Here are eleven foods that are at their cheapest and tastiest during the fall months. Freeze or can them now, so you don't get stuck paying more for them later.
Load up on apples while they're plentiful, and use them to make your own applesauce. You can do this on the stove or in your crockpot. If you happen to have access to cheap pears, pear sauce is out-of-this-world good and no more difficult to make.
Use apples, pears or pumpkins to make homemade fruit butter. If you make it in the crockpot, it'll take very little hands-on time (and your house will smell amazing for hours). Can or freeze the finished product to enjoy later, but be sure to sample some now. There's nothing like warm fruit butter on just-baked biscuits. Yum!
Fill your freezer with nuts while they're in season, so you don't get stuck paying full-price for them over the holidays. If you don't have nut trees in your yard, let your friends and neighbors know you're looking for nuts or set out on a foraging adventure.
Get your hands on some mushrooms (foraged or store-bought). Then, prep them for the freezer. It takes less than 10 minutes of chopping and cooking.
Canned fruit from the grocery store is loaded with sugar and lacking in flavor. Make up your own jars of canned apple and pear slices, so you never have to settle for second-best. Water-bath can them, if you want shelf-stable jars, or just pop them in the freezer– either method will give you great results.
Harvest the last of the herbs from your garden before the first frost hits. They'll freeze beautifully, but can also be dried, if you prefer to use them that way. Just be sure to put up enough to get you through the winter. Those grocery store prices are painful with a capital P.
Use your vegetable peels and scraps (onion peels, carrot tops, potato skins, etc. ) tomake vegetable broth, or save everything in a bag in the freezer until Thanksgiving, and make turkey stock.
If you're a hunter (or have friends who hunt), the fall is a great time to fill your freezer with free turkey, venison and duck. If you don't have a hunting hookup, take advantage of Thanksgiving sales to stock up on turkey and ham. You'll find some of the cheapest prices of the year.