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Cheap Fall Meals For The Family

Our credit counseling belief is that cooking for your family this fall doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. With a few simple steps, you can be on your way to making tasty cheap fall meals.

If you're in debt management,, try these cheap fall meals!

If you’re in debt management, try these cheap fall meals!

Buy Seasonal Produce for Cheap Fall Meals

The first step to making cheap fall meals is to buy ingredients that are in season. While supermarkets carry most produce all year round, seasonal produce is usually cheaper.

Here are some produce options to look for when shopping:

  • Apples
  • Acorn Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cranberries
  • Pears
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapes
  • Mushrooms
  • Pumpkin
  • Swiss Chard
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turnips

Make Meals in the Crock-Pot

A Crock-Pot is a wonderful little appliance that helps make delicious meals without trapping you in the kitchen for hours. These meals typically use cheaper and fewer ingredients than stove top ones. If you don’t already own a Crock-Pot, check out a few yard sales or your local thrift shop to find a cheap one.

Slow cooking cheap fall meals can help those running on a tight schedule. All that is required is a little prep work and then dumping everything into the Crock-Pot. Finally, plug it in and let it simmer until you get home. You can make all sorts of things, like chili, meat, and even lasagna.

Inexpensive Fall Dessert: Apple Turnovers

Desserts can also be a part of your cheap fall meals. By using a seasonal produce as the centerpiece and the rest from your pantry, you can easily make affordable and delicious desserts for the family. This is a great way to have something sweet while still paying off credit card debt.

Apple Turnover Recipe 

Prep time: 20 minutes                                  Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 1 large tart baking apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 Tbsp. dried currants
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp. butter cut into bits
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon milk


  • Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a large baking sheet
  • In a medium bowl, mix together apples, currants, and walnuts with the sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch, making sure the fruit and nuts are well coated. Mix in the applesauce and vanilla.
  • Unfold the thawed pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Cut the sheet into either four 5-inch-by-5-inch or six 4-inch-by-4-inch squares.
  • Roll out your pie dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle. Trim the edges and cut into squares.
  • Divide the apple mixture among the squares, leaving a 1-inch border. In a small bowl mix the beaten egg with a teaspoon of milk. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg mixture on the border of the pastry.
  • Fold each pastry into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and crimp edges with a fork. Brush the tops of the pastries with more of the egg wash.
  • Place the pastries in the oven and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Using the right ingredients and following simple recipes can help you manage your grocery bill this fall.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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