Slash Your Halloween Budget with These Spooky Savings Tips

The end of October is almost here – Halloween’s just days away, and that means it’s time to stock up on candy and costumes and all things creepy-crawly. But just because you want to go all-out this Halloween doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Read on to find out how to save big bucks on costumes, sugary treats and decorations for All Hallows’ Eve!

The Costume

Try your hand at homemade

Whether you want to stick to the classics – like witches, devils or ghosts – or go for something with a pop-culture twist (Game of Thrones characters, anyone?) there’s no reason to overspend on costumes when you can make them yourself for a fraction of the cost. Plus, if you have kids, it’s a great way to get creative as a family and spend quality time together.

Use items you have lying around the house, or buy material and props from a dollar or craft store. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Have a bunch of purple, black or green balloons in your drawer? Blow them up and stick them to a plain outfit and voilà, you’re a walking bunch of grapes. Or, turn a large cardboard box and some plastic cups or paper bowls into a fun Lego brick costume – the possibilities are endless!

Use face paint and makeup

Instead of donning a mask this Halloween, why not use face paint or makeup instead? Masks are expensive and can even be dangerous, especially for kids – Safe Kids Worldwide urges parents to avoid masks on Halloween, as they can obstruct vision and breathing in children. If you have kids, opt for the safer and cheaper alternative and use face paint to complete your child’s outfit.

Think “dress-up”, not “Halloween costume”

If your kids just have to have that store-bought costume this year, opt for a department store outfit rather than one from a pop-up Halloween store. Pop-up stores usually charge way more for the same item. If you opt for the department store, head to the toy section rather than the costume section, where you can find “dress-up” outfits for considerably less than Halloween-branded costumes.

The Decorations

Go to the grocery store for your jack-o’-lantern

Nothing says Fall like visiting your local pumpkin patch – it’s the perfect family activity, and most of the time, admission is free. The only downside? Buying your future jack-o’-lantern there will put a bit of a dent in your wallet. Pumpkins from your local pumpkin patch are usually much more expensive than the ones you can purchase at your local grocery store. While you’re likely to spend around $20 for a nice pumpkin from a patch, you can easily grab a similar-sized one from a grocery store for less than half that price. You don’t have to skip the pumpkin-carving altogether – just get one from your local Safeway or Publix instead.

Printables are the way to go

The National Retail Federation predicts that Americans will spend $2 billion this year on Halloween decorations. If you don’t want to be part of this statistic, make your own Halloween decorations at home for a fraction of the cost.

One way to fill your house with spooky decor is with printables – you can find all sorts of Halloween posters, banners, and other decorations online simply by searching “free Halloween decoration printables.” Plus, you can use printables as templates for construction-paper decorations – turn your living room into a bat cave by printing out some bat shapes, then cutting them out and tracing them onto black construction paper. Tape them onto walls, or use string to dangle them from door frames.

Use your rewards card when you splurge

While there are plenty of do-it-yourself Halloween decorations out there, even the craftiest of DIYers can’t pull off everything – a life-size Wicked Witch of the West or motion-activated scarecrow  is a little out of reach for even the most skillful craft enthusiast. If you just have to splurge on that one extravagant decor item, you might as well use your credit card and get some cash-back or rewards points for your trouble!  

The Candy

Wait for last minute deals

Halloween candy often goes on sale right before October 31st. If you can, wait and buy your candy last minute so you can take advantage of some seriously slashed candy prices. Plus, if you buy your candy too early, it would be gone by the time Halloween rolls around – it’s hard to keep an entire household away from tempting treats!

Opt for non-chocolate

Chocolate is delicious, but quite a bit pricier than other sugary treats. Stick with other types of candy like chips and lollipops to save money this Halloween.

Give out candy substitutes

Instead of giving out the usual cavity-inducing treats, why not opt for non-candy goodies like rubber spiders, Halloween erasers and pencils, or spooky stickers? Plus, if you want to get a head-start on next Halloween, you can get all of these trinkets on sale November 1st, and give them out next year.