Fall calls for more than just a reset on our clocks. We need to prepare for a new season. Here are some ways to do so — and save money at the same time.
At the grocery store
Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Overripe fruits and vegetables go bad faster, so choose the freshest produce available. When it comes to leafy greens, opt for those that are richly colored, with few to no limp or yellow leaves. When you’re picking out root vegetables like potatoes and onions, weight is a good indicator of freshness: The heavier they are, the better.
In your clothes closet
The cheapest place to go shopping is right in your home. With cooler months approaching, it’s time to go through your closet and swap out your favorite shorts for your favorite sweatpants.
Take a day to go through everything you own, and create piles for things you no longer want, things you want to keep, and seasonal items. For clothing you won’t need until next summer, properly pack it in airtight containers to avoid issues like moths.
Once your clothing is separated, you’ll probably have some items that are showing signs of wear. Don’t toss them. It’s surprisingly easy to re-dye clothing that has started to fade. If you have stained items, try soaking items in OxiClean. If you noticed that your workout gear is not looking as spry as it used to (or that it’s retaining a funky smell even after washing), bring it back to life with Purex Fels-Naptha.
If the idea of going through your wardrobe doesn’t fill you with joy, get some friends together over Zoom for a virtual clothing swap. You might be able to nab a couple of “new” pieces from pals and rid yourself of stuff you don’t love anymore.
Around the house
If you’re itching to do some remodeling, try something that doesn’t cost anything at all: rearranging your furniture.
First, decide what you want the focal point of the room to be and concentrate on that. If it’s the bay windows in your living room, figure out how to arrange the furniture so it doesn’t impede the view. Position the largest pieces of furniture (such as the bed or sofa) first, and work outward from there. Try different layouts.
Once you have an arrangement you like, step out of the room and walk back in. A “vibe check” will allow you to see how the room feels.
After rearranging, you may find yourself in need of a new piece of furniture or two. But before you go shopping, take a look around your house to see whether there’s anything you can repurpose. Could that old bookshelf be transformed into your new standing desk?
Clean and organize
Now that you’ve rearranged, why not take the extra step of making the furniture look new? To tackle lighter stains, a little warm water and dish detergent can usually do the trick (depending on the fabric).
If you need something stronger, or you need more than just a spot treatment, it may be worth getting an upholstery cleaner. A good upholstery cleaner may seem expensive, but it’s cheaper and more convenient than hiring a professional cleaner.
Want to give your bathroom an inexpensive face-lift? Organize anything you have stored in exposed shelving. Tidying up (and hiding things out of sight) is especially rewarding if you have a smaller bathroom. A clean space creates the illusion of a larger space. Or perhaps you can craft a new shower curtain.