According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween spending is expected to exceed $12 billion this year. But did you know that there are easy ways to save money on Halloween?
Whether you’re shopping for costumes, candy or party decor, there are things you can do to lessen the holiday’s blow to your budget.
How to Save Money on Halloween
Halloween spending creeps up every year. Last year’s record spending of $10.2 billion is set to be exceeded this year by over 20%, says a report by the National Retail Federation.
Interested in finding a way to enjoy Halloween without breaking the bank? We’ve got tips that can help you celebrate Halloween on the cheap.
1. Create Your Own Costumes
You can likely find some great Halloween costume ideas for kids and adults right in your own home, or with a visit to your local thrift store.
Here are some frugal Halloween costume ideas to consider.
- Put a plain white sheet over your child’s head, cut out some eyes and send them off as a ghost. Tie-dye your ghost sheet for extra fun.
- Grab those old 80’s and 90’s clothes you still have in storage and dress up vintage-style–or visit the nearest thrift store’s vintage section.
- Pair a basic black skirt and a black top with some black cat ears you can find at your local big box store. Or make your own cat ears from black construction paper. Complete the look by using black eyeliner to draw some whiskers on your face
- Dress up in white and make some white bunny ears with construction paper–or buy some bunny ears
Bats, witches, scarecrows and zombies are other ideas that can be done on the cheap.
2. Decorate On The Cheap
Halloween and fall decor is easy to find in your storage bin, in nature and at local stores. Here are some ideas.
- Buy some cotton batting to stretch out as cobwebs
- Splatter some red paint on an old wooden pallet and set it up by the front door
- Stuff some jeans and a shirt with sheets or other clothing, lay it in the house or yard and put a hat where the head would be
- Make homemade bats or spiders out of black construction paper
- Make giant black cats by stuffing your black garbage bags with clothing, use string to make the neck and put orange construction paper cut out as eyes near the top. Add black construction paper to make ears.
- Use white paper to cut out teeth and eyes, add some green construction paper to eyes and make the entrance to your house look like a monster.
- Use leaves, hay, cornstalks, brooms and other natural items.
Also, search your storage bins! You’re bound to have autumn and Halloween decor from years past. Search online for more great ideas for decorating on the cheap.
3. Shop the Dollar Store
The dollar store can be a great resource for everything from costume pieces to fall and Halloween decor.
You can get paper plates, napkins and bags for candy, along with a host of items for dressing up your home or your favorite room in the house.
You can also find great deals on candy at many dollar stores. Search brick-and-mortar dollar stores or shop the best online dollar stores for great deals.
4. Buy Candy in Bulk
Buying candy in bulk is a great way to save money on Halloween costs. Check out warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club.
Or look for the big bags of candy at your local big box store. Hint: Be sure to check the per-piece price on the candy. Not all bulk buys are good deals!
5. Take Advantage of Free Events
Many neighborhoods have free events for families to celebrate Halloween. For instance, my church has an annual Trunk or Treat celebration where kids can go to get candy for free.
A neighboring town has a Trick or Treat on Main Street event where local businesses offer candy for kids and everyone dresses up.
Do an internet search for “free Halloween events near me” or check on your city’s website or Facebook page for information on events.
6. Plan a Frugal Halloween Party
Halloween parties don’t have to be expensive!! Plan a party and buy your decor and paper items from the dollar store.
Make it a potluck event where each guest brings a fun Halloween-themed dish or dessert. Use your Spotify playlist to play some great Halloween music and play easy, frugal games such as Ghost in the Graveyard.
7. Celebrate With a Night at Home
My family lives in a rural neighborhood where trick-or-treating isn’t really easy because houses are so far apart.
For that reason, we celebrate Halloween with a fun night at home. First, we buy a new movie from the dollar bin at the local big box store.
Then we pick out a few bags of our favorite candy, make some fun appetizers and spend the night watching our movie and loading up on candy.
8. Buy Pumpkins at the Last Minute
Pumpkins are an integral part of Halloween! And you can find great deals on pumpkins if you shop last minute for them.
Stores are working to clear the pumpkins out to make room for Christmas wares. Because of this, they’ll often slash prices in half or even cheaper.
Bonus hint: Check with local farms to find great deals on pumpkins as well.
9. Shop Online
Online shopping sites can be a great place to shop for discount Halloween items such as costumes, candy and more.
We talked about online dollar stores earlier. However, there are hundreds of other online stores such as Oriental Trading that provide amazingly frugal deals on Halloween items.
And when you’re done doing your Halloween shopping, don’t forget to check out the best places to get cheap clothes online.
10. Buy Clearance for Next Year
Just because Halloween ends, it doesn’t mean that you can’t save big money on Halloween. Shop your favorite stores on November 1st–or even October 31st–to get great deals on clearance items.
Save the clearance items for next year and get a head start on making next year’s Halloween celebration an even more frugal one.
It’s definitely possible to find easy ways to save money on Halloween.
Use the tips above to scare the extravagance out of your typical Halloween budget.