With the lovely fall season comes a whole lot of delicious flavor profiles. While not everyone is a huge fan of the pumpkin overload, I happen to love the fall flavors. And so do the rest of our family. So it is a season that we look forward to all year long. But, some of these treats can get pretty expensive sometimes. This is especially true because all of our recipes are gluten free. So we have found a few of our favorite frugal fall treats to pass along to you so you can enjoy this season on a budget also.
I have been making these mini cheesecakes for years now. Everyone loves them and they are so simple to make. You can add in any surprise you want to the bottom also, to create more diversity. We like to use Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter cups.
- 2 packages Cream Cheese (8 oz each) – $2.68 per package x 2 = $5.36
- 2 Eggs – $2.46 per dozen/6 = $.41
- ½ Cup Sugar – 32 oz bag = $3.75/4 = $.94
- ½ tsp Vanilla – 2 oz bottle = $2.14/24 = $.09
- 6 Gluten Free Graham Crackers – $5.36 per box (14 crackers per box)/14 = $.38 per cracker x 6 = $2.28
- 4 Tbsp Butter (1/2 stick) – 1 lb = $4.29/8 = $.54
- 12 Mini Reese’s (or regular) size Peanut Butter Cups – $3.20 per bag/40 pieces per bag = $.08 x 12 pieces = $.96
Total per batch = $10.58 or $.88 per cheesecake
This recipe is pretty simple, which makes it easy to include your kids. I can tell you that my kids favorite part is opening all of the Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter cups and putting them in the top of each crust.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Open cream cheese and place in a large mixing bowl to come to room temperature. You may want to do this an hour or so before you plan to begin, just so that it is softened enough to work with.
- Grind GF Graham Crackers in a Bullet, Vitamix, or good old fashioned blender.
- Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl.
- Add GF Graham Crackers to melted butter and stir until crackers are thoroughly soaked
- Line muffin pan with muffin tins/liners.
- Using your hands, press each muffin tin with the graham cracker/butter crust.
- Open all Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and place one on top of the crust in each muffin tin.
- Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla into the large mixing bowl with cream cheese.
- Mix on medium speed until smooth, approximately 4 – 10 minutes.
- Spoon cream cheese mixture to each lined muffin tin until approximately 3/4 full
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, depending on oven.
- Check with a toothpick to make sure they are done and then let cool at room temperature.
- Remove them from the muffin tin once they are cooled.
One of the biggest perks to these is that you can put different surprises inside each one, if you want to get really creative. And each one is just enough for a good serving, so you don’t have to worry about eating too much or making a huge mess.
Butternut Squash soup
Butternut squash soup is a newer addition to our favorite frugal fall treats. But, it is not only delicious but really nutritious also. Bonus!
The ingredients, and costs, are as follows:
- 1 Whole Butternut Squash – $1.99 per squash
- 4 Shallots – $1.99 (per bag of 9)/9 = $.22 each x 4 = $.88
- 4 Cloves of Garlic – $.99 (3 bulbs per package)/3 = $.33 each/12 (cloves per bulb) = $.028 x 4 = $.11
- 4 cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth – $1.99 per 4 cup container
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil – $6.99 (per 1 L bottle = 66 Tbsp)/66 = $.11 x 2 = $.22
- 3 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme – $1.69 (20 sprigs per package)/20 = $.085 each x 3 = $.25
- ½ tsp Salt – $1.49 (per 4.5 oz jar w/grinder)/ 135 (servings per jar, 1/8 tsp each) = $.01 x 4 = $.04
- ¼ tsp Smoked Paprika – $5.49 (per 1 oz jar)/40 (servings per jar, ¼ tsp each) = $.14
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon – 5.49 (per .8 oz jar)/36 (servings per jar, ¼ tsp each) = $.15
- 1/8 tsp Nutmeg – $4.29 (per 1 oz jar)/36 (servings per jar, ¼ tsp each) = $.12/2 = $.06
- 2 Bay Leaves – $2.95 (per ½ oz bag)/30 (per bag, approximately) = $.098 x 2 = $.20
- 2 Tbsp Pomegranate Seeds – $1.59 per whole pomegranate/16 = $.10 each x 2 = $.20
- ½ oz Arugula – $2.49 (7 oz package)/7 per oz = $.36/2 = $.18
Total Price: $6.41 or $1.60 per bowl
I can tell you that this is a heck of a lot cheaper than any butternut squash soup I have gotten out at a restaurant. And the flavor profile and nutrients are so much better also.
