Now that the weather has turned colder it can be a struggle to get motivated to get on with things and keep yourself amused, I find. When it’s sunny, it is so easy to take a stroll or get out in the garden. When you are on a tight budget and in the midst of a pandemic that limits your options it can be hard to find frugal things to do.
The temptation can be to sit in and do very little! For me, because I work from home, it is important to separate work from rest time. It is easy for me to either end up working constantly or getting totally distracted and achieving pretty much nothing.
If you have children at home (and half term is looming), you need to keep them entertained for the sake of your sanity. I well remember the whinging and fighting that mine resorted to when they were bored.
Here are some ideas for frugal things to do in October and into Autumn.
Go pumpkin picking
If you have kids they may be disappointed that they can’t go trick or treating this year due to the pandemic. How about taking them pumpkin picking instead? They can still create a pumpkin lantern, make delicious pumpkin soup or bake some pumpkin muffins.
In Essex, we have the wonderful Foxes Farm for pumpkin picking. A quick internet search will help you find your nearest pumpkin patch.
Have a walk in the woods
Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. The combination of leaves in browns, oranges, reds and colds along with some Autumn sunshine is a winner. Even though it seems never to stop raining here in the UK at the moment, put me in my wellies and raincoat and I still enjoy a walk in the woods.
Having a dog helps too. You have to go out whether you want to or not, and he loves a sniff around the woods.
I always think that being out in nature, particularly surrounded by trees, has a really positive effect on my well-being. In fact, there is evidence that it can have huge benefits to our physical and mental health.
Find an apple day
October 21st is National Apple Day in the UK. As many events are held outdoors to celebrate this, they are pretty safe. It is worth an internet search to see what’s on in your area.
Many will include apple tasting and pressing, hot food, folk music and Morris dancers. A more detailed list for the East Anglia region is here.
Make some sloe gin
Now is the time to find juicy sloe berries in hedgerows and woodlands. They grow wild and are the fruit of the blackthorn.
Mr S picked a large bag the other day for a friend. We aren’t making any this year, as we have yet to finish last year’s. Luckily, it doesn’t go off!
Sloe gin is incredibly easy to make. You basically steep the berries in gin and sugar and forget about it. There is a recipe on the Woodland Trust website here.
Great Autumn viewing
After all of the activity above, it is OK to sit and watch TV… It’s not like it is easy to get out to the cinema these days, after all!
We have been making the most of our Netflix subscription, but have also found some excellent series on the BBC and ITV.
Here are some that we have enjoyed:
The Fall (Netflix). Neither of us watched this when it first came out, but recently caught up with all three series. Gripping and a bit scary!
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix) is about a bunch of super heroes with a difference. Very entertaining.
The Bridge (BBC and Netflix) – classic Scandi noir. Subtitled, but still utterly gripping and one of my favourites ever.
The Secrets She Keeps (BBC), so many twists and turns in this story following two pregnant women.
Keeping Faith, an intense Welsh thiller with a brilliant soundtrack (BBC).
Strangers (ITV). How well did Jonah Mulray really know his dead wife? Such an interesting and original story.
Innocent (ITV). Did David Collins kill his wife or did he suffer a miscarriage of justice?
As you can tell, I love a good thriller! What are watching on TV that you would recommend?
I hope you enjoyed my ideas for five frugal things to do in October. It would be great if you would share your ideas in the comments too.