Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the cooler temperatures and the beautiful fall colors. It is also the third most expensive holiday, right behind Christmas and Valentine’s Day. You can still enjoy this holiday while being frugal too. It just takes a little planning. Here are a few ideas to keep this holiday a little more manageable.
For the past couple of years, I think costumes have become more expensive and they are not well made or there is nothing to them. We have bought several that have broken on the first wearing and my kids usually wear them more than once to parties and trick or treating. One way you can save money on costumes is to make it yourself. If you sew, this can be real easy. If you don’t sew, then you can make costumes with things around your house. One of my favorite costumes as a kid was when I was a bag of jelly beans. I put on a clear garbage bag with tights and a white t-shirt and my mom filled the garbage bag with small balloons. I also won a contest at a party. So, get creative and see what you can come up with. I have also bought costumes after Halloween and gotten a really good price for them, some can be found for $1-$5. This can be tricky though as kids sizes change and sometimes what they are interested in being changes too, but you can get some great deals this way. I have also found costumes at places like the Dollar Tree. One of my children went as a firefighter and we bought everything from there and he was really cute. You can also look at thrift stores for costumes and find some really nice things. I like to let my kids play dress-up with the costumes we get throughout the year. I feel like I get my money’s worth that way.
Candy can be another big expense for this holiday. A couple of years ago, I was looking for some candy to give out and I was so surprised at how much chocolate had gone up. You don’t have to be the house that gives out candy bars; kids still like other kinds of treats. I like to look for coupons and there are usually plenty during the months of September and October and match them with sales. You can also go in with family members and friends and buy candy in bulk and save money too. The important thing about candy is to not overbuy. You do not need leftovers just sitting around your house so try to estimate what you will need. You can also save money by making your own treats, if you know the kids you are giving them to. We don’t give out candy at our house, but we do give out candy at a church Trunk or Treat event where we know the kids and this works out for my family.
I love to decorate for the fall season probably because I love the colors. This can; however, get into a lot of money. I bought all of my Halloween decorations after Halloween one year and got them for 75% off. Stores usually mark those items down from 25%-75% on November 1st so check out those sales and save a lot of money on your decorations. You could also make all your own decorations. This can be a fun project for your kids and you can find several neat projects online. I think one of the cheapest and easiest things to do is to buy a pumpkin and spend an evening carving it with your family. It’s a great memory for your children and also makes a great Halloween memory for them. We do this every year, as a tradition. I bought a whole set of carving tools for real cheap after the season one year, but you could just use a knife to create a nice pumpkin. Use the pumpkin with a light in it on your front porch for a really nice inexpensive decoration. Don’t forget to save your pumpkin seeds and toast them. Here’s a recipe you could use. Whatever you decide to do with decorating for Halloween, remember simple can be just as good and save you a lot of money.
Remember being frugal is planning to get the most out of your money. Plan ahead and don’t get stuck at the last minute wondering how you are going to buy something for the holiday. Happy Halloween!