Halloween is right around the corner! While we might think of the Christmas season as being the most expensive, the cost of Halloween can be surprisingly high if you go all out.

Here are some tips that will help keep you from spending a scary amount on costumes, candy and décor.

Saving on Costumes
  • Visit the thrift store. Whether you’re looking for an old prom dress for that Carrie costume, or a striped sweater for Freddy Krueger, you can find some great pieces at thrift stores…and they are super cheap!
  • Use makeup instead of a mask. If you already own a bit of makeup, you can save money by creating your own look. Also, makeup is safer for trick or treating because you don’t have a mask obscuring your line of sight. There are lots of internet tutorials for creating all kinds of characters, from Pennywise to Hello Kitty!
  • Swap with your friends. Do you ever feel guilty spending money on a costume to only wear it once? Consider starting a “costume swap.” This is especially ideal if you have young children, because they grow out of things so quickly.
Saving on Décor
  • Visit the dollar store. Most dollar stores have a Halloween section where you can find decorations on the cheap. OR if you want to make your own, you’ll be able to find many of the supplies you need.
  • Get your pumpkins from the grocery store. Pumpkins are a Halloween staple, but they can be pricey! Pumpkin patches are fun, and supporting small business is always a great thing to do, but if you are strictly looking to save money, the grocery store is the way to go.
  • Plan for next year. On November 1, hit up the stores for discount costumes and décor for next year at a fraction of the cost. Often, you can save 75%-90% on great items as long as you are in the right place at the right time. You’ll be ahead of the game for next year!
Saving on Candy and Other Treats
  • Buy in bulk. You’ve heard the saying “less is more?” Well, when it comes to Halloween candy, more could be less! Meaning, buying large bags of candy at your local warehouse club costs far less per ounce than buying smaller bags at the grocery store. Just make sure you aren’t buying more than you can actually use.
  • Consider candy alternatives. Who says you are required to hand out candy for Trick or Treat? If you find a great deal (check the clearance racks or dollar store) on little trinkets or toys, stickers, books or party favors, consider handing those out instead of candy.
  • Make your own party food. Halloween is more than just candy. Savory foods have their place too, especially if you are hosting or attending a party. Instead of paying for catering, there are many finger foods you can make yourself. Here are some fun ideas courtesy of Wisconsin Cheese:
Other Ways to Save
  • Host a movie night. Invite some friends over, pop some popcorn and then show some scary movies!
  • Check out local events. Keep an eye on social media and community calendars for low cost Halloween events. Sometimes churches, clubs, malls and other organizations hold free or low cost events for families.
  • Print some free Halloween games. A quick search on Google or Pinterest will turn up pages and pages of printable Halloween activities like coloring sheets, mazes, match games and more.
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