Halloween is a holiday where everyone can find some fun. Kids get to dress up and gorge on candy and adults get to do the very same thing, all without anyone being able to pass judgment. The word Halloween is almost synonymous with candy, after all. How to save money is not on anyone’s mind.
As with any holiday, however, it can get expensive fast. In a consumer survey, it was estimated that American consumers would spend almost $7 billion dollars on Halloween this year. They’re spending as many dollars as there are people in the world. This total averages out to each American spending $74 on Halloween this year.
So, if you’re on a budget but love Halloween, this number can sound scary. Don’t worry! We’ve put together this list of helpful tips to make sure you can celebrate in spooktacular style but without the expense turning you a ghostly white.
1. Costume Contest
Costumes can get expensive, fast. First, you buy the pants; next thing you know, you’re loaded down with a wig, necklace, sword, and a variety of other things, all of which add up to a hefty price tag.
Instead of going straight to the store and buying the branded costume items, put a little thrifty-ness into your costume plans. Be more flexible about what you want to be; then, head to a thrift shop. Once you’re sorting through the racks, you can get an idea of what you want to be and how to make it happen.
It’s also important never to count out your creativity. Cardboard, glue, and paint can take you a long way in terms of costume accessories.
In fact, some of the most unique costumes aren’t sold in stores; with a little thrifty-ness, you can ensure you’re the only one in your costume of choice.
2. DIY Decorations
If you’re like most people, Christmas decorations probably already take up a good portion of your limited extra storage space. That giant plastic pumpkin is cool, but where would you store it for the other 11 months of the year? And what if you want to change up your theme next year?
Instead, think DIY. The easiest DIY decorations are, of course, real pumpkins. Head to a pumpkin patch near you and select a couple cool looking ones. Then, paint, carve, and decorate to your heart’s content and you have an easy, no storage decoration.
In addition, Pinterest is your best friend when you want to save money! Tons of fellow Halloween lovers have come up with dozens of cheap and easy DIY decorations using materials such as garbage bags and old paper towel rolls.
3. Control the Candy
Just because you’re handing out candy, that doesn’t mean you have to give out the good stuff, especially if you live in a high-traffic neighborhood. Grab a giant bag of (off-brand) assorted candy and you’re good to go. Those kids are getting tons of other candy elsewhere. Also, hand the kids one piece each, as opposed to letting them reach into a bowl and grab a fistful.
If you live in a low-traffic neighborhood, get a small bag of whatever you don’t mind eating the leftovers of.
4. Free Festival Season
Fall is the time of harvest and Halloween festivals, most of which are free. See what your local community/church/school has organized and then take advantage. Budget a little extra for special games or activities, but other than that, you have an entire afternoon’s worth of activities at no cost. Festival food can be expensive, so save money by packing a picnic and a blanket.
5. Family Time
It’s never too early (or late) to start a fun family fall tradition such as a pumpkin carving contest or a pumpkin pie eating contest. Of course, if you’re more of the outdoorsy family, geocaching is always a fun activity to try out, especially as all you need is a GPS-enabled smartphone and a free app. As a bonus, by being outside, you’ll really get to enjoy those changing leaves, and maybe even jump into a few leaf piles.
Halloween is a holiday that everyone can enjoy, even without an expensive costume or decorations. By hanging out with friends and family, and gorging on your nephew’s candy, you can have a ton of fun and stay spirited, even on a budget. Of course, if you’re interested in saving year round, learn more about recycling and reusing or how to save while deliberately spending and you’ll be well prepped for any holiday that comes your way.