Seasons of savings: How to remain grateful when times are tough this fall

2023-10-27  3 minute read

Marianne Steele-MacSween

Lifestyle Debt

With the warm weather fading and the days getting shorter, we make way for a season of reflection, sharing, and giving thanks.

Times have been difficult for many people lately. Look to the changing seasons as a reminder that things are rarely permanent. As you look forward to a brighter future, take this time to embrace supportive friends and family, enjoy the vibrant colours and crisp fall air, and reflect on the year you’ve had so far.

There are many ways to enjoy autumn that won’t break the bank. Here, we offer a few money-saving tips to help you rest, reset, and plan for a busy winter ahead. We also offer some words of gratitude and a reminder that the greatest joy is often found in the simplest things.

Close up of man holding pink piggybank while woman putting coin in it


A healthy relationship with money comes down to one simple question. What’s coming in, and what’s going out?

Take a few moments every payday to sit down and carefully decide where your money is going. Remember to put away a little bit into your savings or an emergency fund, even if it’s just five dollars.

This is also a good opportunity to find hidden savings. Can you reduce your food budget by eating at home more often? How many subscription services are you using every month? Are you making sure to turn the lights off when you leave a room?

Words of gratitude: I am lucky to have enough money stored away for an emergency. I am taking care of my future.

Homemade Halloween

If you have kids, Halloween is a great time to get creative with their costumes. The internet is always an excellent resource to come up with imaginative ideas.

You likely have plenty of household items to make a funny or clever costume. If you have some sewing skills, you can make something new from something old, like a bag of clothing you’ve wanted to donate.

Words of gratitude: My family loves when I can make something out of nothing, and my kids won’t be missing out.

Apple picking

Probably the gold standard of all autumn activities, apple picking is always popular for a few reasons — cheaper apples, the fun of picking your own, and you get to climb trees. If you’ve never stood in an orchard and breathed in the smell of fresh apples, this is your sign to go.

Words of gratitude: I enjoy making memories with my friends and family in the beautiful outdoors.

Preserving and canning

Autumn is also harvest season, the perfect opportunity to start storing food for the winter and saving on grocery expenses.

You can make jams and jellies. You can pickle beets, onions, and cucumbers. You can jar string beans, carrots, or corn and prepare items like tomato sauce, chilli, or stock. The possibilities are endless… and endlessly delicious.

Words of gratitude: I am grateful for the ability to make sure my family and I have food any time of year so that we never go without.

Bake at home

Baking has long been touted as one of the most budget-friendly ways to enjoy food. Butter can be expensive these days, but you can alter your recipes to use something more cost-effective such as margarine, shortening, or oil.

Do you have a pumpkin or squash from the garden? Nothing says autumn treat like a pumpkin muffin, loaf, or pie.

Words of gratitude: It makes me so happy to see my family come home and get excited about my freshly baked cookies.

Meal plan

Strategically meal planning for the week is a great way to manage your expenses and reduce the likelihood of overspending. Dining out frequently or purchasing an array of ingredients from the store for different meals can strain your budget.

Eating the same meal for a few days in a row may sound boring, but there are plenty of fun ways to get creative with it. Consider opting for versatile ingredients that you can use for multiple recipes, ensuring an exciting rotation of meals with less waste.

Words of gratitude: I am grateful that I know how to make smart buying decisions to avoid food waste.

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