Easy Ways to Save on Halloween
Five ideas for how to save money on Halloween this year.
Photo by Daisy Anderson on Pexels
Ah, Halloween. With haunted houses, ghoulish festivities with your little ones, and tricks and treats abound, it's a fun holiday, no doubt.
But it can also get pricey, too. Doling out cash on costumes to candy and pumpkins can add up quickly. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) spending for Halloween-related purchases in 2021 was estimated at $10.14 billion, up from $8.05 billion in 2020. The average amount spent per person in 2021 was $102.74. And that number will most likely increase this upcoming season.
If not careful, you can easily rack up debt that cascades into end-of-year holiday expenses — especially since Halloween is on the heels of obligatory back-to-school shopping. Let's take a look at how you can put on your savvy saver's hat and look for simple, fun ways to shave some dollars on your Halloween spending:
Host a costume exchange
Tired of wearing that pink flamingo costume for the fifth year in a row? But don't really want to throw down cash for an expensive getup you only get to wear once a year at most?
Consider hosting a costume exchange. You can wrangle some friends, family, or post on a local NextDoor or Facebook community group. Ask folks to bring items that are in decent condition that adults, kids, and pets could get up in for a costume party or round of trick-or-treating.
If you're a member of your neighborhood Buy Nothing group, you can start a Halloween thread to see if anyone is gifting costumes, festive home decor, and goodies you can hand out to trick-or-treaters or for a gathering — think sweets, stickers, and little toys.
Shop in your closet
You don't need to have achieved a high level of mastery with a sewing machine or needle and thread to create your own costume. You don't even need to step foot outside of your home. Comb through your closet and look through boxes in your storage to see if there's any clothing or accessories that can be repurposed into a costume.
For instance, if you have a pair of bee wings, think about how you can use them to be a bee in popular culture, versus just a standard honeybee. Or if you have an outfit from your youth that still fits, consider being you of yesteryear.
Look for items year-round
Sure, Halloween is just once a year, but that doesn't mean that you need to do your shopping for decorations, costumes and treats right before. Consider looking for sale items the week after the holiday. Or, you can get started as early as the first few weeks of September.
I personally have snagged many a ceramic pumpkin or vintage black cat knick-knack at random times throughout the year. And because it's not the season, these Halloween items will likely be on sale.
Make your own treats
Per the NRF, Americans spend, on average, $30 on Halloween candy alone. That can easily spike depending on how many kids you anticipate knocking on your door. If it makes sense moneywise, consider creating your own treats.
For instance, it might be more cost-effective to make your own caramels or three-ingredient ghost cookies. There are plenty of clever, crafty ideas on Pinterest or Instagram. Of course, there's also time and work involved. So if it's something you might not enjoy doing or simply don't have the energy for, then it probably isn't worth the trouble.
Another route? Consider handing out less-expensive, non-edibles treats, such as stickers, mini erasers, and sundry plastic toys. These can have a lower price tag than candy. Plus, they don't go bad.
Attend free haunted houses
Do a search on social media or read up on listings in an arts and culture publication that covers local events. Or you can scour the entertainment section of a newspaper to see what free haunted houses, hayrides, and other forms of frightful fun denizens of a given area are concocting.
To avoid a holiday debt hangover altogether, you'll want to be proactive and drum up simple ways to save. The good news is there's no shortage of ideas. With a bit of resourcefulness, ingenuity, and planning, you'll be able to enjoy Halloween on a budget.
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