When talking about a frugal/single sized retirement, each season has it's positive and negatives-in terms of costs and spending. Fall is no different. As I slowly adjust to the fall I am, like in all seasons, finding some areas where the costs have jumped and many more where costs remain or have become, smaller.
Certainly my groceries become less expensive overall. Summer is mainly meat on the grill and fresh produce. For the most part, grilling meat involves steaks, shops, and boneless breasts. I do less cooking in the house and more cooking outside and using convenience items. As fall approaches, I bring out my slow cookers, all three (yes, you heard that right) soups, stews and the like. Soup especially is extremely forgiving-pasta instead of rice, whatever vegetables are on hand, wine here and there. And since I don't like to put on the oven in the summer, I'm baking instead of buying breads, popovers, waffles, cookies and cakes (pumpkin in this case). I am however, still buying strawberries in October-old habits die hard when you are used to fresh produce.
Just like in other seasons, free entertainment, socialization and day tripping opportunities abound. There seem to be multiple fall festivals every week (October fest, Wine fests, and Apple Fests multiply). Add that to free botanical gardens fall days, pumpkin farm visits and more different leaf drives than I can name. And lets not forget all the holiday events and family celebrations that arise at this time of year. Bored? I doubt it. Whereas I was outside all summer, now that the darkness comes early, I have time to sit and catch up on my reading and watch a bit of TV-the nesting instinct has arrived!
On the other hand, I expect sticker shock when it comes to my utility bill. I need a temperature of at least 73 during the day, and 70. Although, considering my air conditining bill s down south, I may still be ahead of the game (as some of my fellow bloggers can attest). Other fall related costs? Well, there are those clothes to make myself Colorado worthy in terms of warmth and comfort-I still have only those two long sleeved tops, after all.
Meanwhile, tis the season to can and preserve goodies for friends and myself, knit, sew up a storm, bake lots of decorated cookies. It is after all the season for making and selling and I have a boatload of house centerpieces and quilted gifts to finish. On the errand business end, we'll become the Christmas elf for the holidays and my son is looking for leaves to rake and yards to clean. My sister moves into the house in the next to weeks and while much of the outside needs to wait, turning this brick fireplace into a 'fire pit" and fixing the upper level of the yard up are at the top of the list. I am used to using a patio all year long, so covering the patio and making it comfortable is at the top of my list!
Tonight I made broccoli cheese soup-its something we love but I have never tried before. All in all it was a satisfying meal, but I may need to ask for one of those immersion blenders instead of pouring into my regular blender. Before we have it next it needs some smoothing and perhaps some ham added. Add the soup to the pumpkin cake, decorated cookies, fruit salad and two hours in a heated pool today and I've been a busy bee-a busy fall bee.
Finally, I have a plea. If anyone wants to share canning on a smooth top stove I'm happy to hear it. So help me (raising hand ala Vivien Leigh) by next summer I'll have a gas stove if it breaks me. Meanwhile................
Oh, and the eggnog is there just because it's eggnog. And it's fall. And who said eggnog was only for Christmas anyway???