I know it seems like Halloween is far away, but if you haven’t noticed, the stores are already putting out all of the paraphenelia.
If you look at the calendar, Halloween is less than 2 months away, which means that if you want to save money on Halloween, it’s time to start planning now! There is no rule against having a thrifty and frugal holiday that your kids have a blast with, so check out the 12 Do’s and Don’ts for a frugal Halloween below to get you started!
Take Advantage of Free Community Activities: Beginning a few weeks before Halloween, most communities hold free Halloween events for kids at firehouses, libraries, and even parks. Check your local community website, Facebook page, or bulletin board for activities that your children will enjoy, and that won’t break the bank.
Don’t: Pay For Admission: Often, theme parks and other for-profit organizations will host corn mazes, fright nights, and other events that charge admission. While they might we a lot of fun, try the free events before you pay for admission.
DIY Halloween Decorations: Pinterest is full of great DIY Halloween decoration ideas that anyone can do, that can fit into any budget, and that can be conformed to any party theme you’re having. Check out this Pinterest board for some amazing inspiration for you party, plus tutorials and instructions!
Don’t: By Them At A Premium: When the stores start putting out decorations, they’re putting them out because they’re moneymakers. If you look up some awesome tutorials and DIY your Halloween decorations you can save a bundle of money.
Shop Decorations After The Holiday: Stores put out decorations before Halloween and they make a fortune off of them. However, if you’re smart and wait until after Halloween has passed to buy your decorations, you can score them for 50% – 90% off of the normal retail price. Think ahead and buy your Halloween decorations at a discount.
Don’t: Shop When The Grocery Stores Start Putting Out Decorations: If you find yourself in a pinch for decorations, don’t give into the pre-made ones at the store. Instead, diy it!
Make Halloween Party Food: You’re seen them, the cute little mummy hot dogs, the skeleton vegetable tray, and the eyeballs floating in the party punch. Did you know that you can find out how to do all of this stuff with free tutorials and recipes? There are sites out there that have every recipes you could every want (for free!) – and some come complete with shopping lists! Check out this Pinterest board for awesome Halloween party food ideas!
Follow Gretchen @ Retired By 40!’s board Easy Halloween Party Food on Pinterest.
Don’t: Buy Premade Party Food: Buying pre-made party platters, cookies, and cakes will severely raise you party budget – and if the party budget is tight, that’s not a good thing.
Have An Arts & Crafts Station: The dollar store has really cute paints, glues, and decorations for an arts and crafts station during your party. Save on party favors and have everyone decorate their own candy bucket, glasses, etc for cheap!
Don’t: Choose An Expensive Craft: Don’t hit up a crafts store for your supplies – they’ll cost you a fortune there.
Check Out Thrift Stores For Decorations: After the holidays or during the spring, people like to clean out old decorations that they’re no longer using. Stop by a thrift store during those times and pick up quality decorations for pennies on the dollar.
Don’t: Buy Low-Quality Decorations: Check to make sure that decorations from a thrift store are not cheap or broken, before you spring for them.
Get Creative With Candy Carriers: Children don’t need a cute little pumpkin basket to collect candy in. An empty (and clean) ice cream bucket, pillowcase, or even a reusable shopping bag will work great – and hold more candy too!
Don’t: Feel Like You Have To Have Pumpkin Baskets: Don’t feel like your children will be missing out. Trust me, all they care about is how much candy they collect.
Buy Halloween Candy From Warehouse Clubs: If you’re in a pinch, and can’t hit up the dollar store (see the next tip) try your local warehouse store. Prices for name brand candy there tend to be lower than your local Walmart or Target.
Don’t: Buy Candy After the Holiday and Store it Until Next Year: I love 50% off Halloween candy, and I definitely buy some after it has passed, but I don’t hoarde it in a desperate attempt to save money next year.
Buy Candy From The Dollar Store: But stick with the name brand candy. Dollar stores have name brand candy for $1 a bag, and while the bags might be smaller than those you would buy at other stores, you’re still getting a pretty big bang for your buck.
Don’t: Go Off-Brand: Because no one like off-brand candy. Just don’t go there.
Buy Cheap Pumpkins: Buy pumpkins at your grocery store rather than your local pumpkin patch. As a general rule, grocery stores put out pumpkins as “loss leaders” items that they are selling below cost to get you into the store, where pumpkin patches have grossly inflated prices and may charge for admission and extras such as hay rack rides.
Don’t: Go To The Pumpkin Patch. Not only will you pay higher prices, you kids will want to splurge on all of the extras.
Make Your Own Costumes: Think that sounds hard? Think again! Pinterest, (again, I know!) has tons of great ideas for making your own costumes, for uber-tough (and amazing looking) to simple and cheap options that are still super cute. Check out this Pinterest board for some ideas to get you started.
Don’t: Spend a Fortune on Costumes: Even if you do decide to buy, check out your local thrift store or garage sales for worn-once costumes at a huge discount.
Hold A Costume Swap: Have friends with kids? Host a costumes swap with food and drinks to help everyone save on Halloween costumes – and have a good time too!
Don’t: Be Afraid To Host a Swap: Don’t feel like a costume swap is a high-pressure event. It’s totally ok to go casual.
My best tip for you is this: Start Planning Early
It is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the planning that goes into saving money on Halloween and still making it fabulous, but if you start now, not only will you keep your budget in check, you’ll have the most fabulous Halloween on the block!
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Gary @ Super Saving Tips says
This is a great post…you can save so much money if you do a little advance planning! Making your own used to mean coming up with some really creative stuff, but now it’s so much easier because you can get inspired by what’s already on Pinterest.
Carey @ wiserdollar.com says
You have a good and comprehensive list! Several of these items I have not even thought about, like having a costume swap, but that is an excellent idea.