Autumn on a Budget: 11 Ways to Save Money with Fall Seasonal Eating

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Learn how to save money this season by eating fall seasonal produce, specifically focusing on the following fall fruits and vegetables. In this post, we’ll help you with fall cooking, preserving, and gardening tips and tricks so you can continue to seasonally. As the leaves change and temperatures drop, there’s no better time to embrace the art of seasonal eating than in the fall!

fall fruits and vegetables

If you want to learn how to savor the rich tastes of the fall without breaking the bank, we’re here to help by sharing a fall produce guide, tips and tricks for finding fall seasonal produce for a steal, and what to do with it once you get it home.

Autumn on a Budget: 11 Ways to Save Money with Fall Seasonal Eating

Eating seasonally is a great way to be more self-sufficient. During fall, fresh produce at its peak in terms of flavor and nutrition is readily available – in your garden, from CSAs, or from friends or farmer’s markets! Taking advantage of the autumn’s bounty will help you save money too.

Learn which fruits and vegetables are in season in fall, maximize your fall garden with helpful tips, get seasonal eating tips on a budget, and find lots of delicious recipes full of fall produce vegetables! Here are eleven tips for saving money while eating in season during the fall.

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Learn Which Types of Produce are in Season in Fall

If you’re wondering what the autumn months are as they pertain to seasonal eating, they typically include September, October, and November in the Northern Hemisphere.

This period is characterized by the transition from the warmer summer months to the cooler winter months. During the autumn season, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are at their peak of freshness and flavor, making it an ideal time to embrace fall seasonal eating.

It should come as no surprise that apples and pumpkins are season during the fall. However, there are a lot more fall fruits and vegetables for you to focus on as well. Here’s a list of fall seasonal produce we are very excited to eat each fall.

  • Fall fruits– apples, pears, cranberries, figs, and grapes
  • Fall vegetables– broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chard, eggplant, kohlrabi, peppers, squash, pumpkins, and cabbage. Fall is also a great time to eat another crop of cool weather veggies like arugula, lettuce and peas.
  • Fall root vegetables– carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, late season potatoes, and beets
  • Fall herbs– rosemary, thyme, lavender, mint, and sage
  • Fall mushrooms– Fall is a prime time for various mushroom varieties, including chanterelles, shiitakes, and porcini. They can be used in soups, risottos, and sautés.
  • Game Meat– Not technically in the fall fruits or vegetable category, but in some regions, game meat like venison and duck becomes more readily available during the fall months. These meats offer a unique and flavorful option for seasonal dishes.
fall produce

Buy Fall Fruits and Vegetables and Preserve

Buying fall fruits and vegetables in bulk and preserving them is a smart strategy for getting the most out of the autumn season’s bounty while staying within your budget. Consider purchasing extra quantities of your favorites, like apples, pears, or tomatoes – from friends and family, from produce auctions, or by growing these fall fruits and vegetables in your own garden.

Then, explore food preservation methods like canning, freezing, or drying. Canning allows you to capture the essence of the season in homemade jams, sauces, and pickles.

Freezing locks in the flavors of blanched vegetables and fruits, providing you with nutritious ingredients for future recipes.

Drying transforms surplus herbs and fruits into flavorful additions for your fall and winter dishes.

By taking the time to preserve fall’s treasures, you not only reduce food waste but also ensure a supply of quality ingredients all year, helping you to enjoy fall whenever you please.

apple picking during fall

Support Local Farmers’ Markets, Apple Orchards, and other Agribusinesses

Supporting local farmers’ markets, apple orchards, and other agribusinesses during the fall is a win-win for you, your community, and your budget.

Local sources often offer fresh, in-season produce for good prices while promoting sustainable and eco-friendly practices. Visiting farmers’ markets allows you to connect directly with local growers and artisans, and helps you find the freshest and highest-quality ingredients for your fall recipes.

Exploring apple orchards can be a fun fall family tradition, where you can pick your own apples and enjoy the satisfaction of supporting local agriculture. By choosing to shop locally, you not only access affordable seasonal produce but also contribute to the resilience of your community’s food system, fostering a healthier, more sustainable way of living.

