Halloween: it’s the one time of year where it’s completely socially acceptable to dress wacky and scare the pants off anyone you meet. This spooky holiday is all about showing off for complete strangers: decorating and dressing in the most convincing costume possible to delight (or frighten) all the neighborhood kids and handing out buckets full of candy to anyone who rings your doorbell.
So with all that pressure to dress up and dish out sweets, there’s one scary thing that pops up every Halloween: and that’s spending tons of money for one day of celebration. With stores everywhere selling Halloween decorations, giant bags of candies and aisles full of costumes, it’s hard not to get swept up in the spirit of the holiday and buy a haunted-house worth of goodies.
But the good news is that you don’t have to go all “zombie” this Halloween and lose an arm and a leg buying Halloween supplies. Here are a few ways to save money this goulish holiday:
- Get creative and piece together your costume at the thrift store. Why spend $50 on a pre-packaged superhero outfit when you can put together your own costume at Goodwill for a fraction of the cost? If you’re willing to do a little DIY crafting this Halloween and spend some time at the local thrift shop, you can save tons of money on your costume. While you might not be able to look exactly like a replica of your favorite Game of Thrones character, you can come close with a few choice purchases (a ragged vest and some oversized boots could help). Better yet, head into the Goodwill without an idea in mind and you may be inspired with what you find. A second-hand red robe can become the perfect boxer’s garb or an oversized orange sweatshirt can easily be made into a Jack-o-Lantern face. Find the items that inspire you first and design your costume from there!
- Buy candy in bulk with another person. If you’re planning to hand out candy on Halloween night but you don’t want to buy the five-pound bag of mini-sized Snickers, consider splitting the bag with another person who’s also passing out treats to the kids. You can save money on candy without worrying about getting stuck with the leftovers.
- Decorate with multi-season, reusable items. I personally like to go all out on Halloween, and that means decorating my home and front porch with the right Halloween feel. But it’s hard to find another use for those spider webs or “Happy Halloween” signs after October 31. If you’re looking to deck out for the holiday, try picking seasonal items – like squashes, gourds and even corn stalks – that will also serve you through Thanksgiving. You’ll be able to enjoy the festive fall feeling for more than just a few weeks… and you might be able to make a meal out of some of those edible décor items!