Do you want to celebrate Halloween but not spend a small fortune? Check out our tips to help you save money.
We’ll start with the most obvious Halloween expense, which is the costume. I can honestly say, that I don’t believe we ever purchased a store-bought costume. We usually went to the closet first. Old or out-of-style items were what we looked for. It was a good excuse to do a much-needed cleanout.
Some other ideas for costumes might be to swap with friends. Maybe their kids have outgrown last years costumes. It may be used, but it’ll be new to your kids!
Thrift stores are a plethora of ideas! This is probably my next favorite place to look, next to my closet! Thrift stores are like a treasure hunt because you never know what you might find.
Candy and Treats
If you’re not careful, candy can totally blow your budget out of the water. The best thing to do here is to plan ahead. Buying in bulk is probably the most economical way to save some cash.
Next, stay away from chocolate. It can be expensive. You can get some name-brand chocolate candy at the Dollar Tree, but the bags are not very large. You could buy a couple of bags and mix it in with the bulk candy. I would do this sometimes and dole the chocolate out sparingly (1-2 bars) to each trick or treater, giving more of the bulk candy.
Be sure to watch the coupon ads that come in the Sunday newspaper, starting in September. If you buy name brand, this is a great way to save. You can also go online for coupons.
You don’t always have to give candy, either. My kids have received, pencils, erasers, pencil toppers, fake vampire teeth, glow sticks, bubbles, stickers, spider rings, money/change, play-doh, little bouncy balls, just to name a few. Try to think outside of the box. It doesn’t always have to be sugar.
And the last tip to purchase candy always use coupons. Coupons can save you up to 90% on candy to give those trick or treaters
I love decorating my home for the Fall Season. To save money on this, I used artwork that my kids made in school or I would let them create something at home when there were days of boredom. Some construction paper, newspaper stuffing and an old sheet will make a great ghost!
On several occasions, we made adorable scarecrows for the front porch! The head was made from an old pillowcase stuffed with newspaper. We then used an old work shirt, an old pair of bluejeans and some boots or tennis shoes stuffed with newspaper, for the rest of the body. Top him off with an old straw hat, a draw on face and Shazam! It’s amazing how creative they would get!
When I did purchase decorations, I would get things that I could reuse year after year and ALWAYS bought clearance, usually right after the holiday. Halloween decor is just something I could never bring myself to pay full price for.
One of my favorite places to get cheap Fall/Halloween decor is…you guessed it! The Dollar Tree! If you are limited on funds, you can’t beat that place. From their beautiful Fall flowers (which I have a post on how to make a beautiful DIY Fall Centerpiece) to their awesome, creepy decorations, you can find all of it there!
Hobby Lobby is also another favorite store for discounted decor. It’s usually 40% off prior to the holiday and after, it can go to 80%-90% off.
I love nothing better than to decorate my front porch with pumpkins. Usually, the grocery stores are the cheapest options for this colorful gourd, instead of pumpkin patches. I know it’s fun to take the kiddos to these outdoor markets, but be careful. Some charge entry fees and may end up costing way more than just going to the store. If it’s pics your wanting for your little goblins, buy your pumpkins at the store, find a pretty backdrop and take your own.
There are so many fun, cheap or free ways to have a bundle of fun for Halloween and here are a few ideas:
Carve a pumpkin – I usually saved this until a day or two before Halloween. We live in the south, so humidity tends to be high. We didn’t want the pumpkin to be mildewed by Halloween, so we waited, thereby creating a tradition for the kids and lots of excitement leading up to it.
Church Fall Festivals – Just about every church does this and they provide tons of free fun for kids and adults, alike.
Rent scary movies from Netflix (age-appropriate, of course) – Older kids might be able to handle Michael Myers, but you don’t want your younger children anywhere near the tv if this is on. Personally, I’ve never watched any of the Halloween movies. They’re too scary for me, still. You could opt for Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow or Charlie Brown’s Halloween, just to name a few.
Throw a Halloween potluck – Invite a few friends over and pool your efforts for food and drink.
Head to the country for a hayride!
Let your kids bob for apples – My daughter’s birthday is right before Halloween, so this was one of the party activities for her guest. Those kids were a hoot! A bag of apples, a washtub, and some water was all that was needed. We never laughed so hard and they loved it!
Go to a haunted house!
Check out your local Chamber of Commerce/Community calendar for free local Halloween/Fall events.
You can celebrate Halloween on a budget and still make it a fun, memorable event for your family with just a little pre-planning and some good, old fashioned creativity! It should be about enjoying time with family and friends and should never give you nightmares over sacrificing your budget!