We’re obsessed with fall here in New York, where winter is nothing but face-freezing pain in androgynous coats; summer is suffocating body odor on the subway; and spring is but a weeklong sliver between the two. Yes, fall has rightly earned its cult following by being the only time of year it’s actually pleasant to walk around the big city.
Now, in mid-October, we’re all up in that sweet spot when you can still pull off a skirt without tights, and when the afternoon sun provides the brief opportunity to shed your cardigan before that hint of cold sneaks into the breeze — just foreboding enough to remind you of what’s ahead.
Whether it’s a weekend in New England among the changing leaves, or a train ride upstate for gourd hysteria, we’re all looking to savor the next month as long as we can.
Here are five ways I plan to soak up fall, frugally:
1. Make my own pumpkin spice latte
This isnt a proper fall-inspired list without a spiced beverage, and pumpkin spice lattes are about as cliche fall-tastic as it gets. But the $5 venti from Starbucks makes it tough to justify more than once a season. This easy-to-make pumpkin spice latte gives me my fix, and the lower cost and sugar content make it totally acceptable to have multiple times per week.
2. Walk aimlessly once a day
With New York seasons as volatile as they are, the next four to six weeks are prime for sneaking in some extra time outdoors. As soon as I feel the afternoon slump set in, my plan is to set out for a stroll — even if just around the block a few times — to bask in the crisp air and absorb some extra Vitamin D before winter.
3. Buy one new sweater
The Brooklyn storefronts are beckoning with plush knits and vintage-inspired prints. I was stoked to find this cozy, cream-colored sweater at Forever 21 for less than $25. I can’t wait to wear it with jeans and sneakers or with a miniskirt, tights, and booties.
4. Test out pumpkin curry
While everyone else is rehashing pumpkin in dessert form, I have my eyes on a more savory application. Pumpkin curry is the perfect hearty meal to curl up with the chill sets in. Mario and I improvised a recipe this week using diced pumpkin with cauliflower and tofu, but we both felt there was room for improvement. I’m planning to test out this pumpkin and spinach curry recipe this weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes.
5. Space out to a fall-inspired playlist
Early sunsets and rustling leaves call for moody tunes. I recently compiled this playlist to listen to while I work, commute, and otherwise stare existentially out the window.
How are you planning to celebrate fall?