It doesn’t matter if you are a trick-or-treater, a partygoer or host, or a stay-at-home body, there is a chance to save for everyone and anyone. Halloween might not seem like a holiday that comes with a big price tag like Christmas or Thanksgiving but you might be surprised by the actual numbers.
According to National Retail Federation, American shoppers were expected to spend $6.9 billion for 2015. With Halloween candy and decorations available in stores as early as September, the temptation to buy arises early.
No matter how you plan to celebrate this year, there are ways to save while still having a freakishly good time.
KIDS & TRICK-OR-TREATERS
- Make Your Own Costumes: There are some amazing DIY blogs out there featuring some amazing low-cost costumes. Cut your costs by getting creative.
- Shop secondhand: Don’t underestimate the great deals at local thrift stores. I have bought my sons costume at a local children’s consignment shop for the last 4 years and I have never paid more than $10.
- Use a pillowcase for your candy: Don’t be afraid to go old-school this year. Not only are pillow cases free (if you have extras lying around) but they are awesome for more storage. The buckets you buy at the local store will run anywhere from $5-$30 and the space is limited.
- Stay close to home: Make sure to skip the theme parks and fairs and get to know your neighbors. By trick-or-treating close to home you will save on entrance fees, gas, and refreshments.
- Take advantage of kid-friendly community activities: Look free community events in your local area. Some schools, churches, and other organization will host free activities for kids.
PARTYGOERS & HOSTS
NRF estimates that people will spend more for adult costumes ($1.2 billion) than on children’s costumes ($950 million). This shows that Halloween is not just for youngsters. With nearly one-third of consumers planning to throw or attend a party with friends or family, there is an opportunity to save.
- Be creative with your costume: I had tons of friends last year who decided to make their own costumes. Let’s face it, homemade costumes are not just for kids. Pinterest is still the driving force for adult DIY costume ideas. With nearly 24.9% of 18-24 year-olds using the site for costume inspiration.
- Share the cost: If you plan on hosting a party ask your guests to bring a plate of their choice. By turning it into more of a potluck-style party you will save a ton on food. Plus, you can make it really fun by asking everyone to bring a Halloween theme dish. My go-to favorite will always be dirt pudding cups with gummy worms. Put a Halloween twist on them using this recipe.
- Shop discount or the Dollar Store: You can save a lot more money by buying more of your accent decorations from discount stores or even the Dollar store. Find necessities such as black and orange paper plates, cups and silverware for half the cost. You can also get more of the smaller decorations such as cobwebs, black balloons, and candles at a deep discount.
- Look into last-minute sales and promotions: Retailers will be a lot more anxious to get rid of Halloween merchandise the closer the holiday gets. Last year, for instance, Kohl’s gave out a promo code and in-store coupon pass that could be used to take 15% off their purchase. To save even more, plan ahead. There is no better deal on Halloween items than the day after Halloween. Grab what you need for the following Halloween during this time. You can usually find deals for 75%-80% off.
With nearly 67.8% of people planning to just stay home and hand out candy, there are still ways to get into the Halloween spirit on a budget.
- Make small inexpensive changes: The one thing we did last year was change out our front porch light and replaced it with a red light. For only a few dollars we were still able to give our home a Halloween touch. Look for ways you can make small inexpensive changes in your home.
- Buy candy in bulk: Avoid the supersize candy and grab whatever’s cheapest. The best place to start is to wait until the last-minute to buy candy. Like mentioned above, most stores will discount their candy and decorations to get ready for Christmas and Thanksgiving merchandise. Remember, even when you buy in bulk make sure to buy individually wrapped candy (I made this mistake last year).
- Pumpkins aren’t just for carving: If you are part of the 41% of people who plan on carving and decorating with pumpkins this year, I highly suggest roasting pumpkin seeds. My family did this for the first time together last year and I must say it was one of our favorite memories from last Halloween. Not only did my son enjoy the messy experience but my husband and I had a blast as well. It also makes for a cheap Halloween snack.