Buy Sale Items In Bulk and Store

A great way to save money through seasonal eating is to take advantage of bulk purchasing options for staples Buying in bulk when prices are low is a great way to save money in the long run. Grocery items that often go on sale in the fall include:

  • Fall themed items like canned pumpkin
  • Fall themed spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, pumpkin spice)
  • Thanksgiving Seasonings (sage, thyme, rosemary. bay leaf, garlic, onion)
  • Vanilla Bean Pods
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Extracts (vanilla, almond, peppermint, lemon, coconut)
  • Baking essentials
  • Grains & legumes
  • Apple related products
swap fall veggies

Swap and Share Surplus Garden Produce

Organizing food swaps with friends or neighbors is a fantastic way to share fall seasonal produce. When everyone brings their excess fall fruits and vegetables or homemade goods to the table, it also helps reduces food waste.

You may trade your surplus tomatoes for a friend’s homemade jams or swap your fresh herbs for a neighbor’s home baked sourdough bread. These fall seasonal produce swaps also help cut down on grocery costs, making fall seasonal eating even more budget-friendly!

Reduce Food Waste as Much as Possible

Reducing food waste is an important aspect of responsible seasonal eating. It’s not just about enjoying the bounty of fall produce – it’s also about minimizing our impact on the environment and making the most of every ingredient.

When cooking with seasonal produce, try to use every part. Even the peels, stems, and leaves can be used to create flavorful and nutrient-rich dishes. Instead of tossing those vegetable scraps, use them into homemade stocks and broths. Simmering these scraps with water, herbs, and seasonings not only extracts their full flavor but also results in a base for soups and sauces that adds depth to your fall meals.

This small step can significantly reduce food waste and help you make the most of what the season has to offer while being kinder to the planet.

Cook in Batches -Double or Quadruple Recipes

Cooking in batches during the fall is a great strategy for both budget-conscious and time-strapped families. Cooking in batch is a great way to take advance of the seasonal abundance of ingredients for fall dishes.

We’re big advocates of doubling or quadrupling meals and freezing extra portions to eat later. Not onoy can you enjoy bulk ingredient prices, but having a home-cooked meal at the ready reduces your temptation to eat out or order takeout on busy days.

Batch cooking ensures that you have homemade, wholesome options readily available throughout the season, all while keeping your budget low!

Seasonal Recipes for Fall

To enjoy all the delicious foods fall has to offer, try out some of these seasonal recipes which feature fall fruits and vegetables.

chocolate cranberry granola

Make Seasonal Homemade Snacks with Your Family

Making homemade snacks using seasonal ingredients is a fun way to savor the flavors of fall! Delicious fall themed snacks include:

These homemade snacks not only make the most of in-season produce but also offer healthier options compared to their store-bought counterparts, which means you can enjoy them guilt-free throughout the autumn season.

Try Different Affordable Proteins

Beans, lentils, and tofu are often affordable protein sources perfect for fall seasonal eating! These plant-based proteins are not only affordable, but they supply different health benefits than always eating meat.

Beans and lentils, whether canned or dried, are versatile ingredients that can be featured in hearty soups, stews, and chili. Tofu has a great ability to absorb the flavors of any dish and it fits really well with fall-inspired sauces and marinades.

fall vegetables from the garden (1)

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Getting the Most Out of Your Fall Garden

Getting the most out of your fall garden can be both delicious and money saving. Consider planting cold-hardy varieties like kale, Swiss chard, and Brussels sprouts to enjoy fresh, homegrown produce well into autumn.

Additionally, cover crops like winter rye can protect and enrich your garden’s soil during the colder months. Container gardening is another option for those with limited space, as it allows you to grow herbs and vegetables right on your patio or balcony.

By maximizing the potential of your fall garden, you not only reduce your grocery bills but also savor the pleasure of homegrown, seasonal produce at its peak, right from your own backyard. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your fall garden:

  • Harvest your crops regularly to encourage new growth.
  • Make use of fall leaves by using them as a mulch or composting them.
  • During spring planting, stagger your crops so that you have a continuous harvest throughout fall.
  • Start a fall garden by planting cool weather crops like lettuce, spinach, and carrots.
  • Fall is the perfect time to start planning for next year’s garden. Use this time to research new plants, start seedlings indoors, and build raised beds or other garden structures.
  • Preserve your fall harvest by canning, pickling, or freezing your fruits and vegetables.

Commonly Asked Questions About Fall Seasonal Eating

Eating seasonally is a great way to improve your health, save money, and live more sustainably. In this guide, we’ve explored some of the best seasonal fruits and vegetables that you can enjoy during fall. Be sure to pay attention to what’s in season and plan your meals around those ingredients.

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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