Lori Lori is a work-at-home mom of three living in Noblesville, Indiana.

Back-to-school time can be expensive, especially with the fun-but-costly Christmas season piggybacking that hectic time of the year. If you are hoping to cut some expenses and stick to a budget, you are in the right place. Check out these 8 original ways to save cash this fall:

Save Cash This Fall by:

Cooking meals (and serve snacks) that take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables.

During the fall, squash and apples are usually plentiful, which means making roasted vegetables and pies is more affordable. Pick your own at a local farm or stock up at the grocery store and you will save cash. Serve apples as snacks to the kids and send them in their lunch boxes. Serve with peanut butter for a treat packed with protein.

Loading up during fall sales.

Fall months tend to boast good deals, even though Black Friday sales steal the spotlight. Some often-overlooked prime shopping days include Halloween and Small Business Saturday (the day after Black Friday), when you can find steep discounts at participating stores.

Preparing for the holidays.

Holiday shopping can wreak havoc on the budget whether you’re from a dual-working-parent family or getting by on one income. Plan your shopping list a couple months in advance to stay within your budget. Consider writing down the names of everyone you plan to buy presents for, write gift ideas for each person, and then make your purchases. This organization can help you stick to a budget.

Protecting your cash.

Increased shopping around the holiday season means scammers aren’t messing around, so be on high alert. Act skeptically if you receive emails from your bank, a retailer, or anyone asking for personal information from you. Don’t give out information over the phone. Ask for a return phone number and call the person back to confirm he or she is who they claim to be. Scam artists often pose as a legitimate business to steal your personal info.

Enjoying football season without dropping a lot of money.

The start of football season can mean spending some money; football can be an expensive hobby. Instead of buying costly jerseys and throwing tailgating parties, buy team apparel during the off-season and host a potluck party. You’ll save money on attire and make hosting a party much more affordable (and less stressful for the host)! Plus, guests will love the array of snacks to eat.

Getting your home ready for cooler temperatures.

Making necessary roof repairs, checking your insulation, and cleaning or changing your furnace filter are part of a frugal plan to prepare your home for the colder months. Have some drafty windows? Insulate them for the winter. Tackle these tasks yourself to save some money.

Reviewing your monthly spending.

Our growing pile of items to
sell in the upcoming
consignment sale.

Our budgets often experience a total shock around the holidays. Prepare for the expensive season by reviewing or auditing your normal spending. Find places to cut back if you can. Eat fewer meals in restaurants, ditch seeing movies in the theatre and instead rent them at the library or at Red Box, or cut some cable channels to lower your monthly bill. You may not know how to make a budget, but it’s a good way to get in control of your finances.

Participating in a consignment sale.

This year, I am consigning a lot of my children’s items. I have friends who have had great luck with consigning compared to selling at garage sales or selling items via Facebook sites. Take some time to go through your children’s closets, bins of outgrown clothes, toys, and other baby or toddler items you no longer use. Sell the items for cash. While you are selling, check out the items for sale and save some money on gently used clothes and toys, too.

With fall just around the corner and the costs of the holidays quickly following, it’s always a good idea to save cash this fall. I hope these tips gave you some new ideas to save cash this fall.

How will you save cash this fall? Do you have a strategy to prepare for the expensive holiday season?

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Category: Saving Money

Tags: Back to school