Fall is a wonderful time of year – crisp cool days, blue skies, brilliant colored leaves. It brings relief from summer heat, football, and the start of school. It also brings opportunities for you to save.
Here are six things we do in the fall that help us save money by using what we have, being energy efficient or maintaining our stuff so it lasts longer.
Make your own free mulch.
Not only does mulch save money on watering, but it comes for the price of labor for us. We have lots of trees (think 6 acres of woods). Each fall as they fall, we scoop them and grind them using the lawn tractor. It has a huge trailer on the back that holds many bushels of leaves (you can also save money if you look for used tractors or other equipment). We pile these up in various places around our acres and use them as needed for mulch.
Hang onto plants for winter greenery.
Save your plants over the winter and avoid spending more money in spring.
Plants in the house not only provide decoration but are also healthy. Although we no longer have them, for years we displayed our spider plants (sometimes called airplane plants as well) outside in hanging baskets in the summer, then pulled them inside to keep them over the winter. Come spring, we just moved them back outside. The Mother Nature Network site claims that the:
“spider plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries.”
Now we have 3 huge ferns that we love to have on the porch in temperate weather. Instead of buying new ones each spring, I pull these into the garage (it is heated and has windows).
Use free plants to landscape.
When your daffodils bloom next spring, mark their location. After the leaves dye down, dig up the bulbs and re-plant in the fall. Daffodil bulbs multiply under ground each year – free bulbs for you!
We have about 10,000 daffodils planted. Now it is time to reap the rewards!
You can also divide most perennials, including plants such as hosta, phlox, hen and chicks, lavender and many more.
Check the time.
If you, like us, have a thermostat that allows you to automatically schedule economy and comfort settings to avoid heating or cooling when you are away, make sure to check the time on it to make sure it matches your schedule and that the clock is actually set correctly.
Operate at full efficiency.
Pull out your furnace filter and either replace or clean it before winter sets in. Do this in spring as well. Your HVAC operates more efficiently with a clean filter and it only takes a few minutes to do.
Check your home for potential heat leaks and find a way to cover the leaky area, either for the winter or permanently. If you don’t have double or triple pane windows, consider storm windows or lining them with plastic to better hold the heat.
Get ready for winter.
Patio furniture can last longer if you take care to prep it for winter weather. Remove cushions and store in plastic or a container. Examine metal furniture for rust and sand/paint with a rust restorer type spray paint to keep it in pristine condition. If you have concrete benches, clean them and spread some water seal on them. This prevents pitting and cracking and keeps them smooth and new looking longer.
Clean your gutters as the leaves fall to prevent clogging, backup of water into your siding as well as sagging of the gutter itself. We watched our neighbors gutters fall off the roof because they were never cleaned out.
Spend a little love on your car finish by waxing it to protect it from the coming winter road treatments, including salts. Although the new finishes are great, it gives me peace of mind to add a coat of wax each fall.
Please share your fall savings tips in the comments.