7 “Orange” Ways to Have Frugal Fun This Fall

How to Brighten Your Autumn with Budget-Friendly, Memory-Making Fun

Fall is here, and with it, many shades of orange.  It splashes across the evening sky, the trees, the fields and the many yards that are decorated for harvest time and Halloween.  So I decided to put together a bunch of fun and frugal fall ideas that include the color orange.


I got the idea from my daughter’s picture book called Autumn Orange by Christianne C. Jones.  She loves finding all the orange things throughout the book that are fall related (i.e. leaves, trees, pumpkins), so I thought I’d have some fun and make my own list – with a frugal twist.

I’ve drawn money-saving inspiration from stranger sources than children’s books, believe me.


Elizabeth with book up

My daughter playing peek-a-boo.

Elizabeth with book down


In honor of the season of harvest and this enjoyable little book, here are seven “orange” ways to have more frugal fun this fall.


Nibble on a healthy, pumpkin-y snack.


Photo Credit:  BrenDid (used with owner’s consent)


Let’s kick off the orange festivities with these AWESOME tangerine “pumpkin” treats I discovered over at BrenDid.com.  They’re super easy to make, using simply tangerines and celery, fun for kids, healthy to eat, majorly frugal and majorly festive.  It’s a win-win-win-win……..win (I had to go through and count that one more time).

You can see more of Bren’s healthy Halloween treats here.


Go for an autumn drive.

Autumn Road

Photo Credit: SantiMB.Photos via Compfight cc


Have you been outside lately?  I visited a friend who lives on a few acres deep in the country.  Talk about a beautiful drive.  The canopy roads with trees growing closely on both sides are like driving through a color wheel.  It’s so fun to hear our two-year-old call out the different colors of the trees.  Her excitement is contagious.

Jump in the car and take your family on a tour of the countryside.  The only investment is your time and the gas in the car (unless ice cream cones or hot chocolate somehow find their way into the car.  I’ve heard that’s been known to happen on spontaneous outings such as these.).


Watch the sunset.

orange sunset

Photo Credit: Kasper Bertelsen


Is it just me, or is there something extra special about autumn sunsets?  It’s like nature’s showing off.  If you haven’t watched one yet this season, then it’s time to bundle up with your sweetheart or your family, drive to a place with a view, and enjoy the orange sun spread its last rays on the autumn tapestry.


Head to a fall festival or Trunk or Treat.

Elizabet at Trunk or Treat 2013


Fall festivals are in full swing in communities, churches, schools and many other locations.  Some of my fondest childhood memories come from hay rides, caramel apples, face paint and hot apple cider at a festival.

If you’re looking for a fun and safe alternative to trick-or-treating with your little ones, look into local Trunk-or-Treat events.  Our church is one of many in our area that offers this event to the public, bringing in thousands of cleverly clad visitors who collect candy from the few dozen decorated vehicle trunks in our parking lot.

Events like these are very inexpensive ways to make loads of memories together.


Rake up those leaves.

orange leaf pile

Photo Credit: NoIdentity via Compfight cc

I don’t think anyone would consider raking leaves a way to have frugal fun.  Maybe if you’re getting paid.  But I found a couple stellar ideas for those leaf piles from US News Money that are majorly frugal and sound majorly fun.

  • Create a scarecrow.  Stuff leaves into an old, flannel shirt and pants.  Add sticks for limbs, a hat, scarf and straw for extra padding (if available).
  • Create a jack-o-lantern family.  Head to your local hardware store and find the leaf gathering bags.  Some of them come with designs on the front, like jack-o-lantern faces.  Stuff these bags with leaves and make a jack-o-lantern family in the lawn.
  • Create a leaf jumping photo shoot.  You don’t need me to explain how to have fun jumping into leaves.  What if you invite a friend over to snap some pictures of your family buried in the piles.  Cute and frugal family shoot, coming right up.


Bring on the campfire, s’mores and stories. 


orange campfire

Photo Credit: EricDudek via Compfight cc
Campfires bring people together.  There is something about gathering around a fire that makes me want to put down my phone and just enjoy time with friends as we watch the orange fire blaze.  As an added bonus, create a s’mores tasting station with different types of chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows.  Aaaaand now my mouth’s watering.


Create an indoor hay maze.

indoor maze - full shot - FINAL


I saved the best one for last.  Hay is orange, isn’t it?  Well, a few nights ago, my kids were done with dinner and bouncing off the walls. The nights are turning chilly here in the Midwest, but I knew the kids needed to burn some energy.  On a whim (which is a good way to describe my parenting most days), I took as many couch cushions, pillows, blankets and chairs as I could find and built a “hay maze” for them.  It was rough, but the kids still loved it.

I placed little gourds and pumpkins throughout the maze for each child to collect in a bag.


indoor maze - Elizabeth - FINAL


Then, my daughter turned the maze into a race track – because everything to a two-year-old is a race track.  (Don’t miss her one-year-old brother watching from the sidelines in the video.)



[Tweet ““I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – Anne of Green Gables”]

Name ONE fall activity you love doing each year in the comments below (it doesn’t have to be orange).

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2 thoughts on “7 “Orange” Ways to Have Frugal Fun This Fall

  1. Super cute pic of your daughter at the top. 🙂 LOVE the idea of the indoor maze. We’ll have to do something like that here on the land.