Thursday, September 30, 2010

Frugal Tips for Halloween

Believe it or not, Halloween is right around the corner! Halloween can cost a pretty penny with costumes, candy, decorations, and parties! Here are some tips to cut down on all of the costs!

  • The obvious one is to buy it on sale (and with a coupon)! Halloween sales are already starting, which means BOGO candy and coupons from manufacturer's.
  • Consider a mix of the "good" candy with some cheaper candy. We all know that kids want the chocolate candy (we're talking Reese's, Twix, etc.) not Tootsie Rolls and Twizzlers. Mix them together for a lot more candy.
  • Consider not doing candy at all. I know I would have been kind of disappointed as a kid, but consider looking into fun toys and prizes instead of candy. A good site is Oriental Trading Company.
  • For older kids, consider forgoing trick or treating, and buy each kid a bag of their favorite candy.
  • If possible, buy ahead. Buy costumes on clearance after Halloween for future years. This is especially good for babies and toddlers.
  • Shop consignment. Consignment shops often have a section of Halloween costumes. 
  • Make your own costume. I've seen some really creative costumes out there that were simple and cost next to nothing, and usually they were a bigger hit than the box costume
  • Buy on clearance. You'd be amazed what you can find the day after Halloween, and you can always reuse it.
  • Check Goodwill, Craiglist, etc. You may find some great stuff there.
  • Make your own. This can be really fun for kids. Yarn can be a spider web. Foam, felt, and construction paper make bats spiders and all kinds of spooky stuff. There are tons of things you can do with a little imagination (or googling homemade Halloween decorations).
  • Keep in mind the cost of electricity and batteries for fancy interactive decorations (which often cost a ton just to purchase), and if you do buy one, buy only one. 20 decorations that make noise, light-up etc. can be overwhelming.
  • Keep it simple. Parties don't need to be filled with fancy everything. Choose to spend for one thing and cut back on others. If you want a nice meal, do less for decorations and entertainment.
  • Use an online music station for Halloween music. 
  • Plan now for a menu, and buy things as they go on sale. (Check out this month's All You for lot's of creative menu items).
  • Consider skipping the party and going to a community and/or church event.
Remember, it's not worth going into debt to impress anyone or have your kids think you are the best Mom or Dad ever. Halloween is about fun, so if you plan ahead and budget you won't have any worries!
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