Budget Friendly Ways to Use Pumpkin This Fall

By Shannon Hanrahan  •  September 17, 2015

Pumpkins have been getting a bad rap the last couple of years surrounding the Internet craze that comes with the season changing. You know what I am talking about…pumpkin spice everything and selfies galore. But if you forget about people possibly making fun of you for going pumpkin crazy, than you can truly embrace the beauty of this famous fall fruit. Believe it or not, there are a lot of other uses aside from a flavoring to your favorite Starbucks latte.

If you are willing to do the work, you can use pumpkins for DIY “projects” all around the house. It will of course save you money as opposed to constantly buying pre-made products at the store, but it also opens up the opportunity for low-cost activities to do with the family, friends, and even significant others! So take advantage of being able to buy pumpkins whenever you want over the next couple of weeks and give a few of these a try:

Pumpkin Seeds Snack

Snacking during the day is a slippery slope. Even the healthiest of eaters can get trapped into the habit of eating whatever is in front of them, good or bad, just to make the day go by a little bit faster. Instead of reaching for that bag of chips in the cabinet, stock your desk with pumpkin seeds and eat away! They are loaded with magnesium, zinc, protein, and having anti-inflammatory benefits, just to name a few of the reasons it is the perfect snack. You can of course buy the pumpkin seeds at the store, Traders Joe’s carries my personal favorite that I stock up on during the off season, but they are also extremely easy to make on your own. Plus you can customize the toppings when you bake them yourselves.

The seeds are going to be the first things you come upon when you start gutting your pumpkin, so be sure not to throw them out when you are removing the pulp to get to the good stuff! All you need is some butter, salt, and an oven, and you can roast the pumpkin seeds right at home.

Pumpkin Beauty Mask

Pumpkin puree is an amazing thing. Without it, we would never have pumpkin pie, and that would truly be a sad day. But if you can make one less pie this year and use the puree for something else, you may find that you have a new favorite beauty ingredient at the tip of your fingers.

Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, C and E, and if you know beauty, than you know these are key ingredients to keeping skin looking healthy. Add on the antioxidants and beta-carotene that are also abundant, and you have a real recipe for beautiful skin. PopSugar has one of my favorite pumpkin DIY mask recipes that is easy and includes 20 minutes of much needed relaxation. Add this homemade facial to the agenda for a autumn girls night or date night in. This mask will help brighten and smooth your skin just in time for the busy holiday season, so you can be selfie ready all the time.


Pumpkin Table Decorations

I am comfortable assuming you know what a jack-o-lantern is and the importance it serves during the fall. But if carving pumpkins into scary figures isn’t your thing, or you are looking for something new, why not use your pumpkin shells for your next dinner party on a budget?

This is especially relevant if you are just carving pumpkins to grab those yummy pumpkin seeds because you are left with so much after the fact. Make sure that your pumpkin is clean and neat on the inside, free of the stringy guts and messy flesh. Once you are done, make your favorite fall soup and serve the soup inside of the pumpkin. You can make a pumpkin soup or add more color to the table with something like butternut squash soup. You are recycling the pumpkin and giving your guests something else to rave about!

These are just a few options on how you can get the most bang for your buck this fall when you are buying your pumpkins. There is no reason to get everything from the store because it is a very easy fruit to work with! That gives you more money to spend on Halloween decorations and costumes when the time comes for that...although, we think homemade is best for those as well. So go live your fall truth and let us know which ones you liked or created yourself!

Shannon Hanrahan Shannon Hanrahan Shannon is a LA transplant from Philadelphia and a social media junkie. When she is not Pinteresting or Instagraming away, she enjoys eating dessert first, traveling to new places, and being a self-proclaimed DIY expert (aka HGTV addict).

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