Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? We had gorgeous weather in South Louisiana this weekend, which means I did my very best to take advantage of it. I spent Saturday morning at Starbucks where I grabbed a table outside to blog and enjoyed my first seasonal drink of the year. That afternoon I joined friends at Louisiana State University to tailgate and cheer on my tigers in Death Valley (#GeauxTigers). On Sunday I attended mass, finished a few photographs I needed to get done, and grabbed a book to lose myself into.
Fun. Relaxing. Enjoyable. Exactly how I like to spend my weekends. This weekend had me thinking of different ways to spend time with family and friends during the fall. During this time of year, I’m always looking for new ways to save a few dollars because I know I will need some extra cash around the holidays. So, I put together a post dedicated to educating individuals about better money management and coming up with a few budget friendly activities to partake in during the season. Here are a few great tips on how to spend your time (and money) with family and friends during the fall!
- Dine In. Cooking is one of my favorite ways to relax. I know it sounds crazy, but it is true because I find ways to have fun in the kitchen. Find a free night with your family and pick your favorite classic recipe to try. Or even better search for a new recipe to inspire your taste buds. I often browse recipes from Food Network’s chef Melissa d’Arabian for budget friendly meals. Also, one-pot meals are great for this season as well. I recently cooked this Paleo Crockpot Chili that we loved. Throw some music on, get the family involved with meal prep, and enjoy the time in the kitchen.
- Browse the Stands. Squash. Sweet Potatoes. Apples. This time of year brings some great fresh fruits and vegetables. Buying seasonal allows you to save a few extra cents. One of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday morning is to walk through the local Farmer’s Market (in Baton Rouge we have the Red Stick Farmers Market). I get to choose from fresh, seasonal produce as well as support the regional establishments. Take the family and see what foods they may enjoy that week.
- Decorate the Orange. A fun way to entertain the children during this season is to decorate pumpkins. Grab your favorite pumpkin (small or large) and get creative. You could carve your favorite Halloween character or paint you favorite scene or decorate it any way you see fit. Have a family pumpkin decorating contest or even a neighborhood decorating contest to get everyone involved to see the creative skills of fellow family members and friends.
- Cheer Them On. One of the highlights of fall is football season. You don’t have to have tickets to the game to have fun. Spend time tailgating with family and friends. Being a graduate from Louisiana State University, you know I’m going to support my tigers on Saturday Nights in Death Valley. I enjoy visiting Mike the Tiger, watching the LSU Band walk down, and just browsing tailgates while enjoying that Louisiana hospitality. What do you do on weekends where your favorite team plays away? Invite everyone over to watch the game and make it a potluck tailgate. Have everyone bring a dish to save a little time on cooking and money.
- Give Your Time. Volunteering can be fun and rewarding for yourself and your family as it teaches you about responsibility and the feeling of sacrifice. This time of year can be busy for so many. Take a few minutes from your week to help your neighbors and local community. Get the family involved to create a few gift baskets to donate to the local elderly facilities. Help clean an elderly neighbor’s yard to keep your neighborhood looking nice. Cook a meal to deliver to a neighbor who maybe homebound and needs a little help. Keep it simple. Keep it small. Any act of kindness makes a difference.
- Challenge Yourself. Since I bought my FitBit in February, I’m always searching for ways to get my 10,000 steps each day. With the arrival of fall comes cooler weather and the enjoyment of being outside. Search your area for local races like 5ks and challenge yourself to get your 10,000 steps for the day. Invite family and friends to put together a team to get everyone involved. Not ready for a race or want to save a few extra dollars? Get your steps in by taking a walk around your neighborhood or any local walking trails with your family. Find a great walking route and make it a habit to walk the route each week. Snap a photograph the first time you walk the route. Wait a few weeks and take another photograph to notice how much changes throughout the season. It will give you a greater appreciation for the fall.
- Be Active. Before that colder weather hits, take this time to get the best use from your active gear before everything has to be picked up for the winter. Grab your friends and those bikes that have been sitting in the garage to take a leisurely ride around the area. Want a family activity? Break into teams and play a family-friendly football game. Have a surprise for the winning team while the losing team has to do dishes for the night.
- Spend Time With the Locals. Want to take a long weekend with the family or get your friends together for a weekend road trip? Be a tourist in your state. Fall Festivals. Outdoor Events. Camp Grounds. Beautiful Scenery. South Louisiana always has something going on, which is why I love this area so much. Search your state to find local areas and fall festivities that are going on around you. You will get to spend time with the ones you love and create a few fun memories in between.
- Camp Out. Can’t get away for the weekend, but still want to entertain the family while saving a few bucks? Turn your backyard into a campground to entertain the kids for the night. Sleep under the stars and make s’mores alongside a small fire and enjoy all of the outside beauty of this season.
- Rake and Play. When I was learning how to photograph, one of the pictures I wanted to catch were leaves falling from the trees. With the weather in south Louisiana, one day the trees could be full and the next the leaves completely gone. So, I had to get creative to catch this shot. My idea – get your family together and rake leaves into pile. Then have the kids and pets play that afternoon while throwing the leaves all around. You will laugh and catch a great photograph as well.
I would love to know your favorite fall activities! How do you enjoy spending time with family and friends during this season?
Enjoy your week everyone! XOXO – Ashley