In order to make this recipe, you need to:
- Peel the butternut squash.
- Fully de-seed the squash. (Kids can definitely help with this step!)
- Chop into larger chunks.
- Dice the shallots.
- Mince the garlic.
- Heat pan to Medium heat and grease with olive oil.
- Add shallots, garlic and half of the salt to pan.
- Sweat down for approximately 3 minutes.
- Add butternut squash to pan.
- Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Add all spices and remaining salt and stir in thoroughly.
- Add vegetable broth and bay leaves.
- Turn heat up to High and reach a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to Low heat and simmer for approximately 25 minutes, until squash is tender.
- Remove thyme stems and bay leaves.
- Pour soup into a blender or food processor.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add extra salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- Pour into bowls and garnish with arugula and pomegranate seeds.
Our kids like to help with the blending part of this recipe, so that is a great area for little helpers. They also like to garnish the top of the soup with the arugula and pomegranate. A few of them like to add pumpkin seeds also, for extra crunch.
Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies are something I have been making for as long as I can remember. Not only are they delicious and easier to make than any other cookies, but they are also super budget-friendly. Plus the kids can help with every step of this recipe.
Here are the ingredients and costs for this recipe:
- 16 oz Organic Peanut Butter – $2.12
- 1 C Cane Sugar – $.96
- 2 Egg Whites – $.40
- 2 oz Dark Chocolate Chips – $.26
TOTAL = $3.74 (24 cookies) or $.16 per cookie
And if you thought the ingredient list was short, you should see the actual recipe! The only steps required are:
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Throw peanut butter, sugar and eggs into a bowl.
- Mix on medium until batter is consistent.
- Hand roll each cookie ball and drop it onto a cookie sheet.
- Create a cross fork pattern on top of each cookie to smash them down.
- Decorate the top of each cookie in whatever design you want with the chocolate chips.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
This whole process can be a really fun family event. Especially if you all take turns decorating the cookies, since everyone likes different designs.
Pumpkin Avocado Chocolate Pudding
Pumpkin Avocado Chocolate Pudding is very new to our frugal fall treats recipe list. But, so far, it’s been a big hit! Of all the recipes, this one has the most nutrient denseness and overall flavor. So, if you haven’t ever tried this, now is as good a time as any.
The ingredients and cost breakdown for this recipe are:
- 2 Ripe Avocados – $2.68
- 1/2 C Pumpkin Puree – $.59
- 1/2 C Cocoa Powder – $1.77
- 1/2 C Coconut Milk – $.70
- 8 Dates (softened) – $1.83
- 2 t Pumpkin Pie Spice (or any other spices you prefer) – $1.03
TOTAL = $8.60 (4 servings) or $2.15 per serving
You can always add some natural sweetener if you don’t feel the recipe is sweet enough for you. But I would suggest trying it this way first. In order to make this recipe, all you have to do is
- Put all ingredients into a Vitamix or blender.
- Blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour into individual containers.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour to set.
Out of all of the recipes, this one is also the simplest to make. Therefore, you kids can help with every step of the process. Including washing dishes!
Frugal fall treats summary
Overall, there are so many great frugal fall treats to enjoy this season. But our favorites are all budget-friendly, delicious, gluten free and nutritious. Well, the peanut butter cookies may be a stretch on the last one. But these cookies are much better options than any other peanut butter recipe I have found out there yet.
So, if you are looking for some delicious fall treats to make with your family, check these out. We would love to hear what you think of them!
What are some of your favorite frugal fall treats to make with the whole family?