If September marks the end of summer fun and the beginning of the back-to-school and holiday rush, October throws us right into the thick of those activities. Many people are preparing for halloween parties, fall trips, excursions to see family or even thinking as far ahead as the December holiday season.
For many, October is a heavy work month both in and out of the office. The influx of cold weather means you can feel better about spending long hours indoors, while also getting that last little bit of yard work done before the lower temperatures really start to take hold.
Spending habits during this time will change, and we’ll continue the shift from “summer fun” to “winter business.” It impacts our bottom-line much differently, thereby providing us unique opportunities to save money.
Let’s look at a few ways to take advantage of October and save a little extra money in some areas that are more economical during that month.
1. Work Longer Hours
Daylight is shorter, temperatures are colder and you’ll turn your clocks back one hour in October, giving you a few days of feeling extra rested. For some additional spending money, work a few additional hours since it’s a better month to be indoors.
2. Go Apple or Pumpkin Picking for a Day Out
If you’re lucky enough to live close to an orchard or a pumpkin patch, they’re a cheap way to put in a Saturday afternoon with family or friends. Apples can be sliced and canned, made into apple sauce or pie filling. Since it’s late in the year, the market price of both pumpkins and apples will be fairly good.
3. Score Great Deals on Houseplants
If you like having indoor plants or if you have the means to grow things inside your house, you can get flowers, seedlings and other plants at steep discounts. Since October is usually the last month that garden centers can stay open before having to close for the winter, sales this time of year will be at their peak value.
4. Plan Ahead on Heating Oil
The price of heating oil will typically go up in the winter. So if you have a tank that needs filled, get it done now before the higher prices and colder temperatures set in.
5. Strike While the Iron is Hot on Winter Clothing
The new winter clothing lines will come in closer to July and August for the back-to-school rush. But once that rush has settled, winter clothes will come down in price and can even go on sale in October.
6. Load Up on Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
Local farmers markets and local growers have a number of fruits and veggies that are in season through October, including corn, bell peppers and a variety of berries. Stock up on these and freeze or can them.
This can save you money not only in October, but well into the winter months ahead as it’ll cut down on your grocery bill from time to time.
7. Consider Replacing Your Car’s Tires
Having a car with worn tire tread can end up costing you a lot of money if you have an accident in bad winter weather. After a long summer of travel, October is the time to get a new set of tires before the cold weather can start to impact traveling conditions.
8. Prepare Comfort Food and Freeze It
Warm chili and soup make great fall meals and ingredients are fairly cheap. Prepare it in bulk and freeze some for the rest of the month.
9. DIY Your Halloween Costume
Halloween costumes will sometimes be on sale during October, but you’re more likely to find good sale prices after the end of the month. To save money, creeate your own Halloween costumes from scratch. It can often be done with items that are either around your house or cheap to buy.
10. DIY Your Fall Décor, Too
Like Halloween costumes, fall-themed decorations will usually hold at full price until after the season is over. If you didn’t stock up after the season last year, there are a lot of DIY projects that can be done at little or no cost.
Saving Before the Holidays
October is your last month to save before the holiday season sets in. Look for transitional and seasonal sales as retailers continue to move out their last bit of summer inventory while moving in more winter items. Focus on seasonal food items, both fresh and store-bought in addition to DIY projects for seasonal products that might not be on sale. If you’re shrewd, you can save a lot of money that can then be put towards holiday-related expenses.
How do you like to save money in October? Let me know in the comments section below.