American consumers are going to spend over $7 billion dollars this year just on Halloween, with the average person spending about $75 on costumes, candy and decorations. I don’t know about you, but those numbers really surprised me, until I thought about it and realized I probably do spend about $75 every year getting together my costume and buying candy and other treats for friends, family and trick or treaters. This year I’ve decided to figure out how to spend less on Halloween without sacrificing any of the fun of one of my favorite holidays. Here are my top 7 tricks for how to save money on your treats this Halloween.
- DIY Costumes
I remember my mother cobbling together the items for my costume each year when I was child gearing up to go trick or treating. She was an expert at pulling together items we already had to built my costume no matter what it was I was trying to be that year. Now it’s even easier to get great ideas for do it yourself costumes with just a few simple searches on the internet. There are dozens of Pinterest boards and lifestyle blogs full of ideas for you and your kids to choose from. This year instead of going to a Halloween store and buying a costume think about what you can do to make your own costume and save some money quick and easy.
- Do Decorations Cheap
Just like making a costume yourself, there are tons of lifestyle blogs with instructions on how to make your own Halloween decorations at home. Try looking at the classics like Martha Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens, and other big name lifestyle magazines for easy tips. You can expand your search into Pinterest and see what other people like you think are great decorating ideas this year. By making decorations yourself you can save a bundle over buying them at a store or online. This is also a great way to get your kids involved in making some arts and crafts and let them explore their creative side.
- Shop At Warehouse Stores
I know that every year I get a lot of trick or treaters stopping by my home because I live in a suburb with a ton of young families. Stocking up on candy at the grocery store for all the kids that are going to stop by would be very expensive. I turn to Costco this time of year and buy my candy in bulk. I stop in once at the beginning of October and buy a few bags of mixed individually wrapped candies and these easily last me through all the different holiday parties of the month and through Halloween. If you want to be the really cool house, you can even pick up full sized candy bars in bulk at a warehouse club and provide that legendary score that the neighborhood kids talk about until next year.
- Check the Dollar Store
During the recession your local dollar store might have become part of your routine shopping trips. Well, this time of year should be no different because your dollar store is going to carry many of the Halloween items you’re looking to purchase elsewhere but at a steep discount. They’ll have plenty of Halloween themed decorations and paper goods for you to throw your Halloween party and usually at a third of the price of other stores. They’ll typically carry some costume options for your kids, but the quality won’t be great so consider these disposable after this year. You can even pick up candy at the dollar store for, you guessed it, a dollar a bag. If you aren’t expecting many trick or treaters this can be an easy way to grab a couple small bags of candy to hand out without committing to a bulk purchase like at a warehouse store.
- Take Advantage of Free Activities
There are tons of events that are free for you to participate in to celebrate Halloween. Look for your local rotary club, chamber of commerce, religious organizations, school and local government like police and fire department for different events. From pumpkin carving to safe trick or treating, there is bound to be something you and your family to take part in that is free for you and is a fun way to celebrate the holiday.
- Shop Online
You’re probably well aware of the numerous types of websites selling all kinds of retail items online, so why not look for your Halloween goods online too? From your decorations, to paper goods, to candy and costumes, you can find all of these items online. Check out your traditional big box retailers first and look to take advantage of coupon. Make sure to look for specialty stores that have an online presence and offer deep discounts online.
- Shop After Halloween
This is my favorite trick on this list because it seems counterintuitive. The absolute best time to shop for Halloween is right after October 31st has passed. Retailers are slashing prices by 50% to 90% to get Halloween costumes and decorations out of their inventory to make room for Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff. You know that next year you’ll be celebrating Halloween again and will need your decorations and costumes ready so why not take advantage of buying stuff new but on the cheap and hanging onto it for next year? You obviously shouldn’t be buying candy and holding it for a year, but you can get everything else on your list and stick it in a closet and be ready to go for next Halloween without having to do any shopping.