It’s officially spooky season. Think pumpkins, haunted houses, and candy galore! And all of that macabre charm leads up to the main event: Halloween. But while this holiday brings lots of excitement, it also comes with its share of costs — the candy bowl doesn’t fill itself! It can be frustrating to spend a ton of money on the perfect costume or unique decorations only to pack it all away again at the end of the month. Plus let’s be honest, those fake spiderwebs are always a pain, right? This Halloween, don’t let the fear of too many expenses ruin your fun — leave the spook factor to the tricker treaters! Here are some tips to save on all of the big ticket items, from epic décor to the best jack-o-lantern on the block.
1. Buy Candy in Bulk
Classic candies like tootsie rolls and lollipops are usually available in big bags for cheap (individually wrapped, of course). You can also take advantage of buy one, get one deals if you’re craving more expensive, brand name candy. And the best way to save on candy: don’t overbuy! Stocking up on a huge supply of all that yummy candy can be tempting, but you’ll save money if you think critically about how much candy you really expect to be handing out (and how much you’ll want for yourself, too).
2. DIY Costumes and Decorations
Coming up with a costume for yourself or your children on your own makes for both a creative costume and a fun activity! You can also put your DIY skills to the test when it comes to decorations. There are lots of ideas out there, ranging from minimal effort to extreme creativity, and it just takes a quick google search to find budget-friendly inspiration! Here are just a few cost-cutting, low effort ideas:
- DIY graveyard: Use plywood or cardboard and a little paint to make headstones
- Spiderwebs made out of puff paint! Just print out a photo of a spiderweb as your guide and get to work.
- Paper bats: Paper is the underrated hero of Halloween; there are plenty of spooky decorations you can come up with using just paper and some clever cutting and folding techniques
- Balloon ghosts: Get creative with a sharpy and draw some ghoulish faces on white balloons.
- “Smarty pants” costume: Put some of that leftover bulk candy to use and tape Smarties candies to a pair of pants.
- Sea anemone costume: This silly get up is sure to make a splash with your friends. All you need to do is attach (a lot) of long pink balloons to your shirt! Use a safety pin for maximum balloon security.
- Jack ‘o lantern costume: A fan favorite! All you need is an orange outfit and a felt cut out of a Jack ‘o lantern face.
Avoiding specialty stores when it comes to budget-friendly shopping goes without saying. Why pay more than you have to? Thrift stores are full of great finds when it comes to costumes and decorations; all you need is a creative eye. The dollar store is another great place to find simple decorations or the supplies to make them.
4. Set a Pumpkin Budget
It’s tempting to rescue a whole armload of pumpkins from being among the last at the pumpkin patch, but these little orange decorations can cost a pretty penny. Plus you’re bound to regret buying too many pumpkins when they start to go rotten in just a few weeks. So set a limit on the number you buy, and if you’re looking to save more money, check out the grocery store instead of a trendy pumpkin patch.
5. Pool Your Resources
Your friends and neighbors are great resources when it comes to finding new-to-you costumes and decorations. Consider hosting a swap party to switch up your décor this year, and check with the people you know who have children with about the same size in Spider Man suits as your young one.
Halloween is a great excuse to throw an epic party, but just like with any big bash, there’s a lot of expenses involved in hosting. This year, invite your guests to bring a tasty Halloween-themed dish for a buffet or to chip in with drinks.
7. Shop Off-Season
If you find yourself sad when spooky season comes to an end, then it’s a great opportunity to start thinking about next year! Buying costumes and décor in the off-season often means lots of discounts. Plus, if you find your candy bowl empty, then you can head to the stores for some post-Halloween deals (another sneaky trick is to buy candy right before Halloween when retailers are looking to clear the shelves quickly).
Here’s to a hauntingly memorable Halloween!