sweet red apple or drizzled over an iced coffee, the rich sugary profile of caramel has the holiday season written all over. This vegan caramel dip is excellent for those with dairy allergies and it’s as easy as 1-2-3, literally! Just 3 ingredients and you’ll have a caramel you want to smother everything with.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • optional: pinch of salt

6.   Ultimate Slow Cooker Pot Roast

There is nothing more comforting than a slow-cooked pot roast. Tender juicy meat, potatoes, carrots, and more, stewed all day long for deeply aromatic flavors. Serve with a hearty loaf of bread and you’ve got yourself a hug in a bowl! Just put everything in and go! Simple and heavenly.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 pound chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound carrots peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • minced parsley optional, to garnish

7.   Famous No Coffee Pumpkin Latte

Winding down for the evening doesn’t have to mean you can’t have a latte. This recipe is a no coffee pumpkin latte that even the kiddos can enjoy! Snuggle up for a movie night with a delectable cinnamony pumpkiny drink the whole family will love. Easy to make and goes great with a warm slice of pumpkin bread!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1-quart milk
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

8.   Easy Apple Crisp

Apples and fall are a notorious coupling. You can’t go without trying this easy apple crisp! Sweet apples paired with cinnamon, sugar, and crunchy crispy topping. This is a recipe that will bring the whole family together. So yummy and simple, you’ll be making this recipe more than once this season!

For the Apple Filling:

  • 8 Granny Smith apples sliced (8 cups, sliced)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1¼ teaspoon apple pie spice

For the Crumble Topping:

  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon apple pie spice
  • ¼ cup quick oats
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds or chopped pecans optional