Keep the Fright in Halloween and not in Your Wallet
It’s that time again to start thinking about Halloween. And time to refresh our tips on how you can save money on your Halloween celebrations.
According to the National Retail Federation consumers spent approximately $9.1 billion on Halloween in 2017. This was the highest amount ever spent. Apparently, the number of people celebrating Halloween also broke a record.
This means that everyone is getting into the Halloween spirit. But, you don’t have to go broke doing it. And remember, Christmas shopping is just around the corner.
Whether you set aside Halloween spending in your budget or not, saving as much as you can while still having the spookiest Halloween is in your best interest. And for sure, you don’t want to go into debt making the kids happy or outdoing the neighbors.
The National Retail Federation survey found that consumer spending on candy and decorations was reasonable. You’re finding the deals, so this is great. Where is the big expense? Costumes. So, we will begin there.
Halloween Saving Tip #1: Costumes
There can be a lot of pressure from the kids to have the latest designer costume fashioned after their favorite characters. If you have more than one child, and each costume costs around $50, that’s a lot of money from your monthly spending that is going to a one-time event.
First, find the costumes from last year. Maybe one child has outgrown it, but another child can fit into it perfectly. They no longer like those costumes?
Organize a neighborhood costume swap. You should do this now since we are already at the end of September. Invite other family members and friends. Make it a fun pre-Halloween party with some games and snacks. The kids can pick out the costumes they want, and it won’t cost you anything.
Head to the second-hand store or thrift store. Give each of the kids a set amount of money and set them free to select their own costumes. Let them know that they are stuck with the amount of money they have. This will also teach them to compare prices and set priorities. At home, they can make whatever additional accessories they need to complete the look. DIY is great for this.
Sew the costumes. This is more expensive than the swap or thrift store, but still cheaper than buying retail. If you have a talent for sewing, let the kids decide what character they want to be. Find the pattern and materials at discount stores (not fabric stores) and make the costumes yourself. They will last longer too.
Tip #2: Candy
The next largest expense is candy. If you live where there are lots of kids, you may feel compelled to have enough candy to give to everyone. Today, it is not unusual for kids to travel from neighborhood to neighborhood. You can really bust your budget.
You have two choices: ration the candy and once it’s gone, close the door and turn off the lights, or skip the candy bars and buy bulk candy from Target, Walmart, the Dollar store and other discount retailers. Give out the candy yourself. If you place a bowl outside to let the trick-or-treaters take for themselves, you will be cleaned out before you know it.
Tip #3: Decorations
First stop should be your basement, garage or storage rooms. Probably you have some great Halloween decorations leftover from last year. See what is in good condition and bring it out.
If you have kids, let them get into the Halloween spirit by making decorations. They will love to show off their creations. The materials involved do not cost much money.
Once again, we recommend DIY which is overflowing with spooky Halloween decoration ideas.
Go to your favorite hardware store and buy some colored light bulbs. Swap out your regular bulbs and turn your front porch or entrance room into a spooky den. Add some music and you will be sure to scare the kids.
Tip #4: Parties
The good news is that there are tons of fun things to do that are FREE! Start looking now in your local newspaper and community flyers to find out what is happening in your neighborhood for Halloween. Keep a calendar. Visit community groups online too, such as message boards.
If you do want to throw your own Halloween party, look for ways to minimize the expenses. For instance, rather than buying expensive designer invitations, do the invites online. Digital is the way today. Wait until the final days before Halloween when everything goes on sale to purchase your party decorations and treats.
If it’s going to be an adult party, make it BYOB. Alcohol is expensive. Also, think about making the party potluck. It’s a fun way to share unique dishes and it will save you a lot of money.