It’s officially spring! According to legend, you should have been able to stand an egg on its end at the moment of the spring equinox. In case you missed the moment, here are 13 frugal ways to celebrate spring fever (one for each week of the season.)
Buy fresh flowers:
This year, the first week of spring also includes Easter, which will kick spring fever into overdrive. Visit a local farmer’s market or grocery store to pick a bunch of daffodils to dress up your table. Trader Joe’s had a bunch of 10 for $1.29! Of course, if you have a garden, you pick flowers for free.
Buy fresh herbs:
Stop by a nursery or visit a friend with a green thumb to get a pot of fresh herbs. Choose something you use in a lot of recipes. Nothing brightens even the simplest meal, or cures spring fever, like fresh herbs.
Make a lemon tart:
If Meyer lemons are available where you live, use those to cure your spring fever. If not, use regular lemons and add an extra bit of sugar. Lemon curd is very easy to make and costs less than $2. I like this bittersweet Meyer lemon curd tart (scroll down to the bottom), or this lemon curd recipe.
Make lemon olive oil:
Spring is the season of lemons. For serious cases of spring fever, lemon olive oil is another cheap fix. Michael Chiarello’s Flavored Oils and Vinegars recommends this recipe: you need 3 lemons and 1 cup olive oil. Cut lemons into eighths. Put in a stand mixer with 1 cup olive oil (clean-tasting, not bitter). Stir for ten minutes, then let stand two hours. Wet four layers of cheesecloth, squeeze dry. Set strainer over a bowl, cover with cheesecloth. Pour mixture into cheesecloth and squeeze out liquid. Let stand another hour, then spoon clear oil that floats on top into a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator and use within one week.
Attend a baseball game:
Baseball and spring go hand in hand. In fact, spring fever has a related condition called baseball fever. Most stadiums offer ultra-cheap seats for a few games, so score some of those and try not to buy a hot dog.
Visit a botanical garden:
Most cities have a botanical garden. Take along a picnic and enjoy a lovely afternoon. If you don’t have a botanical garden near you, visit a nursery. Just don’t buy anything.
Go for a hike:
Plan a lovely hike and picnic for a warm spring day. I suggest some options in my frugal exercise club post.
Change your home décor:
If you’re like me, you’ve got candles, vases, and other décor items hidden away in closets. Spruce up your home by sorting through them and setting out some that remind you of spring.
Make deviled eggs or egg salad:
Probably because of their association with Easter, deviled eggs and egg salad remind me of spring. Make some, alongside a simple salad and crusty bread, for a delicious light lunch.
Visit the farmer’s market:
If you haven’t visited a local farmer’s market or green grocer, spring is the time to go. You can watch the season change before your eyes. Soon the oranges and apples will be gone, replaced by berries, grapes, peaches, nectarines, and other luscious spring and summer fruits and veggies.
Prepare lamb for dinner:
Most meats are available year-round, but lamb is best (and cheapest) in the spring. Serve a simple lamb dinner with a homemade mint chutney for a taste of springtime.
Bake a fruit pie:
How about peach cobbler? Cherry pie? Rhubarb pie? Buy fresh fruit at the farmer’s market and bake a fresh pie. Serve with fresh whipped cream. It’s like a taste of spring fever.
Tickle your toes in the grass:
Go outside barefoot and let the grass tickle your toes. Be warned, though. This cure has also been known to make spring fever worse! If it does, see the other twelve cures.
Spring fever doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You certainly don’t have go to on spring break to enjoy all the season has to offer. Just make a point to enjoy the season before it melts into summer. Do you have a favorite way to celebrate spring fever? Tell me in the comments.